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Willie Earl Prince / April 18, 2017

Willie Earl Prince, 88, died Friday, April 14, 2017 at his residence.

He was born in Brunswick County, N.C. Oct. 31, 1928 to the late Wilson Ernest and Ellen Hickman Prince. Willie was raised in Robbins, N.C., and graduated from Elise High School in 1948. On March 27, 1965 he married Eva Bowen in South Boston. Willie was employed for 20 years as manager at Robbins Mills which later became Burlington Industries. He also worked for H. Worshaw and Sons for 13 years as plant manager. Later on, he opened Willie’s Auto Top in South Boston. He was a member of the Acca Temple Shriners in Richmond, and a Masonic Lodge member in Raeford, N.C. Lodge 306; also in South Boston, Faulkner Memorial Lodge 91; and in Clarksville Twin Rivers Lodge 338. He was a member of Averett Baptist Church.

Mr. Prince is survived by his wife, Eva Bowen Prince; sons and daughters-in-law Ronald Earl (Marcia) Prince of Goldsboro, N.C., Michele Ernest (Pat) Prince of Wrightsville Beach, N.C., and Samuel Owen (Linda) Prince of Virginia Beach; sister, Helen Prince Hughes of Ocean Isle, N.C.; six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his infant son Franklin Deon Prince.

A funeral was held Monday, April 17, at 2 p.m. at Watkins Cooper Lyon Chapel with burial in the Bowen family cemetery. Rev. Rodney Barwick conducted the service.

The family received friends Sunday, April 16 at Watkins Cooper Lyon Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville, or Acca Temple in Richmond.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

Arrangements are by Watkins Cooper Lyon Funeral Home.

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