Former Johnston County Commissioner Norman C. Denning Sr. of the Bentonville community passed away on Thursday. He was 94.
Mr. Denning served as County Commissioner from 1962 to 1998. He was Chairman of the Board from 1972 to 1998.
Starting in 1992, Eleanor Creech served as a County Commissioner with Mr. Denning. “I am saddened to hear about his death. It breaks my heart. He meant so much to me. I learned so much from him. He was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known. He taught me so much.”
“I learned a lot listening to people like him and (former commissioners) Frank Holding and James Cash. We have lost all of them this year. It was wonderful to have known him, and all these gentlemen, and to have worked with them,” Creech told WTSB News on Friday.
Current Commissioner Cookie Pope was elected in 1994 and served 4 years with Mr. Denning. “I enjoyed serving with Mr. Denning. We exchanged many farming experiences as we worked for the betterment of the citizens of Johnston County. He was a clever story teller and kept us laughing amid the stress of serving as a Commissioner. He could laugh at himself and did when he told the story about rolling down the window while on his way to a Commissioner meeting. Seems his starched white shirt had brown splotches when he entered the board room. He would laugh and warn us…Don’t try to spit chewing tobacco out car window while driving! He served the Bentonville Community well. The entire County benefitted from his service.”
“I have known Norman Denning since I was about 15 years old,” said former Johnston County Clerk of Court Will Crocker. “He was a great man and served Johnston County well. He was a farmer, a good family man and I said before he served his county well. He will be missed.”
Funeral services for Mr. Denning will be held on Monday, June 18th at 11:00am at Saint John Pentecostal Holiness Church. Burial will follow in the Lee Family Cemetery in Four Oaks.
The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service from 10:00am until 11:00am.
He is survived by daughters Phyllis D. Godwin and husband, Rodney, of Raleigh; Mary Jane Denning Carroll of Four Oaks; son, Norman C. Denning Jr. and wife, Sherry, of Four Oaks; grandchildren Clint Ferrell Sr., Paige Carroll, Brittany Denning, and Norman “Trey” Denning III; great-grandchildren Clint Ferrell Jr., Claire Ferrell and Oliva Carroll.
Mr. Denning was proceeded in death by his wife, Jean R. Denning and parents George E. and Mary T. Denning.
Flowers are welcome however memorial contributions can be made to: Johnston County Livestock Mutual Endowment Fund, c/o Norman C. Denning Sr. & Jean R. Denning Scholarship Fund, NC Ag Foundation, NC State Box 7645, Raleigh, NC 27695 or Saint John Pentecostal Holiness Church, 276 St. John Church Road, Four Oaks, NC 27524, or SECU Hospice House, 426 Hospital Road, Smithfield, NC 27577 or to the charity of one’s choice in his memory.
Arrangements are being handled by West & Dunn Funeral Home of Newton Grove.