Merrill Lee Gattis ’46

Merrill Lee Gattis '46Mr. Gattis, 92, died February 8, 2017, at home after a brief illness. He was a second generation Charlotte native, born November 3, 1924, the younger son of Minnie Smith Gattis and Louie S. Gattis

He was a graduate of Central High School and attended Davidson College. Merrill was an accomplished musician, and while a student at Central, he was invited to play violin with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

Mr. Gattis was never happier than when he was in, on or near the water. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Artemis in the South Pacific during World War II.

He started one of Charlotte’s only Sea Scout troops while a member of Mouzon Methodist Church. A competitive sailor, Merrill belonged to the Lake Norman Yacht Club (Highlander class) and the South Carolina Yacht Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

He enjoyed skippering chartered boats in the Caribbean and river barges in England and France. Mr. Gattis was a member of Myers Park United Methodist Church. He served on the board of the Metrolina Association for the Blind and was a dedicated literacy volunteer at the YMCA.

In 1950, Mr. Gattis began a distinguished career in retail furniture at the helm of Colony Furniture & Interiors. Under his leadership for six decades, Colony was known for fine home furnishings and decor throughout the Southeast.

At the store’s closing in 2015, loyal customers traveled from D.C., Florida, Virginia, and North and South Carolina to offer well wishes (and shed a few tears) for the loss of the iconic Charlotte retailer.

Mr. Gattis is survived by his wife, Gail H. Maynard Gattis; his daughter, Linda Gattis Shull (Graeme); and his son, Merrill Lee Gattis, Jr., all of Charlotte. In addition to his parents, Mr. Gattis was predeceased by his brother, Louie S. Gattis, Jr., and his wife, Franklyn Love Gattis.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at Myers Park United Methodist Church.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2017 at Harry & Bryant, 500 Providence Rd., Charlotte. Interment will be private.

The family thanks especially Dr. Reza Nazemzadeh, Hospice & Palliative Care of Charlotte, and Compassionate Care of Charlotte for their kindness and care of Mr. Gattis.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Charlotte or Myers Park United Methodist Church. Condolences may be offered at

Copyright (c) 2017 The Charlotte Observer

James Milton Bisanar ’46

James Milton Bisanar, 90, of Easton, Md., died peacefully Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. He was born May 1, 1925, in Hickory, to the late George E. Bisanar and Mayme Maxey Bisanar.

He attended Davidson College and received his medical degree from the University of Maryland in 1948, and completed an internship and a pediatric residency there in 1952.

He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1953 to 1955.

In 1960, he completed a radiology residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Radiology. Jim practiced Radiology in Baltimore, Md., for 30 years.

He married Diane Renshaw in 1955. They made their home in Towson, Md., before moving to Easton in 1978.

He is survived by his wife, Diane; two daughters, Karen Canter (Harry) of Easton, and Linda Gnade (Bruce) of Texas; four grandchildren, Laura Canter of North Carolina, Julia Canter of Florida, Nolan Canter of Maryland, and Andrew Gnade (Allison) of Texas; and one great-grandchild, Bennett Gnade of Texas.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, G. Norman Bisanar of Concord, and E. Alan Bisanar of Hickory; and his son, James E. Bisanar of Easton.

Memorial contributions may be made to Talbot Hospice Foundation, 586 Cynwood Dr., Easton, MD 21601; or a charity of the donor’s choice. Graveside services will be private.

Arrangements are being handled by Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Funeral Home, P.A., of Easton.

For online tributes, please visit

© Copyright 2015, Hickory Daily Record, Hickory, NC

Daniel Malloy McEachin ’46

Daniel Malloy McEachin departed this life October 28, 2015, at his home. He was born August 2, 1925, in Florence, South Carolina. He was the only child of Peter Hector McEachin and Margaret Howard McEachin.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Elkins McEachin; daughter, Margaret McEachin Gates (Dennis), son, Daniel Malloy McEachin, Jr. (Amy), grandchildren, Samuel George Gates, FitzLee Howard McEachin (Erin), Peter Hector McEachin (Paige), Amy McEachin Buchanan (Will) and Daniel Malloy McEachin III. He is also survived by one great-grandchild, Margaret Malloy McEachin.

He graduated from Florence High School in 1942. He attended Davidson College before entering the United States Army in 1944. He served in 2nd Platoon, Company A of the 19th Battalion, 14th Armored Division of the 7th Army. He was in combat during World War II from November, 1944 to May, 1945. He was wounded at the Battle of Hatten for which he received the Purple Heart.

After his discharge from active duty in May 1946 he remained in the Army Reserve until 1952. Upon his return from World War II, he entered the University of South Carolina School of Law. While in law school, he was Chief Justice of Wig and Robe, and was first honor graduate of his class.

Upon graduation from law school, he entered the practice of law with his father, Peter Hector McEachin, his aunt, Leah Townsend and his cousin, Eugene N. “Nick” Zeigler.

He later practiced briefly with his son, Malloy. He was selected County Court Judge for Florence County and also served as a Special Circuit Court Judge by appointment. Upon the reorganization of the state judicial system, he was elected a Family Court Judge for the 12th Judicial Circuit.

He was an avid outdoorsman and waterman and athlete, playing golf and tennis until late in life. During his salad days he was a scratch golfer. He had an inquiring mind and was a voracious reader.

Though his formal education ended in 1949, his quest for knowledge in the fields of science, economics, philosophy and mechanics continued until shortly before his death. The family would like to thank Gloria Wright, Denise Charles, Deborah Berry and Willie Mae Goodman for their loyal care.

The family will be receiving guests at his home. Funeral service will be 3:00 p.m. Friday, October 30, 2015, at St. John’s Church with interment following at Mount Hope Cemetery, directed by Waters-Powell Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to St. John’s Church, 252 S. Dargan St., Florence, SC 29506; or to the charity of one’s choice.

Copyright (c) 2015 The State

Thomas Conner, Jr. ’46

Tom Conner died after a brief illness on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015 at Piedmont Hospital. He was born Feb. 3, 1925 at old Piedmont Hospital, raised on Lullwater Road in Druid Hills, and attended grade and high school at Druid Hills School.

Prior to service in the Navy during World War II, Tom attended Davidson College. Following his discharge from the Navy, he attended Emory University School of Dentistry, graduating in 1951.

He pursued graduate studies at The Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and performed his residence at Grady Hospital and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Atlanta. He entered private practice with his father, Dr. Thomas Conner, Sr., in 1954 and retired in 1989.

Tom was a member of the local, state, and American Dental Societies, The American Society of Oral Surgeons, The American Board of Oral Surgeons, and the Southeaster Society of Oral Surgeons, where he served as president in 1987.

He was a life member of the Capital City Club, the Homosassa Fishing Club, the Peachtree Rod and Gun Club, and past member of The Old Timers – Atlanta Rotary Club.

Tom was predeceased by his parents, Miriam Sneed Conner and Thomas Conner, Sr., his son, Owen Bowden Conner, his wife, Margaret Bowden Conner, and his sister, Ruth Conner Fristoe.

He is survived by his son, Thomas Conner III and daughter-in-law Nancy Vileno Conner, and his sister Miriam Conner Jones, as well as several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday at Northside United Methodist Church, Dr. Gil Watson presiding, with burial following at Westview Cemetery. The family will receive guests prior to the service.

Donations may be made to the Lamar Q. Ball Raptor Center, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30498 or to Northside United Methodist Church, 2799 Northside Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.

Copyright (c) 2015 The Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution

Charles Franklin Blackburn ’46

Charles Franklin Blackburn ’46 of 645 Lakeview Drive, died Tuesday, October 15, 2013, in a local nursing home.

Born on April 30, 1925 in Cleveland, Tennessee, he was the son of the late George Cline Blackburn of Johnson City, Tennessee and Anne Rosson Templeton of Scottsboro, Alabama.

Mr. Blackburn graduated from Henderson High School in 1942 where he had been a drummer in the marching band directed by Thomas Hearne that marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City in the spring of his senior year. He attended Davidson College 1942-43 but left to enter the US Navy, training as a pilot for service in World War II.

After graduating from law school at Washington & Lee University, Mr. Blackburn was admitted to the bar in North Carolina and established Blackburn & Blackburn, Attorneys at Law, with his older brother George in 1949. Their firm subsequently merged with the firm of Perry & Kittrell.

After serving as Prosecuting Attorney for Vance County from 1950 to 1954, Mr. Blackburn was elected to the 1959 session of the North Carolina State Senate representing Vance, Warren, Halifax, and Northampton counties. Governor Terry Sanford appointed him to the NC Commission for the Study of Exceptionally Talented Children (1959-61) and as a member and then Chairman of the John H. Kerr Reservoir Development Commission (1962-67). He was City Attorney of Henderson (1966) and was the first Chairman of the Board Of Trustees of Vance County Technical Institute (1969) and of Vance Granville Community College, serving as Chairman until 1977 and seeing the college through its move to its present campus. Mr. Blackburn was President of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce (1977-78) and was named its Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1990. Mr. Blackburn served for many years in the NC Army National Guard, retiring with the U.S. Army rank of Colonel in 1985 after serving several years as Judge Advocate General for North Carolina. He received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 1965 during the administration of Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church.

A private graveside service will be held by the family at Elmwood Cemetery. A memorial service will be held Friday at 11 a.m. in the Rose Chapel of First United Methodist Church by Dr. John M. Check. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the church parlor.

He is survived by his wife, Thalia Jane Tillman Blackburn of the home; his son, Charles F. Blackburn, Jr. and wife, Marsha of Raleigh; his granddaughter, Katherine of Raleigh; and several nephews and nieces.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 114 Church Street, Henderson, NC 27536.

Arrangements were by J. M. White Funeral Home.