James Willard Kinlaw, 74, Bladenboro, North Carolina, passed away with his family by his side Tuesday, August 25, 2020. He was preceded in death by his father, James Alton Kinlaw, and his mother, Mary Cuba Kinlaw. He is survived by his daughter, Melissa Horne; sister, Kay Speer; granddaughter, Kaitlyn Horne; three grandsons: Tyler Horne, Jeremy Horne, Jared Horne; great-granddaughter, Savannah Horne; niece, Kimberly Speer; nephew, Guy Speer (Stefania); great-nephews, JonMichael Penny, Juan Carlos Jimenez; great-niece, Nicole Jimenez; great-great nieces: Jocelynn Penny, Madelynn Penny; great-great nephew, Rylan Penny; close family friend, Mike Speer.
Willard was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the United States National Guard. He received the Soldier of the Year Award from the National Guard in 1974. He loved serving in the military and continued to practice the disciplines he learned while serving. He loved our country dearly, and he was one of the most patriotic individuals one could ever encounter.
Willard worked as a certified pipe fitter for fourteen years. He changed his career by gaining employment as a long-distance truck driver for another fourteen years. Both careers afforded him the opportunity to explore the lower forty-eight states. Wyoming was his favorite.
He was a member of Center Road Baptist Church in Bladenboro, NC. He loved reading his Bible, while listening to an audible version of the scriptures. In an effort to ensure scriptures were ingrained into his memory, he would provide answers to a self-administered automated test. He enjoyed numerous telephone conversations with family friend, Mrs. Doris Carroll, wherein he further enhanced his knowledge of the Bible. Worldly possessions meant little to him; however, his salvation and his relationship with God were of upmost importance.
His mother gave him the nickname of Woody, and the family referred to him as such. Woody was innately humorous as was his Mother. Coming out of surgery in ICU and asked his name, he responded “Peter Cottontail.” He was opinionated as was his Father. He hastened to contact state and federal representatives and senators about issues of particular interest to him.
The family would like to thank Tina McAllister, RN, and Regina Davis, RN, of the Veteran VA Health Care Center, Fayetteville, NC, for the professional, efficient care delivery to Woody as well as the love they extended to him during clinic hours and afterwards by staying in touch with him during his recent illness. They would like to also thank the staff of Amedisys Hospice, especially the service delivery of Erin Haines, RN, and Candace Pitt, RN, and Nakisha Miller, Social Worker. They exhibited expertise in their respective disciplines and sincere compassion.
While he loved his Church family and community friends, he requested a private family graveside service, which will be officiated by Reverend Darryll Hester, 3:00 p.m., Friday, August 28, 2020. Attendees are requested to wear a mask. While expressions of love would be appreciated, due to the risks involved with COVID-19 and the health of some family members, the family is requesting no visitation. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.
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