Joe L. McLaurin

December 8, 1939 ~ March 1, 2021 (age 81)


New York - Mr. Joe L. McLaurin (81),  formally of Mt. Olive, transitioned Monday, March 1, 2021 at Albert Einstein College of Medicine Hospital in Bronx, New York.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Joe L. McLaurin Legacy Scholarship by clicking here. This will allow Joe’s light to continue to shine through others. Thank you.

Joe L. McLaurin was born December 8, 1939 to the union of the Bishop James Frank McLaurin and Mildred Lewis McLaurin. He spent the early part of his life growing up between Elizabethtown and Smith Chapel (Mt. Olive), NC.

As a young boy, Joe helped out raising hogs, tobacco crop, cotton-picking and mule-plowing.  He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Joe Henry Lewis, and uncle, Clyde B. Lewis by working with his hands. He could do pretty much anything one might need help with: electrical, plumbing, carpentry, dry wall, painting and auto repair. Joe always jumped at the opportunity to help others and was often called on to do that.  As a young man he helped his father maintain the family car and when he was old enough, his first automobile was a 1956 Plymouth.

Joe attended Spring Branch Elementary, Plainview Middle School, Carver High School and Elizabethtown High School, where he graduated in 1958. He valued hard work and education. After graduation, he moved to Brooklyn, NY where he lived with his sister, Bettie Kinsey.  This was just the beginning, as he would stay in New York for more than sixty years. Throughout his working years, he had many jobs—furniture upholsterer, cabinet-maker, truck driver and even shoe shiner. Later in life, Joe became an entrepreneur and opened a record store which eventually grew to include a pool hall and candy-store.  The “shop” as it was referred to, was often filled by the neighborhood locals as he had a great gift of getting to know everyone. Joe never met a stranger or forgot a name and was always ready to strike up a conversation.   

In 1979, Joe married Loretta Rochon, who remained a life-long friend and partner.  Joe fathered Anthony, Concetta, Joette and Kimberly and was a step-father to Cynthia and Cecelia.  He was also a loving brother, uncle, cousin, grandfather and great-grandfather, who touched the lives of many.  He had a desire to share his wisdom and knowledge with others; and he often did that! He took several “under his wing” and taught them invaluable life lessons to help them along their journey.  He was always willing to talk and share his perspective on life.

Joe lived a full life and did most of it “his” way.  He will be deeply missed by his loved ones and all who knew him.  His motto was “too blessed to complain”, which he rarely did. We are all fortunate to have had him as a part of our lives.

Joe was preceded in death by two of his brothers, Frank McLaurin, Jr. and Moses McLaurin (Edith); his only son, Anthony McLaurin Bethea (Tomika), grandson, Jace Amari Joe Watkins and brother-in-law Reginald Stanfield. To cherish his memories, Joe leaves behind, brother and sisters: James Thomas McLaurin (Evelyn), Bettie Kinsey and Audrey Stanfield; children, Concetta McLaurin, Joette McLaurin and Kimberly McLaurin (Johnny); stepdaughters:  Cecelia Williams and Cynthia Sumpter; grandchildren, Keonda Lashea Robinson (Kory), Shalecia Wallace (Kris), Nafisah Flowers, Cattina Coleman, James Wrighten, Anthony Yevonne Bethea, Anthony Bethea Jr, Chase Bethea, Anthony Flowers; DeParis McLaurin, Alexander Johnson and Christopher Johnson; Ebony Williams, Caroline Sumpter, Nina Sumpter, Shernelia Sumpter, Cierra Sumpter, Sherman L. Sumpter III, Robert McLean (Destiny), Sharika Currie, Xavier Currie, Annie Currie and Racine Currie.  A host of great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.


Please note that the service will be live-streamed at the time of the service. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joe L. McLaurin, please visit our floral store.


March 12, 2021

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Garris Funeral Home
812 S. Center St.
Mt. Olive, North Carolina 28365

Graveside Service
March 13, 2021

1:00 PM
Ward Family Cemetery
Waller Road
Mount Olive, NC 28365

Video is available for this event

Please note
The family welcomes you to attend the services, strictly following Covid safety protocols, including mask wearing and social distancing. The family will be staying at the Sleep Inn Hotel located at 203 NC 55, Mt. Olive, NC 28365. Tel: 919-658-1002. A discounted rate is offered under “McLaurin Funeral.”
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