DECEMBER 18, 2012
FIRST VICE CHAIR - PITT COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY
John Holden, First Vice Chair of the Pitt County Democratic Party passed away on November 15th from heart failure at the age of 38.
John grew up in Onslow and Carteret counties. He attended Carteret Community College and then East Carolina University to pursue a degree in Political Science. While working his way through school, he served from 1998-99 as President of ECU B-GLAD (Bisexual, Gays, Lesbians and Allies for Diversity )
working to make the campus a more welcoming place for LGBT students.
Health issues forced him to put his education on hold for ten years, but he turned an unexpected layoff into an opportunity to go back and complete his degree. He graduated from ECU with a Bachelors in Political Science in December, 2011. John recently began working at ECU's Brody School of Medicine and was contemplating pursuing a Masters Degree focusing on Health Policy starting in 2012.
A longtime staunch Democrat, very vocal about his views, he was elected precinct Vice Chair at his very first Precinct Meeting in 2006 and became Chair the following year. In 2009 he was asked to serve as Third Vice Chair of the county party and was heavily involved with running the county's Campaign Headquarters during the 2010 elections.
In 2011, he ascended to County First Vice Chair and represented Pitt County on the Third Congressional District Executive Committee and on the State Executive Committee. After graduation and during his job search, he staffed the 2012 Headquarters several days each week and continued to do so on weekends after starting his job.
John enjoyed spending many non-campaign weekends at the house on Bogue Sound where he had many fond memories of spending time with his grandfather growing up and later with his friends and his god children. His ashes were spread at that same house on the sound, so dear a part of his life, and now he a part of it. He was a strong believer that there is a family into which we are born and also one we get to choose. He considered many of the people he worked with in the Party a part of that chosen family, and he will be missed by us all, surviving members of the families born or chosen.
A Celebration of the Life of John Holden was held on December 2nd at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greenville and another will be planned at Bogue Sound in the spring when a tree will be planted as a memorial.
John would also want you to know that although he went into the hospital the day before Election Day, that it was okay because he voted early, and that same night was explaining to nurses the need to vote 1-2-3 and know who were the candidates for judges.
SENATOR ED JONES
State Senator Ed Jones of the Fourth Senatorial District died on December 15th - months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 62.
He represented the people of Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton and Perquimans counties. He served two years in the State House before becoming a Senator in 2007.
He was a State Highway Trooper for 30 years. He served as Police Chief of Enfield and later as Mayor of Enfield.
He is survived by his wife, Mary, two children, and three grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 5:00PM to 7:00PM, Friday, December 21st at Saint Paul Baptist Church,
421 South McDaniel Street, Enfield.
The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00AM, Saturday, December 22nd at Halifax Community College, 200 College Drive, Weldon, NC.
Interment will directly follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Enfield.
JACK M. FRIEDLAND
FATHER OF MARC FRIEDLAND - SECRETARY OF
MECKLENBURG COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Jack Friedland of Jupiter, Florida and Gladwyne, Pennsylvania died on November 28th. He was the father of Mecklenburg County Democratic Party Secretary Marc Friedland and three other children. He is also survived by his wife Annette, six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
The Memorial Service was held on December 2nd at the Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania.
Harold Belk of Salisbury passed away at his residence on November 14th at the age of 73. He was the husband of Leda Shuping Belk who was a Democratic candidate for Rowan County Commissioner. Harold retired from the Charlotte Police Department in 1985 after 25 years as a Fraud Investigator.
He enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and was described as "a gentle man."
His funeral service was held on November 17th at Union Lutheran Church and the burial was at Bethel Lutheran Cemetery in Salisbury.
RON HARRISON - CUMBERLAND COUNTY
Ron Harrison, Communications Director of the Cumberland County Democratic Party, is at his home in Fayetteville recovering from multi-level C-spine surgery. He was released from Moore Regional Hospital on November 21st.
This was the 8th procedure Ron has gone through resulting from injuries he sustained in the line of duty during his 23 years of service in the US Army.
BENSON KIRKMAN - WAKE COUNTY
Wake County Senior Democrats President Benson Kirkman suffered two broken leg bones during a fall while doing volunteer work at Lake Johnson in Raleigh last week. His leg is in a temporary cast.
He is scheduled for surgery on Thursday, December 20th. Benson developed a passion for improving Raleigh's parks during his six years of service on the Raleigh City Council and he has continued to work on park improvement ever since.
EIGHTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CHAIR JUNE MABRY
Eighth Congressional District Chair June Mabry had an accident in the rain on the night of December 12th as she was driving back from the Democratic Holidazzle Event in Raleigh. Her car hydroplaned and was damaged severely.
June was fortunate to receive only bumps, bruises, and a sore back. Her husband and a friend who owns a tow truck came to get her and her car and take them home to Albemarle. June said: "Who says angels aren't all around us?"
BRENDA POLLARD - DURHAM COUNTY
Governor Beverly Perdue has announced the appointment of State Executive Committee Member Brenda Pollard of Durham to be a Public Member of the NC Board of Architecture.
Brenda is a leader of the Democratic Women at the county, state, and national level. Congratulations on your appointment, Brenda!
Your Democratic Friend,