LETTER: A tribute to Sen. Aaron W. Plyler

To the editor:

Former North Carolina state Sen. Arron W. Plyler of Union County died at age 89 on Aug. 23, 2016. Beginning in 1975, Aaron Plyler served for eight years in the North Carolina House (of Representatives), followed by 20 years in the North Carolina Senate, where he represented Anson, Hoke, Montgomery, Richmond, Scotland, Stanly and Union counties.

His accomplishments for the state of North Carolina as longtime chairman of the Senate Budget Committee are too numerous to mention. Under his leadership, many positive changes happened in the fields of education, health care, transportation and other areas that many believe would not have occurred without Aaron Plyler’s leadership. His support for the North Carolina Highway Patrol helped to make it one of the best in our country.

His demand for state funding for independent colleges and universities and the Teaching Fellows scholarship program had a positive direct impact on communities throughout the state, as did his continued support for public schools and North Carolina’s community colleges.

A priority in his life was doing things that helped people and his concern for others was obvious throughout his personal and political life. For his work in the North Carolina General Assembly, Sen. Plyler received numerous honors and awards.

Senate Bill 833 is one of the many bills that Sen. Plyler introduced and shepherded through the General Assembly. It is a one-sentence bill that he mentioned to me on several occasions, and I believe that he considered it just as important as other extensive bills that were developed under his leadership. As you ride around and see a flashing abler light on a car being driven by a postal worker, the light is there because of Senate Bill 833.

When you see that flashing light, I hope that you will do as I do and remember Aaron Plyler and his concern for the well-being and safety of others which was so characteristic of his personal and political life.

William R. Purcell, M.D.

Former N.C. state Senator

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