LA GRANGE - Charles Ray Coburn, fondly known as Coach Coburn passed away Thursday, February 21, 2013, with his family by his side. Born the son of Paul Coburn and Louise Heath O'Mary on March 8, 1947, Charles was destined to a lifetime of service through sacrifice and commitment. From high school, he entered the U.S. Navy and was severely injured while serving in Vietnam. Charles was awarded the Purple Heart among many medals. Following his military career, Coach Coburn lived a life most sports enthusiasts only dream of. "Can't" was not an option and sacrifice was the rule. Today, Pitt Community College is richly blessed with "The Charles Coburn Center" along with a vibrant, active and committed athletic program, due in part to "Coach's" efforts. Through his dedication and love for sports, Charles leaves behind a legacy entrusted to those his life has impacted. Charles umpired for 41 years in eastern N.C. and he umpired three Babe Ruth World Series. Charles coached basketball at Pitt Community College from 1973-1975, and served the college again as the Head Basketball Coach and Athletic Director from 1982-1994. A service of remembrance for Coach Coburn will be held Sunday, February 24, 2013, at 3 p.m. from Rouse Funeral Home with the Rev. Gerald Fowler and the Rev. Cameron Coburn officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery. Coach Coburn is survived by his wife, Wanda Sutton Coburn; six children, Bridget Rice of Falkland, Cameron Coburn and wife Lori, of Farmville, Chuck Coburn and wife Heidi, of Farmville, Krissy Coburn of Texarkana, Texas, Leigh Kunclrs and husband Shawn, of Willow Springs and Irene Coburn of Grifton; three brothers, Paul Coburn and wife Claire, of Chilli Cothe, Ohio, Herbert Coburn and wife Wanda, of Texarkana, Texas and Edward Coburn and wife Sue, of Winterville; sister Sharon White and husband Tim, of Farmville; step-son Curtis Sutton and wife Robin, of La Grange; 13 grandchildren with another due in March; one great-grandchild; step daughter-in-law, Malissa Sutton of Grifton; special grandmother, Hazel Skinner of La Grange; his faithful and beloved pastor, the Rev. Gerald Fowler; and his pets, Rusty and A.J. In addition to his parents, Coach was preceded in death by a special son, Ronnie Sutton; and two siblings, Allen Coburn and Christine O'Mary. The family will receive friends Sunday from 1:30-3 p.m. at Rouse Funeral Home and at other times they will be at the home of Cameron and Lori Coburn, 3363 North Waverly Street, Farmville. Online condolences may be expressed at rousefh.com. Flowers are welcome or memorials may be made to Pitt Community College Foundation, P.O. Drawer 7007, Greenville, NC 27835. Arrangements are with Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange. Sign the guest book at Kinston.com. (Paid obituary)
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Published in Free Press from Feb. 23 to Feb. 26, 2013