The newly rebuilt bridge on U.S. Hwy 21 (S. Bridge St.) near Valley Drive/Swan Creek Bypass was officially dedicated and named in honor of former Jonesville Mayor L. Eugene ‘Gene’ Pardue on Monday at a ceremony hosted by the N.C. Department of Transportation.
“He has had an extraordinary life and a lasting impact on Jonesville and its citizens,” said DOT Division 11 Construction Engineer Ivan Dishman. “He has meant so much to this community.”
Pardue served as Mayor from 2013 until January of 2023 when newly elected Mayor Anita Darnell was sworn in. Pardue also served previously as a Jonesville Town Council member and Mayor for the town of Arlington prior to its merger with Jonesville.
The ceremony was attended by Mayor Pardue, his family and friends and several local and state dignitaries.
Mayor Darnell spoke during the ceremony about her many years of working with Pardue and asking for his guidance. He often told her she would “do well” at whatever project or goal she was attempting.
“Mr. Pardue is a man of honesty, and a role model of how we should be dedicated to our service. The heart of the Yadkin Valley came from one of the strongest leaderships and a long vision for the town of Jonesville,” Darnell said. “Gene, we done well.”
Town Manager Michael Pardue also spoke during the ceremony. Though they share the same last name, Michael Pardue said he and the former mayor were not related that they knew of but that he had gotten to know the man well during his time as town manager.
“He’s the real deal,” he said of Mayor Pardue. “He gives of himself and he always has.”
“The Mayor’s service can be summed up in one word. That word is love; love of this little town, love the people and love of the community,” Michael Pardue said.
Pardue’s daughters Jill Thompson and Amy Cave spoke during the ceremony, sharing more about their father’s many accomplishments and expressing their gratitude for the “long lasting tribute” to him with the naming of the bridge in his honor.
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