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Funeral arrangements made for former NC Commerce Sec. Keith Crisco

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Former N.C. Department of Commerce Sec. Keith Crisco Former N.C. Department of Commerce Sec. Keith Crisco
ASHEBORO, N.C. -

Funeral services for Keith Crisco, who died suddenly on Monday, will be held on Friday at First United Methodist Church in Asheboro.

Crisco, a successful Asheboro businessman and later secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, died at his home Monday afternoon. Veteran political consultant Brad Crone said the 71-year-old was near the front door of his house when he tripped on a rug, fell backward and hit his head on bricks.

His funeral will be held Friday at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, located at 224 North Fayetteville St. in Asheboro. The family will receive friends on Thursday from 6 until 8 p.m. at Pugh Funeral Home, located at 437 Sunset Ave. in Asheboro.

"Rarely does the city flag fly at half staff but it's at half staff through his funeral in honor of him," said Asheboro City Manager John Ogburn.

Raised on a dairy farm near Aquadale, Crisco graduated from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C., in 1964 and got his masters in business administration from Harvard in 1968.

He worked for Burlington Industries, then a textile giant, for years before becoming president of Stedman Elastics from 1978-86. From 1986, he became president of Asheboro Elastics Corp.

Iris Wright runs a locksmith shop across from Crisco's elastics firm. Wright said Crisco was able to keep his elastics firm going through the economic downturn.

"You have to admire anyone who came through that and their business is still running and growing," Wright said. "I've never heard anything but he was an awesome guy. The persona he put out was a nice hometown guy."

Crisco was also heavily involved in civic activities through-out his life, including a stint on the Asheboro City Council.

Most recently, Crisco was locked in a tight challenge with Clay Aiken for the Democratic nomination in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District.

Aiken said he would suspend all campaign activities "as we pray for [Crisco's] family and friends."

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