James Roger “Little Brother” Topping

Published 6:47 am Saturday, July 4, 2020

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James Roger “Little Brother” Topping died June 29, 2020. He was born February 20, 1952 to the late James Delama and Marjorie Sadler Topping.

He was a graduate of Mattamuskeet High School and started his working career as a teen by becoming the first African American to guide on Mattamuskeet Lake while still attending high school. He was employed in the maintenance department of the Hyde County School System, worked part time for the Winterville Police Department, alongside his parents in the family business, Topping’s Lakeside Restaurant and Motel, continued the business started by his father, James Topping and Sons General Contractor, until his health declined and ended his working career at Hyde County Corrections in Swan Quarter.

James was appointed to the Hyde County Board of Commissioners as the first African American to hold that position in 1987. He was elected to serve on the Hyde County Board of Commissioners in 2018.

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James is survived by his Goldie of the home; sons James Antonio “Boo-Boo” Topping (Rhonda) of Swan Quarter and Gyno R. Topping (Marlene) of Greenville; daughter Victoria Mackey Davis (Donavan) Charlotte; sisters Mary Topping Gibbs (Wallace); Brenda Topping Murray and Dorene Topping Holloway (Floyd), all of Swan Quarter; aunts Emma Sadler Blount (Jerome) of Newport News, Va.; Florence “Bobbie” Topping of Washington; uncles Samuel Sadler of Dallas, Texas and Clifford Topping (Marie) of Swan Quarter; eight grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and a host of nephews, nieces and friends.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., July 4 at the Ponzer Community Building.

Friends visited with the family Friday afternoon at Bryan Funeral Service, Swan Quarter.