N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--December 1997


Carteret Superintendent never missed a day of work

Newport - Barbecue king, prison captain, and volunteer fireman are a few of the hats Charlie Meeks wore during his 39-year career at Carteret Correctional Center. His co-workers lauded him at a retirement luncheon held in his honor Oct. 31 at the Cherry Point Marine Base officer’s club.

Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis presented Meeks with the Governor’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine. He also recognized Meeks for his serving 39 years without ever taking a day of sick leave.

IMPACT Commandant John Taylor emceed the luncheon and remembered Meek’s days of Hoover carts, corduroy caps with bibs, and fire barrels when guarding the road squad inmates. Years ago, when Taylor became a district manager for the Eastern Area, Prisons Director Ralph Edwards told him he wanted him to especially talk to Charlie Meeks. Taylor said he was lucky enough to work with someone of Meek’s character.

"Major Langley (former Eastern Area administrator) would always say, ‘Thank you for letting me be your friend.’ That’s what he would want to say today, and that’s what I want to say to you today, too," Taylor said.

Meek’s family has always been a close one, Taylor said. His son, Lee, is a probation and parole officer with the Division of Adult Probation and Parole. Lee said he grew up at the Carteret prison and his father’s leaving was like losing a part of yourself.

"His career exemplifies what everyone strives to do," Lee Meeks said. "He had a lot of respect in the community. If I can do at least half of what he has done, I’ll be happy."

Asst. Secretary of Correction Lynn Phillips said he always marveled at people like Charlie Meeks who run prisons from day to day, and who work with some of the sorriest people to come out of North Carolina. He also pointed out that Meeks pulled through in two times of great need when first Hurricane Bertha, then Fran, hit the coast. His facility helped support the efforts to restore the communities.

Carteret employees wrote tributes to Meeks. "I have always been able to count on you for guidance and support whenever I needed it," said Carteret employee Bobbie Conner. Employee Sharon Culpepper, said that while working with Supt. Meeks, she learned the meaning of respect in the work place. Lt. James Hickman wrote that he envied Capt. Meeks’ detailed familiarity with the prison policy manual.

"We will miss Charlie and his contribution to this department," Jarvis said. "I wish him all the best in his retirement."

NC DOC Correction News- December 1997
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