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Mildred ‘Mickey’ Harwood Earnhardt, 85, passed away on Thursday, April 5, at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center after a brief illness.
Born on August 14, 1932, Mickey was the daughter of the late Gladys Taylor Harwood and Claud Huston Harwood of Salisbury. Born in Cabarrus County, she attended China Grove area schools and later went to Lexington Business College. After marrying the love of her life, Jim Earnhardt, in 1954, her first job was as at JCPenney when it was in Downtown Salisbury, where she sold luggage and fancy aprons. The job that made a huge impact on her was at Leisure Lads, where she learned to sew. That love of sewing would be a source of creativity and joy for her until she was in her 70s. Her home was always filled with beautiful draperies and bedspreads, tablecloths and placemats that she had made from a remnant piece of fabric, or even a sheet. She loved sewing for friends and family as well.
She worked for several area upholstery shops and Carter Industries, formerly Carter Chair, where she sewed samples for the High Point Furniture Market. Later on, she and Jim opened their own business, Earnhardt’s Upholstery, where Mickey did the cutting and sewing and Jim did the upholstering. It was a successful business for many years.
Mickey and Jim took the children went on yearly trips to the beach where family would occupy two entire floors of the old Flamingo Hotel and at Christmas there was always an elaborate party in their basement, where Mickey would make her delicious German chocolate cake and fresh coconut pound cake. She bought whole coconuts and would crack, shell and grind fresh coconut for them.
Mickey also loved a good cup of coffee and would often bake a pound cake for Jim (lemon coconut is his favorite) and would call a friend or family member to come enjoy a piece of cake and a cup of coffee. Sitting at her bar in the kitchen with a cup of coffee in hand was her favorite place to be.
Mickey was predeceased by sisters Betty Jean Harwood and Louise ‘Lulu’ Allman, and brothers Boyd and Don ‘Sonny’ Harwood. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, James Robert ‘Jim’ Earnhardt Sr., daughter Sharon Jackson, son James Robert ‘Jimmy’ Earnhardt Jr.; grandchildren, Justin and Lauren Jackson and Saylor Earnhardt and a great-grandchild, Corban Jackson, along with numerous nieces and nephews, and a special family friend, Gail Beasley, whom she referred to as her ‘second daughter’ and her husband, Roger, who always had a special place in her heart.
Her greatest joy in retirement was being able to spend time with her children and grandchildren and visiting the Nazareth Thrift Store in Salisbury, where she made special friends – Dana, Regina, and Jane and she spent many an hour there shopping and chatting..
After a stroke in 2014, she spent time at Autumn Care of Salisbury, and since late 2016 at Genesis Healthcare-Salisbury Center, where she resided with her husband.
The family would like to thank the staff of Autumn Care Salisbury, Genesis Healthcare and Dr. Yut, as well as the team of nurses at the hospital and in the ICU, for providing care and attention to Mickey over the years and during her final days.
Honoring Mickey’s love of a cup of coffee and piece of pound cake, the family will have a drop-in for cake and coffee on Monday, April 9 between 6 and 8 p.m. at their homeplace on Earnhardt Road, where she and Jim resided for over 50 years.
Carolina Cremation is assisting the Earnhardt family. Online condolences can be made at www.carolinacremation.com