Cover photo for James Ernest Brumskin, Jr.'s Obituary
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1953 James 2022

James Ernest Brumskin, Jr.

March 19, 1953 — October 13, 2022

James Ernest Brumskin, Jr., 69, of Smithfield, Virginia, went home to be with the Lord, Thursday, October 13, 2022. Affectionately known as “Hope,” “Skin,” “Junior,” and “Pop Pop,” James departed this earthly plane, shrouded in love and surrounded by his closest of kin.

The 7th of 14 children, James was born March 19, 1953 to the beloved, late Iola (née Haskins) and James Ernest Brumskin, Sr. of Smithfield. In addition to his parents, James is preceded in death by siblings - Andrew Lee Brumskin, George Brumskin, Dorothy Newsome, Jerome Brumskin, Josephine Haskins, a sibling lost before birth, and his son, James Ernest Brumskin, III.

A proud veteran, James joined the United States Marine Corps in 1974 - serving three years active duty and three years reserve duty. James rose to the rank of Corporal and was a Director for Small Arms. A decorated Rifle Marksman, James received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for his role in Operation Frequent Wind at the Fall of Saigon in 1975; the National Defense Service Medal for his service during the Vietnam War; and the Good Conduct Medal. Upon completing active service in 1977, James joined Newport News Shipbuilding as a first as a lineman, then a welder. In 1979, James and other steelworkers at the shipyard went on strike and fought off Virginia State Troopers to unionize and create United Steelworkers Local 8888. The union still serves shipyard workers today. James left Newport News Shipbuilding in 1994,after suffering a debilitating knee injury on the job. James returned to the workforce in 2007 at Smithfield Foods - retiring in 2015. In 2003, the Board of Education of the Commonwealth of Virginia awarded James the Vietnam Veteran Honorary High School Diploma.

James had a dynamic personality, unique chuckle, flashy sense of style, loving heart, and kind soul. His sense of humor could lift any spirit. He lived by faith, family, and community. Ever generous - James was quick to open his wallet, home, and heart without the expectation of reciprocation. James was respected and loved by all who came to know him - folks often looked to James for guidance and as an example of how to live an honest, fair life. In his free time, James loved fishing with his parents; listening to music and attending O’Jays concerts; watching the Redskins with an ice-cold Miller; and a good game of spades with his “Oak Boys” partner Earl Baker. Above all else, James loved to be surrounded by his family and friends. James was a devoted husband and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

He is leaving to cherish his memory his wife, Nanette Brumskin (née Purnell); children LaKeshia(Andre) West and Shawanna (Carlos) Bailey of Hampton, Virginia; Travis Featherston of Atlanta, Georgia; Latysha (Lamont) Chapman of Carrollton, Virginia; and Devon Trotter ofWashington, D.C.; 11 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren. James is survived by siblings Nelson Haskins of Norfolk, Virginia; Pauline Haskins of Newark, New Jersey, Margaret Jones of Salisbury, Maryland; Mary (Jimmy) Fields, Iola Brumskin, John Brumskin, and Lionel Brumskin of Smithfield, Virginia; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Family and friends are invited to pay their final respects during the viewing, Friday, October 21,2022 from 3pm to 6pm at Shivers Funeral Chapel in Smithfield, Virginia. Funeral services Saturday, October 22, 2022 at11:00am at Shivers Funeral Chapel.

James will be laid to rest in a full Marine Blue Dress uniform at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery at a later date. The family requests to have all flowers sent to Shivers Funeral Chapel, 12749 Courthouse Hwy, Smithfield, Virginia,23430. Please keep the Brumskin family in your prayers.

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