Charles Zophar (Zoph) Potts, Sr.

Published 4:11 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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Charles Zophar (Zoph) Potts, a resident of Washington, NC died Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

A graveside service will be held 11:00 AM on Monday, December 28, 2020 at Oakdale Cemetery in Washington.  Dr. Jerry Bron will officiate.

Charles Zophar (Zoph) Potts was born on September 19, 1941 in Washington, NC, son of the late Katherine Dudley Potts and Frederick Latham Potts, Sr.  He graduated from Washington High School in 1959 and was a 1963 graduate of Duke University.  In 1962 he married the beautiful Robin Morgan Roberson of Washington who predeceased him in 2018 after 56 years of marriage.  Surviving are his very special children, daughter Riley Potts Simpson and sons Charles Z. Potts, Jr. (wife Christie Lewis Potts), Reed Mills Potts (wife Casey Hockaday Potts) and Morgan Patterson Potts (wife Joy Law Potts); six grandchildren, Raven Cassandra Simpson, Morgan Alexandra Potts, Latham Gray Potts, Skylar Elizabeth Potts, Silas Patterson Potts and Robin Elizabeth Potts.  He had one sister, Katherine Potts Andrew and her children Sara Neuwirth (spouse Dr. Charles Neuwirth) and children Mia, William, Olivia and Lila and son Ken Andrew and his children Macy, Chase and Zachary and one brother Frederick Latham Potts, Jr., now deceased.  His three children Dr. Frederick (Rick) Latham Potts III, Susan Potts Casper and Joseph Potts survive.  Also surviving are special brother-in-law William Riley Roberson III and his lovely wife Olivia Grimes Roberson and their children William (Will) Roberson IV (wife Tabitha Roberson) with their children Isabel and Madeline and daughter Lilly Roberson Jones (spouse Dr. Marcus Jones) and their children Liv and Davis Jones.  Cousins Mary Ann Potts Ouzer (spouse Bill Ouzer) predeceased him and Charlie Manning survives.

Potts received a football scholarship at Duke and played on teams that won three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championships (1960-1961-1962) and won the 1961 Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas.  He remained a staunch Blue Devil and Iron Duke supporter throughout his life.  He was also a member of KA Fraternity.

Upon graduation from Duke, Potts taught and coached at the Kinston and Washington City Schools.  He then moved to Raleigh and represented the State of North Carolina as an “Industry Hunter” in the Department of Conservation and Development from 1966-1971.  He helped to locate a number of new industries across North Carolina during his tenure with the State.  He was a charter member of the NC Economic Developers Association.  He returned to Washington, NC in 1971 and joined his father-in-law, Bill Roberson and his family at Roberson’s Beverages, bottlers and distributors of Dr Pepper and Seven-Up products with plants and distribution centers in Washington, Kinston, New Bern, Clinton and Wilson.  He became VP, Sales and COO of the firm.  He also served as president of Smallwood, a residential development and of Tar Heel Broadcasting with radio stations in Washington.  In 1983 he became president of North Carolina Dr Pepper Bottlers.  He served on the NC Soft Drink Association Board of Directors.  He was appointed a member of the Dr Pepper Bottlers Advisory Committee and to the Seven-Up Sales and Marketing Board.  In 1986 he became President, CEO and General Manager of radio stations 93.3 WDLX-FM and 930 WRRF-AM in Washington, NC.  He served as a member of the NC Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors.  In 1996, Potts became part owner and CEO of Snowden Associates, a media-business brokerage and commercial real estate company.  He was a loyal member and Elder of First Presbyterian Church in Washington.

Potts was active in civic and community affairs.  He was elected to the Washington City Council in 1973.  He served on the Washington City Board of Education, the Washington Planning Commission and the Washington Recreation Commission.  He served as a member of the Beaufort County Hospital Board of Trustees, as Chair of the Beaufort County Economic Development Commission, a member of the Beaufort County Committee of 100 and the Beaufort County Community College Foundation Board.  He was a director of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and the Beaufort County United Way.  He was President of the Washington Rotary Club.  He served on the board of the Washington Yacht and Country Club.  Potts was a member of the East Carolina University School of Business Advisory Council.  He served on the board and as President of the US Highway 17 Association.

Zoph Potts loved life and his wonderful family.  He was so proud of his elegant wife, his beautiful daughter, his three terrific sons and his six cherished grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Beaufort County Relay for Life, Attn: Memorials, PO Box 2708, Washington, NC  27889.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve the Potts family.