James Robert Millikan, 84, of Asheboro, NC passed away on February 8, 2021 at his home surrounded by his family. He was born in Randolph County on March 7, 1936.
He is a 1955 graduate of Asheboro High School. After graduation, he went to work for his family selling and delivering pork products. At the age of 13, while at a family reunion, James had his first single slice country ham biscuit. He saw the need of having this convenience more readily available. From this, he developed the concept of vacuum-packed country ham. In 1958, Millikan Country Ham was born and the vacuum-packed sliced country ham industry began. In years after this, he enjoyed driving a tractor-trailer for Thomas Brothers Foods. In his retirement years, he enjoyed helping his son, Mike build his business known as J. Michael Meats. James used his wealth of knowledge and expertise as a loving business advisor to Michael. James molded J. Michael Meats into a successful business. He volunteered his time and energy only wanting to make a great company for his son. He was loved and respected by all of J. Michael Meats customers.
James was an avid sports fan. He loved NASCAR racing, football, softball, and Carolina basketball. He also loved St. Louis Cardinals baseball. He enjoyed and took great pride in providing for and protecting his family.
He is preceded in death by his maternal parents, Howard and Bertie Thomas and R. C. and Dorothy Millikan, brothers, Howard Thomas, Charles R. "Bud" Thomas and Homer Thomas.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lurlene S. Millikan and children Robert "Bobby" Millikan, Michael Millikan and wife Gwen, Laraine M. Cook and husband Terry, Susan M. Delk and the late David Delk, Jamie M. Albright and husband Stuart, and Eddie Millikan. Grandchildren are Dakota Delk, Amber C. Dorman, Nevada Delk, Madison, Nathan and Jackson Albright. Great grandchildren are Adelind and Astrid Delk. Sisters are Louise Routh, Gaynelle Yow and brothers are Dean Millikan and Ronnie Kirkman.
Mr. Millikan will lie in repose on Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 1:00-4:00 pm and Friday, February 12, 2021 from 9:00-11:00 am at Pugh Funeral Home, 437 Sunset Ave., Asheboro. Funeral services will be held Friday, February 12, 2021 at 1:00 pm in the Pugh Funeral Home Chapel with Chaplain Tim Pheagin officiating. Burial will follow in Oaklawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Randolph, 416 Vision Dr., Asheboro, NC 27203. Special thanks to James' nurses, Marie Trogdon and Renee Hurley.