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Longest-serving Sanford council member dies

Posted March 31, 2014

Walter McNeil Jr., the city of Sanford’s longest-serving council member, passed away March 30, 2014.
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— Walter McNeil Jr., the city of Sanford’s longest-serving council member, passed away Sunday at Central Carolina Hospital.

Sworn into office in January 1981, McNeil also was the first black member of the City Council. He served the 4th Ward for 33 years and spent three terms as mayor pro tem.

Among his accomplishments, McNeil started Sanford’s National Night Out crime prevention program in 1993 and pushed to bring parks into neighborhoods. A park in his district was named in his honor.

A retired educator, McNeil earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Winston-Salem State University and a master’s in administration from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.

He is survived by his wife, Billie G. McNeil, and son, Michael McNeil.
 

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  • Michael Clay Mar 31, 2014
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    He was my 5th grade teacher and became a very good friend. He will be missed.