Cover photo for Willie Lee Lumpkin III's Obituary
Willie Lee Lumpkin III Profile Photo
1950 Lee 2024

Willie Lee Lumpkin III

May 6, 1950 — March 6, 2024

Morehead City

Willie Lee Lumpkin, III, 73, of Morehead City, North Carolina, passed away unexpectedly from cardiac arrest on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at Duke University Hospital in Durham. 

A memorial service to honor Lee's life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 16th at First Baptist Church. For those unable to attend, the service can be viewed through his obituary page on Munden Funeral Home’s website. The service will remain on the Funeral Home website for 90 days.

Lee was a quiet man who loved deeply. In addition to his family and friends, he also loved art and colors; music and singing; good jokes and better scotch; traveling and coming home; a fantastic book and a really great movie; sunsets and starlit night skies; beaches and country fields; flowers and gardening; intelligent conversations with friends (new and old), and of course, Tar Heel sports.

Raised in Louisburg, NC, he attended high school at Virginia Episcopal School and was a member of the Class of 1969. From there he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1973, and completed his education by receiving a Juris Doctorate degree in 1977 from Wake Forest University School of Law.

For the next two years he was an Assistant District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial & Prosecutorial District. He and his brother Parker then opened the law office of Lumpkin & Lumpkin in Louisburg for two years before Lee followed his dream of living full time at the coast. In the Fall of 1981, he returned to the D.A.’s office once again as an Assistant District Attorney. In 1982 he was appointed to be a District Court Judge for District B, which included Carteret, Craven and Pamlico Counties. In 1994 he was sworn in as a Chief District Judge, where he served until 1998. Following his time on the bench Lee taught for ten years in the Paralegal Technology Department at Carteret Community College.

Lee served as a judge for 16 years, and even though the respectable title for that position is “The Honorable”, he never wanted to be referred to in that way. He was humbled to be able to serve in that judicial position, and it was his goal to DO the honorable on behalf of the people, most especially in the cases that involved the custody and welfare of children. He was a man of faith and relied on God to guide him both in the courtroom and in daily life. His faith brought him comfort when he saw the darker side of humanity in the cases that came before him.

Lee cherished his family, his Portsmouth Island fishing buddies, and his many friends, and rarely failed to be the first to say “I love you”.

He was predeceased by parents Willie Lee Lumpkin, Sr. and Edith C. Lumpkin, sisters Martha Ray Lumpkin and Margaret Catherine Lumpkin, and older brother Willie Lee Lumpkin, Jr. (“Billy”). 

Those who remain to miss him are his wife of over 16 years Sally Strollo Lumpkin, stepson James Anthony Henderson (“Tony”) and his wife Cathy, and their children Jimmy, Abby and Saylor; brother James Parker Lumpkin, II (“Parker”) and wife Lynda; sister-in-law Peggy Lumpkin Pernell; nephews William Christopher Lumpkin (“Chris”) and wife Sheri, James Parker Lumpkin, III (“Tripp”) and wife Jennifer, and Arturo Ynocencio Casanova Lumpkin and wife Rebecca; several great nephews and nieces, as well as many beloved cousins. He will be greatly missed by everyone, including his adored beagles Pritchard, Lady Tucker and Bailey, and all his friends and loved ones who affectionately referred to him as “Uncle Willie”.

Lee loved his community and was generous and philanthropic in his efforts to support many causes and organizations over the decades that he lived here. In addition to sharing his finances, he also gave many hours of his time to several organizations as he served on the board of directors of several area non-profit organizations.

In lieu of flowers, you may consider honoring Lee by following his example of giving generously to one of the organizations that he and Sally support. They are: Family Promise, 1500 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC 28557; Hope Mission of Carteret County, 1209 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC 28557; Carteret Community Foundation, 3737 Glenwood Ave., Suite 460, Raleigh, NC 27612; Misplaced Mutts, PO Box 58, Beaufort, NC 28516; or the charity of one’s choice. 

Family and friends are welcome to submit online condolences at

Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home & Crematory in Morehead City, NC.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Willie Lee Lumpkin III, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Baptist Church of Morehead City

810 Bridges Street, Morehead City, NC 28557


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