Calvin Baird ’53

Calvin Baird, 87, of Charlotte, NC died Monday, January 28, 2019 at Novant Presbyterian Hospital surrounded by family. He was born April 5, 1931 to Calvin B. Baird and Mary Smith Baird at old St. Peter’s Hospital in Charlotte.

Because he was born on Easter, his mother nicknamed him Bunny as a child and among family and friends, he was always known as “Bun.” Raised in Charlotte on Sardis Rd., he attended Sharon School through ninth grade.

He graduated from Central High School in 1949 and matriculated at Davidson College where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and graduated with the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1953.

Having joined the Naval Reserve in Charlotte while at Davidson, Bun received a commission in the US Navy and served on the USS Albany from 1953-55 where he attained the rank of Lieutenant. Subsequently he served for eight years in the Naval Reserves. He met his wife, Peggy Phillips in 1950 and they married on June 19, 1954 after she graduated from Queens College (now University).

In 1955, Bun began work on the MBA program at UNC. After one semester, he and Peggy moved to Charlotte and started a family. He began his career in commercial finance at Commercial National Bank in January 1956 and worked at Southeastern Financial Corporation from September 1957 – 1970 advancing to the position of Senior Vice President of Southeastern and Vice President of American Credit Corporation.

From 1970-71, he worked at American Bank and Trust Co. of Monroe as Vice President of Commercial Loan Administration and returned in 1971 to Southeastern Financial Corporation as Senior Vice President-Executive Vice President. In 1976, he joined Associates of North America as Senior Vice President to establish a factoring division in Charlotte. He retired from Associates in 1986 and was hired as President of Colonial Financial Services in Mt. Holly where he worked for 11 years, retiring in 1997. Bun has served on the board for Sharon Towers.

Peggy and their children and extended family were the most important part of Bun’s life. A lifelong and seventh generation member of Sardis Presbyterian Church, he considered Sardis a cherished second family. He served the church as elder and deacon and on numerous committees throughout his life. He worked for a number of years with the Boy Scout Troop 33 at Sardis.

Bun enjoyed family activities including annual camping trips, as well as backpacking on trails in the NC mountains. He enjoyed gatherings with family and friends at their beach house at Caswell Beach, NC and later their house on the waterway near Southport, NC. In 2014, Calvin and Peggy moved to a cottage at Sharon Towers.

Preceded in death by his parents, Bun is survived by his wife, Peggy Phillips Baird; daughters: Dr. Sara Lynn Baird and partner Laurelie Gheesling of Florence, AL; Patricia Baird Isley and husband, Patrick of Cary, NC; Susan Baird Davis and partner Mike Tennant of Charlotte; son: Dr. Philip Baird of Florence, AL; sister, Nancy Baird Bowling and husband Tom; nephew, David Bowling and wife Hollie; and, niece, Marianne Bowling Bowman, husband James, and their children Abbey and Austin.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm in the sanctuary at Sardis Presbyterian Church (6100 Sardis Rd., Charlotte, NC 28270) with the Reverend Drs. Jane Fobel and Joe B. Martin presiding. There will be a reception in the Education Hall following the service.

Bun will be remembered for his extraordinary dedication and love for his family, his devotion to his faith and Sardis Presbyterian Church, his joyful spirit, his exceptional integrity, and his serving nature. He will be greatly missed but lovingly remembered.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the music ministry at Sardis Presbyterian Church (6100 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC 28270), Sharon Towers Resident Assistance Fund, or Novant Health Hospice and Palliative Care (200 Hawthorne Ln., Charlotte, NC 28204).

Published in Charlotte Observer on Feb. 1, 2019

Floyd Feeney ’55

Floyd Feeney '55

Charlotte native Floyd F. Feeney passed away Tuesday, January 8, 2019, in Davis, California after a brief illness.

He was student body president of Central High School in 1951 and the student body president of Davidson College in 1955.

Professor Feeney taught at the School of Law at the University of California at Davis for 50 years, joining as a founding faculty member in 1968 and was still on the faculty at the time of his passing. He received the law schools Distinguished Teacher Award in 1986 and 2008.

He specialized in criminal law and election law, authored seven books and also taught in England, Germany, Italy, and China. Floyd was the son of Ona Marie McMillin Feeney of Franklin, Indiana and Burla Leighton Feeney of Moore County, North Carolina.

He was born September 26, 1933, near his mother’s hometown and grew up on 4th Street in Charlotte, playing basketball at the Midwood YMCA and delivering papers for the Charlotte News. He ran track and played basketball at Central High School and later at Davidson.

In 1956, he married Peggy Ann Ballard of Charlotte. After graduation from Davidson in 1955, Floyd served in West Germany as a Second Lieutenant in the Army and graduated from the School of Law at New York University in 1960. He served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black for the 1961 term.

While in Washington, he also worked for Covington & Burling LLP, and the Administration of International Development and was Assistant Director for the President’s Crime Commission.

He is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Feeney (Robert Smith) of Ampthill, England and Linda Fessler (Steve Fessler) of Fresno, and five grandchildren: William Benn, Michael Fessler, Rupert Smith, Zachary Smith, and Kaitlyn Fessler.

He is also survived by two sisters: Margaret Mattison of South Carolina and Dorothy Matthews of Houston and by his former wife Peggy Feeney.

There will be a Celebration of Floyd’s life in July 2019 which will be open to the public.

In lieu of flowers the family of Floyd Feeney welcomes contributions to the Professor Floyd Feeney Scholarship Fund and sent to UC Davis School of Law, 400 Mrak Hall Drive, Davis, CA 95616 to benefit the students he cared so much about.

Published in Charlotte Observer on Jan. 20, 2019

Warren Womble ’59

William Warren Womble, age 82, of Charlotte, passed away on Monday, January 7, 2019. Warren will be remembered by all who knew him as a man with a full heart for his husband, Rob, his sheepdog, Maggie, and the many social and cultural causes he cherished.

Warren began his career as an educator, and even after he left the classroom he continued as a master teacher of life and love to the many friends and colleagues by whom he was always surrounded.

He was a lifelong advocate of the arts, for the less fortunate, and for animal causes as demonstrated by his support of numerous institutions and philanthropies, to include The Penland School of Craft, Time Out Youth, and Sheepdog Rescues.

Warren was born on Dec. 14, 1936, to Emily Gurley Womble and William Jesse Womble of Sanford, N.C. He earned his B.A. at Davidson College and his M.A. in French at the University of NC at Chapel Hill. After teaching at Washington and Lee University in Virginia and then at Queens College (now Queens University) in Charlotte, he was employed by First Data Corporation (later McKesson) as Senior Product Consultant for which he traveled widely and frequently as a corporate educator for many years until his retirement. 

Warren’s mountain house on the edge of the Linville Gorge was a place of peace and tranquility. He loved to cook for his friends. He shared the house with a collection of works by North Carolina craftsmen and Rob’s collection of Japanese tea bowls. Sitting on the front deck he watched the shadows on Grandfather Mountain and briefly glanced at deer or bear. Maggie was always by his side keeping him and Rob safe.

Warren is survived by his husband and partner of 60 years, Rob Williams; his beloved sister Brenda Womble Atkins and her husband Robert of Charlotte; nieces Janet Orr and husband David; Amy Cooke and husband Brian; great-niece Emily Chuqui-Conder; and great-nephew Brian Cooke.

A “Meeting of Friends” service will be held at Lowe-Neddo Funeral Home in Charlotte on January 19, at 3 PM, reception following. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to The Warren Womble Scholarship at The Penland School of Crafts (67 Doras Trail, Bakersville, N.C 28705) or Time Out Youth (3800 Monroe, Charlotte, N.C. 28205), or to a charity of choice

Published in Charlotte Observer on Jan. 13, 2019

James “Jack” Preston Williamson Jr. ’56

James “Jack” Preston Williamson Jr., 84, of Dacula, GA, passed away in his sleep January 5, 2019 in the comfort of his home. The love of his life and wife of 29 years, Carole Lee Williamson, was by his side.

Jack is survived by five children, Katherine Williamson of Franklin, NC, Lane Williamson, Jay (Elaine) Williamson, and Blake Williamson all of Atlanta, GA, Christie (West) Love of Dacula, GA, sister Jill Williamson Montana of Highlands, NC, and three beloved grandchildren, Katie Rose Nixon, James Love, and Matthew Love.

He was preceded in death by his parents James Preston Williamson, one of the founders of the Winn-Dixie Grocery stores, and Doris (Hill) Williamson, and first wife and mother of four of his children, Anne Patrick Williamson (Glisson).

Jack was born March 5,1934 in Greenville, SC. He graduated from Greenville High School and Davidson College. After marrying his first wife they moved to the Washington, DC area, where he served his country in Army Intelligence.In 1960, Jack moved the family to Jacksonville, FL where he worked at the corporate headquarters of Winn-Dixie.

While successful in the family business, he was at heart a Renaissance man and chose a different path; leaving Jacksonville for Atlanta in 1967.He lived the rest of his life in and around Atlanta with the exception of many glorious Summers on Martha’s Vineyard and two years living in St. Augustine, FL.

A true a bon vivant, Jack packed a lot of living into his 84 years. He was a pilot, a poet, a sailor, an artist, a musician, a bibliophile, an audiophile, a motorcyclist, a car collector, a photographer, a philosopher, a Realtor, a cook, a raconteur of jokes, limericks and tales, a published author (Frozen Lightening), a student of history, and the most honest grading contractor in Atlanta. Finally, at the age of 70, he discovered his true professional calling as a flight instructor. He was by all accounts a patient, wise, and gifted teacher devoted to the art and craft of flying and to his students.

The family will meet privately to witness a flyover of the missing man formation, led by old friend John Downing. A casual remembrance for family and friends will be hosted by Jay and Elaine Williamson on Sunday, January 13.Some of Jack’s favorite foods, forbidden in recent years but enjoyed during his last days, will be served. 

In lieu of flowers please donate to the charity of your choice, or enjoy a chili dog and a side of rings at the Varsity in Jacks honor.

James Gregory Poole, Jr. ’57

James Gregory Poole, Jr. was born on December 18, 1934 to Irene Rand Poole and James Gregory Poole, Sr. at the first Rex Hospital on South Street in Raleigh. After a brief illness, he died surrounded by his loving family on December 29, 2018.

Greg grew up in Raleigh where he attended public school until the 9th grade when he chose to go to Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana. He was Regimental Commander his senior year. His love of Culver, its focus on the mind, body, and spirit, combined with the relationships he built there with his fellow classmates, were strong influences in his life. 

After graduating from Culver in 1953, he attended Davidson College; he was a quarterback on the football team. After two years he transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated in 1957.

After serving six months in the Army Reserves, Greg went to work for the Gregory Poole Equipment Company, which his father founded in 1951. He became President and CEO in 1964 and retired in 1998. Greg helped his father develop MacGregor Downs and later founded MacGregor Development Company, which developed Lochmere and MacGregor Park in Cary.

Greg’s life was characterized by a remarkable knack for developing lasting friendships with all those he encountered. He had a great passion for his community and greatly influenced much of what we enjoy in Raleigh today.

In his later years he worked tirelessly advocating for the establishment of the Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh. In addition, he spent considerable time developing his basket weaving and woodworking skills, and loved sharing his work with others.

Greg is remembered and admired most not for his considerable accomplishments, but for his character and love of people. His life was framed by his father’s high school class motto, “Building for Character, not for Fame”.

Greg is survived by his four children, James Gregory Poole, III, Barbara Alyson Poole, William Kenan Poole (Stephanie) and Edward Ashton Poole (Fran); eight grandchildren, James Gregory Poole IV, Sarah Lane Poole, John Braxton Poole, Caroline Claire Poole, William Kenan Poole II, Richard Harrison Poole, Edward Ashton Poole, Jr., and Patricia Vaughan Poole.

He is also survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Mary Ann Dailey Poole, and his former wife and mother of his children, Barbara Hatcher McDonald.

He was predeceased by his sister, Jean Poole Enderle, and his parents.

A visitation is planned for Tuesday, January 1, 2019, from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Flowers Cottage, Dorothea Dix Park, 2105 Umstead Drive, Raleigh.

A Witness to the Resurrection service in his honor will be held at White Memorial Presbyterian Church at 11:00 am on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. A reception will follow.

Memorial gifts in Greg’s honor may be made to the White Memorial Presbyterian Church, Dorothea Dix Park, Camp Oak Hill or the charity of your choice

James Gregory Poole, Jr. '57

Published in The News & Observer from Dec. 31, 2018 to Jan. 1, 2019