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

John Frampton McGee ’43

John Frampton McgeeJohn Frampton McGee, 94, died on June 23, 2017, after a short period of declining health.

Born in Charleston, SC, January 9, 1923, he was the son of Hall Thomas McGee and Gertrude Wyman Frampton McGee. He graduated from Charleston (SC) High School in 1939 and Davidson College in 1943.

A member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, he was President of the Eumanean Literary Society, Track team manager and Army ROTC Captain. He received his Commission at Ft. Benning and was deployed to England. He landed at Utah Beach on June 12th and was assigned to Company “D” of the 117th Infantry Regiment of the 30th Division. He saw combat from Normandy to Germany.

During the Bulge, he aided in halting the S.S. Panzers at Stavelot, Belgium. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star with two Clusters, five Campaign Stars, a presidential Unit Citation and French and Belgian Croix de Guerre with Silver Star and was discharged as a Captain. In 1946, he joined the Evening Post Publishing Company in Charleston, SC.

In 1961, he joined the State-Record Company in Columbia, SC, and served as general manager and associate Publisher. He became General Executive with Knight Newspapers, Inc., in Miami in 1969 and joined Clay Communications in Charleston, WV, in 1970. He became its president and guided the company from one newspaper to a holding company with five daily and three Sunday papers, and four television stations.

After the sale of the company in 1987, he served on the Board Thomson Newspapers until 1990. McGee served on the Board of Directors of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and was President of the State Press Associations of South Carolina and West Virginia. He was elected twice as a member of the Board of Directors of the Associated Press.

The McGee’s shared a passion for travel and education, which they generously instilled in children and grandchildren through shared experiences with family. After his retirement, McGee and his beloved wife, Ruth, returned to Africa to teach journalism at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and later in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana. Because of his efforts in the development of a free press in Africa, he was chosen to be a poll-watcher in the 1994 election in which Nelson Mandela became President of S. Africa.

In Thailand, he continued his free-press development efforts through service on the Board of the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation and its development and distribution of a basic journalism textbook for students and working journalists throughout Southeast Asia.

The McGee’s shared a strong faith in God. They were devoted members of First Presbyterian Church in Charleston, WV. They established the McGee Foundation in Charleston, WV, in 1991, for philanthropic endeavors in the U.S., Africa and Asia, with a special emphasis on giving back to institutions in West Virginia like the Clay Center, WVU, and numerous other eleemosynary endeavors.

At Davidson, he served on both the Board of Directors and the Board of Visitors, which he chaired. The couple endowed a Visiting professorship in Writing and the Directorship of the Dean Rusk Program. McGee served as Vice-Chairman of the Charleston Area Medical Center, Vice-Chairman of the Clay Center, and Board of Directors of the United Bank.

A Rotarian, he was a member of the Huguenot Society of SC, the Cosmos Club, Edgewood Country Club, and numerous civic organizations. He received YMCA’s Spirit of the Valley Award for his lifetime of service to the people of the Kanawha Valley.

He is survived by two daughters from his first marriage to Ann Beverly Canby of Little Rock, AR., Beverly (Mrs. Archibald Hardy) of Saluda, NC, and Cathy (Mrs. W. deBerniere Mebane) of Greenville, SC, in addition to eight grandchildren: Perry Kinder Longno (Lance), Emory Kinder Wright (Jon), Will Mebane (Martha Corcoran), Harriet Mebane, John Mebane, Catharine Mebane Sturtevant (Drew), Jane Mebane Mobley, and Beverly Mebane Helms (Carter) and 14 great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his cousin, counselor and best life-long friend, Joseph H. (Peter) McGee and his wife Patti, of Charleston, SC. He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth Bauknight McGee, who was survived by one son, Charles Smedley (Sue), and one granddaughter, Sara Jane Smedley.

A memorial celebration will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 2, at First Presbyterian Church, Charleston, WV. The family will receive friends beginning at 12:30 p.m. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston

Copyright, 2017, The Post and Courier. All Rights Reserved.

Jack Newton Behrman ’43

Dr. Jack N. Behrman was born March 5, 1922 in Waco, Texas, son of Marguerite and Mayes Behrman. Behrman was married over 70 years to the love of his life, Louise Sims (dec). Together, they shared an amazing life journey and created a loving, contributing family. Jack Behrman was father of four children: Doug, Gayle (dec.), Paul (dec.), and Andrea; grand-father of Kyle Jaster, Emma Jaster, Wyatt Jaster, Brett Behrman, Todd Behrman, Madi Bateman, and Callie Bateman Bradshaw, and great-grandfather of Ellis Pearson, Owen Bradshaw, and Nash Bradshaw. He passed away at 94 years of age on August 19, 2016 at Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, N.C.

He was preceded in death by his siblings: Mayes, Paul, and Barbara.

Dr. Behrman served the UNC Business School over 27 years as Professor of International Business, Director of the MBA Program, Associate Dean of the Faculty, and Luther Hodges Distinguished Professor of Ethics.

After graduation from Davidson College in 1943 with Honors in Economics, he received an MA in Economics from UNC and an MA and PhD from Princeton; later an honorary LLD from Davidson. He taught at Davidson, Princeton, Washington and Lee, George Washington, and the University of Delaware.

Prior to joining UNC, he served as Assistant Secretary for Domestic and International Business in the U.S. Department of Commerce under Secretary Luther Hodges in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations; his portfolio included international trade and investment policies and programs and preparation for wartime mobilization of the economy.

After returning to academia in 1964, he continued as an advisor to the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury, the National Academy of Science, and National Academy of Engineering — and in New York to the United Nations, Committee for Economic Development, American Management Association, Council on Foreign Relations, Council of the Americas, and the Fund for Multinational Management Education.

He was a pioneer in the fields of comparative management, foreign licensing of technology, international business and government relations, and the role of multinational enterprises – subjects on which he published over 40 books and monographs and more than 150 professional articles, including two books on the role of ethics in business and the professions. While in the government, he initiated and helped form the International Executive Service Corps, which provided volunteers from among retired executives to advise private enterprises in developing countries.

In 1990, he initiated the formation of the MBA Enterprise Corps, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and private corporations and foundations; it sent volunteers from MBA Programs of a Consortium of the top 50 graduate business schools to formerly state-owned enterprises in Central Europe, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Latin America, and Africa for tours of a year or more. He remained its Chairman and CEO for 15 years.

Dr. Behrman’s career in international economics and business began in 1945 with a position in the International Labor Office in Montreal, Canada, working on post-World War II plans for a new international economic order, preparing full employment policies. He was continually involved in that prospect over his lifetime, interviewing and speaking to numerous groups of executives and government officials in 70 countries on the relations between international business and governments, changes in the world economy, and foreign economic policies of the U.S. and other governments.

His bio is included in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and Who’s Who in the World.

He was a co-founder of the Academy of International Business, later its President and member of its Fellows. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of several corporate enterprises and non-government organizations.

His service included leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America, membership on the Board of Directors of the Ethics Resource Center (Washington); Walco National Co. (NY); Troxler Electronics (Raleigh); Elder of the University Presbyterian Church; co-General Partner of the West Franklin Preservation Partners (Chapel Hill); and directorships in several other North Carolina organizations, including the NC World Trade Association, the NC/Japan Center, the District Export Council, and the Research Triangle World Trade Center.

Whether you knew him as ‘Dr. Behrman’, ‘Jack’, ‘Dad’, ‘Pops’, ‘Grand-Dad’, or ‘Poppee’, we were all truly fortunate to have this man of great character and ideas in our lives. He was mentor, friend, and inspiration to all.

There will be a private family burial in Chapel Hill. Donations in memory of Dr. Behrman may be made to The Davidson Trust, P.O Box 7170, Davidson College, Davidson, N.C. 28035.

William W. (Bill) Wood, Jr. ’43

William W. (Bill) Wood, Jr., 94, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Ohio University, died peacefully at Kimes Rehabilitation Center in Athens, OH, on April 12th. Bill is from Davidson, NC, and was born August 18, 1921 to William Woodhull Wood and Sally Price Wood at his mother’s family home in Lewisburg, WV.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Emilie Robinson Wood of Athens, daughters Mary Wood-Constable (Jim Constable) of Cincinnati, OH and Sally McCarley (Mike Loffa) of Columbus, OH; son Roy Wood (Tracy) of Rochester, NY; grandchildren Will Constable (Jessica Zhao), Julia Constable, Allyson McCarley, Kevin McCarley, Melina Martin, Peter Martin, and Liam Wood; sister-in-law Catherine Wood; numerous nieces and nephews; cousins; and special friends Peter Suwarno and Aswin Guswana who lived with the family while students at OU.

In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his brothers Robert Wood (Myra) and Lewis Wood.

He attended Davidson College, then served in the south Pacific during WWII as a second lieutenant in the Army. He received his MA and PhD at the University of North Carolina. Prior to being on the faculty at Ohio University, he taught at Austin College in Sherman, TX and Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV.

He conducted research in Indonesia, with a focus on Balinese agricultural systems. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Athens. Bill had a love of people, the arts, travel and discovery.

Always a gentle man, he embodied a blend of quiet grace, warmth, positivity and humor that touched generations of students, yet always shone most brightly among family. Bill enjoyed his children and grandchildren tremendously, engaging with them in activities that ranged from crawling around on “all fours” to serious discussions. Even in fun, he shared his love of learning.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 23rd at 2:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, in Athens.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hocking, Athens, Perry Community Action (HAPCAP) PO Box 220, Gloucester, OH 45732, www.hapcap.org. or the charity of one’s choice .

Arrangements are with Jagers & Sons Funeral Home, Athens. Please share a memory, a note of condolence or sign the online register book at www.jagersfuneralhome.com

 

Published in The Athens NEWS from Apr. 14 to May 13, 2016

Matt Ransom Long, Jr. ’43

Matt Ransom Long, Jr., 95, died at his home at Arbor Acres on Wednesday May 13. He was born on January 20, 1920 in Roxboro, N.C. to the late Ovieda and Matt R. Long Sr.

Mr. Long attended Roxboro City schools, Woodberry Forest School, in Orange VA, Davidson College, and MIT in Boston, MA. Mr. Long served in World War II as a Lt. in the Army Signal Corps, following service Mr. Long moved to Winston-Salem in 1947 and in 1949 he opened his company, Long Engineering Co. (now Strategic Connections). Mr. Long retired as president in 1986.

He is preceded in death by his parents and son Matt R. Long III.

He is survived by his wife, Emmie Lou James Long of the home, a daughter Anne Page Long of Winston-Salem, and a brother James S. Long and wife of Wilmington, NC. Mr. Long was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church, Old Town Club, and former member of the Professional Engineers of NC and the Forsyth County Airport Commission.

A Memorial Service will be held at Salem Funeral Home Main Street Chapel on Tuesday, May 19 at 2:00 p.m. with burial to follow at Salem Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to the Arbor Acres United Methodist Home, 1240 Arbor Rd., Winston-Salem, NC, 27104; Centenary Methodist Church, 646 W. 5th St., Winston-Salem, NC, 27101; Winston-Salem Foundation, 751 W. 4th St., Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC, 27101 or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be made through www.salemfh.com.

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