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Former Craven County state representative dies at 72

John Nichols (Wilkerson Funeral Home photo)

NEW BERN, Craven County - John "Johnny Mack" Nichols -- who served six years in the N.C. House of Representatives from Craven County -- died Sunday in Vanceboro after a long illness. He was 72.

Mack served from 1992-1998 after being elected to the Trent Woods town council in 1990, according to his obituary. He was an East Carolina University grad and former banker who started his own company before getting into politics.

Mack, who was from Farmville, served as chairman of the House Committee on the environment. One of his biggest accomplishments was his push to legislate state university football teams to play other in-state schools, according to The News & Observer. The push was made to get ECU and N.C. State back on schedule after the 1987 game, won the Pirates, ended the series. Fans rushed the field at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh and caused thousands of dollars in damage, prompting NCSU to end the series at the time.

The legislation ended nearly a decade-long drought between the two teams.

Nichols' funeral is Thursday at 11 a.m. at Wilkerson Funeral Home in Greenville. He will be buried in the Nichols Family Cemetery.

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