On October 18, 2018, a beautiful autumn afternoon in the Sandhills, William James Sessoms, Jr., 81, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and loved ones. “Toots”, as he was affectionately known by friends since childhood, had battled cancer for years.

W.J. Sessoms, Jr. was born January 22, 1937 in the family home on Blue St. in Manly to William James and Ruby Sessoms.  James Jr., as his mother called him, lived his entire life in the Southern Pines area.  He married Elizabeth Harriss and was the much beloved father of five sons.  His children were always his first priority and emotional center.

“Toots” graduated from Southern Pines High School and spent a long career as a carpenter and building contractor.  He learned his craft from his father and passed it down to one of his sons, who was also a contractor in the area.  He served his country as a tank driver in the National Guard. Growing up, his parents and family were active members of Manly Presbyterian Church.

“Toots” was a kind and gentle man. He loved country music and family gatherings. His quick wit and self-deprecating humor won him friends with anyone he met.  For years, his famous Thanksgiving celebrations brought family from Maryland, Delaware, Florida, and all over the Carolinas back to the Sessoms home in Manly, where he welcomed and loved all.

J. Sessoms, Jr., is preceded in death by his parents, a sister Katherine, brothers Curtis and Eugene, and nephews Gene and Gary. He is survived by his wife, Joy, sons, Neil, Randy and wife Vicky, Clay and wife Teresa, Joel, Stuart, seven grandchildren, three great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Manly Presbyterian Church 11:00 AM Saturday, November 3, 2018.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to FirstHealth Hospice, 150 Applecross Rd., Pinehurst, NC 28374.

Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home.

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