Whitten Timberlake Chapel

7404 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg, VA


James Edward Petrey Sr.

March 20, 1928August 26, 2019

James Edward Petrey, Sr., 91, of Lynchburg, VA, husband of Jean Hodge Petrey, passed away on Monday, August 26, 2019. He was born on March 20, 1928, in Norton, VA, son of the late William Artz Petrey and Vinnie Tucker Petrey. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by 5 siblings.

James was a member of Gospel Community Church Rivermont (formerly Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church). He was a former employee of the Clinchfield Coal Company and retired owner/operator of Petrey’s Gun Store, which he started in 1965. He was very active in local civic affairs, including serving as an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America, in which he had been a member since the age of 11 and won many awards. He was active in NRA gun safety programs, the Isaac Walton League of America, and a former member of the Lion’s Club. In his free time he enjoyed stamp and coin collecting, genealogy research and was a model train enthusiast.

In addition to his wife, Jean, he is survived by 3 children, Virginia Petrey Van Gurp and husband, John, of Lynchburg, James E. Petrey, Jr. and wife, Paula, of Lynchburg and Patricia Petrey Justis and husband, Joel, of Pawleys Island, SC. He is also survived by 9 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family will receive friends from 1:00pm to 1:45pm on Tuesday, September 3, at Whitten Funeral Home, 7404 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg, followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00pm in the Whitten Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the charitable organization of your choice.


  • Charity Of Your Choice


  • Visitation Tuesday, September 3, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Tuesday, September 3, 2019


James Edward Petrey Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Troy Coles

September 4, 2019

My condolences to Mrs. Petrey and family, RIP "Boss"

Carolyn Stinnette Everett

September 3, 2019

I remember the ever welcoming Petrey home as Ginny and I grew up together, closest of friends from the year Mr. and Mrs. Petrey arrived in Lynchburg.

I loved his quiet, dry humor, patience, as well as his ability to set Ginny and I straight and still kindly love us (thus the family tradition of remembering the 12 Days of Christmas from Ginny and I singing it in during the wee hours of NASA's first moon walk in July - only Jean and Ginny may recall this one!)

Mr. Petrey always seemed a strong and focused father who made it clear that he cared for his family, God, and country. I trust he has clear minded joy in the arms of Jesus now, while he waits for us to join him forever.

Great peace and comfort to all the family from our Lord Jesus, much love, and many prayers from Eric and me.

Carolyn Stinnette Everett

Al Nichols

September 3, 2019

I was so sorry to learn about the death of Mr. Petrey. When I returned to Lynchburg and to Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church in 1969, I remember meeting the Petrey family at church. Mr. and Mrs. Petrey were always so friendly, and I enjoyed coaching young Jim on the church basketball team at the YMCA.

My condolences are extended to Mrs. Petrey, Jim, Jr., and the rest of the family at this difficult time. I pray that God will provide strength to each member of your family and that fond memories of Jim will give you comfort each day.

George Venable

September 2, 2019

Sure was sad to hear of Big Jim's passing . Always enjoyed short chats with him at the store when he was there checking up on Jim Jr. ( not sure he ever was sure they'd count the money right without him !)
For many years he was one of the driving forces of the local Friends of the NRA Dinners and also led a large group of volunteer Instructors giving safety classes to raise funds for improvements on the Izaak Walton League of Lynchburg's range of which he was one of the few Lifetime Members. He was a success at work he enjoyed and he gave much back to the community.
He will be missed.

Mike Garrison

September 1, 2019

My condolences to the family in your bereavement.

Theresa Lee

August 28, 2019

Jimmy and Jean were so helpful to my husband, Terry, and me in 1968 when we began our first jobs teaching for Lynchburg City Schools. They found our first residence, a duplex on 29 south. They brought a cute red wagon from their Western Auto store in Boonsboro Shopping Center and a blue Winnie the Pooh jumpsuit just after our first child, Scott, was born. Jimmy and Terry were in the Lynchburg Stamp Club, having been collectors for a long time. We were family and friends!