Hugh Kerr “Bud” Aiken, Jr. ’50

Hugh AikenHugh Kerr “Bud” Aiken, Jr., 87, husband of Clairene Harris Aiken, of Greenville, died Monday, July 10, 2017.

A Greenville native born on July 30, 1929, he was the son of the late Hugh Kerr Aiken and Alberta Farmer Aiken.

An Eagle Scout, Mr. Aiken attended Greenville High School and later graduated from Davidson College where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.

Mr. Aiken began his business career at Piedmont Paint Manufacturing Company where he was President and later founded Rutland Plastics in Charlotte, N.C. Known for his business sense and strong leadership qualities, Mr. Aiken served as the President of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board of Visitors at Christ Church Episcopal School and as Chairman of the CCES School Board.

He was a communicant of Christ Church in Greenville. Mr. Aiken was President of the Cotillion, President of the Poinsett Club and President of the St. Andrew’s Society.

In addition to his loving wife of 63 years, he is survived by three daughters and two sons-in-law, Jane Harris Aiken, of Washington, D.C., and her husband, Thomas Gibbes Hagerty, Susan Kerr Aiken, of Camden, SC, Elizabeth Aiken Chambers, of Greenville, and her husband, David Matthew Chambers; nine grandchildren, Mary Lanier Hagerty, Robert Chapman Hagerty, Claire Aiken Hagerty, John Withers Morris, Hugh Aiken Morris, Macon Carlisle Morris, Elizabeth Lenore Chambers, Caroline Alderson Chambers, and Katherine Reid Chambers.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Aiken was predeceased by his brother, Dr. Albert Farmer Aiken (Mary Ruth Lesesne).

A funeral service will be held Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. in the All Saint’s Center at Christ Church with the Rev. Jeffrey Meadowcroft presiding. Burial will follow in the church yard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Project Host, 525 S. Academy St., Greenville, SC 29601, Christ Church Outreach Fund, 10 N. Church Street, Greenville, SC 29601, or to the charity of one’s choice.

Condolences may be made to the family by visiting www.thomasmcafee. com.

Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Downtown

Earl Jones Ferguson ’50

Earl Jones Ferguson '50Earl Jones Ferguson died April 19, 2017. He was born January 14, 1930 in Lancaster, South Carolina, the second of three sons of Henry Stokes Ferguson and Wincie Eugenie Jones Ferguson.

He attended school in Lancaster and then was accepted into Davidson College, from which he graduated in 1950 at the age of 20. After service in the United States Army, Earl worked as an accountant in Charlotte, NC.

He is survived by his sons Barry M. Ferguson and his wife, Sandra Anthony Ferguson; Alan E. Ferguson and his wife, Nancy Short Ferguson; his grandson, Will Ferguson; his nephews, Russell, Michael, Douglas, Henry, and David Ferguson, and his niece Susan McWhorter Starnes. He was predeceased by the love of his life, Lorraine, and by his brothers, H.S. Ferguson, Jr. and Wendell Ferguson.

If he were here today, he would particularly thank his daughter-in-law, Sandra, and his caregivers, Carol, Mary Ann, Lisa, and Jessica, whose faithful attentions, multiple kindnesses, and love were a great help and comfort to him.

The family is grateful also to Hospice and Palliative Care of Greater Charlotte, who performed spectacularly in providing assistance and comfort during the last difficult days.

The funeral service will be held at Sharon Presbyterian Church, 5201 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC 28210 on Saturday, April 22. 2017 at 11:00 a.m., where also the family will welcome friends immediately afterwards from 12:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Burial will then follow at 3:00 p.m. at Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church Cemetery, 2814 Old Hickory Road, Lancaster County, South Carolina 29720. There Earl will join Lorraine and the long line of his family resting there.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Greater Charlotte and to Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church.

Condolences may be offered at www.mcewenminthillchapel.com.

Copyright (c) 2017 Greensboro News & Record

Stewart Moore McMurray ’50

Reverend Stewart Moore McMurray, 86, died suddenly on March 6, 2017 at his home in Lewisburg, WV.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Harriet Jane Blaney McMurray, his parents, Clarence McCain McMurray and Priscilla Leslie McMurray (nee Moore), and five brothers and two sisters.

A graduate of Greenbrier Military School, Davidson College, NC and Union Theological Seminary, VA, Stewart was ordained and lovingly served Presbyterian Church U.S.A. congregations and communities in Quanah TX, and Glenville, Hinton, Lowell, Pence Springs, Gap Mills, Glace, Forest Memorial, Sweet Springs, Alderson and McElhenney.

Stewart’s extensive leadership involvements supported local and regional planning work to establish public library services and Summers County Hospital, foster regional economic development, manage a multi-county food pantry, creatively initiate community events, lead youth development initiatives. Stewart’s life work embodied his deep commitment to universal human rights.

With his wife Harriet, Stewart travelled the globe and served international ecumenical organizing and development organizing in the US, and in Geneva Switzerland, Seoul South Korea, and Northern Ireland.

A beloved and devoted father, grandfather and uncle, Stewart is survived by his five adult children—William Kevin McMurray (m. Tamela Duckworth McMurray) of Newark, DE; Andrew Kent McMurray of New London, CT (Kathy Donlon); Harriet Leslie McMurray of St. Paul, MN; David McCain McMurray of Nashville, TN; and Jonathan Stewart McMurray (m. Yelda Erenler McMurray) of Bethesda, MD—six grandchildren—Angela Jade McMurray, Jay Christopher McMurray, Jewel Lee McMurray, Jonathan Eugene McMurray, Lara Erenler McMurray, and Finian Arda McMurray—and nephews and nieces.

A memorial worship service to celebrate the life of Stewart McMurray will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at 11 AM in the Old Stone Presbyterian Church, 200 Church Street, Lewisburg, with Reverend Dr. Anna Pinckney Straight officiating.

A reception will follow in the church hall. People are encouraged to bring and share stories and memories to share. Read More »

Perry Earl Gragg ’50

Perry GraggDr. Perry Earl Gragg (age 87) died Wednesday, March 1, 2017. A retired professor of English, he had been a resident of San Angelo since 1968.

Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; three children, Susan Gragg of Durham, NC, Alan and his wife Diana of Santa Fe, NM, Michael and his wife Suzie, and their daughter, Casey of Sugar Land, Texas.

Perry was born June 22, 1929, in San Antonio, Texas, the first of four sons of Perry E. Gragg Jr. and Lucile Pearce Gragg. Two of his brothers, Jess and Richard, both of San Antonio also survive him. His brother Robert precedes him in death. He grew up mainly in San Antonio.

He graduated from Harlandale High School in 1945 and received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in North Carolina in 1950. He received his Master’s degree in 1955 and a PhD in 1960 from the University of Texas in Austin.

He served in the Army from 1950 until 1952. He was a 1st Lieutenant and platoon leader in the 45th Infantry Division during the Korean War and was awarded a Silver Star for valor in combat during an attack on Pork Chop Hill in May of 1952.

He married Marilyn Langston of San Antonio in 1956 and they became the parents of three children. They lived in San Antonio where he was a professor of English, serving as head of the English Department at San Antonio Jr. College, from 1964 until 1968.

In 1968 he joined the faculty of San Angelo College, which later became Angelo State University, and taught there until his retirement in 1994. He was head of the English Department there from 1971 until his retirement.

He and Marilyn enjoyed traveling and over the years made some forty international trips to learn about the history and cultures of other societies. They visited every country in Europe, as well as Asian and African countries.

He was active in professional organizations during his teaching years, particularly the Conferences of College Teachers of English and the South-Central Modern Language Association.

A life-long Presbyterian, he grew up in the Harlandale Church, and after his marriage at the Northwood Church in San Antonio, and in San Angelo with St. Mark and lastly with Grace Presbyterian.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 6, at Grace Presbyterian Chapel at First Christian Church, 29 N. Oak Street, San Angelo, TX 76903. Visitation for friends and relatives will be held Tuesday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. followed by a graveside service in Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemetery Dominion, 20900 IH 10 West, San Antonio, TX 78257.

Memorials may be sent to: Lucile Pearce Gragg Memorial Scholarship Office of Development ASU Station #11023 San Angelo, TX 76909 Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly 2229 FM 1340 Hunt, TX 78024 San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts 1 Love Street San Angelo, TX 76903

Copyright: © 2017 Journal Media Group.

Charles LaRue Kirby ’50

Charles LaRue Kirby '50The Rev. Dr. Charles LaRue “Chuck” Kirby died on February 5, 2017 after a long struggle with dementia. Even as illness clouded his mind, this retired Presbyterian pastor’s deep faith and good cheer prevailed.

He was a happy man who loved the Lord, his wife Charlotte, and his family. Could there be a sweeter legacy? He was 89 years old. He was born on December 17, 1927, in Fort Pierce, FL, the fourth of James Alfred and Emma Jerman Kirby’s seven children.

In 1944, he was on a music scholarship to a Queens-Davidson Music Camp. While there, he needed surgery which was performed by Dr. Thomas D. Sparrow. They became great friends, and then family as Dr. Sparrow adopted Chuck as his foster son. Chuck graduated from Central High School, and Davidson College, where he heard God’s call. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA, and was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in Oct. 1953.

So began ministry for a man who loved every facet of the pastor’s life. Chuck connected with youth, had a gift for saying the right thing to people during hard times, and hungered to learn more about the Bible. He always performed beautiful weddings, his voice so tender and personal.

Chuck’s first call to lead four small churches in Sampson County changed his life. While serving a congregation near Tomahawk, NC, he was smitten by one of the congregants, Charlotte Murphy, a senior at the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina. They were married in 1955, a union whose love was captured in a letter Chuck wrote his wife on Christmas Day 1963: “My Darling Charlotte, Christ has put many blessings on me in my few years. You I prize and rejoice in the most.” Charlotte, of course, has saved the letter in a special box.

Two years after they were married, they spent a year in Scotland with their one-year-old son, Tom, while Chuck studied at the University of Edinburgh. Upon returning to the states, Chuck was called to First Presbyterian Church in Morehead City, NC where he served for eleven years. While there, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Jaycees for his work with the Migrant Ministry and served as Moderator of Wilmington Presbytery. While in Morehead City, the Kirbys’ two daughters, Anne and Frances were born.

In 1970, Chuck received a call to Caldwell Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. While serving there, he earned his Doctor of Ministry Degree from McCormick Seminary in Chicago, and served as Moderator of Mecklenburg Presbytery.

While serving Caldwell Memorial, the Kirbys did a 2-month exchange with Greenock Presbyterian Church of Scotland which is just outside of Glasgow. Dr. Kirby also served McGee Presbyterian Church, and was an interim pastor at Benton Heights Presbyterian Church in Monroe, NC. He retired from active pastoral work in the late 1990’s.

Such sweet memories: The annual week at the beach with all of the family at Wild Dunes; Saturday morning tennis games with his buddies at Charlotte Country Club; Sunday morning worship with congregants; getting down on all fours to play with the grandkids. All they had to do was ask and Chuck was happy to oblige.

No life is free of pain. Chuck and Charlotte lost their middle child, Anne Kirby Barnhardt of Greensboro, to breast cancer in 2012. She was 46 years old. Anne inherited her dad’s joyful disposition. Her brother, Tom, used to say that the party never started until Anne arrived.

Dr. Kirby is survived by his wife, Charlotte; son, Tom and wife Cynthia of Charlotte; son-in-law, Jimmy Barnhardt of Greensboro; daughter, Frances and husband Ashland Vaughn of Evergreen, CO. He also is survived by his much loved and enjoyed grandchildren: Laura K. Lemons and husband Greg of Charlotte; Quinn K. Branecky and husband Paul of Charlotte; April Kirby of Great Falls, MT; Jack Barnhardt and Lizzie Barnhardt of Greensboro; Kelsey Vaughn and Nora Jane Vaughn of Evergreen, CO; and great-grandchildren, Mylah and Calvin Lemons of Charlotte, and Evan and Collin Branecky of Charlotte.

A service to celebrate Dr. Kirby’s life will be on February 11, 2017 at 2:00 PM at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, 2501 Oxford Place in Charlotte. Visitation follows. Interment will be on February 10, 2017 at 1:00 at the Clinton City Cemetery in Clinton, NC.

A gift in his memory can be made to the Thomas D. Sparrow athletic scholarship at Davidson College, PO Box 7170, Davidson, NC 28035.

The family offers its deepest thanks to the staff of Sharon Towers, and Hospice & Palliative Care who showed so much love and care to Chuck and Charlotte. Also, thanks to David Lowery, Jim Lawton, and Allan Seidman for their assistance, and to Rev. Dr. Tony Tucker, and David Barnhardt for their frequent visits.

Robertson Funeral and Cremation Service is taking care of the family. Online condolences can be shared at www.throbertson.com.

 
Published in Charlotte Observer on Feb. 8, 2017