Cale Yarborough

December 31, 2023

Cale Yarborough Obituary

William Caleb “Cale” Yarborough, 84, died at McLeod Hospice House in Florence, South Carolina, on December 31, 2023, after an extended illness. He died surrounded by his loving wife and daughters.

Cale was born March 27, 1939, in Sardis, South Carolina, to Julian Caleb Yarborough and Annie Mae Kelley Yarborough. He grew up in the Sardis Community with his younger brothers Jerry and J.C. who survive him.

Cale was a star football player at Timmonsville High School and was offered a football scholarship to Clemson University. It was racing cars that Cale loved more than football and he decided instead to pursue a career in stock car racing. His father, Julian, instilled in Cale a love of flying and fast cars and took him to Darlington to watch the building of the raceway there. He raced in his very first race in a soap box derby at the town square in Darlington. His father died in a plane crash when Cale was eleven years old, but his love of flying and racing did not die with the death of his father.

There are many records detailing Cale’s successful career in NASCAR, however, he will be remembered by those closest to him as a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He is survived by his wife of nearly 63 years, Betty Jo Thigpen Yarborough, his daughters, Julianne Hucks of Murrells Inlet, Kelley Woody (Anthony) of Columbia, and Betty Jo McSweeney of the home. Cale took great delight in his six grandchildren, Byerly Spann (Jimbo), Julian Wilhelm, Caleb Woody, Katherine Woody, Annie Gray McSweeney, and Will McSweeney. They were thrilled to be great-grandparents to James Spann and Cale Spann.

Cale was predeceased by his father, Julian, his mother, Annie Mae, his stepfather, Vernon Floyd, and his special uncle, Willie James Kelley.

So many family, friends, and caregivers helped “Daddy” during his illness. For fear of neglecting to mention someone particular in this time of grief, please know we know who you are and thank you. In his final days he was especially thankful for the help of McLeod Hospice Home Caregivers and the exceptional care provided to him and his family at McLeod Hospice House.

Services will be private. Thank you for respecting the privacy of his grieving family at this time

Memorials may be made to a charity of your choice.

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