Locust, the city with a soul, has lost two of its leading souls.
Michael Lee Huneycutt, 66, died Nov. 30. Harold Greene, 82, died Dec. 13. Both were former mayors, with Huneycutt serving Locust from 1989-1993 and Greene from 2003-2009.
Scott Efird, who followed Greene as mayor, currently serves as planning and zoning director for the city.
“Mayor Greene loved the city. He was passionate about what was going on,” Efird said. “He was the mayor at a very important time in the history of Locust — as they tore down the old Main Street and built town centre . He had a lot to do with the park getting funds for it. He will be missed.”
Councilman Mike Haigler said Greene “was instrumental in getting Walmart into Locust” and said he was “very supportive of the police department when I was chief there.”
Harold Greene was mayor of Locust from 2003 to 2009.
According to a death notice through Stanly Funeral Home, “During this period, Locust experienced unprecedented growth with the addition of several housing communities, Red Bridge Golf Course, Walmart, and Chicago Tube and Iron. Harold worked to develop a new land plan for future growth, helping the city rebound from the widening of highway N.C. 24/27 which effectively destroyed the heart of Locust’s legacy commercial center. This work paved the way for building the new Locust Town Center. Locust was brought under sound financial management, received grant funding for the new city park, Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial, baseball fields, tennis courts, soccer and football fields. USDA funding was secured to build a new City Hall, library, and community room as well.”
Efird, who is also a county commissioner, said Greene would call him every few months to say how proud he was of what going on in Locust.
Efird said he knew Huneycutt for more than 40 years.
Mike Huneycutt, left, is joined by Bobby Harold Barbee, Benny White and Charlie Higgins during this dedication of Locust Fire Department pumper in memory of Pete Henkel. Huneycutt and White were on the Board of Directors at the time, Higgins was fire chief and Barbee was the district’s state representative in the House.
“He was always willing to serve his community,” Efird said. “He was the one that got the Meals on Wheels program started here in Locust. Mike love his family, his church and his community. We had good times together riding motorcycles together. He was a great guy Hey will be missed.”
Haigler was also with the police department when Huneycutt was mayor. Huneycutt, who served on the city council prior to being mayor, was a member of the Board of Directors at Locust Fire Department as Haigler served there as well.
“Couldn’t ask for anyone better,” Haigler said. “I remember when we had a bad tractor trailer wreck. Mike came out and spent almost all day helping us clean up the scene. And once we had a suicide and Mike came to the scene and helped clean it up so the lady who lived there wouldn’t see it. He was pro law enforcement and pro fire department and helped do fundraisers.”