Wesley Bumgarner Obituary (1974 – 2022) – Gastonia, NC

Wesley Brent Bumgarner
August 15, 1974 – January 18, 2022
Gastonia, North Carolina – Wesley “Brent” Bumgarner, 47, died peacefully with his family by his side on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.
Brent was born in Gastonia, NC to Candler and Kandy Bumgarner. He attended St. Michael’s Catholic School, Fork Union Military Academy and graduated from Gaston Day School.
As a boy and young man, Brent had many hobbies and enjoyed participating in many sports such as BMX cycling, swimming, skateboarding, golf, tennis, billiards, snowboarding and wakeboarding. He also liked to play chess, read books, listen to music and draw.
He was attending college in Charlotte when at the age of 24 he was involved in a devastating car accident that left him blindly paralyzed. Fortunately, he was able to use voice-activated equipment to work on his computer, listen to music, call family and friends, and watch movies or listen to audiobooks. He also collected postcards from all over the world and asked family and friends to send him one as they traveled. One of his greatest passions was music and he had an extensive and varied collection. Over the years, and with the help of wonderful friends, he had his own radio show at Gaston College, hosted his own podcast (Organized Confusion) which was listened to in twenty countries, and used special equipment to create works of art that were later shown. at a gallery in Charlotte.
Despite his severe disabilities, he maintained a great demeanor, a great sense of humor, great patience and a deep love for God. He lived his life with grace, resilience and courage. As Christopher Reeve once said, “A hero is an ordinary person who finds the strength to persevere and persevere in the face of overwhelming obstacles.” There are many brave people in the world and Brent was one of the bravest and strongest. He will always be our hero.
Brent is survived by his loving and devoted family. His father, Candler Bumgarner (Evaline); sisters, Heather Raby (Robert) and Shelley Robinson (Timothy); nieces, Lily, Chloe, and Georgia Raby; maternal grandmother, Ruth Flowers; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; lifelong best friend, Chris Johnson; special friends and caretakers, Regina Leeper, Tony Case and Amanda Summey. He was predeceased in death by his mother, Kandy Bumgarner; paternal grandparents, Eloth and Mary Bumgarner and maternal grandfather, Blen Flowers.
Our deepest gratitude goes to the compassionate staff at Brian Center Health & Rehabilitation, Caromont Regional Medical Center and Robin Johnson House in Dallas, NC.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation www.christopherreeve.org, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis www.themiamiproject.org, or the Robin Johnson House in Dallas, NC.
A celebration of Brent’s life will be held at McLean Funeral Home, Gastonia, NC on Sunday, January 30, 2022 starting at 2:00 PM. For those unable to attend, the service will be streamed live at www.mcleanfuneral.com and will remain on the site for later viewing.
Due to COVID there will be no visitors and the family asks to wear masks during the service.

Published by Charlotte Observer on January 27, 2022.

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