Benjamin Shannon ’42

Benjamin Eugene Shannon, 97, of Shallotte, formerly of Charlotte, passed away Friday, April 20, 2018, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Born May 20, 1920, in Gastonia he was the son of Samuel Edward Shannon and Ina Shannon Harris. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Thelma R. Shannon; brother, Anderson Shannon; sisters, Ruth S. Shanklin and Irene S. Wise; and grandson, Jeffrey Presson.

He is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Cindy and Ed Presson of Niceville, Fla., and Beth and Steve Spoon of Shallotte; four grandsons, Scott and David Presson and Chad and Eric Spoon; two great-grandsons, Hunter and Tucker Presson; and a great-granddaughter, Lexi Spoon.

He grew up at Barium Springs Orphanage and graduated from Davidson College. He served his country as a career officer in the U.S. Army and was a decorated combat veteran of World War II. He retired from Firestone Tire and Rubber Co.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Shallotte Presbyterian Church in Shallotte. The graveside service and interment will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 30, at Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte. The Revs. John Causey, pastor of Shallotte Presbyterian Church, and Eric Spoon, pastor of New Bethel Presbyterian Church of Piney Flats, Tenn., will officiate.

Memorials may be made to the Children’s Hope Alliance in Barium Springs or to Shallotte Presbyterian Church.

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Mitchell Mack ’42

Mitchell Mack '42Side Mitchell Mack passed away in the peace of his own home on December 4, 2017, two months after Dolores, his beloved wife of nearly 66 years. They are, no doubt, reunited in glory.

Born the son of Lebanese immigrants on January 16, 1921, he followed assiduously in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in devoting his life to family, faith and community. Mitchell and Dolores were extraordinary parents and role models to their 5 children, and loving grandparents to their 11 grandkids.

He and Dolores stressed the importance of establishing in them a solid foundation built on faith in God, love of family, personal responsibility and service to the community.

Despite his sometimes frenzied life juggling long hours in the family business and his numerous civic undertakings, family was always first. Mitchell lived a life of integrity which left an indelible print on his progeny.

He was a quiet man of action who led by example. After attending Mooresville public schools, he attended Davidson College and then went on to earn an MBA in Industrial Engineering from Harvard. During his career at Harvard, he was called to serve his country in WW II. Rather than accept a deferment, Mitchell chose to serve in the Navy, and as a Lieutenant was stationed in North and West Africa from 1943-1946. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserves until 1956.

After the war, possessing degrees from Davidson and Harvard, Mitchell could have accepted any number of positions anywhere in the country, but once again he chose to serve. This time it was the family that called. As the youngest of 4 children, Mitchell was asked by his father to return to Mooresville to help in the family department store, John Mack & Son, established by his father and grandfather in 1912.

From 1947 until 1993, Mitchell put his talent and intellect to work transforming and growing the family business.

Back in Mooresville, Mitchell lost no time becoming deeply involved in the civic, charitable and religious fabric of his hometown. He was, simply put, an outstanding citizen. He joined, and eventually led, the Rotary Club, serving in virtually every capacity on his way to perfect weekly attendance for over 65 years and becoming a Paul Harris Fellow.

He resumed his active involvement in Boy Scouts, from which he had earned his Eagle award at age 15, by becoming a Scoutmaster, District Chairman, Piedmont Council Executive Board member and Silver Beaver award recipient. He would accumulate over 70 years of continuous involvement in Scouting.

As a member of the First Presbyterian Church he faithfully served as Deacon, Sunday school teacher and Elder, as well as in the choir for more than 70 years.

His capacity for and love of service was nearly limitless. He served as President of the local Chamber of Commerce, United Fund, Merchant’s Association and Jaycees. He also served in various leadership roles with Lowrance Hospital, Piedmont Bank, YMCA, the Downtown Commission and too many other organizations to mention. Upon closing the family business in 1993 after 84 years of operation in downtown Mooresville, Mitchell served several terms on the Mooresville Town Board, including as Mayor Pro Tem.

He has been recognized widely for his contributions to the community. Among other acknowledgments, in 1986, he was presented the Outstanding Citizen Award by the Chamber of Commerce; and in 2005 he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest honor for exemplary service and exceptional accomplishment.

S. Mitchell Mack truly lived a life of meaning, consequence and purpose, and unquestionably left the world a better place than he found it. God blessed him with many gifts, and Mitchell used them to the fullest to better himself, his children and his community. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the very way he lived his life and the standard he set for all to see.

He is survived by five children: Side Mitchell Mack, Jr. of Greensboro NC, Ronald (Kathryn) Mack of Greensboro NC, Denise (Skip) Vallee of Shelburne VT, Yvonne (Maurice Williams) of Blowing Rock NC, Jeffrey (Anya) Mack of Charlotte NC and eleven wonderful grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Therese Catholic Church in Mooresville on Saturday December 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM. Interment will immediately follow at Willow Valley Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Cavin Cook Funeral Home on Friday December 8, from 5:00-8:00 PM.

The family wishes to extend their sincere gratitude to the caregivers of Home Instead, Bayada, numerous private caregivers and Hospice of Iredell County, and to give special thanks to Patty Martin and Ashlee Vineyard. Their wonderful care kept Mitchell comfortable in his final years at home.

Memorials may be sent to The Boy Scouts of America, Piedmont Council or The Rotary Foundation c/o The Mooresville Rotary Club or Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County.

Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory, Mooresville, is serving the Mack family. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cavin-cook.com.

Published in Charlotte Observer on Dec. 6, 2017

George W. Shannon ’42

George W. Shannon '42George W. Shannon, 97, died peacefully on Oct. 14, 2017 after a short stay at Morrison Manor in Laurinburg.

He was lovingly surrounded by his family during his days there and cared for by Hospice angels. Dr. Shannon is the husband of the late Frances Terrell Shannon, father of five, a leader in his church and a veteran of the U.S. ArmyCorps during WWII and the Korean War. He was a friend and doctor who touched the lives of thousands over 36 years of medical practice, 10 years in military service and 26 years in private practice.

He was a urologic surgeon and the first urologist at the Laurinburg Surgical Clinic. His portrait is displayed in Scotland Memorial Hospital. He served the Lord faithfully raising his family up in the Presbyterian Church where he served as a deacon, elder and Sunday School teacher over his lifetime.

Dr. Shannon was an artist and painted landscapes with oils and acrylics into his 90s. He prayed beautiful blessings at family gatherings and was the anchor and source of pride for a large family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Dr. Shannon was born September 22, 1920 in Tazewell, Va. to Rev. Beverly O. Shannon and Margaret Ward Shannon.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Harriett, brother, Beverly, grandson, Benjamin, and wife of 69 years, Frances.

He is survived by his five children; Sandra Hoffman and husband Randy of Laurinburg; Ann Jenkins and husband Len of Wilmington; Karen Shannon of Wilmington; and Carol Shannon Moore of Wilmington; and Dr. George Shannon, Jr. and wife Maggie of Billings, Mo. He is also survived by the eight grandchildren who loved him dearly; Jim, Laura, Bryan, Grey, Kristy, Kent, George III and Hunter, in addition to nine great-grandchildren.

Dr. Shannon’s funeral service will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, 600 West Church Street in Laurinburg, with Dr. Duane Hix officiating.

The family will greet friends in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the service. A private burial service with military honors will follow at North Myrtle Beach Memorial Gardens in Little River, SC.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, 600 W. Church St, Laurinburg, NC 28352 or Scotland Regional Hospice, PO Box 1033, Laurinburg, NC 28353.

McDougald Funeral Home and Crematorium is serving the family.

Published in Laurinburg Exchange from Oct. 19 to Oct. 20, 2017

Archibald Taylor, Jr. ’42

Archibald Taylor '42Archibald Taylor, Jr. died on August 14, 2017 at age 96.

He was a graduate of Davidson College, from which he also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He was ordained as a minister after graduating from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, and served as a missionary to Japan from 1950 to 1986. As part of his mission service, he was president of Shikoku Christian College in Zentsuji, Japan, from 1978 to 1982, and Adjunct Professor of World Mission at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary from 1983 to 1984.

After retiring from the mission field, Mr. Taylor lived in Louisville, where he was an outspoken and dedicated activist in the causes of peace and justice. He is the author of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and Beyond (2005), God for All (2013), and A Goodly Heritage (2014).

Mr. Taylor married Margaret Ruth Hopper of Louisville in 1944, and she served with him as a missionary in Japan until her death in 1984. He married Grace Wanda Myers of Louisville in 1990, who was his wife until her death in 2006.

Mr. Taylor is survived by three sons from his first marriage: William, John, and Samuel, and by five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service for Mr. Taylor on October 28 at 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Chapel of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1044 Alta Vista Road.

Published in The Courier-Journal on Aug. 27, 2017

James Hampton Black, Sr. ’42

James Hampton Black, Sr. '42James Hampton Black, Sr., age 97, a descendant of John Morrison, a Revolutionary War Soldier and lifelong resident of Mint Hill, North Carolina, passed away on May 5, 2017.

Like his forbearer, Mr. Black was a true patriot, always honoring and respecting his country and state, volunteering for the US Army Air Corps, serving with the 15th Air Force in Italy in World War II, chairing the Mecklenburg County Selective Service (Draft) Board during the Vietnam War, and continuing on various veterans commissions until his late 80’s.

Mr. Black was born on July 5, 1919 in Mecklenburg County, the youngest child of Clinton Montgomery and Annie Wallace Black. His parents and his brother, Clinton Montgomery Black, Jr, preceded him in death. Mr. Black graduated from Bain High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Davidson College in 1942. He retired as President of Central Piedmont Realty Company.

Mr. Black helped found VFW Post 4059 in Mint Hill and later supervised construction of the Post home. He was elected Post Commander, District Commander, State Commander, and later National Council Member. The VFW appointed him for over twenty years to present the concerns of veterans to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives at the VFW Annual Washington Conference.

He worked with many U.S. Congressmen and Senators from North Carolina, who sought his informed opinion on veterans’ issues pending before Congress.

He endowed a scholarship to honor the winners of the annual VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Contest. Governor Jim Hunt appointed Mr. Black to the State Veterans Affairs Commission, where he was instrumental in developing the Veterans Home in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

In the 1960’s Mr. Black chaired the Bain School Board. He grew up in the historic Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, where he served as Deacon, Elder and Elder Emeritus. He was Treasurer of the Church for over a decade, devised a plan to sell church bonds in order to build a new sanctuary, and chaired the Finance Committee that made the sanctuary a reality.

Mr. Black was a 50-year member of the Masonic Order, Scottish Rite Bodies, and Oasis Temples of the Shrine.

He was a Past Master of both the Mint Hill (founder) and Mathews Masonic Lodges. In 1984, he helped co-found the Mint Hill Historical Society and served as a Trustee until age 89. He urged the Board to purchase the house and lot for what became the extraordinary Carl J. McEwen Historical Village.

He was also instrumental in locating a County Hot Meals Program at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, and “Mr. Jim” served meals nearly every day for over a decade.

In 2005, the Governor of North Carolina awarded Mr. Black the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor in the State of North Carolina.

Mr. Black was predeceased by his wife of more than 40 years, the late Beulah (“Boots”) Howell Black. He is survived by his children, James Hampton Black, Jr. and his wife, Dr. Marilyn Shull Black, of Atlanta, and by his daughter, Nancy Black Norelli and her husband, Ronald Allen Norelli, of Charlotte; grandchildren Krystl Lydie Black Eldridge, and her husband, Gerald Austin Eldridge, of Atlanta, Kelly Black-Holmes of Atlanta, Dr. James Clinton Black and his wife, Catherine Bass Black, of Springfield, Missouri, Dr. Margaux Elisabeth Black Gray and her husband, Thomas Cary Gray, of Redwood City, California, Jonathan Andrew Norelli and his wife, Lauren Hawley Norelli, of Upper Arlington, Ohio, Margaret Howell Norelli Sanchez and her husband Miguel Andres Sanchez, of Houston, Texas, and Lee Elizabeth Norelli Pedersen and her husband Eric Carlson Pedersen of Charlotte, and ten great grandchildren.

Mr. Black proudly carried the Bain Cane as his father had over fifty years ago, as the oldest man in the Church.

A memorial service was held on Sunday, May 7, at 3:00 p.m., at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Mint Hill, with interment following in the family plot at the Church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, the Mint Hill Historical Society or charity of donor’s choice.

Ellington Funeral Services, 727 E. Morehead St., Charlotte, NC. Family owned since 1944.

Published in Charlotte Observer from May 6 to May 14, 2017.