Joseph Schrum Epps

April 11, 1930April 24, 2013


Newton businessman Joseph Schrum Epps, a resident of Conover, died Wednesday, April 24, at Catawba Valley Medical Center, following a one-month illness. He was 83. A memorial service will be conducted Saturday, April 27, at 11 a.m. at Newton First Presbyterian Church by the Rev. Dr. Wallace Johnson and the Rev. Marion Powell. Music will be performed by John Mull, vocal soloist, the First Presbyterian Church Choir, and Tim Warren, organist. The family will receive friends following the service in the church parlor. A private burial ceremony for the family at Catawba Memorial Park will be held prior to the memorial service, when Hickory American Legion Post 48 firing squad will present a military salute and Taps will be played by a trumpeter. Surviving Epps are his wife, the former Betty Neill Boggs of Catawba, whom he married October 12, 1957; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Dr. Bradley Scott Epps of Boston, MA, and Erich Joseph Epps and Carla Elizabeth Epps of Salisbury; and two grandsons, Aaron Joseph Epps and Caleb Samuel Epps of Salisbury. A native of Newton, Epps was born April 11, 1930, a son of the late Luther Macon Epps and Mittie Schrum Epps. The family resided on West Sixth Street in Newton. In addition to his parents, he was also pre-deceased by his brothers, Luther Macon Epps Jr. and his twin, Charles Lee Epps; and his sisters, Ruth Gilletta Epps Hunter and Louise Epps Greer. He was a 1947 graduate of Newton-Conover High School and a 1953 alumnus of Duke University with the Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. At Duke he played on the freshman basketball team and sang in the university choir, performing with the choir on national television on the Perry Como show in the early 1950s. Epps interrupted his education to leave Duke for two years to serve in the Army during the Korean Conflict. He was posted during the war years in the Panama Canal Zone, later returning to the university for two more years and graduating. He then returned to Newton and joined his father in the family business in 1953, Epps Printing Company, a commercial printing business at that time located on West A Street. Epps became owner-operator the company founded by his father in 1923 following his father’s death and expanded it to include clients in several area counties. He built the present business building on North College Avenue in 1964 and retired recently, ending the retail and printing operations there. In 1964 Mr. and Mrs. Epps built their present home in Conover and have resided there since that time. Throughout his career Epps was involved in community activities in both Newton, Conover and Hickory. Former Newton mayor Tom Rowe appointed him to the city’s Revitalization Committee in 1996, serving through 1999. He later was vice chairman of the Downtown Newton Development Association (DNDA). For more than a half century he was active in the Newton Lions Club, serving as both club president and for three years as district governor. He was a former member of Catawba Valley Executives Club. He was also a member of the Hickory-based Moonlighters men’s singing group and was in earlier years a vocal soloist for local weddings and funerals and a member of several church choirs. Epps attended Newton First Presbyterian and Gateway Baptist churches and was a former member of Newton First United Methodist Church. Epps was a member of Hickory American Legion Post 48 and was recently inducted into the Legion’s elite Society of the Forty and Eight, dating from World War I. His hobbies included cartography and geography, with a life-long interest in local and historical maps, gardening, and tennis. The Epps family has suggested that, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Legion Post 48, Post Office Box 505, Hickory NC 28603.


Joseph Schrum Epps

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Jenoise Harris

May 9, 2013

Betty, I was so sorry to hear of Joe's passing. He was a nice man, and I bought plenty things from his store. You are in my prayers. God Bless you,

May 2, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Epps family. Mr. Epps was a true gentleman with a benevolent spirit.

The Law Office of Leslie M.Yount (Leslie, Pam and Kathy)

Brenda Chunn

April 30, 2013

Erich and Carla our entire family Herbert,Dennis(Kim), and Kevin wish to extend our sympathy for the loss of your father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you

Bill McBrayer

April 29, 2013

I went to L-R with Joe & Betty's son Erich. I remember Joe & Betty taking some of us guys to dinner at Jones Fish Camp periodically. As a "poor" college kid, that was the best treat to be taken out to eat. I would see the both of them out eating at the Snack Bar some in past years. I would always go up and speak and they always remembered my name. I always thought very highly of Joe Epps. He will be missed.

Gerald Abernethy

April 29, 2013

I have known Joe since the first grade and found him to be very friendly. He will be missed. My sypathy to the family.

Gerald Abernethy

April 29, 2013

My sympathy to the family. I will always remember Joe as a fine person.

Sue Kuhn Moorefield

April 28, 2013

I remember Joe from WAY back, growing up on W. 6th Street and being in high school together. It's been a LONG time but I do remember Joe fondly. Sorry bout his death.

JR Buchanan

April 27, 2013

Mr epps I am so sorry for your list your family will be in my prayers

Don Bledsoe

April 27, 2013

To the Epps Family,
just wanted to send our most sincere condolences,
along with our "prayers of comfort".
May God strengthen you now & in the days ahead.

With Deepest Sympathy,

Rev. Don & Helen Bledsoe
and Family

Cathy Ledbetter-Breault

April 26, 2013

Our class came to Epps Printing Co. for a tour. That was my first time seeing letterpress printing...I later on had a career with Meredith/Burda Printing Company. I last saw Joe at the Newton Post Office 3 months ago. He was still very active so I was stunned when I saw he had passed. I'm so sorry for your loss.