Ronald Leroy "Pete" Lumpkins was born prematurely at Boston City Hospital on October 19, 1948. Shortly after his birth, the hospital sent his mother Jeanette a telegram alerting her that he was not expected to survive. That moment framed Pete's life: he was born a fighter. He beat the odds and thrived, a testimony to God's grace that would replay over and over again in his life. His unyielding optimism and faith in the Lord changed every heart he touched.
Pete met his devoted wife Charlotte on July 4th, 1966 while attending an Upward Bound program for inner city kids. He called it love at first sight. He was 18 and Charlotte was 16 years old. They married on June 5th, 1976. Together they shared the joy of raising eight children in a Christ-centered, loving and sports fanatical home. Pete was a die-hard Boston sports fan. He rooted passionately for his Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots. Although he was blessed to see his city become Title Town, he found the greatest joy in spending time with his children and grandchildren. A proud Native American man of the Cherokee Nation, he found solace and comfort in nature, whether gazing out at the ocean or taking walks among the trees. Pete had an affinity for God's animals. He was a gentle giant. Someone once described him as a big piece of chocolate cake, because he was so sweet and kind-hearted, a trait he inherited from his loving mother Jeanette, whom he adored. He was an excellent cook and fortunately for us, he passed down his mother's recipe for her famous macaroni and cheese.
Pete was a highly intelligent man: both book smart and street smart. He was tall, dark, and handsome and a stellar athlete in his youth. He attended Dorchester High School where he majored in Art and played football. He earned his GED Certificate later in life to inspire his children to finish their educations, and he proudly attended every graduation he could. As a younger man, he was an avid basketball player spending hours "running ball." If you had a ball and a hoop, it was game on! He spent many years coaching youth basketball. He taught a zone defense that was hard to defend. He took great pride in winning games and being a role model. Pete had a keen wit, a flair for storytelling, and an irreverent sense of humor. Most endearing was his ability to laugh or even to make a joke when he faced the toughest of times.
Pete worked as a driver for special needs children. He also worked in security as a bouncer and bodyguard. Pete would tell stories from his nights working that would leave you in tears laughing and leave him laughing along with his bellowing voice. While he always worked to provide for his family, Pete's true calling was ministry. Pete came to know Christ through the evangelism of Captain Leo Lloyd and the Salvation Army. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and dedicated his life to the service of God and humanity. Pete began to believe what his mother had always told him, that God had a plan for his life, that he would become a preacher of the Gospel.
Pete's life exemplified the simple ministry of Christ: to speak of God's love and to show God's love through personal sacrifice in Jesus' name. Pete gave up houses, family, and property for the sake of spreading the Gospel. As a gifted lyricist, songwriter, composer, and visual artist - he once painted murals on the walls of the Mission Hill Projects, just to make it a little brighter - he used all of his talents to reach the hearts and souls of many. As an evangelist, a teacher, and a youth pastor, he used his eloquence and gift of prose to minister to thousands across the U.S. In the early 80s, he founded the Lumpkins Family, one of the earliest producers and performers of Christian rap. His sons Roablas and Rahtamian, along with his dedicated wife Charlotte and their children, traveled all across the country on faith, singing and Rapp'n the Gospel to youth. He served as a minister and confidant to those who are often unseen and unheard in society such as the homeless, the disabled, and the imprisoned. He never judged, even on his darkest days. Later in life, he faced numerous health battles and lost both of his legs. Despite his physical challenges, Pete continued to use his talents to bring light into the world. As the proud United States Air Force Veteran of the Vietnam Era, he ministered to others at the VA Medical Center in San Francisco, while being cared for as a patient himself. His electric wheelchair and Karaoke machine were all he needed to volunteer at nursing homes where he brought his upbeat vocals to many whose days were brightened with a sing-along or a Frank Sinatra tune. Poignantly and prolifically he wrote on Facebook, turning his life and events of the day into clever and uplifting rhymes that blessed hundreds. He truly enjoyed staying in contact with his Lumpkin(s) family and the many friends he made across the country.
Lovingly known as Pete, Big Pete, Poppa Pete, Uncle Pete, Brother Pete and "Dad", Ronald Leroy Lumpkins passed away peacefully on December 19, 2017 at the age of 69 surrounded by his loving family and his high-school sweetheart and wife of 51 years, Charlotte Lumpkins (Harding) of San Francisco, California, formerly of Boston, Massachusetts.
A devoted husband, loving father, and adoring grandfather, Pete's only true wealth was his example of full surrender to God's will and his life as a testimony to the transformative power of Christ's love in hearts and lives. This enduring legacy he leaves to his loving children Lanice, Ruce, Rahtamian, Ladidas, Lacharla, Larona, and Raldon; to his sons-in-law and sons-in-love love Richard, Garry, and Clevell; to his daughters-in-law and daughters-in-love Jacqueline, Nicole, Tabitha, and Gabby; to his grandchildren Gregory, JohnRichard, and JohnMichael; to Lisa; to Rai, James, also known affectionately as "Roabie", Danielle, Derez, Dominique, and their mother Carmen; to Faith, Isaiah, Joell, and Grace; to Sebastian; to David and his father Michael; to Josiah and Liam; to Jayden and Jayla; and to Jude; to his great-grandson Merqutio and his great-granddaughter Satori; to his brother James Giles of Brighton, Massachusetts and his loving partner Inez Wells; to his brother Robert "Buddy" Lumpkins, Jr. of Asbury Park, NJ and his brother in heart Rowland Watts of San Francisco, California; to his nephew Rodney E. Brooks of Boston, Massachusetts and his nephew in heart Mahmoud Ateyeh of San Francisco, California; and to his faithful service dogs, Pailo and Kitt'n.
Pete was preceded in death by his beloved son and best friend, Roablas Lynceus Lumpkins of Atlanta, Georgia, formerly of Boston, Massachusetts and his grandchildren, Jessica Lumpkins and Renan Lumpkins of Lebanon, Pennsylvania; his father Robert Leroy Lumpkins of Galveston Texas, formerly of Greensboro, North Carolina; his mother Catherine "Jeanette" Thomas of Boston, Massachusetts, formerly of Baltimore, Maryland; his sister Audrey Brooks of Baltimore, Maryland; his sister Iona Brooks of Baltimore, Maryland; his sister Debra "Giggie" Giles of Boston, Massachusetts and her son Louie; his sister Elizabeth M. Edwards of Philadelphia, PA; and his brother Elmer "Chief" Brooks, Jr. of Mattapan, Massachusetts.
Pete leaves behind many people who loved him, and he loved each and every one of them back: his in-laws who embraced him like a brother, his aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, his cousins, care-givers and dear friends. He had a lifetime of sharing love and kindness. We now have a treasure trove of memories to comfort us: memories of his resilience, his generosity of spirit, his humility, his peace, his humor, his faith, his commitment to family, his selflessness and his compassion. Pete fought the good fight, he finished the race, and he kept the faith. Now there is in store for Pete the crown of righteousness, which the Lord will award to him and to all those who long for the Lord's appearing.
Pete would often say that his life was based on one of his favorite scriptures which he frequently quoted and shared:
Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
DEC 30. 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Salvatioin Army Boston Kroc Center
650 Dudley Street
Dorchester, MA, US, 02125
DEC 30. 11:00 AM
Salvatioin Army Boston Kroc Center
650 Dudley Street
Dorchester, MA, US, 02125
JAN 2. 12:30 PM
Massachusetts National Cemetery
Bourne, MA, US, 02532