William Littleberry “Fritz” Vinson ’48

Fritz Vinson '48William Littleberry Vinson, “Fritz”, 91, died Wednesday, March 28, 2018 in Pawleys Island, SC. Fritz was born on January 9, 1927 in Greensboro, NC to Barnard Bee Vinson and Helen Julian Vinson. He was the youngest of four sons, and was preceded in death by his parents and brothers; Barnard Bee, Charles Julian, and Paul Garrett.

Fritz was a life-long learner. Invited along with his mother to accompany his brother Charles during his US Navy pilot training, Fritz attended five different high schools in Florida and Texas, ultimately graduating from Miami High School in 1944. He studied political science at Davidson College and graduated in 1948. He completed his law degree at Emory University in 1952 and was a member of the Georgia Bar since 1951. Throughout his life, Fritz was a well-regarded business man.

After graduating from college, Fritz joined the credit department at Sears, Roebuck & Co. in Atlanta, Georgia. He moved into management of the tax department at Sears after completing law school and remained there until founding his own property tax consulting business, Cape and Vinson, with his friend Forrest Cape. Fritz continued to be a well-respected property tax consultant in Atlanta until he retired as president of Avtax, Atlanta in 1998 and moved to Pawleys Island, South Carolina in 1999.

Soon after arriving in Pawleys Island, Fritz studied to become a Master Gardener and volunteered at Brookgreen Garden and with the Clemson Extension Service on their water sampling team. Fritz was never comfortable being retired and was glad to be able to continue working as the Financial Director and Treasurer at Georgetown Presbyterian Church right up until his death. Fritz deeply valued the friendships he enjoyed with his co-workers.

Fritz was a loving husband and father. It was friends, Nancy and Kent Beals, who introduced Fritz to two of his greatest loves, Pawleys Island and Luan Butler, the beautiful woman who would become his wife and best friend. Fritz proposed to Luan two weeks after their first blind date.

He often said that one of the best things about Luan was her beautiful daughters, Nancy and Kathy. When Luan and Fritz married on October 3, 1964, he became not only husband to Luan but daddy to these two little girls. Over the next sixteen years, two more girls, Caroline and Anna, joined the family. He was so proud of all his daughters, their spouses and his grandchildren. 

Fritz’s generous love embraced and supported not only his wife and children, but many extended family members, friends, colleagues, and members of the wider community.

When their own nest emptied, Fritz and Luan adopted a residential cottage at Thornwell Home for Children in Clinton, South Carolina, providing for the needs of the cottage including hosting the children and their house parents for vacation time at the beach and in the mountains. Together, Fritz and Luan served on the Board of Visitors for Thornwell Home, and established a family legacy fund for cottage life.

As a man of faith, Fritz was a dedicated member and Ruling Elder of Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and Georgetown Presbyterian Church in Georgetown, South Carolina. He taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. His wisdom and expertise were valued in the many church and Presbytery committees on which he served.

Fritz enjoyed water skiing, fishing, camping, body surfing at the beach, opera, carpentry, gardening, reading history and current events, genealogical research, playing bridge, and a good game of Scrabble. Fritz possessed a keen intellect and a wry sense of humor. His wisdom, guidance, and integrity have shaped many lives. 

Fritz is survived by his wife of 53 years, Luan Butler Vinson; children, Nancy and Dave Seay of Greensboro, NC, Kathy and Bill Cates of Greensboro, NC, Caroline and Phillip Dennis of Indianapolis, IN, Anna and Hunter Jones of Washington, DC; grandchildren Rachel and Libby Seay, Ryne Gabel, MacKenzie Cates Allen (Mark), Hayley Cates, Allyson Cates Koopman (Brian), Helen, Hannah and Jacob Dennis, Graydon and Piper Jones; great-grandchildren Layleigh and Elizabeth Allen.

A service of Witness to the Resurrection and Celebration of Life will be held at Georgetown Presbyterian Church, 558 Black River Road Georgetown, SC 29440 at 11:00 am on Wednesday, April 4, with a reception to follow. You may sign a guest book at www.mayerfuneralhome.com. 

Memorial gifts may be made to the Vinson Family Legacy Fund for Cottage Life at Thornwell Home for Children, 302 South Broad Street, Clinton, SC 29325, or to Georgetown Presbyterian Church.

William Stafford Joyner ’48

William Stafford Joyner '48Dr. William Stafford Joyner , a longtime family physician in Chapel Hill and clinical professor of medicine at UNC, died on Saturday afternoon, April 8, at his home at the Croasdaile Village retirement community in Durham, after a prolonged decline in his health. He was 92 years old.

Joyner was born and grew up in Kernersville, NC, the third of his parents’ five children and a member of a large clan that had resided in the Winston-Salem area since Colonial days.

Despite the turbulence of the Depression years, he had a happy, active childhood, excelling as a choirboy at Kernersville Moravian Church, an athlete and student in the Kernersville schools, and the undisputed “best whistler in Kernersville.”

In 1943, after his freshman year at Davidson College, he was inducted into the United States Army, assigned first to the Army Specialized Training Program at The Citadel, and upon dissolution of that program to the 100th Infantry Division, for training at Fort Bragg.

In early September 1944, three months after his older brother, Oscar, had been killed in France days after the Allied invasion of Normandy, Joyner shipped out with the 100th to Marseille. He took part in fighting as an infantry sergeant until the end of the war, through eastern France and into Germany, and was awarded two Bronze Stars for valor in combat.

Immediately after the war Joyner taught at the Shrivenham American University for G.I.s in England before returning to Davidson, where he graduated summa cum laude and class salutatorian in 1948.

Upon graduation, he married his Kernersville childhood sweetheart, Jane Linville, and they moved to Chapel Hill, where he entered UNC Medical School, then just a two-year program, and again graduated as class salutatorian. He completed his clinical medical studies at Harvard University, receiving the MD degree there in 1952.

Returning to Chapel Hill, Joyner was a resident physician on the first house staff at UNC Memorial Hospital, having been recruited by his UNC mentor Dr. William MacNider.

After completing his residency in 1954, he joined Drs. Fred Patterson and Kempton Jones in a general family practice, first in a converted chicken coop behind Dr. Patterson’s mother’s boarding house on Franklin Street (now the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house), and then, for 30 years, off Raleigh Road, in Glen Lennox, current site of the Aloft Hotel.

Throughout his career, Joyner was also a highly active leader in Chapel Hill civic, religious, and cultural life. Among many such roles over the years, he was chairman of the town’s Human Relations Committee in the early 1960s, president of the UNC Wesley Foundation in the late 1960s, and president of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club.

Originally a member of University Methodist Church, he and his wife were among a group of people sent out by that church in 1957 to found Aldersgate Methodist, on the southeastern side of town. They served Aldersgate in various capacities for many years, before returning to University Methodist in the 1990s.

Joyner and his wife moved from Chapel Hill to Durham in 1999, to be among the first residents of the Croasdaile Village retirement community. There, they were active in helping to foster cultural life, especially in the creation of a substantial community library.

Jane Linville Joyner died at Croasdaile in 2002, and the library is named for her.

In 2014, Joyner was made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, in recognition of his meritorious service in France in World War II.

 He is survived by a sister, Marian Myers of Martinsville, VA; three children and their spouses—Will Joyner and Linda Jones, of Newton, MA; Matt and Betsy Joyner of Charlotte; and Jane (Joyner) and Rex Kaney of Decatur, GA; and nine grandchildren—Julia Alexander Caldwell (Rick) of Atlanta; Johanna Alexander of Paris, France; Luke Joyner of Chicago; Alec Joyner of New York City; Carolina and Compton Jones of Newton, MA; and Anna Claire, Matthew, and Oscar Joyner of Charlotte. Also surviving is his special friend of recent years, Patricia Coman.

The family would like to recognize and thank the entire staff of Croasdaile Village, particularly of Friendship House Assisted Living Unit, for their compassionate care for Dr. Joyner.

 A service in celebration of the life of William S. Joyner will be held at University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 (parking in Chapel Hill municipal lots), with reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the library fund at Croasdaile Village, 2600 Croasdaile Farm Pkway, Durham NC 27705, or to the music ministry at University United Methodist Church, 150 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC. Online condolences for the family may be communicated at www.cremationsocietync.com.


William “Bill” Taylor Simpson, Jr. ’48

Bill SimpsonSimpson, William Taylor “Bill” Jr., died peacefully with his family at his bedside on February 6, 2017.

Bill was born in Newnan, Georgia in 1927, and grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He enrolled at Davidson College at age 15, and was on the basketball, baseball, tennis, and track teams. Bill left college to serve in the Navy during  World War II and returned to graduate in 1948.

After graduation Bill moved to Louisville to teach at Kentucky Military Institute (KMI) for a two-year contract, and never left. He married Diane Dixon Richmond, the daughter of the president of KMI, Col. Charles Blair Richmond, in 1952. He coached the KMI basketball team for 25 years in the highly competitive central Florida Gulf coast area.

Bill completed his master’s degree in educational administration at the University of Louisville in 1954, and received a Ph.D. in administration and management of behavioral sciences from the University of Kentucky in 1964. Bill became president of KMI in 1966, and held that position until the school closed ten years later.

He began a second career in 1976 as a trust officer at Citizens Fidelity Bank, where he was senior vice president and head of the Trust and Investments Department from 1979 until his retirement in 1992.

After retirement Bill served as a private banking consultant to PNC, and was on the Board of Directors of the Rembrandt Fund, a Chicago mutual fund company, for ten years.

Bill served on the boards of directors of the Louisville Community Foundation (Executive Committee and Chair of Grants Committee), American Red Cross Louisville Chapter (Chairman of Board of Directors), Bingham Child Guidance Center (President of Board of Directors), Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts, the Kentucky Home Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (President), the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (Chair Kentucky Accreditation Committee), the Kentucky Country Day School, and St. Francis School.

He was a member of the Louisville Country Club, the downtown Rotary Club of Louisville, and the downtown YMCA. Bill served on the Vestry at St. Francis Church, where he was Senior Warden, and later joined St. Matthews Episcopal Church.

Bill was predeceased by his sister Rebecca, his brother David, and his wife Diane.

He is survived by his three sons, Kennedy (Sara), Richmond (Susan), and Taylor (Melinda); his eight grandchildren Tierney Jutzi (Joe), Storey O’Barr (David), Blair Bell (Dustin), Will Simpson, Palmer Simpson, Maclin Simpson, Ryan Simpson and Darcy Simpson; and his two great-grandchildren Emery and Grayson O’Barr.

Bill was an avid golfer and bridge player, and a diehard fan of the Cincinnati Reds and UK basketball. His joy in life was his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He left an indelible imprint on his professions, his community, and his family, and he will be sorely missed as he joins his beloved Diane in the kingdom of heaven.

Visitation will be held at St. Matthews Episcopal Church at 10 a.m. Friday, February 10, with a memorial service at 11:30 a.m.

Donations may be made to St. Matthews Episcopal Church, the Louisville Area Red Cross, or the YMCA of Greater Louisville.


Published in The Courier-Journal from Feb. 8 to Feb. 10, 2017

John McNeely Dunlap, Jr. ’48

John McNeely Dunlap, Jr., 92, passed away Friday, September 30, 2016 at Abernethy Laurels. Born in Charlotte, he was the son of the late John McNeely Dunlap and Emily Mason Dunlap.

He served in the Army during World War II from 1943-1945. At the end of his enlistment, he attended Davidson College and then UNC Chapel Hill, where he received his master’s degree in English Literature.

After retiring from North Carolina National Bank, he enjoyed hiking in the mountains. A lifelong avid reader, John was quite the history buff. He made others laugh with his one-liners and wry observations.

In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his wife of 16 years, Nancy Ledbetter Dunlap; brother Mason Morris Dunlap; and his granddaughter, Holly Clark.

He is survived by his daughters, Louise Grose and husband Neal of Harmony, NC and Nancy Clark and husband Ed of Greensboro, NC; son, John Lewis “Jack”Dunlap of Charlotte, NC; grandsons, Josh Clark of Key West, FL, David Grose and John Joseph “J.J.” Grose both of Harmony, NC; and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, October 9, 2016, at Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte, NC with Chaplain George Bridges of Cornerstone Baptist Church officiating.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Abernethy Laurels in Newton on Friday, October 21, 2016 at 3 p.m.with the Rev. Susan Roddy officiating.

Memorials may be made to InReach, Inc., 4530 Park Road Ste. 300, Charlotte, NC 28209.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff of Abernethy Laurels in Newton, NC for their true friendship and care of John over many years.

Condolences may be made to the Dunlap family at www.willisreynoldsfh.com.

Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton is honored to serve the Dunlap family.

Copyright 2016, The Observer-News-Enterprise, All Rights Reserved.

Charles Walter Patterson ’48

Charles Walter Patterson '48Charles “Charlie” Walter Patterson, 92, of Charlotte, passed into the arms of his Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, September 18, 2016 surrounded by loved ones at Sharon Towers.  Charlie was born August 24, 1924, in Charlotte to Onnie and Buford Patterson.

He graduated from Central High School in 1942, and then later from Davidson College in 1948, after serving as a pilot in the Army AirCorp, where he was stationed on Attu in the Aleutian Islands.

In 1998, Charlie was later awarded the Distinguished Alumni Service Award by Davidson College. For many decades he could be spotted front and center at Wildcat games.

Charlie was married to Elsie Caroline Blackburn for 42 wonderful years until her death in 1990. In 2001, he married Betty Beall, with whom he spent 15 joyful years prior to his death. Mr. Patterson was employed as President of Ballabox Company in Matthews until his retirement in 1993.

Charlie was a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church, where he was Chairman of the Board of Deacons, and elder, and Superintendent of Sunday School.

One of his favorite contributions to the church was serving as a  ‘greeter” on Sunday mornings for 25 years. Charlie never met a stranger-he was known for his huge smile, booming laugh, warm personality, and ability to find something in common with everyone.

He was an avid gardener, loved volleyball and golfing with friends, fishing, hunting with his son-in-law, and photography. Above all else, Charlie loved his time with family. He was happiest on holidays and annual family beach trips to Sunset Beach.

Charlie is survived by his loving wife Betty, and his daughters Belinda Patterson Collins (Bruce) of Charlotte; Cyndy Patterson Chapman (Dave) of Charlottesville, VA, and Amanda Anne Patterson of
Atlanta, GA.

He is also survived and adored by his grandchildren Whitney Otto (Josh), Bailey Willingham (Brandon), Allie Collins, Reuben Chapman, Katie Patterson, and Bryan Patterson, and also by his great-grandchildren Charles Otto, Wells Otto, and Elsie Willingham.

Charlie also had a wonderful relationship with Betty’s three sons, Ben Beall (Mary), Andy Beall (Laura), Tom Beall, and their families.

A celebration of his life will be held at Monday, September 26th at 2PM at First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte with Rev. Katherine Kerr officiating. The family will be greeted following the service in the Wood Fellowship Hall.

In Charles’ s  memory, donations may be made to the Sharon Towers Residents Assistance Fund, 5100 Sharon Rd, Chlt, NC, 28210 or Hospice & Palliative Care of Charlotte , 1420 E 7th St., Chlt, NC, 28204.