Former commissioner Staton dies at age 78

leon staton

Leon C. Staton Sr., a former county commissioner and board of education member, died last week at age 78. Services are scheduled for Sunday.

Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 09:13 PM.

A Sunday service is planned at the Havelock High School Performing Arts Center for former Craven County commissioner and longtime Craven County Board of Education member Leon C. Staton Sr.

Staton, 78, who lived in the Harlowe community, died Thursday at Cherry Point Bay Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility after suffering several strokes since 2007.

Family members, including one son, twin daughters and a grandson, have established a fund to help others with the problems of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, which affected Staton.

“Leon did a lot of hard work for the children of Craven County and was not only a great help to the community but this entire county,” said Linda Thomas, Board of Education vice chairman who was elected in 1992 with Staton.

Wilbur Becton, a friend and fellow community advocate, said Staton’s “personal sacrifice shows us home is truly where the heart is and we’re proud you made this your home.”

A Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Va., native, Staton  married a Harlowe girl, school teacher Thelma Becton, who died in 1988. He served 23 years in the Marine Corps, which included two tours in Vietnam, retiring as a master sergeant. He later worked for Carolina Power and Light Company. And Oscar’s Mortuary.

A community activist for more than 50 years and in Craven County since the late 1970s, Staton served on the Craven County Voters League, Craven County Recreation and Parks Commission, Habitat for Humanity Advisory Board and the Havelock Communities Improvement Association, where he was active with Becton and others in transforming the old Godette School into the Harlowe Community Center.

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