Mar 042013
 
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Edith Warren, left, presented Marian McLawhorn with the state's highest civilian honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, during McLawhorn's 70th birthday celebration. Both women represented Pitt County in the General Assembly for 14 years. (Contributed photo)

Edith Warren, left, presented Marian McLawhorn with the state’s highest civilian honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, during McLawhorn’s 70th birthday celebration. Both women represented Pitt County in the General Assembly for 14 years. (Contributed photo)

By Ginger Livingston

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A former legislator celebrating her birthday received a gift commemorating her decades of community service.

Former state Rep. Marian McLawhorn was presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine on Feb. 23, her 70th birthday. Retired representative Edith Warren made the presentation.

“She has devoted such passion and effort in her work as a representative of Pitt County,” Warren said.

“It really is a honor and I was so pleased,” McLawhorn said. “I was very surprised. I didn’t know she was planning to do this. It seemed like everyone else knew; Richard (McLawhorn’s husband), my children.

“I feel honored because it’s such a select company of folks who have received this award,” McLawhorn said. “I felt humble.”

The order of the Long Leaf Pine is the state’s highest civilian honor. The governor gives the award to a resident who has demonstrated a lifetime of service to the state or a state employee with 30 years or more of exemplary service.

McLawhorn was a public schools and community college librarian who also served as a commissioner and mayor of the town of Grifton.

She served 14 years in the General Assembly. During her tenure, McLawhorn was chairwoman of the House education subcommittee on community colleges, chairwoman of the House education committee of policy and co-chairwoman of the UNC Board of Governors nominating committee.

She was chairwoman of a House select committee on domestic violence and was co-chairwoman of the joint committee on domestic violence. It was during this period that legislation was approved that strengthened laws to aid domestic violence victims and prosecute offenders.

She served on several health committees, including a committee on licensing midwives.

She also served two terms as a Democratic caucus whip.

She received recognition from groups supporting veterans and libraries.

In 2007 she was among the first group recognized as 100 Incredible ECU Women.

Along with these honors, Warren said McLawhorn worked to convince legislative leaders and representatives that supporting the East Carolina Heart Institute and the ECU School of Dental Medicine would benefit not only Pitt County and the university but all of North Carolina.

“She worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for not only the citizens of Pitt County but the entire state,” Warren said.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.

via The Daily Reflector.

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