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Former Princeton mayor Ormond remembered as ‘community servant’

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PRINCETON - Former Princeton Mayor William Earl Ormond Sr. died Dec. 28. He was 92. 

Ormond and his late wife Virginia, were the founding owners of Ormond's Oil and Gas in Princeton and Ormond's Sales and Service in Selma, which they operated for more than 65 years. 

Ormond served twice as mayor, from 1965-73 and 1999-2001. A Greene County native, he was born Aug. 14, 1926. 

Ormond was a member of the Princeton United Methodist Church where, among other positions, he served as a Sunday school teacher and a trustee. He was a past member of the Princeton Lions Club. Ormond also served with the Princeton Fire Department and Princeton Rescue.

"Mr. Ormond was a self-made man and enjoyed hard work. He started selling appliances in Princeton in the 1950s when the industry was in its infancy," said Princeton Mayor Don Rains. "He grew the business into a furniture sales as well as an oil, gas, and LP gas operation.  He also sold and serviced heating and air conditioning systems, as well as plumbing and electrical wiring."

Rains said Ormond  was noted for working with his customers and going the extra mile to accommodate their needs.  His business interest grew throughout Johnston, Wayne, Wilson and Lenoir counties and continued under his family.  

As mayor of Princeton, Ormond was also involved in his community. 

"As mayor during the  1970s, Princeton's town government expanded as well as the population of the town.. A full-time police department and public works department was added," said Rains.

"As mayor from 1999 to 2000, water and sewer issues were a major concern for the town. The town faced decisions (to build a needed) waste treatment system and upgrade the police department," said Rains. "Mr. Ormond was a community servant.  He loved helping everyone and giving everyone a chance. He will be remembered for making Princeton a better place to live. He was a goodwill ambassador for his community." 

Ormond was  alsoremembered as a good employer.

"William Earl was a great employer, a hardworking man, and treated me like a family member," said Ronnie Bradford of Hillsborough. "I learned a lot from him and enjoyed working for him back in the '80s." 

"Mr. William Earl was a very special man. He was good to my family. My daddy, Earl Allen, worked for him for many years," said Donna Allen Outlaw of Seven Springs. "Mr. William Earl always had a kind word and a hug for me. He will truly be missed. My prayers for the family."

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