By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
January 11, 2013
RALEIGH — A tireless and dedicated public servant who was passionate about education reform — that’s how fellow members of the General Assembly described former Sen. Jean Preston, 77, who died Wednesday following a fall while vacationing in Connecticut.
A Republican from Emerald Isle, Preston had served seven terms in the state House and three in the state Senate before she retired last fall.
“I am deeply saddened at the news of the passing of my dear friend, Sen. Jean Preston,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Sen. Preston and I had a personal and not just a professional connection. She and my parents grew up and went to school together. We would often exchange information about family when meeting.”
He said the League is indebted to Preston, who was a strong supporter of Christian values and always attentive to the CAL’s position on social issues.
“When she served in the House, I remember quite well a very passionate, as well as a marvelously articulate speech she gave against the adoption of a state-operated lottery. It was powerful and moving. Such speeches, I believe, are recorded in heaven,” Dr. Creech added.
A Greene County native, Preston had worked as a special education teacher, principal and school administrator. In the Senate she served as co-chair of the Committee on Education/Higher Education.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said Preston “dedicated her life to ensuring our children have the brightest future possible,” and that she was legendary in her district for constituent service.
House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) said Preston leaves a legacy of “kindness, dedication and genuine friendship,” on both sides of the aisle. She served District 2, which includes Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties.
“I trust that she is now with her Lord and enjoying his presence. I look forward to that blessed day of our reunion. I also think it’s ironic that she passed away on the North Carolina General Assembly’s opening day,” Rev. Creech said. “I ask that supporters of the League remember her family in their prayers at this time.”
According to Tyson-Taylor Funeral Service in Snow Hill, North Carolina,
“The family will receive friends 5 – 7 PM Sunday, January 13, at Taylor-Tyson Funeral Service, 117 NW Third Street, Snow Hill, North Carolina.
Funeral Services will be held 11 AM Monday, January 14, at the chapel of Taylor-Tyson Funeral Service with Reverend Dr. Stewart LaNeave and Pastor Scott Hardy officiating. Interment will follow at the Fairview Cemetery in LaGrange.
A Memorial Service will be held 11 AM Saturday, January 19, at the Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church, 100 Yaupon Drive, Cape Carteret, North Carolina, where Jean was a member.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Jean R. Preston Distinguished Young Women of Carteret County Scholarship, c/o the Carteret Council of Women, 147 Lake Arthur Drive, Newport, North Carolina, 28570.”