Richard C. “Dick” Burts, Jr. – Registrar Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Dr. Richard C. Burts, Jr.Dr. Richard C. Burts, Dean of Students, 1961-1970; Registrar, 1970-1985; and Professor of Psychology, 1961-1985

Richard C. “Dick” Burts, Jr., of Greenville, husband of Annamarie Booz Burts, died September 10, 2017, after an extended struggle with dementia.

Born November 11, 1919, in Rock Hill, he was the son of the late Richard C. and Mamie Norris Burts.

Dick graduated from Furman University in 1940 where he was a member of the SAE fraternity and the Quaternion Club. He received both a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he met and married his wife.

Dick devoted his career to serving as Dean of Students at Denison College in Granville, OH, Mercer University in Macon, GA, and Davidson College in Davidson, NC.

Dick served as a Deacon in the Baptist church and later as an Elder in the Presbyterian church. He was a loyal member of the Lions Club for over 50 years where he served as club president and as District Governor. He was awarded a Lion’s life membership and was named a Melvin Jones Fellow. He and his wife were recipients of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in recognition of their service to Davidson College and the town of Davidson, NC.

A resident of Rolling Green Village for 22 years, he assumed leadership roles as long as he was physically able to do so.

Survivors, in addition to his wife of 73 years, include his daughter Julie Cline of Simpsonville; his son Richard C. Burts, III, (Ann) of Raleigh, NC; four grand children, David M. Cline, Jr. (Chamblee) of Greenville, Wade Cline of Anderson, James R. Burts (Mitake) of Raleigh, NC, and Kathryn Jones (Jonathan) of Raleigh, NC; and eight great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister Eleanor Norris Burts of Bronxville, NY.

A Memorial Service will be held at Rolling Green Village on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at 3:00 PM. Dick donated his body to medical research at the Willed Body Program at the Greenville Heath System. Interment will take place at a later date.

The family is especially appreciative of the wonderful care provided by Homewell Senior Care and Lutheran Hospice.

Memorials may be sent to The Richard and Annamarie Burts Scholarship Fund at Davidson College, Davidson College Donor Relations, Box 7195, Davidson, NC 28035; to the Smith/ Smart Residents Support Endowment Fund at Rolling Green Village, Rolling Green Village, 1 Hoke Smith Boulevard, Greenville, SC 29615, ATTN: L ynn Lentz; or to a charity of your choice.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.

Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Southeast Chapel

Rex Howland Dillingham ’58

Rex Howland Dillingham '58Rex Howland Dillingham, M.D., 82, formerly of Lancaster, died on Sept. 7, 2017, in Orange Park, Fla.

He was born on Dec. 21, 1934, in Lancaster, to Rex H. Dillingham Sr. and Mafalda Wilson Dillingham.

He was the oldest of five children.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Rebecca Dillingham Lovelace; and brothers, Richard Dillingham and William Dillingham.

He is survived by his sister, Patricia Dillingham Brown of Christiansburg, Va.

The father of six children, he was preceded in death by his sons, Rex H. Dillingham III and Phillip Dillingham.

He is survived by his daughters, Susanne Dillingham of Charlotte, Dorothy Dillingham Blue of Culver City, Calif., Dr. Regina Dillingham Shillinglaw of Oakwood, Ohio, and Leslie Dillingham of Kettering, Ohio, and by his grandchildren, Wesley Dillingham, Jackson and Anna Shillinglaw, Fletcher Moore and Rex Blue.

A graduate of Lancaster High School, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and his doctorate from the Medical University of South Carolina. After several years in a family practice with John Willis, M.D., in Lancaster, he moved to Columbia and opened a practice that became the largest single doctor family practice in the state.

Recognizing the need for health care access for all, Dr. Dillingham was a frequent volunteer at the Columbia Free Clinic. He also contributed to the education of others by opening his practice to the students of the USC Medical School for their family practice rotation.

Rex somehow found time to support and participate in the Columbia arts community. He served on the board for the Columbia Music Festival Association and appeared on stage in several productions including “Annie,” “Hello Dolly” and “The Nutcracker.”

In addition to his service as a medical physician, Rex proudly served his country in the armed forces. He joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War and staffed helicopter rescue units. Upon returning to the states, he became a reservist in the Army. He was on active duty during Desert Storm and other assignments. He retired with the rank of Colonel.

Recently, Rex became a resident of Orange Park, Fla., to be with his companion, Nancy Labry.

A viewing is from 7-9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, at Dunbar Funeral Home, 3926 Devine Street, Columbia.

A graveside service will be held Monday, Sept. 18, in Fort Jackson National Cemetery (I-20 – Exit 80 South on Clemson Road, left on Percival Road). A reception will follow at CMFA on 914 Pulaski St., Columbia.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Episcopal Relief and Development or to CMFA.

Please sign the online guestbook at

Copyright © 2017 The Lancaster News, Landmark Community Newspapers LLC (LCNI). All rights reserved.

Andrew “Andy” Harriss Symmes ’44

Andrew “Andy” Harriss Symmes, 94, passed away September 1, 2017. He was preceded in death by his precious wife, Jean Deck Symmes. Having grown up in Wilmington, NC, he was the son of the late Harrison M. and Mary Harriss Symmes.

On December 7, 1945, upon his discharge from the Marine Corps at the culmination of World War II, Andy married Jean Deck. He set an incredible example of being a great husband, exemplified throughout 67 years of marriage, but even more so during Jean’s last years, at which time she was ill and Andy demonstrated unconditional love at her side.

His children and grandchildren all inherited many wonderful traits from him, such as fishing, sailing, ability to fix things, strong work ethic, fierce loyalty, steady temperament, and tenacity, to name a few.<

The slogan, “Once a Marine, Always a Marine,” applies to Andy. He served in the Marshall Islands during World War II, including the battle at Iwo Jima.

Andy’s family legacy includes: children, Andrew Symmes, Jr. (Jeanne), Jean (Bunny) Godfrey (Bob), Raymond (Ray) Symmes (Kathy), Mary Gwyn (Tom) (former husband Tate Carty, deceased), and James (Jim) Symmes (Katherine); eleven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; brother, Francis (Frank) Symmes of Wilmington; sister-in-law, Mrs. Harrison (Joan) Symmes, and predeceased by brothers, Harrison (Harry) and Courtland (Coty) Symmes, and special friend Shirley Freedman (Marlin deceased).

Andy attended Davidson College before entering the US Marine Corps in World War II and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University. He worked for Cone Mills Corporation as director of management training and personnel research before retiring in 1984.

He was an active volunteer at Christ United Methodist Church, Meals on Wheels and at Cone Hospital in Emergency Department, while remaining active in the Marine Corps League and as a master gardener.

There will be a memorial service for Andy at St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church, 5228 Hilltop Road, Greensboro, NC 27282, Saturday, September 9, 2017, at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Greater Carolinas MS Society or the PKD Foundation.

Condolences may be expressed online at Wright Cremation & Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.

Copyright (c) 2017 Greensboro News & Record

David Thomas Emery ’83

David Thomas Emery '83Charlotte native, David Thomas Emery passed away on the evening of August 29, 2017. He was an outstanding athlete, an intellectual, a strong Christian, and a devoted husband and father.

David was born on September 13, 1960 in Charlotte, NC. From a young age, David had natural athletic ability, and he loved sports of all kinds. David was a three sport athlete in football, basketball, and baseball at East Mecklenburg High School.

In his junior year, David started at both Wide Receiver and Free Safety, and he was a part of the East Meck Eagles 1977 State Championship football team.

In 1984, he graduated from Davidson College with a degree in Economics, where he also played second base for the Wildcats baseball team. After graduation, he started his career in Tampa, Florida, working for NCNB, and then with NationsBank Capital Markets. Later in life, David worked as the Investment Manager for the City of Charlotte.

In 1992, David met his soulmate, Angie, and went on to raise three kids, Mariel, Meredith, and Chal. David was a selfless father. He enjoyed sharing his passion for sports with his kids, teaching his two daughters to play tennis and basketball and cheering on his son in soccer.

David brought joy to people’s lives with his witty humor, big laugh, loyal friendship, and admirable ambition.

His survivors include his wife of 25 years Angie Emery, his three children, his sister, Ann Wooten and husband, Ronald Wooten, brother, Doug Emery, and nieces and nephews.

He is the son of Margaret Emery and the late Milton Emery.

David’s service will take place at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at Sardis Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Hospice House of Southminster or The Levine Cancer Institute. Online condolences may be made at

Published in Charlotte Observer on Sept. 1, 2017

James Dickson Phillips, Jr. ’43

James Dickson Phillips, Jr. died August 27, 2017, at home, surrounded by family. He lived a long and singular life, rich with duty and accomplishment, devotion to family, friends and country, and embrace of the eternal verities.

A man of great intellect and personal strength, he was soldier, lawyer, teacher, judge, churchman, outdoorsman, and music lover, but was defined by none of these — he thought of himself as a fellow pilgrim with all he met, and was beloved in return.

Born in Scotland County, North Carolina, on September 23, 1922, to James Dickson Phillips Sr. and Helen Shepherd Phillips, he was educated in the public schools of Laurinburg under many fine teachers. He was shaped in his childhood by the close-knit community of Scots descendants, the traditional faith, and the hardships of the Depression around him.

In 1939, he entered Davidson College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1943. At Davidson, he was captain of the baseball team and a member of ROTC. He went directly from Davidson into army officer training school and was commissioned a lieutenant in the 17th Airborne Division. He was still training in England when the Battle of the Bulge began in December 1944.

His 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment was in the mass of inadequately clothed and equipped troops rushed in to defend against the German onslaught. A rifle platoon leader, he was one of only about 18 men of the 165-man I Company not a casualty of that battle.

In March, 1945, he parachuted into Germany leading his platoon as part of Operation Varsity, the largest single-day airborne assault in history. Soon badly wounded in a firefight with retreating Germans, he spent the rest of the war in an English hospital. For his war service, he earned a Bronze Starand a Purple Heart, and his unit a distinguished citation.

Returning to Laurinburg immediately after his convalescence, he married his high school sweetheart, Evelyn Pearl Butler, in July, 1945. That fall, he caught a ride to Chapel Hill with childhood friend Terry Sanford, and was admitted on the spot to UNC Law School by Dean Wettach.

In law school, he was a member of the famed study group of the class of 48, Bill Friday, Bill Aycock, Bill Dees and John Jordan. The bonds formed among them endured through their respective careers and lives.

After law school, he served for a year as assistant director of the Institute of Government before returning to Laurinburg and going into law practice with childhood friend Donald McCoy. Soon they moved their practice to Fayetteville, joining Terry Sanford, to form Sanford, Phillips, McCoy.

In those years, he represented people from all walks and tried many cases, gaining experience and perspective that served his common sense understanding of the cases that came before him later as an appellate judge.

In addition to practicing law and beginning a family, he worked to elect to public office the major Democratic leaders of those years, Frank Porter Graham, Kerr Scott, and his own law partner, Terry Sanford. And he did a lot of fishing.

In 1957, his wife Evelyn died in an automobile accident, leaving him and their two young children. Carrying on, he soon accepted an invitation to try teaching at UNC Law school, which led to a permanent offer to join the faculty in the fall of 1960. He married his beloved partner for the remainder of his life, Jean Duff Nunalee, in the summer of 1960, and moved his family to Chapel Hill.

After teaching full time for several years, in 1964 he was made Dean of the law school, and served two terms until 1974. He was a youthful and energetic leader. He enlarged and diversified the faculty and student body, raised funds to build the facility the school still occupies, and generally put the school on the trajectory it has since followed.

As a teacher and mentor to thousands of law students over the years, he combined rigor, warmth and wit and earned their devotion. It is remarkable how many former students recount a pivotal encounter with him that somehow shaped the direction of their lives.

Never ambitious in material terms, he aspired to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, to which he was appointed in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. He served full time on that court until 1994, when he took senior status.

His role as an appellate judge brought together his great personal attributes of precision, clarity and wisdom along with a love of justice and mercy and a generous but realistic understanding of human nature and foibles.

He was esteemed by his colleagues and revered by the law clerks who served him through those years. He brought both a long view of history and the particular experience of life in the North Carolina of the Depression and post-war years to his decisions.

His cases included significant ones involving some of the most contentious issues of the day, minority voting rights, gerrymandering, and sex discrimination, issues that remain with us.

In a series of decisions beginning in 1982 with the Gingles case and continuing into the 1990s with the Shaw decisions, he led three-judge federal panels in finding unlawful state legislative districting that diluted minority voting strength, and upholding as constitutional majority-minority congressional districting.

In Gingles, particularly, he detailed the pernicious history of systematic racial discrimination in voting and election practices, race-baiting in campaigns, and the depressive effects of disadvantages in education, employment and housing on African Americans’ ability effectively to participate in politics.

The U.S Supreme Court affirmed most of the holding in Gingles, agreeing with his analysis and essentially deferring to his understanding of local conditions.

Although part of a long and complex history of election districting decisions, these cases remain important and played a key role in enabling African Americans to achieve better representation in state and congressional offices.

In the sex discrimination area, among other notable decisions, he dissented from the Fourth Circuit panel’s finding that the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) could constitutionally provide a “separate but equal” program for women, a dissenting position that the U. S. Supreme Court ultimately adopted in United States vs. Virginia.

The Supreme Court’s decision was one of the signal steps along the way broadening women’s right to participate in the military. While his legal opinions were written in the precise and technical language of law and legal analysis, his deep humanity and clear-eyed commitment to the principle of equality are plainly evident.

Over the course of a long and notable career, he contributed to many institutional and public efforts, always bringing clarity to the mission and bridging differences through wise counsel and a wry wit.

In the 1960’s he served on the State Wildlife Resources Commission and on the Courts Commission that drafted the constitutional and legislative measures that reorganized the court system in the State.

Later he was named the first chairman of the State Ethics Commission. For a number of years beginning in the late 1960s, he served as a trustee of Davidson College, and was a principal draftsmen of governance documents for that institution. He was a founding trustee of the North Carolina Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

And among his dearest affiliations was his and Jean’s 60-year membership at University Presbyterian Church where they both served on many committees over the years.

He received a raft of awards from the institutions he served. At UNC, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws, the Thomas Jefferson Award, and the Distinguished Alumnus award, among other recognitions. He received the distinguished alumni award from Davidson College and the John J. Parker Award from the N.C. Bar Association.

But most important to him were the enduring values of family and friendship, and living by the Protestant faith woven into his character from childhood. The deep friendships of his youth remained the strongest of his life. Such were those bonds that to his children the circle of close friends blurred the lines of family.

And he was most of all, on a personal level, an endearing model of decency and humanity – he never used his considerable powers of person or position to seek advantage over others, in matters large or small.

In the last years, his powerful mind was slowly drained by time and affliction, but the gentle core of his character never left. He was graciously accepting of the loving and skilled people who came into his life to assist in basic things, unfailingly courteous and grateful in difficult circumstances. He died with the grace and dignity with which he lived.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jean, whom he described as “all spirit”, daughter Lyn, son Dickson and his wife Lisa Frost-Phillips, daughter Elizabeth and her wife Tania Hannan, daughter Ida and her husband Fletcher Fairey, grandchildren Jonathan, Abigail, and Emmaline Phillips, Stella Hannan, and Fletcher Fairey.

He is also survived by brother Robert Derrick Phillips and his wife Susan Sihler, by his first cousin Whaley Brenner, and by nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Evelyn, and all of his closest friends from Laurinburg, among them Jim Sutherland, Tom John, Donald McCoy, Jonathan McLean, and Terry Sanford. Their memories live with his.

Published in The News & Observer on Aug. 29, 2017