Richmond Telegram 5 Aug 1880 p3 C3
A Sudden Demise
James Forkner Attacked with Apoplexy and Dead in Twelve hours
James Forkner died at his suburban home in Sevastopol about 11 o'clock last Monday morning, and so unexpected came the dread summons that his sudden demise almost drove his family into frentz while the entire community was shocked by the sad intelligence.
Death, the grim monster, can never come so gently nor with timely warning without bringing with it regrets and mourning, but when it comes so swiftly, hiding its coming, and takes from a family so important a part, its unrelenting claim is doubly shocking. Hence, the bereaved family have the sincere sympathy of the entire community, for never did wife and children have a more kind and indulged husband and father.
He had retired Sunday night, seemingly enjoying perfect health for, although he had been slightly indisposed, he that day had been in better spirits than his family had seen him for perhaps a year. But before 11 o'clock he got up, walked the floor a few moments, sat down by the window and arising returned to the bed saying to his wife that he was very sick, "yes, sick enough to die". An instant after he placed his hand to his head and said "ice". It was the last word he uttered. He immediately sank into an unconscious state from which he never awoke, although a physician was promptly called and remained with him until morning. The cause of his death was unmistakably apoplexy, although his entire body was apparently paralyzed.
The deceased was sixty-five years of age, having been born in North Carolina in 1815 but he was remarkably vigorous, very toughly built and well preserved for his age. When but three years of age his parents emigrated to this country in which he has lived ever since. When but twenty-three years of age he was married at Centerville, where he embarked and continued in business until he removed to Richmond about seven years ago.
In the meantime he had taken an interest in Forkner, Scott and Co's wholesale grocery, established the dry goods and carpet business in which he was engaged at the time of his death and, having amazed a handsome fortune, bought his elegant home where, surrounded by most of the facilities and conveniences that make life desirable, he settled down to enjoy the fruits of his early labor. But "heaven hides from all creatures the book of fate" and he, like many who have gone before him, did not live to realize all that fancy had pictured for him in his declining years. Yet his going was as he wanted it, and as he expected it. He had always desired to die suddenly and since a preliminary attack he had in the bank at Centerville several years ago, if not before he build a presentiment that it would be so. And it is probable that he was observing the biblical injunction to put his house in order preparatory to it, as he had but very recently been making some important adjustments in his business affairs and remarked that in another week he would have them in the best possible shape that he could put them.
He leaves a large family, consisting of his wife and nine children, but fortunately they are all grown.
His funeral occurred yesterday afternoon and the attendance was very large, that from the city being very materially augmented by the number of old friends in Centerville and vicinity who had known him all his life and came to pay the last tribute of respect. Rev. J. H. Wakefield officated and the interment was at Earlham.
I have done much research on this family and want very much to contact more descendants and share information. Have plans to publish a book on early Surry Co. NC families and there will be a chapter of this Lewis Forkner family [father of this James Forkner]. Am interested in receiving pictures of descendants to go in the publication.
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