Paul Robertson Eastman ’53

Paul Eastman'53After a brief hospitalization, Paul R. Eastman of 46 S. Spring St., Concord, died July 29, 2018, of congestive heart failure. On the day he died, he was in Concord’s Hospice House surrounded by people who loved him.

He was a seventh-generation descendant of Ebenezer Eastman, the first settler of Concord. Paul was born in Dover, to Bernice Munn Eastman and Edson Farnum Eastman. He spent his boyhood in Durham; on Catamount Dairy Farm in Pittsfield; on Rosewald Dairy Farm in Hillsboro; and in downtown Hillsboro, prior to moving to Concord in 1944.

He graduated from Concord High School in 1949 and Davidson College in 1953, and at both schools was an outstanding baseball pitcher. Following two years of army service as a lieutenant, he earned a master’s degree from Springfield College, and then began a 29-year career in Amityville, N.Y., schools, where he coached a total of 80 squads in baseball, wrestling, and soccer.

Upon his retirement in 1986, he returned to his family home in Concord. Three years later his father, Red Eastman – Concord’s Citizen of the Year in 1980 – suffered a stroke. For his father’s final four years and nine months, Paul provided him with total personal care. This complicated and challenging responsibility was an enormous gift to his father and to his entire family.

Paul had a commitment to staying connected to people and honoring the past, qualities he admired and learned from his parents. He wrote and donated to the Concord Public Library, booklets on the genealogy of the Eastman family and the history of the Sunset League, the Chandler Eastman Wagon Company, the Hillsboro Center School, and the milk industry in New Hampshire, including Eastman’s Dairy. He also wrote an autobiographical booklet, My Life and the World I Lived In, 1931-2016.

Each December, Paul sent 150 Christmas cards to friends and relatives. Paul had expressive, sparkling blue eyes, a jolly chuckle, and a big heart. He contributed modestly to a number of charities and organizations, and was a faithful blood donor. Paul’s visitors enjoyed conversations at his kitchen table and often went home with articles or comics cut from the three papers he read daily.

He followed his parents’ tradition of giving to others produce from his own garden, lovely flowers from the woods he knew well, and extra corn and maple syrup. He found deep joy and satisfaction in doing this for people he loved, enjoyed, and appreciated. His devotion to his beloved Boston sports teams made him a citizen of three sports nations: The Red Sox, the Patriots, and the Celtics. Even in his seriously declining health, he insisted that the sport’s page of the local paper be brought to him.

Paul is survived by his brother William F. Eastman and William’s wife Judith, of Chapel Hill, N.C.; niece Kimberly Eastman Zirkle, her husband Franklin Zirkle, and their sons Chandler and Hartford Zirkle of Chapel Hill, N.C.; and niece Karen Leta Eastman, her husband Gregory Dohi, and their sons Julian and Jordan of Valley Village, Calif. Paul deeply loved his family to whom he was very generous and loving, of whom he was very interested and proud, and with whom he enjoyed many special moments.

Paul’s family is deeply appreciative of the extraordinary care, support and friendship extended to him by neighbors, friends, medical and nursing personnel, especially in these last few years of his journey. We are forever grateful for their loving and caring presence in his life.

It was Paul’s wish that donations in his memory be made to South Congregational Church, 27 Pleasant St., Concord, 03301, or the Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association, 30 Pillsbury St., Concord, 03301.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. at South Congregational Church.

Copyright, 2018, Concord Monitor

Alfred Ervin Thomas ’51

Alfred Thomas '51The Reverend Dr. Alfred Ervin Thomas, loving husband, father, and grandfather passed away Tuesday, July 24, 2018, with loved ones by his side.

Al was born on February 25, 1930, in Statesville, NC to the late Williford Emmett Thomas and Hester Holder Thomas. He grew up attending schools in Wilson. Al received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College, Davidson, NC, and his Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va. He later received his M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He is survived by the love of his life, Elaine Bissette Thomas, to whom he was married for 61 years. He is also survived by their four children: Philip Thomas of Raleigh, Deborah Davis and husband John of Garner, David Thomas and wife Lisa of Cornelius, and Melanie Biddell and husband David of Raleigh. Al was very proud of his beautiful grandchildren: Blake Thomas, Heather Davis Cones and husband Jaron, Hillary Davis, Kendall and Luke Thomas and Caitlin, Drew and Grace Biddell.

Al was deeply devoted to his family and cherished time spent together. He enjoyed family beach vacations and frequent family gatherings, and he loved attending the athletic events, dance recitals, and concerts of his grandchildren.

Al devoted his life’s work to ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He was ordained at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in 1954. In 1957, Al was the founding pastor of Butner Presbyterian Church in Butner, NC. From 1970-1983, he was the Director of Counseling Ministries for the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina.

This position included serving as Director of the Presbyterian Counseling Center located in Laurinburg, NC as well as adjunct psychology professor at St. Andrews College. From 1983-1991, Al was the Executive Presbyter for Orange and New Hope Presbyteries. Over the years, Al was invited to speak to groups and lead seminars and workshops with special emphasis on personal and spiritual growth, team-building, Christian vocation and adult career development.

In retirement, Al continued to lead worship in various churches as well as for weddings, funerals, and church anniversaries. He also taught psychology classes at local community colleges. He enjoyed a passion for writing and published six books during his lifetime.

Al was a wise, life-affirming, and compassionate man. In the words found in the sixth chapter of Micah, he lived his life doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with his God. He used his gifts to minister to others in many areas, and in doing so, showed the wondrous love of God and His son Jesus Christ.

The family would like to thank the medical staff at Rex Cancer Center for their dedication and loving care.

A celebration of Al’s life will be held on Saturday, August 4 at 3 pm at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, 4921 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC 27609. In lieu of flowers, you may consider donations to the Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church Foundation, 4921 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC 27609.

Arrangements by Cremation Society of the Carolinas, 2205 East Millbrook Road, Raleigh, NC 27604.

Published in The News & Observer on July 29, 2018

Andrew Lomax “Bud” Kilby, Sr. ’47

Andrew Lomax "Bud" Kilby, Sr. '47Mr. Andrew Lomax “Bud” Kilby Sr., passed away July 18, 2018 at the age of 92.

He was born January 13, 1926 to Andrew Franklin Kilby and Grace Lomax Kilby. Mr. Kilby was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Betty Summers Kilby, and his sister, Grace Frank Mayberry.

Mr. Kilby is survived by his children: Andrew Lomax Kilby, Jr. (Mary); John Asbury Kilby, Sr. (Phyllis); and Betty Ann Kilby. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Sarah Kilby Munson (Scott), Anne Kilby, Elisha Grace Kilby Jernigan (Justin), John Asbury Kilby, Jr. (Lacey), Jenni Foster Roope, Beau Foster (Katy); and by his great-grandchildren: Drew Roope, Grey Roope, Harrison Jernigan, Pierce Jernigan, and Lizzie Foster.

Mr. Kilby was President of Yadkin Valley Motor Company, North Carolina’s oldest Ford dealership established in 1915. He worked there six days a week, arriving by 6:30 AM, until 6 days before his death.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church in North Wilkesboro, NC and served as superintendent of the Children’s Building there for 20 years. He was also a past member of the Board of Directors of Wilkes General Hospital serving as its Chairman during a major expansion. He was a charter member of Oakwoods Country Club, the North Wilkesboro Elks Club, the Kiwanis Club, and a past member of Ford’s Dealer Council.

He attended Davidson College prior to his voluntary enlistment in the US Army Air Force on December 7, 1943.

He proudly served as a bottom-turret and waist gunner on a B24 Liberator bomber during World War II in the 2nd Bomb Squadron of the 22nd Bomb Group of the 5th Air Force. The majority of B24s were made at Ford Motor Company’s Willow Run Plant.

When the war ended, Mr. Kilby served as part of the US occupation force in Japan. After leaving the military service, Mr. Kilby attended college in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

He returned from there in 1948 to work as a partner with his father at Yadkin Valley Motor Company in 1948. He worked at Yadkin Valley his entire life beginning in his early teens.

A graveside service with Military Honors by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1142 will be held at Mountlawn Memorial Park, 10:00 AM Friday, July 20, 2018, with Dr. Bert Young and Rev. Steve Snipes officiating. Following the graveside service, a reception will be held in the Wayland Hall of First Baptist Church in North Wilkesboro at 11:00 AM.

The family requests no food. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the First Baptist Church in North Wilkesboro.

Online condolences may be made at

John Asbury McGee, Jr. ’55

John Asbury McGee, Jr. '55John Asbury McGee, Jr, was born on July 12, 1933, the latest of a seven-generation string of McGees to be born and live out their lives in Charlotte.  He was the son of John Asbury McGee, Sr. and Elizabeth Myers McGee.

The McGees and their forbears, all staunch Presbyterians, founded congregations at Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, Avondale Presbyterian Church and Covenant Presbyterian Church. The McGee clan is Scots-Irish, with all the qualities and idiosyncrasies of that tribe.

John grew up on the edge of Charlotte (which is now near Freedom Park) with the then pastures and forests of Mecklenburg County as his back yard. Together with boyhood friends he rode ponies, fished in creeks, played tennis, and shot the occasional quail.

He often went by “Doc” or “Gee”.  Both nicknames fit his casual, sprightly and slightly quirky style.  Initially, his children wondered if he would object to these assigned monikers, but he never seemed to mind. As a matter of fact, he didn’t mind about a lot of things.

John was smart. You knew this right away. Just three years after he began his studies at Davidson College, he was quietly offered an examination that would allow him to exempt his final year and go onward to Chapel Hill for medical school.   Three things will tell you a lot about John McGee.  One is that he finished college in three years (Davidson, Class of 1955).   He was a starter on the offensive line of the Davidson football team — at 5’ 10” and 155 lbs.   And perhaps most importantly, he met his wife, Julia Lyons Crews, while he was at Davidson.

After getting married and spending four years at UNC Medical School, John served as a Major in the U.S. Army and then settled into a long and successful OB-GYN Oncology practice in Charlotte spanning three decades.   He relished solving difficult puzzles with changing variables – such helping patients navigate high risk pregnancies.

John was a jogger forty years before running became fashionable; an avid bicycler around the Queens Road West loop, and a winning local hand-ball player.  On the side, he played tennis and swam. All at the same time.  We pity the younger men at the Y alongside him in spin class.  Here was this 60, then 70, then 80 year-old man that, we are sure, rode them into the ground five or six days a week. He was disciplined and relentless, and no doubt enjoyed a bit of solitude while in his high-heart-rate state.  The current capital improvements at the Dowd Y are made possible, in part, by over fifty years of faithfully paid membership dues by John McGee.

He was quick, bright, and very well read.  He read big, hard books, mostly non-fiction. He always had a book under his arm and one in his suitcase to pass on to you.  He was not the sort to keep finished books around the house, figuring that someone else would too, or they should be returned on-time to the Library to keep him in good standing.

He was a tree-man, an amateur dendrologist, with the smallest but best stocked arboretum in Charlotte located right in his yard.  And he was a sailor, a onetime bee-keeper, and life-long do-it-yourself gardener. He kept Myers Park Hardware and later Blackhawk Hardware in business, and if you went there with him it was hard to get him out as he and the staff were all old friends.

Julia, his wonderful wife and partner of nearly fifty years, died suddenly in the spring of 2008.  His family and friends wondered how he would survive without Julia.

Gee, however, rejected solitude. When his phone rang he answered it: ‘Can you play golf on Tuesday?’; ‘Want to turkey hunt next weekend’ ‘Dinner Sunday night?’ And so on. He slowly engaged with his warm world of friends that extended from his friends on Briarcliff Road and Westminster Street to Fairbanks, Alaska and Scandinavia.  In Risor, Norway, John became a regular summer resident and a minor celebrity at the annual wooden boat festival.

And he traveled.  He racked up frequent flyer miles fishing in Alaska and boating in Norway, Greece and the Caribbean.  He would come to visit his children two or three weekends in a row, with long stays at the beach or Tampa in between.  When visiting his children, he would take command in their kitchen at six thirty in the morning, making scratch-made pancakes and sausages for the whole family.  He shared his recipes generously.

His lifelong friends at Covenant Presbyterian Church enrolled him for a medical mission trip to Mexico, then another, then India. He soon began treating patients in India. He had found a calling, and he answered it.  Before long he was doing mission work in India every six months.

At nearly eighty years old, he joined a family trip for over a hundred miles of cycling in France. Between trips abroad he took his hunting group fly fishing in the Appalachian foothills, or turkey hunting in the swamps of South Carolina. He was reviving friendships and pastimes first practiced in rural Mecklenburg County, back when there was such a thing.  He and his friends fished and walked, and sat by the fire telling the many stories that fill out a long life.

Gee was happier at the social edge than at it’s middle.  At a big party he was often the one in the kitchen chatting with the cook. When visiting he would retreat without notice to his room or the porch, absorbed by “The Omnivores Dilemma”, or “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”.  He was un-compelled by any social graces to socialize when he didn’t want to. He sometimes arrived without “hello” and left without “goodbye”.

But take him somewhere and he would promptly make a new friend.  He could find something of interest in someone, anywhere.  Gee and his new friend would stand apart from the rest, chatting amiably. Later, Gee would rejoin us, proudly revealing the common link he had discovered. At the supermarket and he would chat up the butcher.  At the convenience store he’d chat up the clerk.  Gee was popular, if not magnetic.

John is survived by his brother and four children.  His brother, Edgar Montrose McGee, lives in Lexington, Kentucky.   John Asbury McGee Jr’s children are Elizabeth Christenberry (Chris) of Tampa; Virginia Richards (Roy) of Charlotte; John McGee (Alicia) of Blacksburg, Virginia; and Margaret Brantley (David) of Spartanburg.

He was grandfather to ten grandchildren: Taylor Elizabeth Christenberry, Thomas Travis Christenberry IV, Ruth Carson Richards, Clara Sullivan Richards, Grace Valentine Richards, Roy McGee Barton Richards, Julia Adams Brantley, Margaret Myers Brantley, John Thomas Cole McGee, and Leighton Joseph McGee.  He adored his grandchildren and cheered them on at baseball games, school plays and soccer matches.

A memorial service for John Asbury McGee, Jr. will be held at 11:00 am on July 14, 2018 at Covenant Presbyterian Church at 1000 East Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC 28204.  The family will receive visitors before the service at 10:00 am at The Fellowship Hall at Covenant.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Faith, Hope & Love Mentoring Program at Grace Covenant Church, 1800 South Boulevard, Charlotte NC 28203 or to Catawba Lands Conservancy, 4530 Park Road, Suite 420, Charlotte NC 28209.

John McGee served on the board of Faith, Hope & Love Mentoring Program for a decade.


┬áJames Alexander Corrigan ’45

James Corrigan '45James Alexander Corrigan, 94, of Evanston, Illinois, died Monday, June 18, 2018 in Evanston.

Jim was born in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1924, to John James Corrigan and Charlotte McRae Corrigan. His family then moved to High Point where he was raised. He attended Davidson College until called into service for the war in 1943, during which time he served in the United States Air Force.

After the war, he completed his undergraduate degree at Amherst College, where he was a member of Psi Upsilon Fraternity and made lifelong friendships. Jim completed his Masters of Business Administration at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Jim’s career in finance spanned seven decades and took him to The Treasury Department of the University of Chicago and finally as a consultant to the Educational Testing Service from which he retired at the age of 84.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, William McRae Corrigan and his sister-in-law, Virginia Loebs Corrigan.

Jim is survived by his two nieces who loved him dearly, Louise Corrigan Havens and husband David of New Canaan, CT, and Sallie Corrigan Amos and husband Bob of High Point, NC.

Jim took great joy in the activities of his great-nephews and nieces, William Havens, Charlotte Havens, Samuel Havens, Sophie Havens, Trela Hendrix IV and McRae Hendrix. Jim is also survived by cousins, Sandy and Linda McRae, Catherine McRae, Coralie McRae Barnett and Douglas McRae.

A private family graveside service will be held Wednesday, June 27, 2018, at Oakwood Cemetery Drive, with Ken Broman-Fulks officiating.

In lieu of flowers the family requests all memorials be directed to The First Presbyterian Church, 918 N. Main Street, High Point, NC 27262.

Cumby Family Funeral Service is serving the Corrigan family.

 Copyright (c) 2018 High Point Enterprise