James Harold Driver, age 63, of Oak Island passed away peacefully Thursday, July 11, 2013 at SECU Hospice and Life Care Center in Bolivia, NC.
Jim was born to Staley & Susanne Driver in Franklin Country, North Carolina on April 19, 1950. He grew up working hard alongside his family on their tobacco farm. After graduating from Vaiden Whitley H.S., Jim attended Appalachian State University. He loved to run and was an accomplished athlete who earned the school’s first scholarship awarded in cross country where he also ran track and field. It was at Appalachian State that he met his wife Jane, a fellow student and education major. After graduation, Jim and Jane married in 1972 and welcomed their only child, Corey four years later.
Jim taught P.E. at Zebulon Elementary for 12 years and coached gymnastics and the track and field team as well as several of his son’s youth teams. Always an avid lover of all sports, he passed on his passion to his son who competed in 8 different sports over the years. Jim Driver never missed a single game and could always be found cheering from the sidelines.
Jim pursued his love of running and went on to run 53 marathons and countless other races. After 12 years, Jim retired from teaching to focus full time on the successful business he started as a chimney sweep, Ashes to Ashes Chimney Sweeps. Always a hard worker, Jim also salvaged golf balls in the summer.
Most of all Jim loved his family, and they loved him, the beach and Jimmy Buffett. Together they enjoyed frequent vacations to the Bahamas and the Caribbean where Jim would amuse them by quoting his favorite lines from the movie Captain Ron and his idol, Jimmy Buffett.
In 1998, he and his wife bought a vacation home on Oak Island where the family spent weekends and their summers until he and Jane retired. After retirement, they designed and built their dream home and moved to the beach full time where Jim enjoyed long walks on the beach with his “grandog” Rosie and taking in the magnificent Carolina sunsets on the back deck. He was preceded in death by his father, Staley Driver and his mother-in-law, Rose Cummings.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Jane Driver and their son, Corey Driver and his wife, Moriah and children, Forrest and Bella and Rosie "the grandog", his mother, Susanne Driver, his brother, William S. Driver and his wife Pam Driver, his sisters, Amy Driver and Lisa Driver, his father-in-law, David C. Cummings, his brother and sister-in-law Pete and Wanda Eller and their daughter, Karli Eller and their son Michael and his wife, Kristine Eller.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm Saturday, July 13, 2013 at Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Fred Roberts officiating.
The family will receive friends one hour prior from 2:00 to 3:00pm at the funeral home.
As Buffett sang, “Jimmy, some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic, but I had a good life all the way.”
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the SECU Hospice House of Brunswick, 955 Mercy Lane SE, Bolivia, NC 28422.
You may send online condolences to www.peacocknewnamwhite.com.
Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service, Southport, North Carolina.