William James Brinkley

Dover, North Carolina – William James Brinkley, 52, of Dover won his Heavenly Wings on June 17, 2021.

Lifetime resident of the Dover / Fort Barnwell area, where he was well known in the East, North Carolina and surrounding states. James was the owner and commercial pilot of Eastern Flying Services, which was a crop dusting air service. We all heard this plane buzzing above us and a wing was tilted to say “Hello” to us. Most of the children in the area called him “the man on the plane”.

He is predeceased by his mother, Mary Lou Brinkley.

He remains to be cherished in memory, his father, Preston Brinkley (Margie) of Dover; son, Gabe Simpkins (Megan) of Dover; grandson, Preston Jesse Simpkins; sisters, Michelle Wilson (Lee) of Kinston and Alice Lane Dale of Grantsboro; brother, Charlie Smith (Lynn) of Cove City; aunts, Violet Frazier (Dr Richard Frazier) of Kinston, Alice Davis Spain (Sidney) of Ayden and Peggy Davis of Albertson; uncle, Billy Davis (Mary) of Kinston; nephew, Billy Joe Aldridge of New Bern and countless cousins ​​and his special K9 co-pilot “Buddy”.

James was a dedicated member of the New Testament Baptist Church in Kinston, North Carolina.

His faith and love in Christ was manifested to all who knew him because he lived them daily. James was hardworking and very efficient. He was one of the good guys who was always humble and kind. This man gave his heart and soul to anyone or anything that needed his attention.

After his love for Christ his family was the top priority, James was a family man. He was proud of his new grandson “Preston”. It was not long before he showed the photos of his new grandson. James was proud of his son Gabe, who worked alongside his father in the business. James kept a close watch on his father and mother-in-law to make sure their needs were met or to call them just to tell them he loved them. For those who knew James knew Charlie was his trusted man on the ground. James loved his family, both biological and those he had chosen to be his family. How many of you can relate to his regular “what’s going on my brother” phone calls? Or to his sister “Call your brother”!

James had many, many friends, other Church members, pilots, 252 racing friends, and so on. Those close to James were frequently checked through phone calls, tours, and perhaps a flyby.

People were amazed at the talent he had in the job he was so passionate about. James was an adrenaline junkie, some might say, for a calm and reserved man at heart he was as adventurous as they come. Even with all the obscure thefts that were part of his job that would make the most uncomfortable, he still needed more and loved drag racing. Rest assured that James won his heavenly wings Thursday night and was in the two places he loved the most. Despite the thrills that emanated from his work and hobbies, these were the people he loved the most. From the pilots he flew with to the drag racers he competed with. He always showed up at the racetrack as a member of the pit team where he made his appearance at sunset with a flight over the pond. If you had the opportunity to fly with James, you knew his house was in the sky. The impression he has made on so many lives is a true reflection in all the kind words, messages and calls. He was a true man of God who lived his life to the limit.

He knew where he was going and he was proud of where he came from, his cheesy smile will be missed by all of us.

To son, father, brother, grandfather, nephew and friend until we meet again, we will keep our eyes raised to the sky.

“A man who has friends must be friendly himself, but there is a friend who is closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 KJV

Visitations will be from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 1, 2021 at the New Testament Baptist Church. The funeral will be at 1:00 p.m. on Friday July 2, 2021 at the New Testament Baptist Church with Pastor Tim Daniels officiating. Interment will follow the funeral at Manning Cemetery in Grifton.

Garner Funeral Home helps the family make the arrangements.

Online condolences can be sent to garnerfuneralhome.com

Published by Free Press from June 29 to July 1, 2021.


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