Mourning my friends and colleagues — Neuse News

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March 31, 2023 was a sad day for me and for many. My friend David Lee Mooring passed away minutes before 7pm that Friday. Frankly, I was shocked. David had battled so many illnesses over the past few years that I was confident he would emerge victorious from his latest illness.

I don’t remember when I first met David and became friends. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know him. We worked closely together on many projects. We both were members of the Wheat Swamp Ruritan Club and worked together on the CSS Neuse Foundation Board of Directors. He served on the board of the Lenoir County Historical Society and worked for the local chapter of Dax Unlimited.

I often told others that if there was anything food-related going on in our community, David must be at the center of it. He spearheaded many reverse drawing efforts to offer.

He formed the “Galley Crew” for the CSS News Foundation. They are the talented cooks who prepare the chicken wings for “Wings Over the News” and the breakfast foods for “Breakfast on the Boat.” He was also active on the Community Council of Arts’ Soup and Bowls for several years.

Where David probably shined the most was working with young people. David has been an agricultural education teacher and his FFA advisor for his 34 years. He began his teaching career from 1980 to 1982 at Clyde A. Irwin High School in Asheville. David then returned home and got the chance to teach at North Lenoir High School. He taught at North Lenoir from 1982 until 2012 and from 2016 he returned as a tired teacher until 2017.

Whenever he needed help with a project, he could always count on FFA students to show up together. Their love and respect for him was evident to anyone who saw their actions.His love and care for them was just as evident. I was surprised when I learned that David was recognized as his FFA Agricultural Science Teacher in North Carolina in 1994 and that he was also a National FFA Alumni Life Member of his FFA in North Carolina. did not.

David’s work ethic kept his laser focused on whatever task was in front of him. He was of little use to someone who only talked and never took a walk. He could do more by accident than most people do on purpose. he set an example. He was not a leader who gave orders and delegated them to others. David was one of the hardest working people I have ever known.

His death leaves a deep void in our community. How many people would have to rise to fill David’s void in Kinston and Lenoir County? His commitment to community service set a pattern for others to follow.

I know his family will miss him deeply. I hope they understand that many of David’s friends will miss his inspiration, humor, wisdom and hard work. I became a better person.

Mike Parker is a columnist for Neuse News. You can contact him at


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