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Raleigh - Wallace N. Hyde passed away peacefully at his home in Raleigh on January 14, 2013 at the age of 89 after waging a long, courageous battle with Parkinson's disease. By his side was his wife of 28 years, Jeanette W. Hyde.
Dr. Hyde was born February 14, 1923 in the mountain community of Robbinsville in Graham County, North Carolina. He is the son of the late Jason Fowler Hyde and Martha Hooper Hyde. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Western Carolina University. He received an Exxon Fellowship Scholarship to attend New York University where he earned his doctorate in Highway Safety. Afterwards, he served as Director of the NC Division of Motor Vehicles where he was instrumental in establishing the State's Drivers Education program. He then moved to Asheville and was in the insurance business for more than 35 years.
Dr. Hyde headed Gov. Bob Scott's statewide committee to restructure the NC higher education system from which the 16-campus University of North Carolina system evolved in 1971. He was a charter member of the UNC Board of Governors and was appointed by Governor Jim Hunt to the NC Banking Commission.
Ever loyal to his alma mater, Dr. Hyde served for 15 years on the Board of Western Carolina University and endowed a Professorship there in honor of his wife.
Long active in Democratic politics at the state and national levels, Dr. Hyde was the Executive Director of the North Carolina Democratic Party where he, working with then Governor Terry Sanford, founded the Vance-Aycock Dinner as an annual event in western North Carolina. He was a leading fundraiser for President Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Al Gore and many other Democratic candidates. When President Bill Clinton appointed Jeanette to be the US Ambassador to seven nations in the eastern Caribbean, she and Dr. Hyde lived at the US Embassy in Barbados for four years. He and Jeanette have hosted every major Democratic state and national nominee in their home since they were married.
In addition to his wife, Dr. Hyde is survived by a son, Charles W. Hyde and fiancée, Christine Little; a daughter, Barbara H. White; granddaughters Kelly Kranker and Erin White; grandsons Nathan White, Trey Harris, John Harris and seven great-grandchildren. Also surviving is one brother, Daryl Hyde (Tennessee) and one sister, Madeline Drake (Texas). The Hydes have lived in Raleigh and Sarasota, Florida for the past 28 years.
The family will receive visitors on Thursday, January 17, 2013 between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh. A memorial service will be held at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1704 Oberlin Road, Raleigh on Friday, at 3:00 p.m. Christopher H. Edmonston, Pastor, will officiate. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607 or Western Carolina University, 1 University Drive, Cullowhee, NC 28723. Condolences and fond memories can be shared at www.brownwynne.com.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Jan. 17, 2013