LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Ed Paschal saluted for his dedicated service

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 11:45 AM

It’s a familiar sight for residents and those who travel through Lee County: “Committed today for a better tomorrow.”

The creation and story behind the Lee County motto started with long-time Lee County Commissioner Ed Paschal, whose love affair with Lee County began at an early age and continued past his retirement from the board in 2012.

For Paschal’s dedicated years of service to the county, various civic groups, his church and family, he’s been selected as one of the recipients of The Herald’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2012.  

“Committed today for a better tomorrow, that was my motto when I first started running for commissioner,” Paschal said. “I just felt I needed to do something to help Lee County. We needed some good representatives on the board and, at the time, I had the time to devote to that job.”

Paschal served more than 20 years on the board of commissioners. Throughout the many changes that have occurred in Lee County in recent decades, Paschal has remained a constant.

“It runs in cycles,” he said. “Your board seems to mellow up at different times. But, over a period of time, the voters get dissatisfied and they change the board. But, if you do a good job, folks will recognize you.”

During Paschal’s last campaign in 2008, he put up only one political sign in the county and that was only because a friend wanted a sign in his yard, Paschal said.

“Get nervous? No, I don’t ever get nervous about anything,” he said. “I just go with the flow. If I make it, I make it. If I don’t, I don’t.”

Herb Hincks, former chairman of the Lee County Board of Commissioners, served with Paschal for eight years and called him an impeccable man of integrity.

“He’s very active in his church and very much a family man,” Hincks said. “And he was always looking out for the best interest of all the citizens of Lee County.”

The advice Paschal said he’d offer to the newest board members is keep the meetings short and vote your convictions.

Paschal recently celebrated his 59th wedding anniversary to his wife, Betty, and lives in his grandfather’s home, located next to the family’s old general store on Carbonton Road. After the store closed down, it was used as a polling location before it moved to the local fire station. Paschal said he remembers people leaving the ballot and socializing on the general store’s front porch and discussing the recent election. 

Just last week, Paschal received his 30-year pin from the Sanford Lions Club, where he is often seen watching over the animals during the Lee Regional Fair. At his church, Carbonton United Methodist, he’s a lay leader, serving on several church committees and advising the pastor on church matters. He began giving back at a young age when he donated blood for his cousin and has donated more than 12 gallons of blood through his lifetime. 

Former Lee County Attorney Dick Hoyle, who served for many years with Paschal, called him a great man and one of the finest gentleman the county has ever had the pleasure of claiming.

“He is just a fine individual,” Hoyle said. “His word is his bond and he’ll do it. He was a good commissioner for the county and weathered all the problems we have had. He is a solid individual.”

And, he said, Paschal can whip up a delicious batch of peach cobbler to boot.