Kermit Dewitt Williamson, Junior, beloved and respected by all who knew him, passed away on Thursday, August 5, 2021. Kermit was born in Clinton, NC on July 18, 1953 to Kermit Dewitt Williamson, Senior and Margaret Sutton Williamson and was a lifelong resident of Clinton graduating from Clinton High School (CHS) in 1971. He loved the memories of playing football for his beloved Dark Horses and continued to be an enthusiastic fan throughout his life, treasuring the time spent with his dedicated close group of friends that together supported CHS football.
After graduating from CHS, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a B.A. in political science in 1975. Chapel Hill was where he met his wife, Linda, and together they shared a deep love and devotion for UNC throughout the years. There was never a more avid UNC fan, who rarely missed watching and/or attending a game. While at UNC Kermit was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and cherished the friendships and memories he made there his entire life.
Following his graduation from UNC in May of 1975, Kermit’s father passed away, and so he returned to Clinton to run the family business, Farmers Hardware, in order to take care of his mother and four younger sisters. He ran the business with his mother for 45 years.
He had a lifelong mission to further develop Sampson County and his beloved state of North Carolina in a multitude of ways. He was a member and officer for the Clinton Jaycees as well as District and State Director, president of Kerr School PTA, Sampson County Commissioner and Chairman, member and chair of the Sampson County Airport Authority, chief executive of the Mid-Carolina Council of Governments, chair of the Eastern North Carolina County Council, member of NC Employment Security Advisory Council, Board of Trustees member for the Sampson Regional Medical Center, member and chair of the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center Advisory Board, Sampson County History Museum Board of Directors, Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Clinton 100 Board of Directors, and member of the Sampson County Expo Committee. He also served as a member of the North Carolina Southeast Economic Development Board for 26 years, and in the role as vice-chairman for many of those years. In each of these positions he worked diligently to help the county move forward educationally, economically, and culturally. He was a dedicated member since 1981 and former deacon at Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church.
In 1994 he was appointed by Senator Lauch Faircloth as one of 20 delegates nationwide to the American-Swiss Foundation Young Leader’s Conference which met in Geneva, Switzerland with the purpose of promoting friendship and good will between the two nations.
Honors he received throughout his career included:
The Order of Long Leaf Pine (the highest civilian honor granted in the state of NC)
Special recognition by the Clinton City Schools for securing funding for the new CHS.
M. H. (Jack) Brock Memorial Award for service as most outstanding public elected official
Outstanding Public Service Award(s) from the Mid-Carolina Council of Governments
Distinguished Service Award from the Clinton Jaycees
Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Chamber Member
Kermit is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 45 years, Linda Precythe Williamson, his devoted daughters, Elizabeth Leigh, Margaret Virginia (Ginny) and her fiancé, Douglas Hillhouse of Washington, D.C. who together remember him as loving, mischievous, kind, caring, supportive, fun, hilarious, and a Tar Heel born and bred. He is also survived by his mother, Margaret Sutton Williamson, four sisters, Debbie Carver, Paula O’Briant, Dale Purcell, Wanda Coleman, and sister-in-law, Jane Hollingsworth, and their families. He was preceded in death by his father, Kermit Dewitt Williamson, Senior and his mother-in-law, Mildred Warren Precythe.
Linda, Ginny, and Elizabeth would like to express their gratitude for the medical team at UNC Memorial Hospital at Chapel Hill for their loving care and support.
The family will receive visitors on Friday, August 13th at the Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church fellowship hall from 7 until 8:30 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church on Saturday, August 14 at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church (www.gravesmemorial.org ) and the Jason Kendall Ray Transplant Fund at UNC Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill (https://give.unc.edu/donate?f=349318&p=surg )
Out of the deep concern that an indoor service carries a greater-than-normal risk of transmitting the coronavirus, we are emphatic in our request that every person in attendance at the visitation and the memorial service wear a mask. If you have compromised health conditions or other risk factors that make it unwise to attend an indoor gathering, the memorial service will be livestreamed on the Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church Facebook page, as well as recorded and shared later.
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