As mayor, he wanted the best
On Monday, the town of Benson lost more than most realize when Jerry McLamb passed away at the age of 79.
In addition to serving one term as mayor of Benson, McLamb was one of the founding members of the Benson Rescue Squad and served the town as an auxiliary police officer.
Perhaps that is why, when he took the mayor’s office in 2005, he immediately wanted to make sure, not only those two agencies, but all of the agencies in Benson had what they needed to be successful.
Current Town Manager Fred Nelson served alongside the man he calls JB on the board of commissioners. He recalled McLamb’s dedication to the men and women who provided the services to residents, many who were unaware of his contributions.
“JB was a person who cared about the daily operations of the town in terms of serving the people,” Nelson told The Daily Record. “He was very interested in ensuring that our public safety staff were equipped with the tools to perform at the highest standard.”
While he was serving as mayor, Nelson said McLamb also made sure an important tradition was always carried out.
“He also supported us in keeping prayer as a focal and beginning point of our board meetings,” Nelson said. “I am saddened to hear of his passing. My family keeps the McLamb family lifted in prayer for comfort during their time of need.”
Current Mayor Jerry Medlin, who spoke with McLamb about the duties of mayor, said he was saddened at McLamb’s passing and will always remember him as a friend who had nothing but kind words and smiles to pass forward.
“He and I were always cordial to each other and we kidded with each other a lot,” Medlin said. “When he was mayor we had moved back to Benson then. I always enjoyed talking to him and when I was running for mayor he was one of the men I went to see.”
Medlin said McLamb’s health had been taking it’s toll on him at the time, but McLamb was still able to pass along his positivity and kindness.
“He was pretty sick then, but he was just a nice guy to speak with and he had some ideas for the town,” Medlin said.
His time of public service also stands out for one family member, Restoration NewsMedia general manager and the former mayor’s nephew, Tracy McLamb.
He recalled his uncle’s kindness and caring was always at the forefront. In addition to his desire to see the community a better place by helping get the Benson Rescue Squad started, the former mayor told his nephew about working as an auxiliary police officer during Benson’s most recognizable time of the year — Mule Days.
“For many years, Jerry was an auxiliary police officer for Benson,” his nephew said. “He worked the cruising scene and especially Mule Days.”
McLamb said his uncle had one thing he was especially mindful of during the September festival, taking care of the horses that made their way to the streets of the Johnston County town.
“He told me one of the things that would bother him the most was someone hitting a horse,” McLamb recalled about his uncle. “He said ‘that horse has been shut up all year then brought out into the noise and lights. It’s not his fault he is scared,’ I feel like many guys spent a night in jail for hurting a horse.”
McLamb served as mayor of Benson from 2005 to 2007 and also served as a volunteer for the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.
His family will say their final goodbye to Jerry Brenton McLamb, Saturday at 2 p.m. at Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church, but he will long be remembered for being the caring, dedicated public servant and the legacy of caring he left behind.
-Dunn Daily Record