Pierce’s legacy lives on

Published 2:28 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

WINTON – Over two weeks have passed since the sudden death of John Pierce, but the memories of his years of service to Hertford County will not likely fade.

At their first meeting since the passing of their former colleague, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners paused here Monday morning to remember Pierce’s life as a public servant.

Commission Chair Howard Hunter III called for a moment of silence in Pierce’s honor shortly after the meeting was called to order. Hunter then asked each commissioner to share their thoughts on Pierce.

“I never had the chance to serve with Mr. Pierce, but I know what a hard worker he was,” said William F. “Bill” Mitchell Jr. who defeated Pierce in last year’s election. “He worked very diligently for the citizens of this county and it’s apparent that work did not go unnoticed, by me and others.”

Veteran county commissioner DuPont Davis worked closely with Pierce, both on and off the board.

“We can’t bring him back, but we can cherish his memories,” Davis said.

Another veteran commissioner, Johnnie Ray Farmer, spoke of Pierce’s heart, one he said was full of love for the citizens of Hertford County.

“John had a great love for all people,” Farmer remarked. “That love, that dedication was seen through his service to his community and his county. Just look at his 30 years of service on the Winton Fire Department and Winton Rescue Squad. He made this a better place for all of us.”

Hunter recalled his younger days, watching Pierce forge a friendship with his grandfather and his father.

“He was always there for my family,” Hunter noted, “just as he was for the citizens of this county. He was a great commissioner and a man I will personally miss very much.”

Hertford County Manager Lorie Williams commented on Pierce’s life as a public servant.

“Hertford County has lost a great civil servant,” she said. “John Pierce was a man who loved people.”

Later in the meeting, Mid-East Commission Executive Director Tim Ware, who was on the agenda to present his organization’s annual report, shared his thoughts on Pierce.

“John Pierce was a great man, especially when it came to supporting services for older adults,” Ware said. “Whenever or wherever I attended a meeting dealing with senior adult issues, John Pierce was always there.”

Also in attendance at Monday’s meeting was Jeri Pierce, the daughter of the late commissioner. She was invited to address the board.

“Thank all of you for your acts of kindness and comments following my father’s death,” she said. “If it wasn’t for his untimely death he would still be working for this county.”

A dedicated public servant, John Pierce served on the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, Hertford County Board of Education, Hertford County ABC Board and CS Brown Alumni Association as well as his three decades of service to the Winton Fire Department and Winton Rescue Squad.