NEW LONDON — Gene McIntyre, the longest serving county commissioner in Stanly County history, passed away on March 24.
McIntyre’s membership on the board from 1998 to 2018 was served in addition to roles he held throughout his life such as a principal, teacher, local mentor and multi-sport coach.
“My friend and mentor Gene McIntyre has gone on to be with the Lord,” Sen. Carl Ford, a Republican who represents Stanly County in the state Senate, shared on his Facebook page. “He will be missed in Stanly County and beyond. He was a pleasure to work with and may God bless his family.”
McIntyre, a New London resident, held over three decades of experience working in public education, with 20 years in school administration and 11 years in the classroom.
“He was a true statesman and would always give good, sound advice,” Joseph Burleson, former chairman of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners, told SCJ. “I miss Gene a whole lot — he was a good friend. We always kept a really close friendship and could always agree to disagree.”
Between 2014 and 2018, McIntyre served as the board’s vice chairman while Burleson held the chairman position. That four-year span was the final of the five terms — 20 consecutive years — in which McIntyre held a commissioner role.
Stanly County Commissioner Zach Almond currently occupies McIntyre’s former seat within the board.
“He was a great man and I hate to see him go but he leaves behind a great family,” Almond told SCJ. “He had a wealth of knowledge about the county, and I leaned on his understanding several times.
“When Gene was saying that he wasn’t going to run again, he contacted me and talked me into running. He helped me get involved early on — when I first ran for office, Gene paid my filing fee.”
Due to the safety concerns that are disrupting funeral homes, McIntyre’s family has set up a Facebook virtual event where stories and pictures of McIntyre can be publicly or privately shared. In addition, tokens of sympathy may be mailed to 44074 Catfish Road, New London, NC, 28127.
“Anyone who has lost their father knows how hard it is. I was blessed with the perfect man to be my daddy,” Leon McIntyre, son of Gene, posted on his Facebook page. “A man of integrity, compassion, and full of love. An example of how to live for others. Today and every day I honor you, Gene McIntyre!”