In Loving

James Lee Epps Sr.

Dec. 14, 1948 – Oct. 27, 2019

On Sunday October 27, 2019 James  Lee “Pockets” Epps Sr. went to be with the Lord.

James was born in Newport News, Virginia on December 14, 1948. He attended Newport News Public Schools. He resided in Richmond, Virginia where he was last employed and retired from Sutton & Clarke as a fire extinguisher inspector for over 25 years.

Pockets to friends, Rabbit to family (smile) was a man who stole your heart with his upbeat, energetic personality and caring ways. That’s how he met the love of his life Vivian, they were together for over 20 years before they said I do to each other living the rest of their lives together. Vivian was the beat that kept his blood flowing. You could say they were Louise and George Jefferson.

James loved listening to music, especially Jazz, he had speakers everywhere throughout the house, even the bathroom to make sure he could hear it and the neighbors on the block as well. He also loved getting together and having fun with family and friends. A drop in to see one of the Epps clan usually turned into a family reunion, just because it was so many of them. This was a guaranteed comedy show when Rabbit and Jeter got together and a sprinkle of words from John & Jabo meant it was about to go down.

James was preceded in death by his parents, William Benjamin “Benny” Epps Sr. and Rosa Lee Friend; beloved wife, Vivian Tyler Epps; two brothers, John Henry Epps and Lawrence Nelson Epps, and one sister Marie Gordon. He leaves to cherish his memory four sons, Ricky Epps (Damita), James Epps Jr., Roger Tyler (Glynis) and Darryl Tyler (Charlene); his daughter, Deborah Tyler; two devoted daughters, Margo Smith and Donna Miller (Terrain); two brothers, William B Epps II (Regina) of Newport News and Alphonzo Ellis of Maryland; five sisters, Carolyn Allen (Duane) of Newport News, Priscilla Coleman of Newport News, Sandra Diggs of Hampton, Mary Acosta (Michael) of Gainesville, FL and Donna Cannon of Atlanta GA; one devoted granddaughter, Jasmyne Fife; and a host of great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and close friends.

The family would like to take time to say, “thank you’ to a special man, James Anthony “Tony” Armstead who stepped in and was more than a neighbor to our parents.

Also, “thank you” to Hospice of Virginia, who prayed for and with our dad while offering us support and guidance throughout this transitioning period. We cannot “thank you enough”. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you.

The family will receive friends at Noon Thursday, November 7 with a memorial service to follow at 12:30 p.m. at Affinity Funeral Service – Richmond Chapel, 2720 Enterprise Pkwy, Richmond, VA 23294. Interment will be private.

Memorial Service


Affinity Funeral Service

Richmond Chapel


Thursday, November 7, 2019


12:30 P.M.

View Map & Directions




  1. Donna Tyler-Miller October 30, 2019 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    My dad. May you finally have peace. I will miss you so much. I sm glad that, you are with Ma now. I love you Papa forever and for always. ?

    • Devone Woody November 7, 2019 at 3:09 am - Reply

      Pocket you were always the life of the party funny and always keep Jesse in check you always treated me like family you will always be in my heart you will truly be missed kept me laughing Jesse and I love you.Rest easy in your resting place and give my second mama Mrs.Vivian a big hug and a kiss from me and Jesse.

  2. Melissa Mason October 30, 2019 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    I pray for comfort to the family of James “Pockets” Epps. Pockets was family to me and my children. We never want to say goodbye but when I felt my heart break at the news of your passing a soft voice whispered = healing has come and no more pain.
    So, Pockets we love you and we praise God for the supernatural healing and that you are pain free.
    Your words to me resonate as you said you will always love Jessyca (your Boobee), Earl and Ben. We will always remember and love you. Hug Vivian for us.

  3. Pearlene October 30, 2019 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    My father in law you mean a whole lot to me. Thank you for all the love you have given me and my family. Now your in heaven with Mama vivian. We will always love you,and vivian will always be in our hearts .You will always be in my heart❤️ y’all will truely missed

  4. Ruby Derricott October 31, 2019 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Our deepest condolences to the family. We found “Pockets” to be a fun loving person. We know he and Vivian are reunited now. Peace to his ashes, rest to his soul. We are here for you.

  5. Jessyca Mason November 1, 2019 at 1:18 am - Reply

    Woww Pockets was the second most active man in my life as a child besides my dad. He always showed so much love to me and my siblings. Im so thankful for his presence he had in my life. He will forever be missed.

  6. Angelique Byers November 1, 2019 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    To my dear friend Jasmyne and the family. I am praying for your healing and peace with the passing of a wonderful soul. The Lord is happy on this day because he has gained one of his angels. You all are in my prayers during this difficult time.

  7. Henry Monroe November 6, 2019 at 11:49 am - Reply

    To the Warm and Welcoming Family of ‘Rabbit’, in which I experienced in ours first meeting of each other, I extend my deepest condolences and my many prayers for yours strength during this time of sadness. Rabbit my Brother, “Rest In Peace”!!! Much Love to and for the Family!!! Monroe

  8. Toyinette Hall November 8, 2019 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    To Ricky Epps and family may you be comforted by God’s love.during your time of sorrow. We. send our deepest sympathy ..Pockets RIP you are going to be truely missed.
    Always in our heart. Danielle Jackson (Nicky)your God daughter and family

  9. Christina wilton November 9, 2019 at 4:52 am - Reply

    To a man that I met that made me laugh every time I was around him smiling always having fun joking he will be missed always

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