American Veteran 04

James Monroe Rountree

May 1, 1933 ~ September 10, 2022 (age 89)


     James Monroe Rountree was born May 1, 1933, to the late Curtis Monroe and Annie McCoy Rountree in New Bern, North Carolina. Always flashing that contagious smile, James Monroe was affectionately known as “Tree” & “Mon” by most of his family and friends.  On September 10, 2022, around 12:15 PM, he transcended heaven’s gates surrounded by his loving family at home in Grimesland, North Carolina.

     James Monroe attended Newbold Training High School, Dover, North  Carolina, where he played basketball and was an excellent point guard! He graduated on May 29, 1951. He was soon drafted into the United States Army and fought in the Korean Conflict.  Upon completion of his tour in Korea, he pursued his college education at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, under the GI Bill where he majored in physical education.  Trying to figure out his career choices, James moved to Salisbury, North Carolina to work for a local funeral home, trying to fufill his mother’s dream of him becoming a mortician. That quickly changed when the owner sent him out on a death call to make the removal of a badly decomposed body! James Monroe later moved to Manhattan, New York, pursuing his college sweetheart and love of his life, Jo Ann Gatlin, whom he married on April 17, 1960.  Due to the passing of his mother and the illness of his father, he moved back to New Bern, North Carolina to assume the duties of his father with the family farm.  After two years of marital bliss, a baby boy was born, Terence Eduardo Rountree.

     James Monroe later settled in Pitt County, North Carolina where he was employed with Field Crest Mills Manufacturer in Greenville, North Carolina, and soon obtained gainful employment with Proctor & Gamble Manufacturer where he retired after many years.  After retirement, James Monroe served on a series of boards, the G.R. Whitfield School Board, Eastern Pines Water Corporation, and the Neuse Regional WASA water board. He served as president of the water board and as a member for over 30 years. He once again decided to pursue his mother’s dream of him becoming an owner & founder of Rountree and Associates Funeral Home, along with his son, Terence E. Rountree and Bishop Vernon Blake Phillips.

     James Monroe was a member of the Oriental Masonic Lodge #76 of Grimesland, North Carolina, also a past member of the Roanoke Consistory #248 where he was a 32nd degree Mason, and a former member of the Rofelt Pasha Temple #175 of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where he served as a Shriner.

     James Monroe received Jesus as his Lord and Savior at an early age at St. John AME Zion Church in Jasper, North Carolina.  Upon relocating to Pitt County, North Carolina, he joined White Oak Missionary Baptist Church, Grimesland, North Carolina and Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Greenville, North Carolina, where he served as a deacon.  He was ordained as a deacon by his former pastor, Reverend David Burley, while attending Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church. 

     James Monroe remained faithful to the funeral home until the day he transitioned.  He had a brief discussion with his son and grandsons about the future of the business, and at the close of their discussion, they made a vow to him by saying, “granddaddy, it’s ok, we got it from here!”

     James Monroe was preceded in death by his parents, the late Curtis Monroe and Annie McCoy Rountree; his grandparents, Monroe and Nellie Rountree, and Mandley and Mamie McCoy; brothers, Ledell Rountree, William “Bill” Rountree; sisters, Curtis Mae Trusdale, Fennell Williams, and Mamie Brown.

     He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving and devoted wife of 60 years, Jo Ann Gatlin Rountree; one son, Terence E. Rountree and wife, Tina of Greenville, North Carolina; four grandchildren, Alysha J. Rountree of Raleigh, North Carolina, Terence E. Rountree, Jr, Tyler E. Rountree, and Tatyani Roundtree, all of Greenville, North Carolina; one godson, Mason Harper of Greenville, North Carolina; one sister, Annie Marie Grant and husband, Moses, of Hilton Head, South Carolina; two sisters-in-law, Frances Rountree of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Annette Rountree of Rhode Island, New York; a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

The funeral service will be livestreamed via Facebook via Tina Wiggins Rountree or


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Open Viewing
September 16, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Rountree Family Mortuary & Cremation Service
1014 N. Greene Street
Greenville, NC 27834

Celebration of Life
September 17, 2022

1:00 PM
White Oak Missionary Baptist Church
4501 Mobley Bridge Road
Grimesland, NC 27837

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