11/07/08 — Duplin County names Kornegay, Grady to local Hall of Fame

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Duplin County names Kornegay, Grady to local Hall of Fame

By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 7, 2008 1:46 PM


Dr. Hervy B. Kornegay Sr., right, of Calypso, was inducted into the Duplin County Hall of Fame during a ceremony Thursday night. Inducted posthumously was James Robert "Bob" Grady, whose portrait was on display at the 13th annual event. Grady's daughters, Margaret Clark, left, and Rebecca Briscoe, both of Knightdale, accepted the honor on behalf of their family.

KENANSVILLE -- Two Duplin County men, one living and one deceased, were praised Thursday night during the 13th annual Duplin County Hall of Fame awards banquet for making a lasting impact on the lives of county residents.

Dr. Hervy B. Kornegay Sr. of Calypso was honored as the living recipient of the award and tribute was paid to James Robert "Bob" Grady as the deceased honoree.

The presentations were made in a packed Jester's Court at the Country Squire restaurant.

"We are here tonight to honor two individuals, one living, one deceased, both of whom have made a lasting impact on the lives of people in this county, perhaps even the state, the nation and the world for the betterment and enrichment for all through their leadership, their unselfish service, their achievements and their passion and dedication for all people in the community of mankind," said master of ceremonies Anne Taylor of Faison, executive director of the Duplin County Hall of Fame board.

Kornegay, one of the founders of Mount Olive Family Medicine Center in Mount Olive, was recognized for his many years as a dedicated family physician and for community service with volunteer rescue squads in Duplin and Wayne counties, Boy Scouting and local schools.

Surrounded by his family Kornegay said, "I am honored and very humbled and surprised. When I came in tonight I knew something was up when I saw my extended family."

He thanked fire and emergency medical services volunteers with whom he said it had been an "honor and a privilege" to work with for 47 years.

Kornegay also thanked his family and his late parents.

"I was so fortunate to have two loving parents who taught me early on that is was not only my duty, but my responsibility to take ownership of the community and to be a part of that and I appreciate that," he said. "I have been most fortunate to have had the opportunities to do the things I have done. My greatest gift (family) to this county, this state, this nation is standing here."

Even at age 75, Kornegay remains active in the community and his profession.

He was honored as N.C. Family Physician of the Year in 1998 and received the N.C. Medical Society's prestigious Physician's Community Service Award for outstanding community service. He was a finalist for the American Academy of Physicians Physician of the Year award in 2000.

He is a clinical professor of family medicine at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University at Greenville.

His volunteer work includes conducting physicals for Mount Olive College athletes and at North Duplin Jr./Sr. High School at Calypso where he was team physician for several decades.

Along with his medical practice, Kornegay is medical director for two long-term health care facilities. He serves as Duplin County medical director and Duplin County EMS medical director and medical examiner for Duplin and Wayne counties.

Grady, who was born in 1908 in Seven Springs in Wayne County, was remembered for a lifetime of service including time spent as mayor and commissioner in Kenansville, as editor and publisher of The Duplin Times and for his efforts to build a hospital in the county.

Grady's daughters Rebecca Briscoe and Margaret Clark, both of Knightdale, accepted the honor on behalf of their family.

"Daddy would be very, very proud," Ms. Briscoe said. "He loved this county. He lived in a time of many outstanding people who helped in all of his accomplishments, so they did it together. Going back and finding papers and things we didn't know or things we have forgotten, it was quite a memory for us going back through the years finding things (for the presentation)."

Ms. Briscoe praised attorney Charles Ingram of the Duplin County Historical Society for his efforts on behalf of preserving and promoting the county's history.

"Thank you," said Margaret Clark. "I was only 9 when my father died, so I did not know as much history. It was really something for me because people all of my life have told me what a great dad I had. But it wasn't until I read (Ingram's presentation) that all of a sudden I saw his passion for Duplin County. It has been very special."

Grady, who died in 1958, worked at newspapers in Wilson and Weldon before purchasing The Duplin Times in 1935.

"Throughout the rest of his life he used this paper to promote Duplin County," said presenter Kenneth Douglas Kennedy, a member of the Duplin County Hall of Fame board.

Grady was active in civic organizations and was instrumental in bringing together people to help the county prepare for its 200th anniversary in 1949. Those people included author Sam Byrd and the result was The Duplin Story, an outdoor drama about the county's history.

He also was instrumental in efforts to have Kenan Memorial Auditorium built.

Grady was remembered as an early promoter of economic development in the county and was a member of the N.C. Department of Conservation and Development

"But the project he was most proud of was Duplin General Hospital," Kennedy said. "He used his many local and state contacts as well as his beloved Duplin Times to help bring this about.

"Duplin County and its citizens have enjoyed better tomorrows and are the beneficiaries of his many dreams, his life of service and the many contributions that he made," Kennedy said.

Ms. Taylor concluded the program by telling the audience that a plaque inscribed with the name of all of the Hall of Fame inductees is on display at the county courthouse.