CLINTON — Mr. James Robert Raynor, 90, of 4449 N. US Hwy 421, died Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, at the home of his son.
The funeral service will be held 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 5, at Hopewell Methodist Church in Newton Grove with the Rev. Carol W. Dean and Mr. Billy Brewington officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery with military honors.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Essie Marshburn Raynor, a daughter, Carolyn Marie Raynor, a grandson, James Christopher Raynor, a brother Corbett Raynor and a sister Lida Aman.
Mr. Raynor is survived by his children, James Robert “Jim” Raynor, Jr. of Roseboro, Ann Raynor Barefoot, of Newton Grove, Emmit Shelton Raynor, of Southern Pines, Bertus Andrew “Andy” Raynor, of Roseboro, Gary Douglas Raynor, of Ivanhoe, Delores Raynor Williams, of Clinton, Beverly Raynor Stanley, of Clinton, two sisters: Doris Batten, of Four Oaks and Marjorie Lewis, of Clinton: 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Born May 5, 1921 in Dunn, Mr. Raynor was the oldest child of the late Bertus Raynor and Vada Holmes Raynor. He resided in Sampson and Harnett counties with his parents and four siblings until becoming a young adult. Along with his cousin Fulton Raynor, Robert made his way to Jacksonville, NC to work as a plumber apprentice at Camp Lejeune. It was during this time that he met and fell in love with the one he called “the most beautiful person he has ever known,” Essie Mareaka Marshburn.
Robert and Essie were married Aug. 3, 1942. Soon after their marriage, Robert left to serve his country during World War II. He served as a Private First Class in the Service Battery 247th Field Artillery Battalion until being honorably discharged in Jan. 1946.
The couple made their home in Sampson County where they raised their seven children. Together, Robert and Essie built the family business, Robert Raynor’s General Merchandise that was located at what is known today as “Essie’s Corner.” After 20 years of owning and operating the business, Robert and Essie retired. Soon after retirement, Robert began shooting horseshoes and became a skilled opponent winning many events in Eastern North Carolina. When the two were not attending horseshoe events, they spent their time enjoying family, and traveling to the coast for long days of fishing.
After the passing of his wife, Robert spent his years taking care of their home and spending time with his family. During his last years, he often spoke of how much he enjoyed being with his family whether sharing a meal or fishing on the river and how proud he was of his children. He also spoke of the importance of their neighbors and community, expressing his appreciation for their help in building the family business. Respect, honor, fairness, and humility are words that he impressed upon his children and those close to him. Robert Raynor lived these words by example every day of his life.
The family will receive friends the hour prior to the service, Sunday, at the church and other times at the home of his son Jimmy Raynor.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to WW11 Flight of Honor or Liberty Home Care and Hospice 1202 SW Blvd. Clinton, NC 28328.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.crumpler-honeycutt.com
Arrangements are by Crumpler-Honeycutt Funeral Home, 118 Fayetteville Street, Clinton, NC 28328.
Dr. James Vann
WILMINGTON — Dr. James E. Vann of Wilmington, died peacefully on Feb. 1, 2012.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Grace United Methodist Church on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 at 11 a.m. Interment will be at the Clinton City Cemetery at 4 p.m.
A native of Clinton, Dr. Vann was born on Sept. 29, 1931. His parents are the Honorable Percy R. and Marie Turlington Vann. He was pre-deceased by his daughter, Martha Morgan Vann, and his sister Ida Ray Vann Miles.
He is survived by his wife, Martha Curlee Vann of the home, and by his children, Elizabeth (Betsy) Vann Adkins, Wilmington, and Ida Perry Schafer and husband John of Stowe, VT; grandchildren DeLana and Vann Adkins of Wilmington, Helen, Annie, and Maria Schafer of Stowe. Also surviving is his Japanese foster son, “Boots” Kubota and family of Goshen, KY; dear friend, Mike Cianflona of Columbus, OH; and two special Hospice friends, Julie Gore and Mary Clarke.
He attended the public schools of Clinton and was a proud graduate of Duke University, earning both a baccalaureate and master’s degrees. He was a life-long avid fan of the Duke Blue Devils and a long time member of the Iron Dukes. He served honorably in the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Captain.
In 1955, he married Martha Curlee, also a Duke graduate, and they lived at Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune, until they moved to Clinton in 1958.
In 1965, he was selected as the founding president of what is now Sampson Community College, a position he served with distinction for 10 years. During this time, he earned a doctorate from North Carolina State University in 1970. Remarkable progress was made under his leadership, and today the college ranks among the top institutions in the state. His next assignment was dean of Continuing Education at Methodist University in Fayetteville, a position he held until he became executive director of the Science and Technology Research Center, a division of NASA. He retired from that position, and the Vanns moved to Wilmington in 1987.
While serving in the Research Triangle Park, the Vanns established a home in Cary. A church was established in the home of the Vanns, and this United Methodist Church, named St. Francis, has flourished to the extent that today there are over 2,000 members. The Lay Person of the Year is named after Dr. Vann.
He retired in 1987, and they moved to Wilmington, where they joined Grace United Methodist Church, becoming very active in the Chancel Choir, The Grace Handbell Ringers, teach Sunday School, serving as Lay Leader, head of Leisure Ministries, head of Third Sunday Luncheons, a Stephen Minister, and as a Certified Lay Speaker. He was a long-time delegate to the N.C. Annual Conference and to the General Conference.
In 1992, he became General Secretary of the Scottish Rite Valley of Wilmington, a 3,500 member Masonic organization. He was a member of St. John’s Lodge No. 1 Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons, serving as Master in 1970, and was a Certified Lecturer for over 35 years.
A former Rotarian, he served on the following boards as a trustee: New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Pender Memorial Hospital, South East Area Health and Education Center, and Cape Fear Community College. He volunteered in numerous organizations in the area and in the state. A tile in the “Celebration of Life” mural at the Hospice Life and Care Center was recently dedicated in his honor.
In 2007, he became National President of National Sojourners, Inc., a 20,000 member Masonic organization of Commissioned and Senior Enlisted Military Masons, and Honorary Members.
Visitation will be following the service. Charitable contributions would be most appreciated to: Grace United Methodist Church, 401 Grace Street, Wilmington, NC 28401.
Online condolences may be made at www.andrewsmortuary.com.
Belinda R. Hall
CLINTON — Mrs. Belinda Susanne Richardson Hall, of 742 Dixie Road, died Friday, Feb. 3, 2012.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Crumpler-Honeycutt Funeral Home.
Kevin Johnson, 87
Mr. Kevin Johnson, 87, of 559 32nd St., Newport News, VA., formerly of Garland, died Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, in Newport News.
Arrangements are incomplete at this time, and will be announced by Summerville-Boykiin Mortuary, Garland.
Bradley Faison, 64
WARSAW — Mr. Bradley James Faison, 64, of 616 South Gum St., Warsaw, died Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 at Duplin General Hospital, Kenansville.
The funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time and will be announced later by the Brock Memorial and Worley Funeral Home, Inc. of Clinton.