Philip Stewart Nepper | Eastern North Carolina Now | Following a brave battle against cancer, Philip Stewart Nepper of Washington, NC was promoted to heaven on August 12, 2022, at the age of 81 years young.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Following a brave battle against cancer, Philip Stewart Nepper of Washington, NC was promoted to heaven on August 12, 2022, at the age of 81 years young. Philip loved life and was a doting husband. He had a vibrant personality, an insatiable sweet tooth, and a fondness for playing the lottery every week.

    He was born in Huntington, West Virginia, the second son of J. Charles and Mary Alice Nepper. He grew up in Lewisburg, West Virginia and attended Greenbrier Military School and Lewisburg High School.

    After graduation from high school, Philip enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. After boot camp, he received orders to report to Boston to the US Coast Guard Cutter Eastwind, an icebreaker. Later he was reassigned to the United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, where he was stationed for the remainder of his enlistment duty, serving as a dental technician. While in the Coast Guard, he was chosen for a special assignment, to drive a car in the 1965 Presidential Inauguration Parade in which he transported Vice President Hubert Humphrey's daughter Nancy and her spouse. After his discharge from the Coast Guard, Philip went on to study computer technology at Montgomery College.

    As a child, like many young boys, Philip was obsessed with toy trains. After attending college, he turned his love for trains into a career. He worked in various administrative capacities with the B&O, C&O, Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, Amtrak, and Conrail. While he was very successful in his administrative career, he longed to fulfill his boyhood dream of running a train. He turned his dream into a reality when he decided to attend engineer school and received his railroad engineer certification from the Federal Railroad Administration. He ran diesel locomotive freight trains for Conrail and Norfolk Southern for several years. Eventually tiring of the many nights away from home that being an engineer required, he decided to leave the railroad and turned yet another of his passions into a new career.

    Philip also loved boats. He went on to obtain his commercial captain's license and ran a boat tour business and restaurant in Chesapeake, Virginia at The Great Dismal Swamp. Philip purchased his first boat in the 1960's, a Chris Craft Cabin Cruiser, which he named The Deborah, after his daughter. After that, there were very few stretches in his life that he didn't own a boat of some sort. Phil was happiest out on the water, so it was natural that he would become involved with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. He retired from the auxiliary with 20 years, 11 months, and 17 days of volunteer service, during which time he received an array of awards and commendations and occupied the elected positions of Flotilla Commander, Vice Flotilla Commander, and served as a Flotilla Staff Officer.

    Two significant events happened for Philip during the 1990's. First, he met the lady who would become the love of his life in Glenda on North Carolina's Outer Banks. They married in March 1994 in a ceremony which included their adult children. The other significant event that happened during this period was Philip's decision to commit his life to Jesus Christ at Poplar Branch Baptist Church in Grandy, North Carolina. Phil's new found relationship with his Lord and Savior would radically change the way he approached life from that point forward.

    Phil and Glenda decided to leave the busy Outer Banks for a quieter life and landed in Washington, North Carolina. Phil would frequently comment about how much he loved the little town, and once again, he was able to work doing the things he loved. He worked as a dockmaster at the Washington City Docks for several years, a perfect fit considering his love of boats and his charismatic, friendly personality. Later he became involved in railroad work again as the bridge tender for the Pamlico River Railroad Turn Bridge.

    Music was another of Phil's interests. He played piano by ear and had an eclectic taste in music. He was fond of everything from classical to beach music to classic rock. But Southern gospel was by far his favorite genre. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Chocowinity and loved to sing in the choir.

    Philip will be lovingly remembered by his wife Glenda; daughter Debbie Florence, stepdaughters Sherrie (David) Thigpen and Sheila Walker Davis; stepson Gerald Perry; nephew, Jim Nepper; niece, Sharon Gooding (Scott), as well as numerous relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, James C. Nepper, and his beloved dogs, Willy, and Blade.

    A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at the Chapel of Paul Funeral Home in Washington.

    Phil cared deeply about animal welfare. His family asks that if you are so moved, please consider a donation to the Humane Society of Beaufort County in his memory. (PO Box 33, Washington, NC 27889)

    Online condolences may be offered to the family by visiting

    Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve Philip's family.
Go Back

Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )

James Brooks Browning Obituaries, Announcements Jackie Nicholson Skinner


Latest Announcements

Mr. Mario Antonio Machado, age 38, a resident of Ayden, died Saturday, September 24, 2022, at ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville.
Ms. Alicia Eren Payne, age 89, a resident of Bath, NC passed on peacefully at her home on Friday, September 23, 2022.
Mr. Mark Allen Ball, age 56, a resident of 120 Ann Street, Chocowinity, died unexpectantly Monday, September 26, 2022.
Nellie Myers Logan, age 92, a resident of Belhaven, NC died Monday, September 26, 2022, at her home.
Mr. Willis Edward “Eddie” Williams, Jr., age 64, a resident of Edward, NC died Saturday, September 25, 2022, at the home of his son in Hubert.
Mrs. Nellie Von Jenkins Moore, age 88, a resident of Washington, died Friday, September 23, 2022 at ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville.


Mrs. Grace Mary Theresa Placente, age 79, a resident of Cypress Landing in Chocowinity, NC died Sunday, September 18, 2022, at her home.
Ms. Sheila Marie Coles Washington, age 55, a resident of Washington, NC died Monday, September 19, 2022, at her home.
Charles Ricky Motteler, age 74, a resident of Washington, died Friday, September 16, 2022.
Mrs. Rebecca “Becky” Lupton Jones, age 80, a resident of Pantego, NC died Sunday, September 18, 2022, at River Trace Nursing Center in Washington.
Terry Malachi Gray, 42, of Washington NC, passed on from this life on September 10, 2022.
Mr. Robert Bryan Cox, age 84, a former resident of Blounts Creek, died Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at ECU Health Beaufort Hospital in Washington.


Mr. Walter Dudley Martin, age 80, a resident of Blounts Creek, NC died Wednesday September 14, 2022, at his home with his family by his side.


Back to Top