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Jan. 7, 1944 — Dec. 4, 2019
Seth Tyson Wooten Jr., 75, of Wilson, passed away on Dec. 4, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. Funeral services will be conducted 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at First United Methodist Church, Wilson. A private entombment in Evergreen Memorial Park, Wilson, will be held at a later time.
The family will receive friends Friday, from 5 until 8 p.m., at Thomas-Yelverton Funeral Home, 2704 Nash St. N., Wilson.
Seth was a second-generation owner of Wilson-based S.T. Wooten Corporation. He spent most of his life helping drive the company’s growth and success. At the time of his death, Seth served as CEO. As a leader in the construction industry, Seth was known for his tireless work ethic and innovative ideas. During his tenure, the company grew from a few hundred employees to more than 1,000. Seth helped diversify the company’s business lines and continued the company’s tradition of valuing its employees. When not at work, Seth had a passion for riding both horses and motorcycles. He owned and showed several award-winning cutting horses in North Carolina and Texas. In the last several years, he worked to improve his motorcycle-riding technique and became an advocate for motorcycle safety training for his fellow enthusiasts.
A Family Legacy
Seth was involved with S.T. Wooten Corporation almost from the time of its founding. His father, Seth Wooten Sr., established the company in 1952. Seth began running grading and earth-moving equipment at an early age. In 1962, he was promoted to his first leadership role as foreman. A few years later, his father purchased the company’s first asphalt plant. Continuing to climb the company ranks, Seth would work to build the asphalt side of the business for the next 10 years. In 1976, Seth was named Executive Vice President. By 1980, the company employed more than 400 people. He helped the company weather a tough economic stretch in the early ’80s, taking contracts in North Carolina, Virginia and Florida. He continued to grow the asphalt side, adding more asphalt plants. Seth invested in the standard and specialty equipment the company needed to perform more work. He also started the company’s safety program, and invested in training and benefits for employees.
A Company Leader
In 1991, Seth was made president of the company and set a tone of valuing employee input. That team approach allowed the company to transition to a more rapid growth as it reached its fifth decade. He was instrumental in listening to upper management in order to make educated decisions. In 1994, Seth Wooten Sr. passed away. Seth’s son, Chris, began working with the company a year later. In 2000, the company was recognized as the Carolinas’ Best General Contractor with the Pinnacle Award from the Carolinas chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. It began a period of recognition by CAGC, the state of North Carolina and the National Asphalt Pavement Association. With Seth’s passing, the company will continue to be led by Chris, who has served as president since 2011.
Surviving are his wife, Patsy Norton Wooten; one son, Christopher T. Wooten (Meagan) of Wilson; two daughters, Julie Wooten of Wendell and Terry Wooten Arone’ (Ralph) of Raleigh; 10 grandchildren, Olivia, Eliza and Kate Wooten, Jessica and Dylan Arone’, Hannah, Carly and Kale Taylor, and Kira and Kiana Taylor; one sister, Nancy Hammock of Wilson; and two stepsons, Bret Taylor (Erin) of Bradenton, Florida, and Shannon Chad Taylor (Hyejia) of Chapel Hill.
He was preceded in death by his son, Seth Tyson Wooten III; and his parents, Seth Tyson Wooten Sr. and Frances Corrine Shaw Wooten.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or online at www.StJude.org.
Funeral services are under the direction of Thomas-Yelverton Funeral Home, Wilson. Online condolences may be sent to www.thomasyelverton.com.