James Willie McCollum, 94, the Patriarch of the McCollum’s Family entered eternal rest on Friday, October 1, 2021. James was born September 20, 1927, in Robeson County, NC. He is the oldest child of the late Arethea Gillespie McCollum and James Arnelle (Vera) McCollum.
James started working at a very early age and later often worked two jobs at a time. He left Rowland, NC to go to Clio, SC to work in the family business, James McCollum & Sons Poke Wood. As he got older and had to provide for his family, he took on many occupations, some of them were an Air Jack Hammer Operator, Truck Driver, Security, Demolition Construction, and a Bakery worker.
In 1952, he moved to High Point, NC, where he became one of the first African American male to work for North State Telephone Company. In 1957, James took another great move to the big city of Brooklyn, New York where he resided for over 50 years. All these moves were not done by himself, he always had his brother Ben; his brother & best friend right beside him. He later relocated back to High Point in 2009.
James was known to many as “James Willie,” “Jimmy,” “Pop,” “Daddy,” “granddaddy,” and even “Uncle Jimmy,” but the most common name was “Shorty.”
They say Good Things Come in Small Packages; and often the things that have the most value or quality are small. The size of something does not always properly indicate its value and we found this to be true about James’s aka “Shorty.” James was a humble, goodhearted, witty, and charismatic man, who seldom met a stranger. To know him was to love him! To his family and friends, he was the “World Traveler”, who continued his travels (driving) along the East Coast until his declining health at the age of 85. A lot of his traveling was centered and based around the Great Love he had for his family.
Family that awaited to greet James is his Wife – Senora White McCollum * Brothers – Harvey & Roy McCollum * Children – Ronnie, Mike, and Shikina * Grandchildren – Darryl, Cierra, Na’quese, Annette, Stephanie, and Masaad.
Family that will continue to carry on James’ legacy are his Daughters - Dorothy, Mildred, Rethea, Willie “Veronica”, Julia (Rashid), Janice (Walter), Cornilia (Alvin), Connie and Ella * Sons- Garland, Charles (Deborah), Joseph “Butch” (Rhonda), James “Freddie” and Michael *56 Grandchildren * 85 Great Grandchildren and 71 Great-Great Grandchildren * Brothers- Benjamin McCollum and Samuel (Mary) McCollum, Sisters-In-Law - Ruth McCollum, Alice McCollum, Elizabeth Williams Daughters-In-Law- Patricia White and Sheila White; Son-In-Law - Collin Punch; Extended Daughter and Sons -Yongkesha McCollum, Mike Wall & Dantrel Rogers, Greg Dobbin; god-daughters, Evelyn “Junior” Malone, Paula Pickney & Bertha McInnis; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Special Thanks Westchester Manor & Staff, Emmanuel Senior Enrichment Center and Guilford County Transportation.
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