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Edsel Devane Tatum

March 18, 1937 - June 6, 2021

Edsel Devane Tatum, 84, of Burgaw, North Carolina, passed away on Sunday, June 6, 2021, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. He was born in White Oak, North Carolina, on March 18, 1937.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Fletcher Tatum, Sr., and Gussie Lee Colvin Tatum, and a brother John Fletcher Tatum, Jr.

Edsel leaves behind to cherish his memory, daughter Donna Pleva (Chris), of Hampstead, North Carolina; a son Rodney (Ashleigh) Greenville, North Carolina; seven grandchildren, Jerad Jones (Stephanie); Morgan Jones Messina (Jon); Haleigh Jones; Dean Pleva; Kayla Pleva; Calla Tatum and Gunnar Tatum; great grandchildren Nora, Elyza and Silas Messina and Veda Jones; brothers Robert (Bobby) Colvin Tatum (Mickey) and Charles Tatum of White Oak, North Carolina; sisters Elizabeth (Liz) Tatum Norris (Ronnie) of White Oak, North Carolina and Faye Tatum Freeman (Elvin) of Fairmont, North Carolina; a host of nieces and nephews and friends.

Edsel was a 1955 graduate of White Oak High School and served in the United States Air Force for four years. He was a well-known sewing machine mechanic. He took pride in his work and had retired from the State of North Carolina Department of Corrections, Burgaw, North Carolina. He also was employed by the Oxford Plant, Burgaw, North Carolina, prior to the NAFTA agreement being implemented. Each summer, friends and family enjoyed the fruits of his labor in his vegetable garden. He was an avid deer hunter and loved to spend time in the woods. When Hurricane Hazel struck in 1954, Edsel stayed home from school to go squirrel hunting, but slept in a car in the woods through the hurricane.

A grave side memorial/inurnment service will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at Haw Bluff Baptist Church, 1433 Haw Bluff Road, Ivanhoe, North Carolina 28447 at 11:00 A.M. The family will receive friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Haw Bluff Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Haw Bluff Baptist Church, 143 Haw Bluff Road, Ivanhoe, North Carolina 28447.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.

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“Michael Gubista took over the care of my husband and oversaw all of the services. He explained everything thoroughly and he even added some personal touches of his own and welcomed all the attendees that were very meaningful and thoughtful. He really listened to me and provided excellent support at an extremely difficult time.” – Barbara L.


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