10-term Rockwell Board of Aldermen member dies at 78
SALISBURY — Charles Wingerson, who served 10 terms on the Rockwell Board of Aldermen, died Monday while undergoing hip surgery.
He was 78.
During his time as an alderman, Wingerson voted to help the town renovate its fire station, police station and library, according to his wife, Barbara Sheehan Wingerson.
“He served his community well and in so many ways,” said Wingerson’s daughter, Kate.
Wingerson had filed to run for an 11th term.
“He felt that he still had something he could offer on the board, that there were things that he might be able to help with,” Sheehan said.
Wingerson grew up in Pennsylvania but moved his family to Salisbury in 1970. They moved to Rockwell in 1977.
Kate Wingerson said she remembers the way her father served the Rockwell community.
She said he started a family tradition that involved bringing cookies and hot cocoa to the police station at Christmas.
“He was a good, gentle, sweet man who would literally take the shirt off of his back,” she said.
Kate said that the day before his death, Wingerson got to meet his second great-granddaughter, Emersyn.
“He just smiled the biggest grin when he got to see her,” Kate said. “And the whole family was in the room with him.”
Rockwell Mayor Beau Taylor, who had served with Wingerson on the Rockwell board since 2003, said he will be missed.
“He’ll be missed by myself, the board and the rest of the city staff. He was very supportive of myself and the board, and I’ll never forget that,” Taylor said.
Taylor said that he is still having trouble believing that Wingerson is gone.
“I was outside working and my wife came out and said, ‘You need to sit down.’ (Wingerson’s) daughter had called. … And it just sort of floored me. I’d just been in to see him,” Taylor said. “It’s still hard to believe.”
Taylor said he is unsure how Wingerson’s death will affect the upcoming municipal election. He said there are still five candidates running for the five seats.
“And as far as the board is right now, I still have a quorum. So we don’t have to do anything. We’ll have a quorum for the rest of the year,” Taylor said.
The candidates running for Rockwell Board of Aldermen in November are Taylor, Charles Bowman, Timothy Crews, Bobby Moore, Chris Stiller and Stephanie Walker.
Rowan County Board of Elections Director Nancy Evans said she has a call out to the State Board of Elections about whether Wingerson’s death will require the board to hold another filing period.
Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.
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