Former state Sen. J.K. Sherron Jr., who grew up on a farm in Fuquay-Varina and rose to become a confidant of a governor, died on Tuesday. He was 84.
His name was Jim Kemp Sherron but he was known by his initials. He attended N.C. State University on a football scholarship and was on the 1957 ACC championship team. After that he ran an insurance and real estate development firm in Wake County.
He was close to Gov. Jim Hunt as part of a group known as the Wolfpack Mafia, whose members had become successful at politics, law and business. He became deputy secretary at the Department of Administration, director of the State Property Office, and director of Purchase and Contract.
In 1998, the Triangle Business Journal quoted Sherron saying: "We lived on a farm and the roads were all mud. After my father worked on the governor's campaign, guess which was one of the first roads to be paved?"
He served five terms in the state Senate, from 1986 to 1996, where he was part of the chamber’s leadership. He was instrumental in developing the state parks system. He also helped create the Centennial Authority.
In 2001 he became paralyzed, but his family says he kept a positive spirit that was inspirational.
Visitation is noon Saturday at Millbrook Baptist Church. Interment will follow at Montlawn memorial Park.