John Boyd Earp

John Boyd Earp

June 8, 1942 – July 16, 2021 

John Boyd Earp, 79, went home peacefully to be with his Lord Friday evening surrounded by his family.  John was the second youngest of four children born to the late Shelton Pou and Thelma Boykin Earp and was preceded in death by his oldest brother Wallace McCray Earp.  John retired from NC State University as a small fruit research technician and was an Army National Guard veteran in the early 1970s.

A funeral service will be held at 11 am on Monday at Divine Crossings Baptist Church in Selma. Following the service, the burial will take place at Corinth Baptist Church cemetery in Zebulon, with masonic honors.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Dianne Williams Earp; eldest son and daughter-in-law, Johnathan and Christian Cherry of Greenville; grandsons John Perkins and Ashby Shelton; younger son and daughter-in-law, Clinton Haywood and Allyson Mozingo of Middlesex; older brother Larry Shelton of Wendell, sister Sylvia Kay Hocutt of Zebulon; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Eddie Poole and Pattie of Clayton.

John loved being “Poppa Earp” to his two grandsons J.P. and Ash. He enjoyed teaching Sunday school for many years at Corinth Baptist Church. Turkey hunting was John’s passion as he enjoyed pursuing the ever elusive Eastern wild turkey. John enjoyed his annual outer banks surf fishing trip with colleagues from N.C. State and deer hunting with his buddies in the New Road Hunting Club in Scotland Neck and May Farm Hunting Club in Nash County.

The family would like to thank the many caregivers at Wake Medical Center and the State Employees Credit Union Hospice House of Smithfield for their wonderful care. 

Flowers accepted or memorials can be made to SECU Hospice of Smithfield, 426 Hospital Road, Smithfield, NC 27577 or the National Wild Turkey Federation .

The family will receive friends on Sunday evening from 6-7:30 pm at Strickland Funeral Home & Crematory, 211 W Third St, Wendell, NC, 27591.


  • Corinth Holders High School Class of 1960 Posted July 18, 2021 9:57 am

    The 1960 graduating class of Corinth Holders High School extends their deepest sympathy with their most sincere thoughts and prayers to Dianne and the Earp Family. May you find needed strength for the days ahead through your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ with the promise of a better day to come with no more good-byes and sad farewells.

  • Rose Marie Moore & Children Posted July 18, 2021 1:09 pm

    Diane and family
    We were saddened to hear of John Boyd passing. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you all.. We hope the wonderful memories of his life will be a comfort in the days and weeks ahead.

  • Marty Jo and Jeff Huddleston Posted July 18, 2021 2:23 pm

    Prayers, hugs, and lots of love to the family. The Earp family from Mr. Pou and Mrs. Thelma on down the lineage have been an important part of my childhood and adult life.

  • Rafael and Wanda Mendez Posted July 18, 2021 4:16 pm

    Dear Jonathan,
    A father is someone who teaches us the meaning of courage, strength, and love. We see these wonderful traits in you every day. He truly was a wonderful man.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family; our sincere and deepest condolences. We hope the good memories you have of him will comfort you in the days ahead.
    Rafa and Wanda Mendez

  • Hedy Creech Posted July 19, 2021 8:50 am

    Prayers for the family. God bless you

  • Brenda Earp Jones Posted July 19, 2021 2:39 pm

    Dianne, we are sorry for your loss. You and the family are in our thoughts and prayers! Love you all!

  • Carolyn Durham Posted July 20, 2021 3:58 pm

    Diane I’m so sorry to hear about the death of John I was out of town and just saw his obituary on line I pray for you and your family will receive the Peace Thst only Hod can give you Love you

  • Carolyn Durhsm Posted July 20, 2021 4:09 pm

    Prayers for you and the family love you all

  • Lois Driver Posted July 20, 2021 11:38 pm

    So very sorry to hear of John’s passing. I was at the beach on my annual Sisters trip. I was looking through the old newspapers tonight after we got back from the beach and saw the listing in the obituaries. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers, especially Clint.

  • Worth & Gail Brown Posted July 21, 2021 3:32 pm


  • Eric Hinesley Posted July 28, 2021 2:27 pm

    Sorry to hear about John. I knew John in the early years of my career as a professor in Horticultural science at NCSU in the late 1970s and 1980s. I always enjoyed our conversations, and learned a lot from John about cultivation of grapes and blackberries. Even though it’s been many years since my last conversation with John, I still think of him occasionally when I’m pruning grapes.

  • Frank Louws Posted August 3, 2021 1:18 pm

    On behalf of the Department of Horticultural Sciences at NC State University we extend our deepest sympathies to Diane and the family in the passing away of John. May you find strength in your faith, support form your community and continued deep and joyful love within your family. Although I did not personally know John, we are thankful for the time he spent with us advancing specialty crops for North Carolina growers. That legacy continues strong! Sincerely, Frank Louws, current Head of the department.

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