LOUISBURG - Willie Lee (Billy) Lumpkin Jr. passed away peacefully at home on Monday, February 13, 2017, after fighting a long, courageous battle with cancer. He left this life with as much courage, dignity and strength as he lived each day. He was born on January 9, 1943, in Richmond, Virginia. He grew up in Louisburg, NC and graduated from WR Mills High School. He studied engineering at NC State University and served in the National Guard for six years. Billy was a professional land surveyor and operated his company, WL Lumpkin Surveyors, for thirteen years. He finished his career with NC Geodetic Survey, retiring in 2004. Billy served on the Franklin County Planning Board and was the chair of the Franklin County Airport Study Committee where his work was monumental in securing federal funds and the site to construct what is now the Triangle North Executive Airport.
From flying his Piper J-3 Cub, based at Ball Airport, to building historic replica models of his Uncle George's WWII Vought Vindicator Dive Bomber, Billy was an aviation enthusiast. He shared great comradery with other pilots from Franklin County and across the state, flying his Cub to EAA fly-ins for over thirty years. Billy applied his engineering mind to all aspects of his life. Whether it was hand drawing his survey maps, restoring and recovering his airplane or conquering daily tasks, he was always figuring out a better way. There was a well thought out plan behind everything in his life. Billy enjoyed decades of visits to Portsmouth Island, NC to surf fish and camp with friends and family. During these trips, he honed his exceptional storytelling skills and sense of humor that boiled life's everyday issues and tribulations down to pearls of wisdom that stung with accuracy. He could confound the educated and educate the confounded.
Billy was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Francis Lumpkin; father, WL Lumpkin; stepmother, Edith C Lumpkin; sisters, Dr. Margaret Catherine Lumpkin and Dr. Martha Ray Lumpkin.
Billy is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Peggy Robbins Lumpkin; son, Chris Lumpkin and his wife, Sheri of Wilmington; grandchildren, Jackson and Arden Lumpkin of Wilmington; brothers, Lee Lumpkin and wife, Sally of Morehead City; Parker Lumpkin and wife, Lynda of Louisburg; and many special nieces and nephews.
Billy adored his family, especially his two grandchildren, Arden and Jackson, who affectionately called him "Ipa."
The family wishes to thank Dr. William Berry and Dr. Levena Reyes for their care throughout the years. We also would like to thank Johnny and Belle Branch and our many friends for their love and support during Billy's illness.
Visitation will be held at Strickland Funeral Home, Louisburg, Wednesday, February 15, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm.and a Memorial service will be held at Strickland Funeral Home, Thursday, February 16, at 11:00 am.
Flowers will be accepted, and donations may be made in memory of Billy to Louisburg Baptist Church, Clint Kennedy Service Fund, PO Box730, Louisburg, NC 27549. Online condolences may be made to www.stricklandfuneral.net.