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Former long-time Mebane mayor Glendel Stephenson dies at 88


Long-time Mebane mayor Glendel Stephenson has died. He was 88.

The veteran mayor served 35 years at the helm of his city’s council (first between 1975-1984 and encore terms between 1993 to 2019). He had also served about 20 years as a trustee on the Alamance Community College board of trustees.

He was also the recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian honor. And he was involved in countless local causes and organizations, not the least of which was his cherished First Baptist Church.

In most of his quadrennial runs for re-election, he faced no opposition.

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Mebane’s mayor does not vote except in cases of ties, but with a five-member council, those occasions were rare. When he cast a tie-breaking vote in 2019, he recalled that he thought it was only the third time he had needed to cast a vote during his 35 years.

At the end of a reception held in his honor in December 2019, as he prepared to step down from his post, a reception for him at city hall culminated in the naming of city hall in his honor, as the Glendel Stephenson Municipal Building.

Stephenson had been a banker by profession, most of that time (43 years) with Central Carolina Bank (CCB). He retired in 1996 as a regional senior vice president overseeing more than 15 offices in Alamance and nearby counties.

Read our editorial page comment on Mayor Glendel Stephenson’s legacy, “A true public servant has passed; it’s not such a great day in Mebane this week”:

Stephenson brought that same business acumen to his duties on the city council, where he was generally an advocate of “pay-as-you-go” spending and taxing policies.

He oversaw a steady growth in the city, its population, its industrial base, as well as commercial and residential development.

Stephenson was also a champion industrial recruiter, and Mebane’s strong industrial tax base is a testimony to his success. If invited, he would almost always be present for both groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings.

Funeral services were conducted Wednesday evening at Mebane First Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Pat South Stephenson; his sons, Marshall Stephenson (and wife Lisie) and Alan Stephenson (and wife Cathy); a stepdaughter, Edee Wilcox and husband Mike; his grandchildren, Ashley Oswald and husband Cory, Bryce Stephenson and wife Jessi, Lindsay Stephenson, Trevor Stephenson and Rocky Stephenson; step grandchildren, Nick and Kristen Wilcox; and great grandchildren, Ella Grace, Logan and Taylor.

Stephenson was preceded in death by his first wife and mother of his children, Julie Beard Stephenson, and sons Ashley Stephenson and Reid Stephenson.


Glendel and Pat Stephenson in 2004.
Mayor Glendel Stephenson in the center of the dais in (former) city council chambers (2004).
Mebane mayor Glendel Stephenson on December 10, 2009, one of those “great days to be in Mebane” occasions, for the groundbreaking of the Tanger Outlet Center in Mebane. With him are then-Governor Beverly Perdue, Tanger President and CEO Steven B. Tanger, and then-city manager Robert Wilson.
During a budget work session in 2010. Councilman Everette Greene is to the right.
Being sworn in Dec. 8, 2011 by city clerk Stephanie Shaw. Wife Pat looks on proudly.
Mebane mayor Glendel Stephenson presents Gota Morinaga, grandson of the Japanese founder of Morinaga, with pottery from Mebane potter Susan Kern as a memento from the groundbreaking ceremony on June 5, 2014 and the city’s appreciation of the company’s decision to locate in Mebane.  And with then-Rep. Howard Coble (below).

With ACC trustee Davy Davidson in 2014, when Stephenson was encouraging the trustees to consider a campus in Mebane. Stephenson had served as an ACC trustee for about 20 years, even while serving as Mebane mayor.
Glendel and Pat Stephenson listen as then state senator Rick Gunn reads the plaque accompanying the Order of the Long Leaf Pine honor on Dec. 8, 2016. In background are city council members Tim Bradley and Jill Auditori.
Mayor Glendel Stephenson (center) on March 9, 2017 for the groundbreaking of Lotus Bakeries, a Belgian company famous for its Biscoff carmelized cookies. The company chose Mebane for its first (and only) U.S. manufacturing site.
Outgoing mayor Stephenson with incoming mayor Ed Hooks during the reception held in Stephenson’s honor on December 2, 2019.
Stephenson with his son Alan Stephenson during the Dec. 2019 reception honoring the mayor’s service as he prepared to retire.
Mayor Glendel Stephenson and wife Pat talking with council member Patty Philipps during the December 2, 2019 reception upon Stephenson’s retirement from the mayor’s chair.
Earlier this year, Stephenson made an encore visit to city hall to salute retiring city manager David Cheek.
Mebane’s city hall is now known as the Glendel Stephenson Municipal Building.

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