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the Second Century and is shared by so many of the Christians of the world and of our nation. It is called the Apostles' Creed.
After we have stood and said it together, we will turn to Hymn No. 305, “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” We will sing the first stanza only. Let us stand now and affirm the faith.
In what do you believe? I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
John's Bible was so marked up. His family shared this with me as we planned this service. The markings indicate that he read his Bible. He studied it. He knew it. And the beliefs to which he so irrevocably committed were based in this Book. Two verses come to mind immediately. One has a picture in it that he used in a recent speech. It is a picture of leaven from I Corinthians 5:6. “A little leavens the whole lump." John knew that it didn't take many people to influence a nation. It just took some people who knew what they believed, were thoroughly convinced that they were right, and were willing to pay the price of being different. John East was willing to pay the price, and he led. And before too many years, people followed. And then, of course, the last chapter of I Corinthians includes this beautiful statement, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong; do everything in love."
JOHN was a man of strength and courage. He had to discipline himself, especially in view of his handicap. His accomplishments are utterly amazing. How often I have heard people say, “Most of us would have crawled into a corner and watched television for the rest of our lives." But not John East. He knew what he believed. And if you knew him, you knew where he stood. He was tolerant of others, always willing to listen attentively to them as they presented their positions, really listening, and expecting from them like courtesy. He loved his family, and he is loved by his family.
Last night at the Greenville Rotary Club we sang it again as we did here last Sunday, “Who more than self their country loved.” And I thought of JOHN East. Although we are stunned and shocked at this tragedy, let us go from this place praising God for this man of strong convictions and amazing courage. Dr. East was an intelligent, articulate person who was engaged in civil and thoughtful debate on a myriad of issues. America is richer for having had him, and the lives of his thousands of former students are forever enriched from what he taught them. Who will take up the torch of this brave man?
Let us pray: O God, the strength of your saints and the one who redeems the souls of your servants, we call to remembrance your loving kindness and your tender mercies to this your servant, John. For all your goodness that did not withhold his portion in the joys of this earthly life and for your guiding hand along the way of his pilgrimage, we give you thanks and praise. Especially we bless you for your grace that kindled in his heart the love of your dear Name and of your precious Word that enabled him to fight the good fight. We praise you for giving John wisdom and knowledge, strength of character. For the contribution he made to the lives of his students and to the life of our country and our world, we are forever grateful. We praise you for this strong but gracious man as we remember his use of this prayer of Francis of Assisi: Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me show love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Father, we would add only this, the prayer that our Lord Jesus taught us to pray when He taught us to say, “Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory forever. Amen."
Please stand for the benediction. And now the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, to whom be glory now and forever. Amen.
Mr. HELMS. Mr. President, needless to say, Dorothy and I extend our deepest loving sympathy to the lady whom we know as “Sis” East, and her two daughters, Martha and Kathryn, and other members of the family.
[From the Raleigh News and Observer, June 30, 1986)
SENATOR EAST LAUDED BY SORROWFUL COLLEAGUES
(By Todd Cohen and David Perkins)
Senator Jesse A. Helms said Sunday that Senator JOHN P. East was "a man of good cheer, but I expect that he will be most remembered for his astonishing intellect. He was a very wise man. He understood this country as few people do in terms of its principles and its fundamentals. And he did not hesitate once defending those principles."
Helms, East's political mentor, was one of many North Carolina politicians who reacted with shock and with praise for East, who committed suicide in his Greenville home.
Helms, whose political organization helped lift East from his job as an East Carolina University professor to the U.S. Senate in 1980, said he would remember East "because of the personal affection that I had for him. No senator ever had a finer colleague than he."
Helms said he had notified President Reagan, who was in California, at 10:30 a.m. of East's death.
“The president was stunned and saddened,” Helms said at a Raleigh news conference. “He greatly admired Senator East.”
Republican Governor James C. Martin said in a written statement that East's death was “a tragic loss for North Carolina and the people he represented so valiantly and so well. Our hearts go out to Mrs. East and their family as we uphold them in our prayers."
Martin said he had directed that flags on all state property be flown at half staff. His aides said the tribute would continue for an indefinite period.
Representative James T. Broyhill, the Republican Senate nominee expected by some political observers to be appointed by Martin to fill East's unexpired term, said he was “shocked and grieved at the news of Senator John East's death. He was my friend and colleague, and I am just shocked at this news.”
Broyhill characterized East as “a patriot and a leader for North Carolina and our country—a man of keen intellect and courageous stature. My heartfelt prayers go to his wife, Sis, and his daughters, Marty and Chip, and their families.”
Former Governor Terry Sanford, the Democratic nominee for East's seat, said he was “sure that all North Carolinians are deeply distressed by this tremendous personal tragedy. Mrs. Sanford and I extend our sincerest sympathies to Mrs. East and their family."
In 1980, East upset incumbent Senator Robert B. Morgan after a bitter race in which East's campaign was directed by the National Congressional Club, Helms' political organization.
Morgan, now director of the State Bureau of Investigation, said Sunday by telephone from his home in Lillington that he was “saddened at the news of his death. And I'm awfully sorry. His family, his wife and his children certainly have my condolence and my prayers."
U.S. Representative Walter B. Jones, a Democrat from Farmville who defeated East in a special and regular Congressional race in 1966, said East had been a tough adversary.
“We remained good friends, and those two races increased my admiration for him as a high-class gentleman,” Jones said. “I think his strength was his personal appeal and the fact that he's very articulate. He had a certain amount of charisma that was hard to deal with. He did better in the special election (for the vacated seat of Herbert C. Bonner) than any Republican had in many years, carrying two of the 14 counties at that time."
Secretary of State Thad Eure, a Democrat who staved off a challenge by East in 1968, described East as "a very smart man. He was well-educated. And he was very loyal to his party."
Former Governor Dan K. Moore said East "was a very fine, honorable Christian gentleman. . . . He was sincere in every action that he took."
Helms, who spoke at length about East, described him as “a scholar, a teacher, a statesman. And he touched thousands of lives constantly, dating back to his days as a teacher . . ., particularly the young people. He touched them with his never-failing willingness to explain and defend the principles of America."
Thomas F. Eamon, an associate professor of political science at East Carolina University, where East taught before going to the Senate, remembered East as “an excellent classroom teacher, always very popular with students, a very thought-provoking individual. As a colleague I found him to be a person with a great sense of humor and easy to talk with."
Eamon, a Democrat who knew East at ECU for about eight years, recalled that, “always in personal political conversation with him, he would be really objective."
Eamon said he had not seen East much in recent years. He said that last year he had sent a letter to East in Washington “and got back an extremely nice, hand-written letter from him ... saying that things had been difficult and he appreciated the thought."
East last year suffered from a glandular condition affecting his thyroid.
William C. Friday, former president of the University of North Carolina System, said East always had attended quickly to university matters that involved the federal government.
East played a role in discussions with former Secretary of Education Terrell Bell that led eventually to the resolution of the university's desegregation lawsuit with the Department of Education, Friday said.
"Every time that I called upon him for assistance, he was helpful to us," Friday said.
Lieutenant Governor Robert B. Jordan III, the state's highest-ranking Democrat, said East "was a very intelligent person who voted his convictions. He and I didn't always agree. He was very dedicated to continuing and completing his term even though his health was working against him. I regret very deeply that this has happened."
State Senate Republican Leader William W. Redman Jr. of Iradell County said East had been "a friend of mine, a man I had a great deal of respect for. He was probably the most intelligent man I knew in the United States Senate. I think it's a great loss to this nation."
[From the Charlotte Observer, June 30, 1986)
A STEADFAST CONSERVATIVE
(By Elizabeth Leland) Few North Carolinians knew John East when he announced in January 1980 that he wanted to be their U.S. senator.
One newspaper editor described him as "the obscure professor at a littleknown university."
But with sophisticated direct-mail money-raising and forceful campaign rhetoric, East won an upset in November 1980 over incumbent Senator Robert Morgan, D-NC. He entered the Senate in a wheelchair and with a determined devotion to conservative ideals.
EAST, 55, worked mostly in the shadow of Senator Jesse Helms, R-NC, his friend and soul mate. He served only one term, announcing through aides last September that he was too ill to seek reelection.
In an interview after he made his decision, East said he hoped to be remembered as “an intelligent, articulate person who was engaged in what I thought was civil and thoughtful debate on a myriad of issues."
He said he disagreed with critics who had labeled him a Helms clone, but acknowledged they agreed on most issues. “I think if I had been in a position to be here longer, that different identities would certainly have emerged," EAST said.
As Senator, East quickly earned the reputation as one of the Senate's most conservative members. Just hours after Ronald Reagan took the oath for his first term as president, East voted against confirming Caspar Weinberger as defense secretary. The only other senator who voted against Weinberger was Helms. They said he wasn't hawkish enough for the job.
The spotlight focused on East in April 1981, when be sponsored a bill to overturn the Supreme Court decision that struck down anti-abortion laws and held controversial hearings on when life begins. But for the most part, he kept a much lower profile than Helms. In his first 238 votes—during his first year in the Senate-East sided with Helms on all but 16.
In 1985, his health became a problem in his Senate work. He was hospitalized in February 1985 for a urinary tract blockage and in April 1985 for hypothyroidism. He missed much of the Senate's work that year, and rumors abounded that he didn't like the job and wouldn't seek reelection.
East was a private, reserved man. Some of his staff didn't know he had entered the hospital for a second time until reporters told them.
Born in Springfield, IL, East was a scholar and a football player. He played lineman at University High School in Normal, IL. Burton O'Connor, athletic director at the time, remembers East as an average player and one of the school's “most distinguished graduates."
He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Earlham College in Richmond, IN, in 1953 and came to North Carolina that year as Marine lieutenant at Camp Lejeune near Jacksonville. Within 30 days of his discharge in 1955, he contracted polio, and his leg muscles were paralyzed. He used crutches and a wheelchair.
Despite that, East was not outspoken on behalf of disabled people. He said his life served as an example for them.
“I, of all people, have been proving the opportunities for disabled people in American society," he once said. “So I find myself in the awkward position of sometimes appearing to be at odds with people that supposedly I should have the most profound affinity with.”
East earned a law degree in 1959 from the University of Illinois and practiced law. A year later, he enrolled in the University of Florida, where he received his master's degree in political science in 1962 and a doctorate two years later.
He returned to North Carolina to teach at East Carolina University in Greenville. He once described himself as “one of those rare creatures in academe, a conservative political science professor.” His students described him as brilliant.
In 1966, East tried his hand at politics. He filed as a GOP candidate in a special February election against Democrat Walter Jones in the 1st ressional District, for the vacant seat of the late Representative Herbert Bonner. Of the 142,700 registered voters in the sprawling coastal district, 138,000 were Democrats and 4,700 Republican.
“It will be a long, tough, fight . . . but it will be worth the effort,” East, then 34, said of the race. East, described as “a zestful campaigner on crutches or in a wheelchair,” campaigned against the politics of then-President Lyndon Johnson. His slogan was “Help Defeat LBJ, Vote The John East Way,"
East won surprising 40% of the vote and impressed political observers. He decided to challenge Jones again in November. He lost again.
ROAD TO SENATE
In February 1968, East picked another battle. He challenged Thad Eure, North Carolina secretary of state since 1936. East lost but again surprised observers with 44% of the vote.
For the next 12 years, he stuck with party politics. In 1976, as a delegate to the national GOP convention, East drafted platform planks for the party's conservative wing: unequivocal opposition to abortion, a constitutional amend