Former commissioner Staton dies at age 78

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

He resigned his seat on the Craven County Board of Education in 2002 to serve out the unexpired term of former District 5 Commissioner Albert H. Toon, who died in office. In 2003, he was elected vice chairman by fellow commissioners and was awarded North Carolina’s highest civilian honor when the governor named him a member of The Order of the Longleaf Pine.

While commissioner from 2002 to 2006, Staton served on the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board, Civilian Military Community Council, Eastern Carolina Council of Governments, Craven-Jones-Pamlico Transportation Committee, Craven Aging Planning Board, Craven Evaluation and Training Center Board and the Havelock Library Board.

“He was instrumental in doing a lot of things for the county as a commissioner and while on the school board,” said Commissioner Johnnie Sampson, who served with Staton. “He worked hard for his community. He was dedicated. He gave up a lot of time to help those who couldn’t help themselves.”

Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, Gwendolyn Bryan said, “He was always very pleasant, appreciative and supportive of me in my role with the board.” 

School Board Chairman Carr Ipock said, “Leon Staton had the heart of students and teachers in mind in all the decisions he made on the board. He had a unique personality and perspective and added a lot to the board. He tended to be a quiet person at the table, a thinker before he spoke.

“He knew what his position would be when the matter came up for a vote, but was always gracious and moved with the decision of the board even if that wasn’t his position.”

Sunday’s service is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Havelock High Performing Arts Center.

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