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Politicians honor 'consummate salesman' Crisco at funeral

Posted May 16, 2014

— Family and friends were joined by several politicians Friday at the funeral of former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, who died Monday in a fall at his Asheboro home.

Former Gov. Beverly Perdue, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers and 4th District Congressman David Price were part of the overflow crowd at First United Methodist Church in Asheboro.

"I traveled to China and Japan and all around the world with Keith, and I've never seen a man who sold North Carolina the way he could sell," Perdue said. "He was a consummate salesman for this state because he loved it."

Perdue appointed the entrepreneur to head the Department of Commerce in 2009, when the state was experiencing the depths of the nationwide recession.

"I called him a giant. He was just a terrific man who really did want to make a difference," she said. "The preacher said (Crisco) was doing what he wanted to do to make a difference. That's why he ran for Congress. That's why he did everything he did, and he's going to be missed."

Crisco, 71, lost the Democratic primary in the 2nd Congressional District to singer Clay Aiken, with the final tally announced the day after he died. He previously served as a member of the Asheboro City Council and the local school board.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, three children and eight grandchildren.

"I think they're doing as well as anybody could do who has had this massive shock," Perdue said of the family.


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