James Dupont Kirven III, known as "Tippy" to many, died at 3:45 a.m. Wednesday in Cashiers, N.C. He was 70.
Kirven was a well-known businessman and civic leader in Columbus for many years.
He was president of the J.A. Kirven Company which operated Kirven's Department Store which closed in 1993.
During his time in Columbus, Kirven, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, served as director of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, director of the Better Business Bureau, and president of the Downtown Business Association.
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In a newspaper story, he once explained his nickname. "It probably goes back to when I was learning to walk. I didn't walk. I ran on my tippytoes."
His first job with the company business was he was about 11 or 12. His father paid him 10 cents an hour to ride on delivery trucks. He said it was a way to stay busy and get exposure to the business.
"He will be missed by many," a brother Hal Kirven said.
He said his brother had been battling cancer and was in hospice care. He said his brother had fallen recently and go pneumonia.
"Family meant a lot to him," Hal Kirven said.
No funeral arrangements have been made.
His brother Hal Kirven said his brother a will be "missed by many."
He said that his brother had cancer and was hospice care.