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.
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”: https://alamancenews.com/a-true-public-servant-has-passed-its-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.
MEBANE MAYOR GLENDEL STEPHENSON THROUGH THE YEARS: