County planning board asks that bridge over the Little River be named after highway patrolman
By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on February 10, 2005 2:09 PM
The Wayne County Planning Board is asking that the new bridge over the Little River, on Highway 581 North, be named in memory of Highway Patrol Trooper John R. Deans.
That request is being forwarded to the county commissioners.
Desmond Robbins, a friend of Deans, asked that the bridge be named after the late officer. A petition with 350 names supporting the request was attached to Robbins' request.
Robbins said that Deans was born and raised on a family farm, situated about 100 yards northwest of the new bridge.
The farm, Robbins said, is registered as a Centennial Family farm in the North Carolina Century Farms book.
Deans served in the Merchant Marines during World War II, and upon his discharge in 1947 he returned to the family farm where he raised crops and livestock until 1953, Robbins said.
Deans then joined the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, retiring in 1983 as a line sergeant.
"The above information is a very brief description of a truly great man," Robbins wrote in his letter to the county. "J.R., as he was known to his many friends and relatives, was a man of great character. He was respectful and caring of people and his greatest pleasure was helping others."
Planning Board Chairman Wayne Aycock said that he had received more phone calls in support of naming the bridge after Deans than any other issue.
"He was the type of fellow, that whatever he told you, you could go to the bank on it," he said. "As a neighbor, I think it would be fitting."
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