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home : obituaries : obituaries
October 19, 2018

8/29/2017 5:00:00 AM
Larry Jay Umberger Sr.
Feb. 24, 1949 - Aug. 25, 2017
Larry Umberger Sr.
Larry Umberger Sr.

Mr. Larry Jay Umberger Sr., 68, passed away unexpectedly on Aug. 25, 2017, after a happy and love-filled life.

He was born in Rochester on Feb. 24, 1949, to Donna Spencer and James Umberger. The oldest of six children, he excelled at sports and spent most of his summers working on his grandfather's farm. He married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Karen Rhoads, on Aug. 30, 1969. They would have celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary this month.

Larry worked as a construction project manager, which moved him and his wife around the country in the early years of their marriage. They settled down in Mocksville, N.C., in 1982 with their four children.

Larry was active in the community sports programs, coaching and always cheering for his children in sports and life. He welcomed the first of eight grandchildren in 2002 and found a new happiness and even more love. He loved his grandbabies and enjoyed every aspect that being "Poppy" could bring.

He and his wife enjoyed traveling the country and looked forward to an upcoming trip to reconnect with old friends. On the weekends, Larry and Karen often found an auction to go to or would simply venture out to yard sales or antique sales. He could fix almost anything and was not scared of a challenge. His kids could always count on his willingness to help around their homes and he enjoyed projects around his own home.

He was preceded in death by his father, James Umberger; stepfather John Spencer; father-in-law John Rhoads; niece Christy Bissinger; and a brother-in-law, Gary Smith.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Karen R. Umberger, of the home; his daughters, Shannon (Chris) Patton, Mocksville, N.C., Gretchen (Jimmy) Steelman, Fuquay-Varina, N.C., and Erin Umberger, Mocksville, N.C.; his son, Larry Umberger Jr. (Mandy), Raleigh, N.C.; his grandchildren, David, Ian, and Jaynie Patton, Mocksville, N.C., Ryder and Ryan Steelman, Fuquay-Varina, N.C., and Mackenzie Umberger, Mocksville, N.C., Larry Umberger III "Jay" and Mary Umberger, Raleigh, N.C.; his mother, Donna Spencer, Cicero; his mother-in-law, Jane Rhoads, McCormick, S.C.; his siblings, Twila Smith, Rochester, Kevin Spencer, Tipton, Kim (Russ) Milkey, Arcadia, Brian (Carol) Spencer, Cicero, and Brenda (Kurt) King, Cicero; and many nieces, nephews and other family members.

A funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Advance, N.C., with the Rev. Chuck Baker and Rev. Dan Martin officiating. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, at Eaton Funeral Home, Mocksville, N.C.

Memorials may be sent to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5216; or the Bethlehem United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o James C. Howard, 430 Hilton Rd., Advance, NC 27006. Online condolences may be made at

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