Angela Denson, office manager for Century 21 Gold Market Realty in Franklin, has been coping with the loss of longtime friend and colleague Phyllis Mewborn. Owner and broker of the agency, Mewborn died unexpectedly on Aug. 12. -- GWEN ALBERS/TIDEWATER NEWS

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Children inherit real estate agency

Published 9:28am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FRANKLIN—On the evening of Aug. 11, Angela Denson spoke with longtime friend and colleague Phyllis Mewborn about the reunion Mewborn attended that day.

The next morning, the 70-year-old died unexpectedly.

“We’re not sure if it was a heart attack or a blood clot,” said Denson, the office manager for Century 21 Gold Market Realty in Franklin, which Mewborn owned.

“It shook us all terribly,” Denson added.

Mewborn, a lifelong Franklin resident, left the Armory Drive business to her children, Lisa Wiese of Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; Cindy Benton of Franklin; and Michael Taylor of Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

Darren Stauffer, who has a broker’s license, will fill that role.

“We were very fortunate he was already on staff,” Denson said.

A Windsor resident, Stauffer has been with Century 21 for 12 years.

“I’m very sad that Phyllis is gone,” he said. “She was a fantastic person and a great mentor.”

Stauffer noted that business is picking up and it’s business as usual.

“We have some great agents in our office and they are going to keep carrying on,” he said.

Other agents are Carolyn Bryant, Sandra Brinkley and Lou Henish.

Owner and broker since the early 1980s, Mewborn hired Denson 17 years ago. Even though Mewborn’s death was unexpected, she too said it’s been business as usual.

“Thankfully, she took me everywhere,” Denson said about Mewborn. “She said I was her left hand and right hand.”

Denson will take over managing the agency’s 19 residential rental properties in Franklin and Southampton County.

Things are going well, she said.

“We are trying to get a handle on it,” Denson said. “A lot of paperwork has to be done on top of regular business. We have a really good group of folks here.”

“I lost so much more than a boss,” she continued. “When my mother passed away six years ago, Phyllis stepped in as an adopted mom. She was one of my best friends.”

Denson learned from Mewborn to always maintain a professional demeanor and always return phone calls.

“That was her pet peeve,” she said. “She was big on communication and a hard working woman.”

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