James Gordon “Orby” Orbison, beloved husband, daddy and gramps, passed away Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at Gordon Hospice House in Statesville, N.C. He was 81 years old.
A lifelong resident of Iredell County, he was born June 17, 1939, to the late James Glenn Orbison and Cora McCoy Orbison. He was a graduate of Celeste Henkel High School – Class of 1957. During his time at Celeste, he played football and basketball, and he drove the school bus. It was at Celeste that he met his wife, Nancy Carolina Burns.
James served his community throughout his life. He started his 30-year career at the Statesville Fire Department, and he advanced through the ranks of firefighter, engineer and fire captain. He also served as a volunteer fireman with Wayside Fire Department. He worked part-time with Roadway Trucking and also at Manheim Statesville.
James was an active member of Diamond Hill Baptist Church. He served in many capacities in the church, including Sunday School teacher, Sunday School director and deacon, and he greeted all that entered the church. He was known to everyone in his community as a kind and generous man who let the light of Christ shine through his works and his deeds. He opened his heart to anyone in need. He spent most of his retirement years compassionately serving his church and visiting homebound or hospital-bound members. He was an avid gardener and golf lover who would never pass up an opportunity to get outside and enjoy a beautiful day.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 62 years, Nancy Burns Orbison; a daughter, Jane Orbison Morrow (Roger); a son, Kenneth James Orbison (Charlotte); and a granddaughter, Amber Christine Morrow of Atlanta, Ga. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Orbison; a nephew, Michael Smith; and nieces, Sherry Nicholson (Kent) and Terry Moore (Bill). He was preceded in death by his sister Barbara Orbison Davidson.
A celebration of James life will be held at Diamond Hill Baptist Church on Saturday, October 10, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Larry Holleman and Rev. Jeff Luxon officiating. Interment will follow at Iredell Memorial Gardens with full Fireman Honors. The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. prior to the service. Active pallbearers will be members of the Statesville Fire Department. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Iredell County Retired Firefighter’s Association.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his memory to Diamond Hill Baptist Church, 2320 E. Broad Street, Statesville, NC 28625 or Gordon Hospice House, 2341 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625.
Due to COVID 19 and for the protection of all, the family asks that friends wear masks, restrain from shaking hands and observe social distancing while visiting and inside the church.
The family would like to extend their gratitude to Dr. Pam Sholar and her staff and to the staff of Gordon Hospice House and Iredell County Hospice & Palliative Care. A special thank you is extended to Kenneth and Patty Hall and Leroy and Kathy Kennedy for all their love and support.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.troutmanfuneralhome.com.
Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.