James Seborn Hartis of Kinston died Saturday, August 29, 2020, one day after his 95th birthday. He was resident of Spring Arbor of Kinston.
Mr. Hartis was preceded in death last year by his wife Barbara Ann Jones Hartis. He was the founding broker of Kinston Realty which he operated for many years on Vernon Avenue and ran a home building subsidiary as well. In his later years he sold the agency but continued to work commercial real estate deals from a home office. He didn’t retire his real estate license until he was almost 90.
Born in Wilmington N.C., Mr. Hartis as the youngest of 11 children born to William Seborn and Margaret Zula Hartis and he was the last surviving member of their immediate family. Later in his childhood the Hartis family moved to Wilson N.C., where Mr. Hartis attended and graduated from Charles L. Coon High School before joining the U.S. Air Force during World War ll.
He became a resident of Kinston in 1949 when he took a job with the Imperial Tobacco Co. He later worked for the DuPont Co. in Kinston before founding Kinston Oil Co. in the 1960s. Towards the end of the decade he shifted to real estate.
Mr. Hartis enjoyed civic activities, hosting dinner parties in which he often cooked the entrée, golf, travel, hunting, and fishing. He was a member of the Disciples of Christ Church and the Neusiok Club.
He is survived by two daughters, Lucy Whaley of Kinston and Nancy Mueller of Brentwood Tenn., and sons-in-law Bill Whaley of Kinston and Bob Mueller of Brentwood Tenn. He is also survived by grandchildren: Laura Whaley Wellington and her husband Jason Wellington of Wilmington N.C., Charles Whaley and his wife Lauren Whaley of Salisbury N.C., Mari Mueller Zusin and husband Mike Zusin of Smyrna Tenn., William Mueller and Nick Mueller, both of Nashville Tenn.
In addition Mr. Hartis had four great grandchildren: Charlie Wellington and Betsy Wellington of Wilmington N.C. and Margaret Whaley and Banks Whaley of Salisbury N.C. Surviving close family also includes brother in law Talmage Jones of Wilmington, N.C., and wife Beth Jones, nephews Bryan Jones of Morganton N.C., and Josh Jones of Aberdeen Md.
Mr. Hartis had many nieces and nephews who were the children of his siblings and he enjoyed an especially close bond with nephew Eugene Morris Hartis of Houston, Texas who shared his love of fishing and conversation.
Due to the pandemic, graveside services for Mr. Hartis will be private and the family will not be able to receive visitors. Arrangements will be made by Howard-Carter Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to Community Home Care and Hospice of Kinston.
The family of Mr. Hartis is deeply grateful to the staff of Spring Arbor of Kinston for the compassionate care they gave him and Barbara Ann for the past six years.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral store.