Obituary for James "Little Brother" Topping

Obituary for James "Little Brother" Topping

On Monday, June 29, 2020 James Roger Topping left his earthly home to peacefully enter his heavenly home with the Lord.

Mr. Topping was currently serving on the Hyde County Board of Commissioners.

James was born on February 20, 1952 to the late James Delama and Marjorie Sadler Topping.

James accepted Christ at an early age when he joined St. Mary Disciple Church of Christ in Swan Quarter, NC. He was a graduate of Mattamuskeet High School.

James started his working career as a teen by becoming the first African American to guide on Mattamuskeet Lake while still attending high school. He was employed in the maintenance department of The Hyde County School System for seventeen years. He worked part time for the Winterville Police Department in Winterville, NC.  He worked alongside his parents in the family business, Topping’s Lakeside Restaurant and Motel in the early 80’s to the mid 90’s. He continued the business started by his father, James Topping and Sons General Contractor until his health declined. He ended his working career at Hyde County Corrections in Swan Quarter, NC when he retired in 2015.

James was appointed to the Hyde County Board of Commissioners as the first African American to hold that position in 1987. He held the seat for eighteen months. He was elected to serve on the Hyde County Board of Commissioners in 2018. It was always in his nature to help people and serving on the Board of Commissioners is where he hoped he could help the people of Hyde County the most. He was an active member of the Hyde County Transit Board, and the Hyde County JCPC Board. He was a member of New Branch Masonic Lodge #785 Swan Quarter, NC.  He was a member of the Arabic Order of the Mystic Shrine, Rofelt Pasha Temple No. 175, a member of Holy Royal Arch Masons, and Bright Star of East Chapter No. 74.

James was united in Holy Matrimony to Goldie Rickard in 1979. They were blessed with two sons, James Antonio “Boo-Boo” Topping, Gyno R. Topping, and one daughter, Victoria Mackey Davis.

“Little Brother” as he was so well known, was a person who loved people.  He brought joy to his family and many friends who loved him. He loved to hunt, fish, play cards, talk, joke, and laugh with people he had just met. He met no strangers. 

James leaves to cherish his memories his wife Goldie of the home, two sons, James Antonio “Boo-Boo” Topping (Rhonda) of Swan Quarter; NC and Gyno R. Topping (Marlene) of Greenville, NC; one daughter, Victoria Mackey Davis (Donavan) Charlotte, NC. Three sisters, Mary Topping Gibbs (Wallace); Brenda Topping Murray, and Dorene Topping Holloway (Floyd) all of Swan Quarter, NC. Two aunts Emma Sadler Blount (Jerome) of Newport News VA; Florence “Bobbie” Topping of Washington, NC; Two uncles Samuel Sadler of Dallas, TX. and Clifford Topping (Marie) of Swan Quarter, NC; three nephews; James B. Murray, Wallace “BumBee” Gibbs, Jr. both of Greenville, NC and Phillip “Andy” Holloway (Alishia)of Swan Quarter, NC; one niece Marjorie Gibbs Bond (Roy) of Elizabeth City, NC; eight grandchildren, five great grandchildren and a host of nephews nieces and friends. Four incredibly special friends, Richard Spencer of Engelhard, NC; Cecil “CJ” Hardee of Greenville, NC; Maxwell Selby, Jr. of Fairfield, NC and Mark Carawan of Swan Quarter, NC.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 4, 2020, a the Ponzer Community Building.

Friends may visit with the family Friday afternoon from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Bryan Funeral Service, Swan Quarter.


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