HOLLY SPRINGS — Longtime Town Manager Carl Dean, 56, collapsed at a town golf tournament Thursday afternoon and died of an apparent heart attack, according to town spokesman Mark Andrews.
Dean, an avid golfer, was at the 10th annual Holly Springs Economic Development Partners golf tournament at 12 Oaks when he passed out on the green around 2 p.m. Two EMTs playing in the tournament tried to revive him, but he later was pronounced dead at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, officials said.
We are still reeling, Andrews said.
Mayor Dick Sears, who was at the tournament said Dean appeared to be feeling well and in good spirits. His remembers Dean cracking a joke at the microphone at the beginning of the game.
He said: Just make sure Mayor Sears doesnt fill out the score card before he plays, Sears said. And I said: Carl Ive already got it filled out.
Dean, a widower and single father to a teenage daughter, was integral in the towns growth, Sears said.
He became Holly Springs town manager in April 2001. Under his tenure the towns population has grown from about 400 to more than 25,000 and added three different shopping centers, Sears said.
In my humble opinion, Carl was probably the best town manager Ive ever seen, he said.
About 75 golfers were at the event, which is designed to celebrate local businesses. The reception planned after the tournament was canceled.
Next year the event will be called the First Annual Carl Dean Memorial Tournament, Sears said.
It was quite a shock for us to lose him so suddenly, said Councilman Tim Sack. This came out of the blue.
Sack called Dean family oriented, and said he built a second family at town hall. He credits Dean with helping Holly Springs balance residential and commercial growth.
Were at a loss, Sack said.
Visitation will be from 7-9 p.m. Saturday at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary.
The funeral will be 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Sunrise United Methodist Church on Sunset Lake Road in Holly Springs.