Citizens of Angier now mourn the loss of a community leader following the news that former Mayor R.H. Ellington died last week.
Former Angier Town Manager Coley Price noted that “R.H.’s fingerprints are all over our beautiful town.”
That is an appropriate description of the work of Mr. Ellington. Mr. Price noted that Mr. Ellington was a visionary and leader. Again, a great description of a great man.
Mr. Ellington’s name will forever stand on a monument at the Jack Marley Park along with others he worked with on that project. He was in the mayor’s chair when grants were obtained for the park and spearheaded construction efforts.
Thousands of people each year now benefit from that project. Children play, walkers and runners navigate a walking trail on a regular basis and sports teams compete on fields that are a part of the project. The park is widely recognized as one of the best in the region.
That was only one place where Mr. Ellington made his mark.
A sign dedicating the grounds at Depot Square stands clearly over his work there. Many in town will remember visions of Mr. Ellington and his wife, Jeanne, working on beautifying the downtown area. Other residents remember the mayor working in his own yard making one of the most beautiful landscapes in town.
Mr. Ellington will be remembered for the construction of more than 3 miles of sidewalks throughout Angier.
Mr. Price said that Mr. Ellington lived by a simple motto, “Always leave things better than you found them.”
Those are words we should all take to heed. Mr. Ellington lived up to those words as he worked for the town, his beloved Neill’s Creek Baptist Church and the Kiwanis Club of Angier. He no doubt helped in other ways that will never be known.
Community leaders throughout the area have all noted that Mr. Ellington will be sorely missed. That is indeed true. His impact reached beyond Angier and into the rest of Harnett County and the region. He was recognized with prestigious awards for his contributions. Everywhere the former mayor went he was an advocate for Angier.
Former Harnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jim Burgin noted another contribution of Mr. Ellington’s life that often went unnoticed, his work in his chosen profession. Mr. Ellington worked in the food service industry, supplying schools throughout the region with needed food.
“A lot of children ate because of the work that R.H. did,” Mr. Burgin noted. “He was a good man and a good friend.”
We join with the Angier community in mourning the loss of this great man and friend of Harnett County. We grieve with the family over his loss, one that is significant to the region.