Crawford, Spencer among those honored for service to Kinston

Crawford, Spencer among those honored for service to Kinston

Don Crawford, right, received praise from Kinston Mayor Don Hardy, center and Kinston City Manager Tony Sears after his 32 years of service with the Kinston Fire Department at Monday’s City Council meeting. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News

Four retired employees who have given a combined 105 years of service to the city of Kinston were recognized at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Don Crawford, Ralph Culbreth, Mary Elizabeth Poythress and Woody Spencer were all honored after retiring last year.

Crawford was the city’s fire chief and spent 32 years in the department, leaving his mark among numerous individuals, including Kinston City Manager Tony Sears.

“It comes along every so often you run across an individual who makes your job that much easier and Don Crawford over the past seven years has been that individual for me,” Sears said. “Having employees who go above and beyond their job to make your job easier is something you don’t find anymore.”

Crawford said he was appreciative of those who helped him out — including the late Clarence Eubanks, along with former police chiefs Greg Smith and Bill Johnson — and his numerous coworkers.

“I cant say enough about the guys I work with,” Crawford said. “There have been people in my career who have taken the time to mentor me and they will never know what they did for me.”

Retired Kinston Police Department Public Information Officer Woody Spencer, right, prepares to receive his plaque from KPD Major Tim Dilday as Kinston Mayor Don Hardy looks on during Monday’s City Council meeting. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News

Retired Kinston Police Department Public Information Officer Woody Spencer, right, prepares to receive his plaque from KPD Major Tim Dilday as Kinston Mayor Don Hardy looks on during Monday’s City Council meeting. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News

Spencer spent 17 years with Kinston Public Safety, including the last two as the Public Information Officer for the Kinston Police Department.

“Over the past two years, Woody has been instrumental in shaping our police department and a lot of the young men and women that you see today serving the city is a direct result of Woody Spencer,” KPD Major Tim Dilday said.

Spencer said he was thankful for the wonderful people he’s come across in the department.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the city of Kinston, I’ve got brothers and sisters here I love dearly and (I wish) everyone safe travels,” Spencer said.

Neither Culbreth or Poythress were able to attend Monday’s meeting. Culbreth retired as a shift captain for the fire department and dedicated 31 years of service while Poythress spent 25 years with the city and retired as an administrative manager with Kinston Public Services.

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