Two deaths are among other major ’09 stories

Published 2:01 pm Sunday, January 3, 2010

By Staff
Daily News Staff
Two occurrences in 2009, one at the beginning of the year and the other in the last month of the year, did not make the Washington Daily News’ list of Top 10 stories for 2009.
However, the Daily News believes the deaths of W.R. “Bill” Roberson Jr., a civic leader and businessman in Washington and Beaufort County, and Charles “Charlie” Douglas Brown Jr., a Martin County sheriff’s deputy, are significant enough to warrant mention among the most-significant local events in 2009.
Roberson, who was 90 years old when he died in early January, had many accomplishments and contributions across a wide range of endeavors in his lifetime, including:
-Chairman and CEO, Roberson’s Beverages Inc.
-Founder, chairman and CEO, WITN-TV
-Founding partner, Washington Square Mall
-Representative, North Carolina General Assembly, 1966-1974
-Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, 1981-1985
-Introduced or helped pass legislation responsible for East Carolina University and the ECU School of Medicine, Goose Creek State Park, Swan Quarter-Ocracoke ferry, Beaufort County Community College and the Coastal Area Management Act.
Deputy Brown’s life was cut short when he was shot during a shootout with Jerry Lee Pace Jr. outside a Williamston residence on the morning of Dec. 8.
The communities of Williamston and Martin County, as well as surrounding communities, shared their condolences with the Brown family with a benefit concert held the day after the deputy’s untimely death. The outpouring of grief and well-wishes continued at Brown’s funeral later that week.