Cover photo for James Thomas "Jimmy" Umphlett's Obituary
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1938 James 2023

James Thomas "Jimmy" Umphlett

January 16, 1938 — August 24, 2023

   James Thomas “Jimmy” Umphlett, 85, of 875 US 13 North, Gates, NC, died Thursday, August 24, 2023 at his daughter’s home in Corapeake where he was being cared for by his family.

   Mr. Umphlett was born in the Eure community of Gates County on January 16, 1938 and was the son of the late James Elliott and Ruth Spivey Umphlett. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wives, Raye Curle Umphlett (married 39 years) and Betty Jo Savage Umphlett (married 22 years); by brothers, infant Joseph Umphlett and William Umphlett; and by a grandson, Geoffrey Meinhardt.

   A retired shipping clerk with International Paper (formerly Union Camp Corp.) where he worked for 35 years, he was a member of Reynoldson Baptist Church. Favorite enjoyments included playing the card game “Setback” with his friends at the Gates Senior Citizens Men’s Club, fishing, and woodworking.

   Surviving are his children, Rhonda Umphlett Perry (husband, Mark) of Corapeake and Joseph Leslie Umphlett (wife, Rita) of Carrsville, VA; and Betty Jo’s children, Vicki Hale (husband, Danny) of Gates and Ricky Byrum (wife, Eva) of Gatesville. Together with the blended families there are ten grandchildren, Dr. Timothy Neal Meinhardt, Robert Umphlett, LeAnna Collins, Randy Umphlett, Leslie Umphlett Smullen, Brianna Byrum, Zachary Byrum, Brandon Wardle, Luther Wardle, and Kody Hale; and six great-grandchildren.

   Funeral services will be held Monday at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Miller Funeral Home, 304 Main Street, Gatesville, and will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Wayne Proctor and the Rev. Burt Pearce. The burial will follow in Holly Lawn Cemetery in Suffolk. Friends may visit with the family on Sunday from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the funeral home or all other times at Rhonda and Mark’s home, 1096 NC Highway 32 North, Corapeake, NC.

   Memorial contributions may be made to the Gates County Rescue & EMS, 16 US Highway 158, Gatesville, NC 27938 or to Albemarle Home Care & Hospice, 1507 N. Road Street, Suite 2, Elizabeth City, NC 27909.

   The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the staff of Albemarle Hospice, particularly nurses Crystal, Lisa and Kathryn among others for the care and comfort given their loved one during his declining health.

   Online condolences may be made by visiting

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, August 27, 2023

4:00 - 5:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, August 28, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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