George Helme Sutcliffe ’59

George Helme Sutcliffe '59Dr. George Helme Sutcliffe, 81, son of Geoffrey Helme Sutcliffe and Martha Wilkinson Sutcliffe, passed away Wednesday, November 7, 2018, in Charlotte in the devoted care of Hospice.

Born October 4th, 1937 in Shanghai, China; George and his family moved to Geelong, Australia in 1941 to escape the Japanese invasion. George attended Geelong College Preparatory School in Victoria, Australia, where he learned cricket and Australian Rules football.

At the end of 1948, the family decided to move to the United States where his mother’s two brothers were practicing medicine, Louis Wilkinson MD in High Point NC and George Wilkinson MD in Greenville SC. Dr. Sutcliffe attended the old Charlotte Country Day School on Sardis Road.

He then attended the McCallie School in Chattanooga TN graduating Cum Laude in academics. He graduated from Davidson College ’59 with a BS in physics and was awarded an MBA from East Carolina University in 1961.

George served active duty in the US Army from 1961 to 1963 as Radar Platoon Leader and Battery Control Officer assigned to Battery D, 4th Missile Battalion, 71st Artillery, Hazlet, NJ, New York Air defense Sector and was on duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

George continued serving his country in the US Army Reserve for twenty-five years, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel in the 1023rd Civil Affairs Brigade in 1988.

Upon discharge from active duty, George pursued a teaching career in business administration at Central Piedmont Community College lasting thirty-two years and retired with a Doctorate in Education in 2002.

George was married 54 years to his childhood sweetheart, Alita White Sutcliffe, and they traveled the world together, both avid lovers of history. With his interest in regional history and family genealogy, Dr. Sutcliffe became a member of Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society in 1982.

He served as treasurer, then later served on the board and was then president 2002-2003. George was also an avid amateur race car driver, and a passionate fan of soccer, helping to reinstate a varsity soccer team while a student at Davidson. He was a gifted storyteller, cracking up his audiences with his Australian accent over a glass of his favorite Scotch, Laphroaig.

He is survived by his first cousin, Wyndham Wilkinson, of Winston-Salem NC, second cousins also of Winston-Salem, Virginia Cabell Wilkinson and Elizabeth Wyndham Wilkinson, SC and English cousins, and long-time devoted friend Maria St. John of Charlotte NC.

Following a memorial service at Harry and Bryant Funeral Home in Charlotte at 11 am on November 16, George Sutcliffe will be buried with his family in Historic Hopewell Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in Claussens SC on November 27th.

Memorials may be sent to the following, or to a charity of your choiceGeorge Helme Sutcliffe '59:

Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society Building Fund, P.O. Box 32453, Charlotte, NC 28232-2453, or

Historic Hopewell Cemetery Committee, Claussens, SC


Published in Charlotte Observer on Nov. 11, 2018

Richard Fretwell Brubaker ’59

Richard Fretwell Brubaker '59Richard Fretwell Brubaker, 81, of Rochester, died October 23, 2018 at Seasons Hospice, from pancreatic cancer. Richard was born February 13, 1937 in Macon, Georgia, to Leonard Hathaway Brubaker and Frances Bush Brubaker.

He attended Davidson College in North Carolina and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in chemistry in 1959. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1963.

After an internship in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, he completed residency training in ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in 1968. While in Boston, he met his future wife, Nancy Ogle; they were married in 1965.

He served two years in the United States Public Health Service, NIH, in Bethesda, Maryland, before moving to Nancy’s hometown of Rochester, Minnesota to join the staff at the Mayo Clinic as Consultant in Ophthalmology in 1970. 

Richard had a distinguished 30 year career at the Mayo Clinic, retiring in June 2000. He was a leader in patient care, research, education, and administration. Included in his many accomplishments were Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology 1984-1992, President of the Staff in 1990, and Medical Director of Mayo Medical Ventures 1994-2000.

He was an active researcher in glaucoma, publishing over 200 articles, and he received numerous local and international awards and grants. He was beloved by medical students, residents, and fellows for his gentle, humble, and enthusiastic teaching style.

Throughout his life, Richard’s spirit of curiosity and adventure led him to pursue many diverse activities and projects. He built harpsichords, sang in a barbershop quartet, ran many marathons, windsurfed on Pelican Lake, invented three bike boats, took up ice hockey at age 50 and snowboarding at 60, and learned to play the soprano saxophone during his 70s.

He co-authored with his daughter Jill two mystery stories for young readers. He amazed friends with his ability to double whistle. “Dr. Bru” could be seen unicycling, hacky sacking, and playing street hockey with neighborhood kids while on rollerblades. He was never too old to try something new. 

In retirement, Richard and Nancy developed a farm in Oronoco, where he planted hundreds of trees, built a 9-hole “golf course,” and created over a hundred metal sculptures in his art studio. He donated five of his pieces, which can be seen on Rochester bike trails, as part of the Art4Trails program.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three children: Jill Brubaker (William Elmquist), Woodinville, WA; Bart Brubaker, Rochester, MN; and Heather Brubaker (Ted Sorom), San Rafael, CA; three grandchildren, Hillary, Brooke, and Hannah; brother Leonard (Margaret) Brubaker, Augusta, GA; and sister Barbara (James) Hightower, Tyrone, GA. 

A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 10, 11:00 a.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1884 – 22nd Street NW, Rochester. The family will welcome visitors beginning at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to the Rochester Area Foundation or Art4Trails at C4/Art4Trails, 609 4th Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901. 

To leave a special memory or condolence please visit

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes 5421 Royal Place NW Rochester, MN 55901

View the online memorial for Dr. Richard Brubaker

Published in The Telegraph on Oct. 27, 2018

Burwell John Shore III ’59

The Reverend Burwell John Shore III, 81, of Winston-Salem, departed this life to join our Lord’s church triumphant on Monday, September 10, 2018 at Wake Forest Baptist Health. He was born November 13, 1936 in Greensboro, NC to Burwell John Shore II and Phena Tillman Shore.

He was dedicated to serving God and worked humbly and steadfastly to comfort and minister to so many people. Rev. Shore graduated from Davidson College and Union Theological Seminary and served at Hartwood Presbyterian Church in Fredericksburg, VA, Covenant Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, NC and Pocket Presbyterian Church in Sanford, NC. He enjoyed playing golf, fishing, traveling, singing in the choir, and supporting the Davidson Wildcats and Washington Redskins.

Preceding him in death was his wife of 51 years, Jane Baptist Shore, and his parents.

Surviving is a daughter, Deborah Stewart of Eugene, OR; a son, Keith Shore and wife Karen of Lewisville; grandchildren, Brian Hamilton and wife Jen, Jonathan Stewart, Elizabeth Stewart and fiancé Will Buie, and Emily Jurado and husband AJ; two great-grandchildren, Ellis and Luke Hamilton, and a brother, Robert Shore of Charlotte, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be conducted at 2:00 PM Friday, September 14, 2018 at Clemmons Presbyterian Church by Rev. Dr. Bill Hoyle and Rev. Patrick McElwaine. Inurnment will follow in the church columbarium. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Thursday at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Clemmons Presbyterian Church, 3930 Clemmons Rd., Clemmons, NC 27012. Online condolences may be made at

Burl enjoyed living at Salemtowne and the family thanks the staff for their love and care along with the compassionate care from the staff at Baptist Hospital.

John F. Renfro, Jr. ’59

John Renfro '59John F. Renfro, Jr., 81, of Spartanburg died May 18, 2018.

Born February 18, 1937 in Spartanburg, he was the son of the late John F. Renfro and Bonnie Babb Renfro. Educated in the Spartanburg City schools, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College in 1959. In 1960, he earned an MBA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

John married Beverly Folger in 1960 at First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg. After his service in the US Army, the couple moved to Spartanburg in 1963 where he began his life-long career with Inman Mills. In 2002, he retired as Vice President. He was devoted to his work, colleagues, and friends at Inman Mills.

In high school, John earned the Eagle Scout Award and promoted scouting throughout his adult life. In 2017, in honor of his 80th birthday, his three sons along with Inman Mills commissioned the John F. Renfro Jr. Scout Center in Inman to recognize his contributions.

John was very active in his community and served on numerous boards and committees. He was Treasurer and Trustee of the Inman-Riverdale Foundation as well as a Trustee for both Queens College and the Mary Black Foundation.

John also served as a board member on the Arts Partnership of Spartanburg, the Spartanburg Development Association, the United Way of the Piedmont, and the Spartanburg Area and State Chambers of Commerce.

John received the Morgan Award from the United Way in 1995 and the David Reid Award from the Arts Partnership in 2001. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Chapman Cultural Center.

From 1988 until 2010, John and Beverly resided on their family farm in Gowansville. They joined Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Tryon where he served as Treasurer. Upon returning to Spartanburg, they rejoined First Presbyterian Church where John served as an elder.

John Renfro was an incredibly loving husband, father and grandfather and was blessed with many friends. Known as “Papa John” by his family, he never missed an opportunity to spend time with his children and grandchildren. Some of his favorite memories were the many fishing, hunting, skiing and beach trips with family and friends. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.

In addition to his wife, John is survived by three sons, John “Trip” F. Renfro III, MD (Suzanne D., MD) of Greenville, McDuffie “Mac” F. Renfro (Marianna) of Cornelius, NC, and Foy F. Renfro (Mark A. Bradshaw, MD) of Ashland, OR; six grandchildren, Sloan, Sarah, and Emma Renfro of Greenville; Mary Taylor of Charlotte; and Brooks and Anna Renfro; halfsister, Helen Bridgforth of Dallas, TX; brother-in-law, Guy Wellman of Flat Rock, NC; and his loving dogs, Boogie and Dabo.

He is predeceased by his parents and his half-sister, Frances Wellman.

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Thomas E. Evans and the Rev. Joanne R. Hull on Tuesday May 22, 4:00PM at First Presbyterian Church: 393 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302. A visitation will be held following the service. A private committal will be held at Cemetery Hill, Clemson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mobile Meals: P. O. Box 461, Spartanburg, SC 29304; Palmetto Council; Boy Scouts of America: 420 S. Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306; or the Chapman Cultural Center: 200 E. St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at Dunbar Funeral Home & Crematory

Charles A. Kottmeier ’59

 Charles A. Kottmeier '59Maj. Charles A. Kottmeier, US Air Force (Ret.)

“You truly have a servant’s heart. It’s the twinkle in your eyes, the gentleness of your voice and the love in your heart” Evelyn Owens.

Charlie was born in Columbus, OH, November 16, 1937, and died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. He spent his early life in Orlando where he graduated from Edgewater High School. As an Eagle Scout, Charlie was awarded the Order of the Arrow.

He graduated from Davidson College, NC, (forever a Davidson Gentleman) and The University of Florida Medical School in the specialty of Anesthesia. Major Charles Kottmeier served in the US Air Force, stationed at Scott Air Force Base near St. Louis, MO. He concluded his military service as a flight surgeon during the Vietnam War. He received the Honorable National Defense Service Medal. Charles began his medical practice of Anesthesia at Morton Plant Hospital in 1971.

As President of Anesthesia Associates of Pinellas, he established the Anesthesia Care Team in 1974. Throughout his distinguished career, Charlie served as FSA Representative in Washington D.C. and President of the Florida Society of Anesthesiologist for two years. He was bestowed the FSA Distinguished Service Award. He was an Honorary Physician of Morton Plant Hospital, March 15, 2012.

Dr. Kottmeier was a member of the Morton Plant Mease Roebling Society, Adler Legacy Society, Endowed Society and Pillars of Philanthropy. While Dr. Charlie was dedicated to caring for his patients, his heart longed for adventure. He enjoyed the outdoors and the beauty of nature. His favorites were skiing the Colorado Rockies, sport fishing and diving The Florida Keys. Captain Charlie had a passion for sailing.

In 1992, he and his crew were awarded the Ruder Cup, coming in First Place Non-Spinaker Class, in the Clearwater Key West Yacht Race. Flying his Cessna 210-732 Kilo Quebec was sheer joy. Just one year ago, April 15, 2017, Charlie flew with instructor, Lindsey, C172, KCLW. It was a beautiful spring day, perfect for flying. Charlie and Celia enjoyed traveling Europe with Andy and Julie aboard their Hinckly, “The Bald Eagle”. They took a Moorings, bareboat charter throughout the Greek Islands, a family adventure.

Charlie was the eternal optimist, seeing the positive in all situations and people. He embraced people and took great joy in sharing life with family and friends, leaving his legacy of a caring, loving and gentle spirit. After a whirlwind courtship, Charlie and Celia were married at St John’s Episcopal Church, November 27, 1981.

Charles Kottmeier is survived by his wife of 37 years, Celia; three children, Linda Fernandez (Eric ) and children, Michael and Summer, Charles Kottmeier III and Dr. Magdalene Cook (Will) and children, Natalie, Abigail, and Jamie; Uncle Charlie is also survived by his loving extended families; the Nichols, Owens, and Southards.

A memorial service will be celebrated at The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 701 Orange Ave., Clearwater, April 14, at 10:30 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Church of the Ascension or to Morton Plant Hospital Foundation, 1200 Druid Road S., Clearwater, FL 33756.

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Apr. 8, 2018