It is an understatement to say that a hole was left in the Dunn community when former mayor and current Harnett County Commissioner Abe Elmore died Sunday. The influence of this great man was felt for decades and will continue to be felt for years to come. He made a career of helping anyone in need.
Dunn business icon Pat Godwin Sr. described Elmore as “a good man who worked hard his whole life.”
That was true through more than nine decades of Elmore’s service to the Dunn area.
Elmore’s political career is well documented. He served a total of four terms as mayor of Dunn.
He was elected to his second term as a Harnett County commissioner in November. He attended meetings of that board as recently as this month.
Elmore’s major contributions outside the political arena are numerous. He was a driving force behind the establishment of Morganite in Dunn, which provided jobs for local citizens for many years. Through his work on the Committee of 100, he also played a significant role in bringing the Food Lion Distribution Center to Dunn. That facility remains one of Harnett’s largest employers. He was a force behind the establishment of the Dunn Community Center and the Dunn Shrine Center.
Some of Elmore’s awards and recognitions included Man of the Year and president of the Dunn Area Chamber of Commerce. He headed the Dunn Christmas parade for many years.
On a personal level, Elmore supported the community by establishing a furniture company his family still owns and operates.
He was a major supporter and board member of the North Carolina Baptist Children’s Homes for decades. There is no way to know how many children’s lives were influenced by his work.
He also supported young people and the activities at Wake Forest University, always proud to wear the black and gold of his alma mater and always proud to support the activities of the school.
Elmore was a major supporter of several local nonprofit organizations including the Dunn Shrine Club.
Perhaps his greatest legacy is setting an example for his family, which continues to serve the local community.
The loss of Elmore cuts deep. The people he loved will say goodbye in the coming days, but his influence will never be forgotten. He accomplished something we should all strive for, he made the world a better place while he was here. He is gone, but will never be forgotten.