James Ray Tharpe, age 81, of Drakes Branch, VA, passed peacefully in his home surrounded by loved ones on Saturday, October 5, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents, Kermit Tucker Tharpe and Irene Royster Tharpe; three brothers, K. David Tharpe, Curtis W. Tharpe, M. Wade Tharpe; and loving sister, Joyce T. Nichols.

He is survived by his loving wife of sixty-one years, Ann Scott Tharpe; three children, Judy T. Forlines, Donna T. Crews, and Timothy Ray Tharpe (Lisa); a brother, Harold B. Tharpe (Margaret); seven grandchildren, Krystle (Jared) Whitney, Danielle (Kevin), Desiree (Jake), Dylan James, Josh, and Lexy; five great-grandchildren, Kendrix, Arbor, Bryson, Nolan, and Harper; many special nieces and nephews; also many great nieces and nephews; including two very special great-nephews, Tucker and Clark; and special loved ones, Danny Crews and David Forlines.

James was a very hard working man from a young age. In his earlier years he drove a truck for Huss Trucking in Chase City, worked at Ponton Pallet Co., in Drakes Branch, and had several business endeavors including packaging and selling his own table meal.  He started J. R. Tharpe Trucking Co. in 1971 and dedicated himself to the growth and success of the family business which still operates strong today.  James loved spending time with his family, and took pride in teaching his children and grandchildren his strong work ethics.  Raising a garden was considered his hobby and he did it very well.  Listening to country music, dancing with his wonderful wife, and watching his grandbabies dance were some of his favorite things. He was a member of Lebanon United Methodist Church and was devoted to helping his church family and his community any way he could.  He was respected and loved by many and will be missed dearly.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at Lebanon United Methodist Church, Drakes Branch, with interment to follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the funeral service. Donations may be made to the Lebanon United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, The Barksdale Cancer Foundation, or flowers are welcomed. The Browning-Duffer Funeral Home in Keysville, VA, is serving the family.



Condolence Messages

  1. Sandra Scott

    06 October 2019 4 years ago

    I am so sorry for y’all loss and I will keep you in my prayers. Have Faith in God and stay strong because I know it is going to be a hard road ahead.

  2. David & Judy Dunn

    06 October 2019 4 years ago

    We are so sorry for you loss. J.R. Will be missed by many including us. Sending love & prayers.

  3. Randy and Beth Hall

    06 October 2019 4 years ago

    Ann and family, Our hearts break for you. James Ray is loved by many and will be very missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    The Randy Hall Family

  4. Mark Anthony Fears

    06 October 2019 4 years ago


  5. Edwina Smith

    06 October 2019 4 years ago

    Our condolences to Mr. Tharpe’s wife, children & his entire family.
    Edwina & Willie Bob Smith

  6. Terrie and Bryan Ovetstreet

    06 October 2019 4 years ago

    James was an amazing man. He made each person he met feel special. At least my son and I felt that way from the moment we met him
    20 plus years ago. I’m-confident James will be celebrated in heaven as much and MOST LIKELY MORE in heaven above. I will pray for the family as James finds his way to a beautiful new place. We all be reunited one day. God Bless you all.

  7. Jerry Jones

    06 October 2019 4 years ago

    Sorry for your loss

  8. Keith Haskins

    06 October 2019 4 years ago

    I would like to send out our condolences to the family for your loss. He was a great man and will be missed dearly. I enjoyed working for him a an early age. Rest in Peace, Keith Haskins

  9. Bonnie Hudson

    06 October 2019 4 years ago

    I am so sorry for the loss of your family member.

  10. Harold and Charlotte Watts

    07 October 2019 4 years ago

    You all are in our thoughts and prayers, James was sure good to us, he will be missed greatly

  11. David Watts

    07 October 2019 4 years ago

    James was certainly a hard working man a work ethic and kindness to be admired , and Tim seems to have learned well from his father , James will be missed , that’s for certain , I pray God will bless this family , and we realize that is through his loving kindness that we continue on through this life until Jesus returns ,

  12. Janice Daniel

    07 October 2019 4 years ago

    So sorry for your loss. Mr. Tharpe was a sweet man. Prayers sent to all.

  13. Jean Watts

    07 October 2019 4 years ago

    I am so sorry for your loss. James was always a kind and good person. He will be missed by so many. My thoughts and prayers will be with the family.

  14. Tammy Webber

    07 October 2019 4 years ago

    Prayers and my thoughts are with all of you. He was a great man, will be missed dearly. May God keep you in peace in the days ahead. The Webber family

  15. Mable Gregory Johnson

    07 October 2019 4 years ago

    With warmest sympathy to Ann and family on the passing of your loved one James I would like to thank him for his community support and kindness. He was such a nice man.

  16. Jayson Dix

    08 October 2019 4 years ago

    So sorry for your loss. James was a good person
    an will be missed by so many. Prayers to all.

  17. Harold and Kathy Hines

    11 October 2019 4 years ago

    Tim and family, We just became aware of your Father’s passing. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Harold was invited to Nagshead for a week to fish and he left town on Saturday the fifth and will be home this Saturday the twelfth. I am sure he will reach out to you when he gets home. If there is anything you need, do not hesitate to ask. Kathy

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