Jimmy Ennis

James Ray Ennis, 81, entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Sunday, November 5, 2023. He bravely and patiently endured Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s since diagnosis in 2015.

Jimmy was born in Greenville, NC. He later moved with his family to Raleigh and then to Smithfield, where he graduated high school in 1960. He attended East Carolina College, now University, and enjoyed a long career with Wachovia Bank. Jimmy was an avid tennis player, a duck and deer hunter, fisherman and a diehard NC State Wolfpack fan. He held a record Cobia catch for a number of years. He was also very artistic with painting, carving decoys and was a gifted taxidermist. He enjoyed woodworking and created many beautiful pieces of furniture.

Jimmy was a beloved family man, a loyal friend and most importantly served his Lord, and his church, Benson Memorial United Methodist and community in many roles including Lay Leader, Prayer Team Leader, Hinton Center Mission trips and nursing home worship ministry at his mother’s nursing home. He loved children and served annually in Vacation Bible School. He enjoyed many years of Bible Study Fellowship at Providence Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Sammy (Shirley) Martin Ennis, his daughter, Leslie Pender and husband Greg, son Shelton Ennis and wife Joy, and daughter Ivey Clary and husband Tony, his beloved grandchildren, Taylor Pender and husband, Keenan Pontoni, Austin Pender, Haley Clary and Katie Clary; his brothers, Harvey Ennis and wife, Mary Ogie, Mike Ennis, and sister, Mary Lou Worley and husband Robert, as well as many dear nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws.

He was predeceased by his parents, Beatrice Dail and Walter Greene Ennis and brother, Dean Ennis.


A Celebration of Life was held Friday, November 10, 2023 in the Chapel of Mitchell Funeral Home, Raleigh, NC. His friend and former Pastor, the Reverend Skip Williams officiated. Burial followed in Raleigh Memorial Park.