James Alvin Dunbar Sr. was born in Tyrrell County, North Carolina in 1953 and was the fifth of sixteen children born to Mildred Amanda Dunbar and Julious Dunbar. He grew up in Virginia Beach and was a resident of Norfolk at the time of his passing. James was educated in the Virginia Beach Public School system where he attended Seatack Elementary School and graduated from Frank W. Cox High School. After graduation, James was employed by Waters & Martin of Norfolk, Va. for 35 years and continued with that Company an additional five years as they transitioned into Monroe Hard Wear. At the time of his passing, he was employed with The Norfolk Public School System.
James Sr. joined the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ, under the late Bishop Barnett K. Thoroughgood, in 1973.
In 1977, James married the former Glenda Stephenson and from this union were born two children, Athena Corzette Dunbar Barrett (Waverly Jr.) and James Alvin Dunbar Jr. James Sr. absolutely adored his daughter Athena, and was so proud of her. He spoke often of how pleased he was with Waverly Barrett Jr as her husband because it was so important to him that she had a good and loving husband who would always look out for her as well as form a loving bond with the entire family. With the birth of his namesake, James Jr, his family was whole and complete. No one had a bigger smile on his face than he did when “His Boy” debuted on the scene. He shared with him so many life lessons of family and how they should always stick together, no matter what. James Jr remembers how his father would always try to protect them. His father never wanted them to worry about him, even when he did not feel well.
James Sr. was known for his jokes. Ever the Jokester, he gave as good as he got. An avid sports fan, his favorite team was The Dallas Cowboys. He was a Mason at the Washington Lodge 323 in Portsmouth, The Third Masonic District Prince Hall, where he was the former Worship Master.
James A. Dunbar (65) passed away on Sept. 5th, 2018. He was predeceased by his parents, Mildred A. Dunbar and Julious Dunbar, two sisters, Glenda D. Dunbar and Gloria M. Poole, and a special Brother-in Law, Alphonso Hughes.
James leaves to mourn his loss and celebrate his life, his wife Glenda S. Dunbar, one daughter, Athena C. Barrett (Waverly) of Killeen Texas, and one son, James A. Dunbar Jr of Norfolk Virginia. He is survived by 6 sisters; Lena G. Dunbar, Jacqueline Dunbar, E. Dorene Dunbar (Wesley Grubb), A. Ruth Williams (Jefferson), R. Annette Dunbar and N. Arlene Lee (Leo) of Virginia Beach. He is also survived by 7 brothers; David (Barbara), Kenneth, Stanley (Charlinda), Robert, Neal (Aloweta), Dwight (Christine) and Steven (Ashley) Dunbar, of Virginia Beach. One special Aunt, Mrs. Martha V. Dunbar of Arlington, Virginia, sister-in-law, Rev. S Hughes of Greensboro, N.C. and brother-in-law, Ralph B. Stephenson (Dr. Mary U.) of Roanoke Rapids, N.C. 32 nephews, 23 nieces, 28 great nephews, 34 great-nieces and one great-great niece.
James spent his last days praising the Lord with Christian television. He will be deeply missed. We will never forget the worship that went on in the room as you made your escape. To know that you slipped with God, made it easier to handle.
Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”