James Clayton Ramsue was born on August 5, 1929, to the late Clayton Ramsue and Lillian L. Ramsue. He was raised in Salisbury, N.C., and was educated in the Rowan County school system. He grew up with nine siblings and learned the importance of family and faith. He always had a love for music. Many of his fondest memories as a teen were singing at church, on the weekends and on the radio in the group the Southern Sons of Shady Grove.

With deep southern roots, he and his family moved north to Philadelphia, Pa., in 1947, where he met and later united in marriage to his late wife Dorothy Ricketts Ramsue. He later moved to New Jersey and reunited with his only son, Larry Smith Sr., and his family. He worked most of his life doing labor in agriculture, on the shipyards and textiles. After more than 40 years, he retired from warehouse work at Strawbridge’s, a local clothing chain.

A few years after retirement, he moved back to North Carolina to be closer to his roots. He also returned to one of his family’s church homes, New Jerusalem Holiness Church, where he was baptized as a boy. He continued his love for music and singing and would often lead a devotional song (or two) during church service. Early into his 90s he supported our local family farming by mowing grass and collecting hay for the livestock until it was no longer feasible. He enjoyed being active, even at 93, living on his own, driving himself to visit family, doctor appointments, church, and dinners out on Sundays. Recently, as his health declined, family and friends were there to support him.

On Saturday, March 11, 2023, God called home one of His faithful servants so that he did not have to suffer any longer.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy; and his siblings, Harold, Sadie, Georgia, Mary, David, and Clifton.

He leaves to cherish fond memories one child, Larry Smith Sr., and three children with Carolyn, Taifa (Andre’) Butler, Larry (LaVerne) Smith Jr., and Trudell (Robert) Knox; five great-grandchildren, Jasmine, Sydney, Caleb, Robert, and Drue; three siblings: Marshall, Calvin, and Pauline; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at 2 p.m. at New Jerusalem Holiness Church. Members of the family will receive friends at the church from 1 until 2 p.m. Pastor Linda Gibson will do the eulogy. Burial will follow in the New Jerusalem Holiness Church cemetery.

Visit the book of memories for Mr. James Clayton Ramsue at www.rutledgeandbigham.com.

Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home is serving the Ramsue family.

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