Norman Lee McKithen was born on December 27, 1943 to the late Katherine Burroughs McKithen and Detlow McKithen. He departed this earthly life on Monday, March 15, 2021, at the age of 77 in Trenton, NJ.
Since childhood Norman was affectionately known as "Pumpkin", a moniker chosen by his grandmother as she would often find him in the pumpkin fields of Bucksport, South Carolina. Norman was educated in the Horry County School System in South Carolina. He graduated from Whittemore High School in Conway, SC where he played varsity basketball. He went on to attend Benedict College in Columbia, SC and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. Norman later moved to Trenton, NJ where he remained a longtime resident. He worked for seven years at C.V. Hill Refrigeration in Trenton to pay off his college debt.
After college, Norman taught for 10 years at Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd School in Trenton. Norman decided that he wanted to become an entrepreneur like several of his brothers and opened McKithen Produce which he owned and operated in the “heart” of Trenton for over 40 years. Norman stocked his store with southern delicacies. He would travel to North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia just to fulfill the wishes and needs of his customers. Norman was kind and considerate to all and especially his senor clientele often extending credit to ensure that no one went hungry. His customers could count on hearing classic quartet groups such as the Canton Spirituals, the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Mighty Clouds of Joy. They would also receive Norman’s advice on how to prepare a delicious meal, hear a hearty laugh or enjoy Norman’s pleasant smile.
Norman accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age, and joined Friendship Baptist Church in Trenton, NJ under the direction of the late Reverend Willie J. Sanders.
Norman was predeceased by his parents, Katherine Burroughs McKithen and Detlow McKithen, and his loving wife, Bessie Sipplen, whom he married in 1988, three brothers Delran, Kelly James, James Edward, and one sister Elizabeth.
Norman leaves to cherish his memory: his stepson Anthony Dasher of Quitman, GA; five brothers, Leroy (Ann) of Trenton, NJ, Connie Mack (Renee) of Yardley, PA, Jason (Angela) of Burlington, NJ, lshmell (Gloria) of Tampa, FL, and Carl of Trenton, NJ; and several aunts, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and loyal customers. He will be missed by all, especially his caretaker and niece, Adrienne Lewis-Smith.
The family of the late Norman Lee McKithen gratefully acknowledges your prayers, cards and all acts of kindness and sympathy during their period of bereavement. May God bless and keep you in His tender loving care.
Funeral will be held at Owens Cemetery in Bucksport, SC 1PM Thursday April 1, 2021.
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