Melvin Cleon Bright, 78, passed away July 1, 2019, at Crystal Coast Hospice House.
Melvin was a native of Chocowinity, NC, where he graduated president of the class of 1959 and Future Farmers of America. He began his college years at Mt. Olive Junior College where he received an Associate in Arts degree. He continued his education by transferring to North Carolina State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture. While at NCSU, Melvin received many academic and achievement awards.
Upon completing his B.Sc. degree, Melvin moved to Warsaw where he taught Horticulture and was the FFA sponsor. While at Warsaw, he continued his studies at NC State University and received his Master of Education degree in Adult Education.
After receiving his M.Ed., Melvin went to work at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville as Director of Adult Extension Programs. It was there he met his wife to be, Brenda Bowen, who was employed at SCC. Melvin left SCC and went to Roxboro Technical Institute, and later moved to Morehead City to begin work at Carteret Community College. He worked for several years with the Craven County School System and retired from West Craven High School as Job Ready Coordinator.
He loved to write Letters to the Editor, not only to the local paper but also to the News & Observer, expressing his views on a variety of subjects, including education, street flooding, and actions of elected officials. He enjoyed sending emails – even to his pastor. He had such an easy-going personality and quiet way of speaking; he could express his concerns in such a way that those receiving his emails were not offended. His friends and neighbors would call him and get him to make calls or express their concerns about everything from potholes to poor funding for county schoolteachers.
Melvin was an active member of the Crystal Coast Full Gospel Men of America, serving as President and assisting in any area where he could be of help. He especially enjoyed their Spring Retreat at Ft. Caswell each year. He attended the First United Methodist Church Men’s Bible Study each Tuesday morning. If he heard anyone was experiencing a problem, he had scripture verses and a pamphlet that he would send them – and add them to his prayer list.
Melvin was a former precinct chairman and active in the Carteret County Republican Party. He believed that Christians should vote and stay informed about the issues affecting their county, state and nation.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Brenda Bowen Bright; his stepson, Phillip Wayne Strickland of Chocowinity; and his grandson, Phillip Caleb Strickland of Morehead City. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Clifton Bright and Lottie Wiggins Bright, who were from Chocowinity, NC.
His memorial service will be held Monday, July 29, 2019, at 2:00 pm at McKenzie Mortuary in Whiteville, NC. Visitation with the family will be held one hour prior to the service with burial to follow in Western Prong Baptist Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to the Phillip Caleb Strickland College Fund, sent to Munden Funeral Home, in care of Mrs. Brenda Bright, 2112 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC 28557.
Family and friends are welcome to submit online condolences at www.mundenfuneralhome.net
Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home and Crematory, Morehead City, and McKenzie Mortuary, Whiteville.
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