07/10/09 — JOHN D. ELLINGTON

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Died July 5, 2009

John David Ellington, 77, died at his home Sunday.

John requested that no funeral or memorial services be held on his behalf. His family requests that those who knew John remember him in their thoughts and through their deeds.

John began his career at the North Carolina Museum of History (then known as the Hall of History) in 1958. Having received a degree in art from Duke University, he was hired as the museum's exhibit designer. He later became head of the design branch when the museum moved to its new quarters in the Archives and History/State Library Building in 1968.

The museum and Historic Sites Divisions were merged in 1969, and John became head of the program section of the new Division of Historic Sites and Museums.

In 1974, when the museum once again became a separate agency, he was appointed administrator of the North Carolina Museum of History.

One year later he formed a group of 17 volunteers into what is now known as the North Carolina Museum of History Associates.

John's goals were realized in 1985 when the dream of a new home for the museum became a reality. Construction of the new museum building was completed in 1992, and four major exhibitions were installed in time for the April 1994 grand opening.

His retirement shortly after on April 30 concluded a 36-year career of dedication and commitment to the state of North Carolina. John was a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a citizen of the state.

Throughout his tenure at the NC Museum of History and during his retirement, John provided endless opportunities to share, teach and reflect on North Carolina's art, history, and culture. He had a keen sense for beauty, a special reverence for North Carolina's heritage, and a deep conviction that none of it should not be lost on future generations. The museum stands as a monument to his efforts. A monument to a man who loved his family, his home state, and the richness of the North Carolina experience.

He is survived by his sister, JoAnn Ellington Hale and her husband, Tom Hale. Also surviving are his nephews, Mark T. Hale, his wife and two children, and David Hunter Hale and wife and two children. He also left Sue, his devoted four-legged companion.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.seymourfuneralhome.com.


Published in Obituaries on July 10, 2009 1:50 PM