Former Trustee B. Franklin Skinner IV

Former Trustee B. Franklin Skinner IVBenjamin Franklin Skinner IV, corporate executive, active civic leader, beloved father and grandfather, died at age 87 on Friday, November 16, 2018, in Atlanta following a long and valiant battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Frank was born in Covington, Virginia to the Reverend B. Franklin Skinner and Charlotte Walton Skinner. He was a graduate of the University of Richmond where he was active in student affairs. A natural leader, he was elected president of the student government.

Upon graduation, Frank joined the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Virginia in Richmond as a staff assistant, thus beginning what would become a 40-year career in the telecommunications industry.

Shortly after joining the C&P Telephone Company, he was called to serve in the United States Army during The Korean War.

After a two-year tour of duty, Frank returned to Richmond to resume his work at C&P. There, he met and married the former Ruth Ann Gee on what he always called the best day of his life. They enjoyed an extraordinarily happy marriage of 52 years until her death in 2008.

Frank’s career took him to assignments in Washington, DC, Roanoke, Virginia, Charlotte, North Carolina, Miami, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. He was elected president of Southern Bell on February 1, 1982.

He retired at the end of 1992 as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BellSouth Telecommunications. Wherever his assignments took him, Frank involved himself in local community initiatives giving generously of his time, his talents and his considerable energy.

He had the unique distinction of leading as General Campaign Chairman of the United Way in three major cities—Atlanta, Miami, and Charlotte.

Long associated with the Salvation Army, Frank was a Life Member and past Chairman of its National Advisory Board. He was honored with election as a life member of the Salvation Army, was awarded the Others Award and was inducted into the Order of Distinguished Auxiliary Service, the highest recognition the Salvation Army can give a lay person.

Frank served on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce in each of the cities in which he lived. He served as chairman in Atlanta. He served as Chairman of the Board of Central Atlanta Progress and as a Trustee of the Metropolitan Atlanta Community Foundation and the J. M. Tull Charitable Foundation, Inc.

He also chaired the United Negro College Fund Campaign. He served as a commissioner on the Atlanta Housing Authority Board, was a past president of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and held leadership positions in a number of other organizations.

Frank’s keen interest in education was clearly evidenced by his service as a trustee of several colleges and universities. He was a Trustee of Morehouse College, Davidson College, The University of Richmond, Gardner-Webb College and Columbia Theological Seminary. Frank served as Executive in Residence at the University of Richmond Business School.

He was also a trustee and past board chairman of the Charlotte Latin School. Frank had a strong desire to become part of each community in which he lived, he served on the Board of Directors of several corporations including BellSouth Telecommunications and its parent company BellSouth.

He also served on the Board of Nations Bank, The Barclays American Corporation, Interstate /Johnson Lane, Southeast Bank and Shoney’s. Frank Skinner received honorary doctorate degrees from The University of Richmond, Jacksonville University, Morehouse College, and the Interdenominational Theological Center.

He also received awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award of Christians and Jews, the Blanchard Award for Ethical Leadership, The Turknett Leadership Character Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Service Above Self Award given by the Atlanta Rotary. He was named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians and was admitted to the Hall of Fame of Influential Georgians.

He was past president of the Telephone Pioneers of America, one of the world’s largest volunteer associations of industrial employees. He was a past president of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and also a member of the Orange Bowl Committee and the Florida Council of 100.

Frank Skinner was a man with a deep faith and a love for the church. He was an active member and an Elder at Peachtree Presbyterian Church.

Frank was defined by his unwavering integrity, by his strong work ethic, and by his heart for serving others. He loved words, both spoken and written, and had the gift of using them to inspire, to motivate, to teach and to encourage.

Frank’s excellence in the community and business sector was legendary but it was his role as husband, father, and grandfather that was exceptional.

He showered his family with his immeasurable love, with his abundant wisdom and his unending generosity and with his delightful sense of humor. His blue eyes twinkled with warmth and kindness. He was happiest when “all of the feet were under the dining room table”.

Frank Skinner was predeceased by his wife Ruth Ann and by his daughter Lisa.

He is survived by his daughters Ruthanne Suttles and Christian Kirkland and his son-in-law John Kirkland.

He is also survived by his grandchildren Mackenzie and Molly Suttles and Tyler, John, and McKay Kirkland. Memorial contributions may be made to the Music Ministry of the Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.

A memorial service will be held at Peachtree Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. followed by a celebration reception in the Williams Center.

Timothy Lent Croft ’66

Timothy Lent Croft '66Reverend Dr. Timothy Lent Croft, who was born on May 12, 1944, in Wichita, Kan. and who grew up in St. Louis, Mo., died at home in Charlotte on November 10, 2018.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at Myers Park Presbyterian with The Reverend Joe Clifford officiating.  The family will receive friends in Oxford Hall following the service. Tim’s ashes will be placed in the Myers Park Presbyterian Memorial Garden and in the Croft cemetery plot at the Chapel By the Sea, Captiva, Fla.

Tim was predeceased on March 28, 1984, by his beloved first wife Carol Devlin Watson of Greenwood, S.C.

He is survived by his beloved wife Margaret Ann Moses of Charleston, W. Va., the five children and twelve grandchildren they share: Thomas Layton Croft and Chaandmon and Sky Croft of Charlotte, N.C.; Ann Bryson Croft McLean (John) and J.P., Annie and Croft McLean of Cape Carteret, N.C.; Caroline Watson Croft Estay (Pete) and Brayden and Holland Gaston, and Lena Grace and Austen Estay of Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Sarah Elizabeth Benson Finch (Geordie) and Ryan Finch of Thousand Oaks, Calif.and Jeremy Eldon Benson (April) and Marit and Torin Benson of Arvada, Colo.

Tim is also survived by his two brothers, Terrence L. Croft Esq. (Merry) and Thomas A. Croft Esq. of Atlanta, Ga., and his sister, Reverend Anne Bartlett (Bill), an Episcopal priest of Talent, Ore.

In addition, Tim is survived by his sister-in-law Frances M. Fesenmaier (Steve) of Charleston, W. Va., and two brothers in law, Dr. Nat E. Watson of Winston-Salem, N.C., and A. Hamilton Cooke Esq. of Jacksonville, Fla., and many nieces and nephews.

Tim graduated from the John Burroughs High School in St. Louis, Davidson College, the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and he studied Systematic Theology at New College of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.  Tim was awarded honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from both Presbyterian College and Davidson College.

Tim loved Jesus.  He also loved pink sirloin, cold Bud, Medoc, Lagavulin, Heath bars, fast cars, fast boats, saltwater fishing, especially in Alaska, and European travels with Margaret- and all the while was devoted to Jesus.  He served the Hunter Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Ky.; the First Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, the First Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, Va.; the Miami Shores Presbyterian Church in Miami Shores, Fla.; the Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C. and the Sneads Ferry Presbyterian Church in Sneads Ferry, N.C.  He also served for six years as senior vice president at First Union National Bank in Charlotte.

Tim lived life to the fullest and enjoyed every moment of it.  He took nothing for granted and he believed in the priesthood of all believers.  He believed that all are saved by grace through faith.

And he believed that nothing in this life or beyond this life will ever be able to separate us from the love of God freely and abundantly extended to all in Christ Jesus our Lord.  For several years Tim fought a consistently positive though uphill battle against the insidiously downhill lung disease IPF.  And in the end, by faith, Tim won!

In lieu of flowers, please feed the hungry, pray for peace, and tell all those whom you love that you love them every day!

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

 

William Lindburgh Freeman ’52

William Lindburgh Freeman, 88, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina passed away on November 4, 2018.  He was born on November 18, 1929 in Winston-Salem to Mamie Gordon Freeman and Hilliard Tillman Freeman.

He is survived by his brother, Sam, his wife Dixie and Sam’s son, Sam Jr.  He is also survived by his two sons, Alan Freeman, his wife Christie, of Mt Pleasant, SC, their two children Tyler and Lauren, and Stephen Freeman, his wife Cristy of Chengdu China, and children Stephanie, Ann Marie and Carter.

Mr. Freeman was a Davidson College graduate, served Honorably in the Army, was married to Emma Lou Carter Freeman for 34 years and worked at McLean Trucking, Sea Land Service and owned multiple restaurants in his working career.

A private memorial service will be held by friends and family.

William Stokes “Billy” Houck, Jr. ’50

Billy Houck '50William Stokes “Billy” Houck, Jr., MD, passed away peacefully at home in Florence, SC, on Friday, November 2, 2018, just 6 days before his 89th birthday.

He was born on November 8, 1929, to the former Charlotte Weston and William Stokes Houck. He was raised in Florence and graduated in 1946 from Florence High School where he excelled in sports, particularly football and baseball.

He received his B.S. degree from Davidson College in 1950, and received his M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston in 1956.

After an internship with the St. Louis (MO) City Hospital during 1956-57, Billy married the former Ann Ward of Rock Hill on June 22, 1957.  Billy fulfilled a five-year residency at Duke University in 1962.

Shortly thereafter, he joined the US Army Medical Corps and served his country as a Captain and the Section Chief of Surgery based in Fort Leavenworth, KS.

During that time period, he completed his boards in General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. He was discharged in December 1964 and spent one year in private practice in Richmond, VA.  He moved home to Florence in 1965 and began a practice in General, Thoracic, and Cardiovascular Surgery that would last until 1990.

Billy maintained memberships in a number of medical organizations, including the prestigious American College of Surgeons, and especially the Southern Surgical Association; he cherished the friendships he made with these doctors from throughout the southeast.

In 1977, he was given a faculty appointment at MUSC Clinical as an associate professor of surgery, and was elected as vice-president of the South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners.

In 1986-87, he served as president of the SC Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, and was president of the South Carolina Surgical Society in 1988-89.

At the urging of his good friend and state representative Malloy McEachin, he ran for and won SC House Seat 63 in the fall of 1990, and represented Florence County as the only physician in the state House or Senate for two terms.

He spent his remaining 24 years enjoying his family and good friends, either playing golf at his beloved Florence Country Club with Joe, playing tennis with Tommy and Jimmy, catching fish at DeBordieu with Took and Lukie, watching the Gamecocks play football in Columbia with his boys and their Davidson buddies, tending to his greenhouse, or reading anything he could get his hands on.

Along with his parents, Billy was predeceased by his brother, the Honorable Charles Weston Houck.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ann Ward Houck; their four children and spouses: Jacqueline Houck Borowicz and Eric Justin Borowicz (Greenville, SC), Dr. William Stokes Houck, III, and Betsy Hoffman Houck (Charlotte, NC), Robert Bates Houck and Shannon Stevenson Houck (Mount Pleasant, SC), Dr. Ward Vaughn Houck and Caroline Blackhurst Houck (Murphreesboro, TN); and fourteen grandchildren: Sarah, Kate, Emma, and Robert Borowicz; William IV, Lee, and Mary Houck; Charlotte and Ann Wallace Houck; and Megan, Klara, Isabel, Liam, and Scarlett Houck; nephew and niece, Charles Houck and Elizabeth Houck; as well as dozens of truly beloved in-laws in the extended Ward family of Rock Hill.

The family wishes to thank Agape Hospice Care and Tommy Porter who helped tremendously with Billy’s care in the last years of his life.

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church with burial following in Mount Hope Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, at Waters-Powell Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to Agape Hospice, 1516 W. Palmetto St., Florence, SC  29501; or to First Presbyterian Church, 700 Park Ave., Florence, SC  29501; or to a charity of one’s choice.