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.