John Randolph Ingram, 83, a lawyer and North Carolina public servant, passed away on January 6th in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. John was born June 12th, 1929 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
John graduated from Asheboro High School as an honor graduate and co-captain of the football team. He graduated from his beloved University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, first in his accounting class, member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Business Administration Graduate, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. In 1954 he received his Doctor of Law Degree, was a member of the UNC Law Review, and President of his Law Class. He was a Life Loyal Sig of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. In 1955, John volunteered and was commissioned a First Lieutenant following the Korean War in the military tradition footsteps of his brother and his father. As a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer he prosecuted a Second Lieutenant at Fort Benning, Georgia, for assault, which almost caused a miscarriage of the female victim. The Defendant was sentenced to a dismissal and confinement for two years. He successfully defended, as appointed counsel, two sergeants who allegedly falsified their security clearance applications for “Top Secret” , during the Senator Joe McCarthy hysteria, which was used to reduce our Armed Forces; one sergeant was a Lt. Col. at Anzio Beachhead , where he was awarded the Silver Star and retired at pay grade of Lt. Colonel. The other sergeant, one week before graduating from OCS, was summarily removed without a due process hearing from graduation by a Colonel, who told him the Army did not want any Communists in the Army Corp. Civilian counsel, and Ingram, as appointed counsel, successfully proved to his Board that the Colonel was a loyal American, and according to a full- Colonel witness, who had been in charge of food and quarters as a first lieutenant, the defendant could have retired as a Colonel had he been granted a due process hearing during WWII. Ingram proved beyond a reasonable doubt that this Sergeant was a loyal American. Additionally, Ingram was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans.
John was a member of several religious and professional affiliations including, Asheboro Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, Heart Fund (Chairman), Director of Exceptional Children, 60 year Mason, (Past Master), Shriner, United Methodist, Sunday School Teacher, Certified Lay Speaker, NC Bar Association, Chairman Young Lawyers Section, State President of the Conference of Local Bar Presidents, and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Ingram practiced law in Randolph County and was honored as a North Carolina State Bar Member for over 50 years. He was elected to the NC State House of Representatives as the only Democrat ever elected from the Randolph-Montgomery House District and served in the 1971 session of the North Carolina General Assembly. During his term, Ingram Introduced House Bill 736, for North Carolina as the 37th state to ratify the 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution giving 18 year olds the right to vote. He Introduced House Bill 1414, establishing the State Zoo in Randolph County. Additionally he Co-signed the Absentee Primary Ballot Bill, helped end discrimination against Sickle Cell Trait carriers, voted to protect the rights of newborn infants in insurance discrimination, fought for smaller classroom size to insure quality education, and voted for a balanced state budget. In 1972, John Ingram was elected North Carolina Insurance Commissioner. While in office he created a statewide Consumer Hotline helping citizens across the state. While in office, North Carolina became the First state to abolish the Assigned Risk, to abolish age and sex discrimination in auto insurance, and the first State in America to create a Special Office for the Handicapped. His staff designed the blue and white handicapped parking signs that are now seen across the globe. Under Ingram's direction, his Fire and Rescue Department, became the first state to require smoke detectors in all new homes, and required energy-saving insulation. He was instrumental in bringing competition to Worker’s Compensation insurance for employers, saving millions. Ingram won over $20 million dollars in settlements for North Carolina tobacco farmers for contaminated fertilizer claims. He Helped form and license malpractice insurance companies after recommending the same to the North Carolina Medical Society and North Carolina Bar Association then formed their own mutual malpractice insurance companies in order to create competition in malpractice insurance; again, first in America. In 1978, Ingram ran for the United States Senate as the Democratic nominee from the State of North Carolina, spending only $150,000 for two Primaries and a General election to replace the late Senator, Jesse Helms, who spent $7.5 million dollars, the most ever spent in a Senate campaign to that date. John was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and DeEtte Ingram, and brother Henry Ingram Jr.
He is survived by his wife Virginia (Gini) Ingram, his best friend for over 58 years, his three daughters, Gini Linn Abee (Chester), BB Gooden (David), Michelle Cox (Ron), all of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and son Randy Ingram (Kim) of Cary, North Carolina, Grandchildren, Dean and Matt Abee, Lauren Roy, Trey and Chelsea Ingram, John David, Liz, and Zack Gooden, Austin, Carson and Ingram Cox, and six great grandchildren, John and Will Abee, Cray, Clark Gooden, Camden and Lila Grace Roy, many nieces and nephews as well as his two aunts.
The family will receive friends at the Gooden Home, 1734 Cliffwood drive, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from 4:00-7:00 p.m., Tuesday afternoon.
The funeral service will be held at 10:00 am. in the Sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach located at 1300 North Kings Highway, officiated by Dr. Lewis Johnson, Special hymns and patriotic music will be shared by the family and congregation in memory of a true patriot, a devoted public servant, a beloved family man and a Christian with deep seeded faith. Interment will be at the family plot at Oaklawn Cemetary in Asheboro, North Carolina, Albemarle Road at 4 pm, on Wednesday, with the Reverend Mike Holder, of Brevard, North Carolina and former minister of First United Methodist Church, Asheboro, North Carolina, officiating. Masonic rites will be administered. Military honors will be performed at the gravesite by the Randolph County Honor Guard.
McMillan-Small funeral home in Myrtle Beach and Pugh Funeral Home in Asheboro, North Carolina will handle all funeral arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to your chosen local Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department or to the Fire and Rescue Department in care of the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner’s Office, Raleigh, North Carolina.