Paul Jernigan, Jr., age 66 of Todd, North Carolina, passed away Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at his home with his loving wife by his side.

He was born June 19, 1957, in Charlotte, North Carolina, the son of the late Howard Paul Jernigan, Sr. and Leila Marie Jernigan.

Paul adored his wife Celeste, to whom he had been happily married for 43 years. He spent over 30 years teaching special education, primarily in the Charlotte School System, and was beloved by students and colleagues alike. Upon his retirement in 2013, he and Celeste moved to their dream home overlooking the New River, and he continued to substitute teach to Watauga County students.

Paul loved riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle with Celeste holding on tight. Together they traversed roads along the Blue Ridge Mountains, throughout the Southeast, and even twice to Canada. He will be remembered as a kind and intelligent man, always with a grin on his face and ready to lend a hand.

He is survived by his wife Celeste Carson Jernigan of Todd; one niece, Sally Jernigan-Smith of Durham, North Carolina; two nephews, Timothy Jernigan-Smith of Charlemont, Massachusetts and Nicholas Jernigan of Ashland, Oregon; two brothers-in-law, Samuel Bradford Smith of Brookline, Massachusetts and Walter Kit Carson of Charlotte, North Carolina; and numerous other family members throughout North Carolina and the country.

In addition to his father and mother, he was preceded in death by one sister, Bonnie Juanita Jernigan.

A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 pm on April 20, 2024, at Valle Crucis United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends and family after the celebration of life service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Autism Society of North Carolina at, Watauga County Humane society at or via check to Watauga County Schools Exceptional Children Department, 175 Pioneer Trail Boone, NC. 28607. Donations are to honor Paul Jernigan.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.