Retired South Carolina businessman, John R. Cumbie, 85, of Moncks Corner, widower of Bonnie Kate Cumbie, passed away Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at a local hospital due to complications of COVID.
John was born September 27, 1935 in the Warsaw community near Andrews, SC, a son of the late John Thomas Cumbie and Nita Cannon Cumbie.
As a young man, he was a Gold Gloves boxer for the Kingstree Boxing team and later sailed the Great Lakes as a Merchant Marine in the mid-late 50's.
John was a former Pulpwood dealer in Jamestown, SC. As Jamestown's first Mayor in 1965, he was instrumental in hiring the first Chief of Police and establishing the town's first Fire Department. He later opened Jamestown's first shopping center, which included auto parts, furniture, appliance and clothing sales, an amusement company and a finance company.
After moving his family to Moncks Corner in the early 70's, John continued his entrepreneurship, owning and operating several businesses including Cumbie's Restaurant and Amusement, Money Tree Finance with over 20 locations throughout SC, Cumbie Chevrolet, and Cumbie Realty
John enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and telling stories from his past, such as fighting the orangutan at the Andrews Fair and the first time he met his wife and first love, Bonnie Kate Sullivan. John was a country boy at heart and loved spending time on the farm and tending to his cows. He was a true patriot that never met a stranger, always greeting folks with a hug or a hand shake. Many of his friends knew to pack a lunch if John ever said "let's take a ride"! John felt it was important to give back to his community, which he dearly loved. He donated land for the Berkeley County Museum, Berkeley Intermediate School, Roper Hospital in Moncks Corner, and was instrumental in preserving Fort Fairlawn. He had a passion for purchasing and renovating rundown properties across the state in an effort to improve the surrounding communities. He also enjoyed helping other young entrepreneurs get started in business, offering advice and financial support. Above all, John always felt his greatest accomplishment was having his family work with him in the family business. He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and the community.
He leaves behind five children-Deryel Cumbie and his wife, Beth; Dana Cumbie and his wife, Deana; Darla C. Ryan and her husband, David; Dale Cumbie, all of Moncks Corner, and Dion Cumbie and his wife, Mary Chandler, of Summerville; six grandchildren- Jansen Cumbie, Jennie C. Green and her husband, George, Jacob Cumbie, Corey Ryan, Sullivan Ryan, and Chandler Kate Cumbie; two great grandchildren; two brothers- Dan Rhett "Bunky" Cumbie of Andrews; Ralph "Frannie" Cumbie of Moncks Corner; a sister-Annette Glisson and her husband, Ronnie, of Andrews; his close companion-Dr. Gloria B. Pipkin of Moncks Corner. He was predeceased by a sister-Juanita Woodall and a brother-Oscar "Tony" Cumbie.
All services will be private. Russell Funeral Chapel is honored to be serving the Cumbie family.
Donations may be made to Jamestown Baptist Church, PO Box 104, Jamestown, SC 29453 or ALS Association South Carolina Chapter, 130 Gardeners Circle, PMB 622, Johns Island, SC 29455.
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