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OCEAN ISLE BEACH—Flags at town hall are being flown at half staff as the town mourns the loss of a beloved friend and public servant.
Mayor Pro Tem Charlie “C.D.” Delano Blythe, 74, died on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Brunswick Novant Medical Center.
Blythe was a long-time public servant for the people of Ocean Isle Beach. He was thought of as a friend and confidant by many who knew him.
In addition to serving on the board of commissioners for the town, Blythe served as a trustee for the Brunswick Novant Medical Center Board. He served on the the planning board and the board of adjustment for Ocean Isle Beach and the Museum of Coastal Carolina. He was an elder at Shallotte Presbyterian Church and was a member of the Presbyterian Men.
His death came as a shock to his fellow commissioners.
“I am yet to understand it,” commissioner Dean Walters said. “I spent all of yesterday morning with CD…when they called me this morning, I was truly devastated.”
“Everybody in town is kind of walking around in disbelief,” added commissioner D.B. Grantham.
Blythe was re-elected as a commissioner in 2009 to serve a four-year term expiring in 2013.
“He was certainly dedicated to Ocean Isle Beach,” said Mayor Debbie Smith. “He served us exceptionally well. We should all be proud he chose to serve the community he lived in. He’s just given so much. He gave to his community. He gave to his church. He gave to his friends.”
His fellow commissioners viewed him as the voice of reason.
“I don’t believe there is anybody that loves Ocean Isle as much as he does,” Walters said. “We have lost a real asset to the town of Ocean Isle. He will be truly missed. He had the ability to weigh all sides and come up with words of wisdom in the end. All of that will be missed.”
More than his role in town government, many thought of him as a mentor.
“I don’t know how to express it,” Grantham said. “C.D. was so much more than a commissioner, he was my friend. Everything I know about him was so good. It is such an incredible loss for our town and our entire area. C.D. more than anyone else influenced me to run six years ago. He did an outstanding job. He was so dedicated to the town, to local government, and state and regional government. I learned a lot from him. I don’t know anybody who didn’t think he was as good as they get.
“It’s going to be so empty without him sitting there in that seat. All I can say is that I loved him. There is a commissioners seat that will never be able to filled in kind…I was so fortunate to be his friend and to have him there to confide in and to ask questions of because he was so willing to impart his knowledge. I miss him already.”
Newly elected commissioner Bob Williams also said C.D. was a mentor and instrumental in his running for office.
“Just a few days ago I thanked him for being my mentor,” Williams said. “I am going to miss him personally as well as professionally. He was a very unique person.”
Memorial services for Blythe will be 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 7 at Shallotte Presbyterian Church. View his full obituary on page 4A.
Rachel Johnson is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.