SHALLOTTE — Carson Herman “Pete” Durham III, 83, passed away Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, at the SECU Hospice House with his family by his side.
He was born in Easton, Pa., on March 3, 1933. He was preceded in death by his parents, Carson Herman Durham Jr. and Evelyn Kirgenser Durham; brothers, Charles M. Durham Sr. and J. Michael Durham; and sister, Dorthea D. Powell.
Upon graduating from high school, Mr. Durham served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
He graduated from Virginia Tech University in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. While in school, he met his future wife, Judith Allen Shields, and they married on July 13, 1957. Mr Durham accepted a position with Burlington Industries in Greensboro, N.C. This is where he and his wife Judith raised their family. Mr. Durham had a very successful career with Burlington Industries, becoming an executive vice president. He was also a member of the Greensboro Jaycees during the 1960’s and helped spearhead the PGA Tour event formerly known as the Greater Greensboro Open. In 1980, Mr. Durham was selected to attend the University of North Carolina Executive Program.
In 1983, Mr. Durham moved his family to Shallotte, where he became a very successful business owner. He opened Ocean Aire Travel Park in Holden Beach, developing it into the area’s largest campground and is still in operation by his children. He and his family opened Carson Cards & Gifts in 1985, still open today as J Huffman. Partnering with his son, Charles, Mr. Durham established Durham Sub Shops in 1998, opening five Subway restaurants in the Brunswick County area.
Mr. Durham also became involved in local politics. He served on the Shallotte Planning Board and the Shallotte Board of Aldermen. In 1998, he was elected to serve as mayor of Shallotte. Mr. Durham was very proud to be able to serve his community. He is largely responsible for much of the growth and development Shallotte experienced during this time. Mr. Durham was an avid volunteer, always eager to offer his assistance. He was a member of the Shallotte Volunteer Fire Department, on the board of the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce, a charter member of the Committee of 100, the Shallotte Rotary, and played a significant role in the development of the Hope Harbor Home. In 1999, Mr. Durham was the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award presented by the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Durham always said he wanted to leave this world a little bit better than when he came into it. There is no doubt he accomplished his goal. He will always be remembered for his kind and generous heart. He was a true man of God, always active in his church during his younger years. He served as a Sunday school teacher, a youth leader, a deacon and an elder in the Church of the Covenant and Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, N.C. After moving to Shallotte, he became a member of Camp United Methodist, and presently, Shallotte Presbyterian.
Mr. Durham was a loving and devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Judith Shields Durham; three children, Carson Herman Durham IV, and his wife, Terri, Judith Allen Durham Huffman, and her husband, Craig, and Charles Holt Durham Sr. and his wife, Sherry; eight grandchildren, who were his pride and joy, Madison Durham Stewart, and her husband, Jim, Chad Benjamin Huffman, Charles Holt Durham Jr., Connor Holden Durham, Cameron Blake Huffman, Carson Herman Durham V, Kathleen Blake Durham and Christian Barnes Huffman; brother, Thomas E. Durham; sisters-in-law, Laurie Durham, Barbara S. Collie, Whitney S. Cobbs, and husband, William; and 19 very special nieces and nephews. Mr. Durham was extremely blessed to have many loyal and faithful friends and associates, all of whom he cared for deeply, including Wayne Taylor Jr. and Angel Evans, whom he considered family.
The family would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the staff of lower Cape Fear Hospice and the SECU Hospice House of Brunswick County for the loving care given to Mr. Durham for the last seven months.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, at Brunswick Funeral Service, 5229 Ocean Highway West (Hwy. 17). A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, at Shallotte Presbyterian Church, 5070 Main St., Shallotte, followed by a graveside service at Brunswick Memorial Gardens.
Donations may be made to Shallotte Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 3256, Shallotte, NC 28459; and to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, Brunswick Care Center, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.
Please share memories and condolences with the family at www.brunswickfuneralservice.com.