Eliott Secrest Obituary
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Eliott Russell Secrest Sr.

July 15, 1926 - June 6, 2014
Obituary

Eliott Russell Secrest, Sr., 87, of Cary died Friday, June 6, 2014. Russell was born July 15, 1926 in East Spencer, NC (Rowan County) to the late Seldon Rone Secrest, Sr. and Debbie Alma Huffman Secrest. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Juanita Kepley Secrest; his brothers, Thomas Samuel Secrest, Sr. and Seldon Rone Secrest, Jr.; his sisters, Mary Eva Secrest Fortune and Ruth Secrest Whitley; and his granddaughter, Melissa Ann Jenista. He is survived by his son Eliott Russell Secrest, Jr. and wife Melody of Raleigh, NC; his daughters, Bonny LaVern Secrest Jenista and husband George of Fort Worth, TX, and Janet Lee...
Eliott Russell Secrest, Sr., 87, of Cary died Friday, June 6, 2014.

Russell was born July 15, 1926 in East Spencer, NC (Rowan County) to the late Seldon Rone Secrest, Sr. and Debbie Alma Huffman Secrest.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Juanita Kepley Secrest; his brothers, Thomas Samuel Secrest, Sr. and Seldon Rone Secrest, Jr.; his sisters, Mary Eva Secrest Fortune and Ruth Secrest Whitley; and his granddaughter, Melissa Ann Jenista.

He is survived by his son Eliott Russell Secrest, Jr. and wife Melody of Raleigh, NC; his daughters, Bonny LaVern Secrest Jenista and husband George of Fort Worth, TX, and Janet Lee Secrest Walker and husband Chris of Cary, NC; his brother-in-law, Jack Simpson Kepley and his wife Grace of Salisbury, NC; his sister-in-laws, Mary Ruth Kepley Spry of Salisbury, NC, Cornelia Kepley of Lewisville, NC, Dorothy "Dollie" Beck Secrest of Tucker, Ga; nine grandchildren; and nine great grandchildren.

At age 17 Russell enlisted in the US Navy on June 5, 1944. After the war, he attended Brevard College in Brevard, NC before joining the NC Highway Patrol. He was once given the assignment to stand guard for President Harry Truman while the President stayed at the Sir Walter Raleigh Hotel in Raleigh, NC. Russell had the privilege of walking with the President down Fayetteville Street for an early morning stroll. He was so excited that he failed to get the President's autograph!

He later transferred to the NC Department of Insurance as an arson investigator, rising to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Insurance before retiring after 16 years of service. During his time with state government, he served as President of the State Employees Association and as a lobbyist for the NC Legislature, representing the Insurance Department.

After leaving the Department of Insurance, Russell began a second career in Real Estate and Insurance, operating Rogers Insurance Agency in Apex, NC with his wife, and they later owned and operated Century 21 Village Realty in Cary, NC. When Russell retired in 2013 at age 86, he was working for Fonville Morisey Real Estate of Cary, NC in both commercial and residential real estate.

Russell was very active in the Cary community. He served six years on the Cary Town Council as Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem. While serving on the town council, he was actively involved on the Wake County Triangle J Committee. Russell was on the town council when the Cary Greenway System was planned. He was instrumental in the building of the current library on Academy Street and establishing the Cary Area Transit, which was originally implemented as transportation for seniors and the disabled. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Wake County Resources for Seniors.

During Russell's 56 years in the Cary area, he was a member of the Cary Lion's Club, the Cary American Legion, Cary Masonic Lodge #198, and he served on the Board of Directors for Carolina Bank.

Russell loved his town, Cary, NC, his family, and his church, White Plains United Methodist Church, Cary, NC, of which he was a charter member. He served on and chaired many committees in the church, and he was a faithful member of the Pathfinders Sunday School Class.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 pm on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 200 SE Maynard Road, Cary, NC 27511. A memorial service will be held 11 am Friday, June 13, 2014 at White Plains United Methodist Church, 313 SE Maynard Road, Cary, NC 27511.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to White Plain United Methodist Church General Fund or Transitions Life Care (previously known as Hospice of Wake County).

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"I knew Russell from working at Fonville Morisey. He was a great man, always willing to help and will be missed. His family is in my prayers. Nancy" Nancy Heintz (Holly Springs, NC)

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