January 22, 2021

Honorable Benjamin William Hines

Honorable Benjamin William Hines

Honorable Benjamin William Hines, 87, of Taylorsville, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.

A graveside funeral service for Hon. Ben Hines will be conducted at Three Forks Baptist Church in Taylorsville on Friday, November 27, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. Rev. Phil Chapman, Rev. Jason Payne, and Rev. Dan Redding will officiate.

Pallbearers include: Adam Mays, Isaac Mays, Trey Carter, Stanley Wayne Froneberger, Don Swallom, and Jimmy Wayne Mays.

Ben Hines was born May 14, 1933, in Alexander County, to the late Kermit McHenry Hines and Katherine Marie Norton Hines Stout. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Taylorsville, where he shared his love for God, country, and his fellow man.

In addition to his parents, Ben was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Gwen Hope Kerley Hines; sisters, Margie Hines White Brown and Lilian Hines Pennell; and brothers, Ricky Stout and Steve Stout.

Those left to cherish the memories of the Honorable Ben Hines include his wife of 18 years, Margie Bumgarner Mays Hines; three daughters, Sheree Hines Swallom (Don), Alicia Hines Mackin, and Amy Hines Froneberger (Stan); and two sons, Benjamin Norton Hines (Donna) and Scott Hunter Hines (Lisa); two sisters, Kathy Stout Icenhour (Clifford) and Violet Hines Brown; 15 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; along with numerous nieces, nephews, and special friends.

Full military honors are rendered because of Chief Master Sergeant Ben Hines’ 31 years of active service in the United States Air Force. Ben Hines second career was as a public servant in Alexander County. Ben was elected Register of Deeds in 1986 and served in that capacity until 2018 — 32 years and longest serving register in North Carolina at the time.

The family requests donations be made to the Benjamin Hines Memorial Scholarship. Make checks out to Alexander County Public Education Foundation with memo notation: Benjamin Hines Memorial Scholarship at 700 Liledoun Rd., Taylorsville, NC 28681. Or, the family asks for donations to the local post of the American Legion — Alexander Legion Post 170; checks can be made out to the Post and mailed to PO Box 1616, Taylorsville, NC 28681.

Ben’s favorite poem was High Flight written by 19-year old John Gillespie Magee Jr., which he often recited. Now that Ben has met his Glory, he has slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; put out his hand and touched the face of God.

Condolences may be sent to: www.adamsfunerals.com.

Adams Funeral Home and Cremation Services is honored to be serving the Honorable Benjamin William Hines.

BEN HINES’ HISTORY

    The Honorable Benjamin W. Hines represented leadership in Alexander County, North Carolina, and beyond. He was the longest serving active Register of Deeds in the state of North Carolina, having served in that position 32 years. Since 1986, Mr. Hines served the interests of the citizens of Alexander County as their duly elected official to record deeds, birth and death certificates, deeds of trust, marriage licenses, and other important records. As Alexander County’s Register of Deeds, he safeguarded the vital records of all citizens of the county.
As a long-standing member of the Alexander County Republican Party, he helped usher in an era of strong Republican wins over the course of four decades. He personified integrity, service before self, and excellence in executing the duties of the Register of Deeds. Mr. Hines was the thirty-first (31) Register of Deeds for Alexander County since its inception in 1847. More impressively, Mr. Hines was the longest serving elected official in the history of Alexander County.
In addition to his role as Register of Deeds, the Honorable Mr. Hines served as an advisor to the Alexander Correctional Facility Community Relations Board, where he helped guide board activities for the benefit, welfare, and morale of inmates and facility staff. He also served as member and deacon at First Baptist Church in Taylorsville; and, he participated in many county veteran organizations such as American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as serving on the Alexander County Veteran’s Committee.
Before Mr. Hines’ political life in Alexander County, he served his county, state, and nation as a member of the United States Air Force for nearly 31 years. Mr. Hines reached the highest enlisted rank, Chief Master Sergeant, during his USAF career. He enlisted in the Air Force in November of 1952 and, during his military career, worked as an aircraft mechanic, crew chief, and flight chief on B-47 jet bomber aircraft, missile maintenance supervisor on Minuteman Missiles, as well as serving as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the 351st Strategic Missile Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. During his military career, he deployed to many overseas locations including Sidi Slimane, French Morocco in north Africa; Moron Air Base, Spain; and, Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, United Kingdom.

NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATION OF REGISTER OF DEEDS (NCARD) ACHIEVEMENTS

1998-1999 President of the NC Association of Register of Deeds
2000 – 2003 Single-handedly acquired and distributed a NCARD Flag desk set to all NC Register of Deeds offices
•During term as President of NCARD visited all 100 Register of Deeds offices in North Carolina
•Instrumental in the adoption of the NCARD Lapel Pin
•Prime mover in obtaining NCARD banner and flag
•Initiated the presentation of the “Retirement Pin” to retiring NC Register of Deeds
•Served as the NCARD District II Chairperson for four years
•Elected to the NCARD Executive Committee; served as Historian, Secretary, Treasurer, 2nd and 1st Vice President
•He attended every NCARD Annual Conference since 1987

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

1984 – 2020 Member and Deacon at First Baptist Church, Taylorsville, NC
1984 – 2020 Member and former President of the Ellendale Ruritan Club, Alexander County, NC
1984 – 1994 Member and Chairperson of the Alexander County American Cancer Society
1986 – 2020 Worked with Alexander County Girls and Boy Scouts of America troops
1986 – 2020 Member and former President of the Taylorsville Lions Club
1986 – 2020 Conducts presentations in schools and civic organizations as Register of Deeds and military career
1986 – 2020 Conducts the American Flag (7 Flag) Ceremony upon request throughout the county
1986 – 2020 Ensures 50 state flags are available and put up throughout the county for parades and celebrations
1987 – 1991 Member and leader of the Alexander County Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution
1996 – 2020 Chairperson of the Alexander County Bell Tower / Veterans Memorial Project
1997 – Member of the Alexander County Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee (150 years)
1997 – Recipient of the Girl Scout Community Commitment Award

EDUCATION

1953 High School GED while on USAF active duty
1959 Noncommissioned Officer Preparatory School in Amarillo, Texas
1965 Noncommissioned Officer Academy as a Master Sergeant at March AFB, Riverside, California
1971 High School Diploma while on USAF active duty at Central Missouri State University, Missouri
1974 Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex, Alabama
1986 Associates in Business Administration from Wilkes Community College, Wilkesboro, North Carolina

CAREER

 1. 1938 – 1952, Farmer and laborer, Stony Point and Taylorsville, North Carolina
2. 1952 – 1953, Basic Training and Technical School, Lackland AFB, TX and Shepard AFB, TX
3. 1953 – 1955, Aircraft Mechanic, Hunter Air Force Base, Savannah, GA
4. 1955 – 1962, B-47 Crew Chief and Flight Chief, Hunter Air Force Base, Savannah, GA
5. 1962 – 1964, Missile Maintenance Technician, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota
6. 1964 – 1969, Missile Maintenance Team Chief, F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Cheyenne, Wyoming
7. 1969 – 1973, 3901st Strategic Missile Wing Inspector General Team, Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
8. 1973 – 1978, Missile Maintenance Supervisor, 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman AFB, MO
9. 1978 – 1983, Senior Enlisted Advisor, 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman AFB, MO
10. 1986 – 2018, Alexander County Register of Deeds, Taylorsville, North Carolina

MAJOR AWARDS, DECORATIONS, and ACHIEVEMENTS

Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
1954 Airman of the Six Months, Hunter Air Force Base, Savannah, GA
1955 1st Master Crew Chief, 2nd Air Force & Strategic Air Command
1960 B-47 Crew Chief of the Year for 8th Air Force, Hunter Air Force Base, Savannah, GA
1998 Outstanding Register of Deeds, awarded by the NC Association of Register of Deeds (NCARD)
1999 Eunice Ayers Award (highest award bestowed by the NCARD
2015 Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, prestigious award conferred by the Governor of North Carolina

PERSONAL and FAMILY LIFE

    He married Gwen Hope Kerley Hines in 1954, and the couple were married for 40 years until Gwen’s untimely death in 1995. With Gwen, Ben had five children, Sheree H. Swallom (Don) of Madison, Alabama, Benjamin N. Hines (Donna) of Alexandria, Virginia, Alicia H. Mackin of Reston, Virginia, Scott H. Hines of Taylorsville, and, Amy H. Froneberger (Stan) of Taylorsville. All five of Ben and Gwen’s children graduated high school and all five graduated from universities to earn post-secondary Bachelor degrees. Additionally, his children have earned three Master’s degrees. Mr. Hines, also known as the Grand Chief in family circles, has 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Mr. Hines married Margie Bumgarner Mays Hines in June 2002. Margie has three children from her previous marriage to the late Wayne Mays of Taylorsville. Margie’s children include Jimmy Wayne Mays (Janet) of Stony Point, Michael Lee Mays (Denise) of Taylorsville, and Tamara M. Starnes of Taylorsville. Margie has six grandchildren.

BEN HINES TRIVIA

•    He visited all 100 NC counties while serving as the President of the NC Association of RoDs – NCARD
•    He has visited all 50 U.S. states over the course of his careers and lifetime
•    In 1962, as a crew chief he set the Strategic Air Command record for On-Time Take-offs at 197 at Hunter AFB, Savannah, Georgia. This record still stands.
•    If he couldn’t live in North Carolina, for whatever reason, he would choose to live in Wyoming
•    Is a great fan of Neil Diamond and has seen him in concert on seven (7) occasions
•    He gets a whole strawberry pie for his birthday that he can keep to himself, but he always shares
•    He was born May 14th, which was Mother’s Day in 1933
•    He shall be known as The Great and Wonderful Giver for his propensity to hand out “toys” and curios to anyone and everyone he meets
•    His favorite poem is High Flight by 19-year old John Gillespie Magee Jr., which he often recites
•    He has slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; put out his hand and touched the face of God

4 Comments

  1. Kenneth Gwaltney on November 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    From another retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant from Alexander County I strongly admired Chief Ben Hines. He was a true “Chief” to those who knew and loved him. He will be greatly missed by family and friends alike!

    Kenneth L. Gwaltney, CMSgt retired
    Kurtistown, Hawaii

  2. Helen P. Chestnut on November 26, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Margie Hines and the Hines Family. Mr. Ben Hines was truly a man of God that showed love, compassion and respect to those who knew him. He always had a story to tell about his military life and asked about my brother and sister that served in the US Air Force. In addition, he was always willing to help me while serving as Alexander County’s Register of Deeds. He will truly be missed. Our loss is Heaven’s gain of a great soldier!

  3. Tonia r Hampton on November 30, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Mr. Hines,
    I can not express the happiness you filled my heart with at each event we attended for the NCARD. Your smile and gentleman nature will never be forgotten. God Speed my precious friend until we meet again.

  4. Marieclaire Roberson on December 1, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Ben you always touch our heart we will never forget you our deepest sympathy to Margie and family.
    Richard and Marieclaire

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