Robert D. Womble



Robert Dorsey Womble of Lillington, NC, went to his heavenly home just before sunrise on Sunday, March 26, 2017. A Celebration of Life will be held at Lillington Baptist Church, Saturday, April 1, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 11:00 a.m., conducted by the Reverend Mark Morris and Reverend Daniel Selman officiating. Robert was a devoted member of Lillington Baptist Church since childhood, and made an incredibly loud and joyful noise singing the hymns he loved when able to attend. He was born May 23, 1919 in Lillington, NC to the late John Early and Iola Wilborn Womble. He graduated from Lillington High School and played baseball for Mars Hill College. During World War II Robert served with the 13th Airborne Division- Glider Infantry Regiment (GIR) which was activated at Camp Mackall, North Carolina in August 1943. At the beginning of 1945 the 13th Airborne Division embarked for Europe and camped in small towns southeast of Paris. Plans to send gliders 100 miles east of the Rhine River - called a suicide mission - were cancelled due to inclement weather, the impatience of General George Patton, and the orders of General Dwight Eisenhower. The 13th Airborne was shipped home and deactivated in August, 1945, the same month Japan surrendered following the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Robert returned to Lillington in August, 1945 and started JE Womble and Sons with his father, Early, and his brother, Carl Womble. Youngest brother Ray Halford Womble, Sr., returned from the Navy in 1952 and became a partner in the company. The original store housed everything for the farmer and his family, and accepted credit until crops were sold. Also in 1952, Robert established the Womble Feed Mill which he ran for 49 years - without indoor plumbing. The feed mill was a gathering place for all ages where many friendships were forged, and quite a few wrestling matches took place on top of soy beans, seed, and dirt!
(The Womble Feed Mill is currently owned and operated by Melvin Yow.)

There was a non- discrimination policy in place from day one at JE Womble and Sons, with the same service extended to all, and the cornerstone of the business was and is "the best in customer service"! And the sign over the front door confidently boasts "If we don't have it, you don't need it!" The inventory today includes clothing , appliances, garden and farm supplies, power equipment, and plumbing and electrical supplies.

Robert was so proud that the small family business grew into the corporation it now is, employing over 75 personnel. JE Womble and Sons is Harnett County’s oldest family owned business, and is being operated by the third and fourth generations - much to the delight of Robert and Ray!

Robert is survived by his loving wife of 75 years, Wilma, and his three children: Roberta Marie Womble, Robert Joseph Womble (Martha), and George Earl Womble (Rebecca).
Also surviving are eight grandchildren: Jesse Jones (Sue), Burt Jones (Heather), Kimberly Jones, Rob Jones, Caleb Womble, Robin Womble, Badgett Womble (Marla), and Holly Womble Buceti (PJ). He is additionally blessed to have fourteen great grandchildren: Christopher and Evie Blacka, Parker and Olivia Womble, Blake, Bennett, Michala, and Eva Gray Jones, Will and Currin Jones, Joseph, Isabella, and Lily Buceti, and Willow Womble.

His greatest pleasures were the attention and love of Wilma, his family, and multitude of friends, the comfort and hope his faith in Jesus Christ brought to him, and working until he was 92.
The family is very grateful for all the friends who visited Robert and Wilma through the years, the very caring staffs at Brookfield Retirement Center and Oak Hill Living Center, and the wonderful Hospice care givers. Robert and Wilma especially loved the companionship of Tinker Bell and Jingle Bell, made possible by the almost daily visits of their loving grandson Jesse Jones.

Memorials may be made to Lillington Baptist Church, or to the Robert and Ray Womble Endowed Scholarship, Central Carolina Community College Foundation,
1105 Kelly Drive, Sanford, NC, 27330

"Go quickly and tell...that He is risen from the dead." Matthew 28:7
"He is not here, but is risen:" Luke 24:6