County Commissioner Wade Stewart Dies
Johnston County Commissioner Wade Stewart passed away suddenly Monday morning at his home near Four Oaks. Stewart was hospitalized last week after suffering a heart attack, family members said. He returned home from the hospital just a few days ago.
Stewart was sworn in as a Commissioner in December 1998, representing District 3. He won reelection to his fourth term in 2010, which was scheduled to have expired in 2014.
Stewart was President of Keener Lumber Company. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Campbell University in 1966.
He was very active in public service, with a passion for serving citizens, emergency workers, veterans, and building schools for the children of Johnston County. He loved his family, helping people, and the game of baseball.
In a statement from Jeff Carver, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners he said, “Our entire Board and staff are mourning the loss along with his wife and family.”
“Commissioner Stewart was a bronze-star recipient in Vietnam who never shied away from a fight. During the financial crisis, he was the Chairman that led with great foresight and was not afraid to make tough decisions. Mr. Stewart had a significant impact on Johnston County and a genuine love for the citizens. “
“He loved his family and spoke of them often…they should be proud of his dedication and service to the citizens of Johnston County,” he said.
“During his continuous service to the County people respected his opinion, including myself. He was not only a fellow commissioner, but my personal friend and confidant and I will never forget him,” Chairman Carver said.
“Wade had great passion for the County and he was one of the hardest working Commissioners I have ever known,” Commissioner Tony Braswell told WTSB. “He was special to me. He was a mentor to me. We bonded because of that and our Vietnam experience.” Both Stewart and Braswell were Vietnam Veterans.
"Sometimes he expressed things only the way Wade could do,” Braswell said. “He will go down as one of the greater commissioners. His legacy will be remembered in the school building era for a long long time.”
"He was a strong advocate for Veterans. He started the Family Veterans Advisory Committee when he was Board Chairman. He felt like the County should do all we could for Veterans,” Braswell added.
Stewart was currently serving on the Juvenile Crimes Prevention Council, Nursing Home/Adult Care Advisory Board, Tobacco Farm Life Museum, and Veterans Service Advisory Board.
Stewart was Chairman of the Board of Commissioners from 2008 to 2010. He served as Vice Chairman from 2004 to 2008. He had previously served on the Criminal Justice Partnership Advisory Board, Social Services Board, Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee, and Local Emergency Planning Commission.
"Wade Stewart was a fine man. I learned so much from him," Johnston County Manager Rick Hester said Monday. "He enjoyed being a county commissioner, because he loved helping people. I will miss him greatly."
"Johnston County has lost a great Commissioner who was truly dedicated to serving others," Commissioner Cookie Pope said Monday. "Like John Wayne, he was a giant of a man whose love for "country store" politics made him a champion of the ordinary man. Doing for others was one of his greatest joys and no request was too small."
"Wade Stewart loved nothing more than a challenge so he could prepare for the battle that he fully intended to win," Pope said. "No man ever loved his family, friends and County more. What a legacy!"
Funeral services will be held at 3:00pm on Thursday, January 17 at First Baptist Church in Four Oaks. Burial will follow in the Four Oaks City Cemetery with full military honors. Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 16 from 6:00pm until 9:00pm at Rose & Graham Funeral Home in Four Oaks.
Here is the N&O article.
The Smithfield Herald article.
The WRAL story
Though News 14 has the story on their broadcast, it isn't online.