Charles Gunn, Jr. ’53

Charles Gunn '53Charles Gunn, Jr., 94, Charles Groshon Gunn, Jr., 94, known to all as “Charlie,” passed away on Friday, September 28 at Forsyth Medical Center.

Born May 10, 1924 in Memphis, TN, to Eliza Woodside Gunn and Rev. Charles Groshon Gunn, he moved to Bluefield, WV, when his father became pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church there. He attended Miss Blanche Miller’s Kindergarten and Continuation School; he graduated from Beaver High School.

Bluefield in those years was the rail hub of booming coalfields, and Charlie and his younger brothers came to love the sounds and sights of her railyards, station, and steam locomotives; this enthusiasm would stay with them throughout their lives.

It was in Bluefield, too, that he became acquainted with a girl named Ginny (Virginia Jackson), reputedly in the Westminster Church nursery; by high school days they were sweethearts.

Charlie left Bluefield in 1942 to attend Davidson College. World War II disrupted his college career, shifting him into the US Navy’s V-12 program for training doctors and transferring him to Duke University. He received his MD degree there in 1948.

By that time Charlie and Ginny were a married couple, and Charlie’s first job in medicine, as a substitute county health doctor, took them to Yazoo City, MS. The couple then moved to Detroit, MI, where Charlie served his medical residency at Henry Ford Hospital.

The year 1950 was a big one for Charlie and Ginny: the first of four sons was born, and six months later Charlie was called up to active duty in the Korean War. He served for ten months on a troopship, the USS Bayfield. Rejoining Ginny and Tommy, he finished his active Navy time in Portsmouth, VA. (Thereafter for decades he proudly remained in the Naval Reserves.)

Then came a period of moving around: the growing family spent a year in Davidson, NC, while Charlie circled back to finish his bachelor’s degree in English, and another year in Durham, for postdoc work in medicine. Charlie joined a private medical practice in Brevard, NC, but the experience of that year redirected him into occupational medicine.

He worked for two years at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI, then returned south to Winston-Salem in 1957 to become medical director at Hanes Hosiery Co. It was here that his career as a physician hit its stride.

With the full support of the company president Gordon Hanes, Charlie developed a program of preventive care, employee education, and regular examinations that won national recognition; and he knit this all together with his own skills as an active listener and caring soul. He remained in this position through the evolution of the company into a part of Sara Lee Corp., until his retirement in 1986.

In Bluefield, Charlie and his two brothers had loved not only steam locomotives but also automobiles. One of their games had been to sit on the curb with closed eyes and distinguish passing cars by sound alone. The work at Ford gave Charlie a loyalty to Ford products, and he was ready when the first Mustangs hit the market. Many recall with delight riding with Charlie at the wheel in his beloved Prairie Bronze 1965 convertible, top down. He loved to clean and wax it, or any other car.

Since youth he had made paintings in oil, acrylic, and watercolor; many were of buildings that caught his fancy. The writer takes his masterpiece to be one called “Detroit Portrait.” Charlie was a woodworker. With his speckled green Dewalt radial-arm saw and the hand tools his father had given him at age twelve, he turned out such objects as matching pinewood desks for the four sons.

He finished out a small cabin on a lot at Lake Norman and built a pier. This place became a haven of relaxation for Charlie and Ginny after his retirement; and even after they sold the property, they maintained the practice of taking “lake days,” with breakfast at IHOP and no scheduled events for the day.

Retirement turned Charlie loose into his many interests. He was never at a loss for something to do or to learn about. He wrote lyrics and music for a musical play called “Homicidin,” about a vaccine that prevents the taking of human life. The pièce de résistance of his retired years was a dioramic model of the Bluefield train station and adjoining street, crafted in meticulous detail at a scale matching his N-gauge freight and passenger trains.

Both Charlie and Ginny were longtime members of Highland Presbyterian Church and served there in numerous capacities over the years. Charlie was also a volunteer at Contact Helpline of the Triad, the Community Care Center, Meals on Wheels, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Ginny passed away in 2008, and Charlie became a bachelor in the old house on Kenleigh Circle.

In 2011, he moved into an apartment in the Salemtowne Retirement Community. He shifted his creative energies into putting words together, especially for the residents’ group called Sparkcatchers. Tooling around the halls with his beloved Swedish walker, he had hellos for everyone. He is particularly remembered there for the song he broke into on every sort of occasion.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Virginia “Ginny” Jackson Gunn; a brother, James W. Gunn; and a sister, Elizabeth Gunn Langrall.

He is survived by his four sons, Thomas J. Gunn of Chapel Hill, NC, Charles G. Gunn, III (Edeltraud) of Falkensee, Germany, David L. Gunn (Dana) of Washington, DC, and R. Bruce Gunn (Beth) of Swannanoa, NC, a brother, George W. Gunn of Black Mountain, NC, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at Highland Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem on Saturday, October 6, at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Highland Presbyterian Church.

Giles Cowan Floyd ’58

Giles Cowan Floyd '58Giles Cowan Floyd, M.D. passed at age 82.  Predeceased by his parents Giles Pittman Floyd and Ethel Cowan.  Giles was an only child.  His family with sadness announces his passing after a brief illness.

Giles will be lovingly remembered by his life partner of 54 years, Dr. Kistler Osborne.  He will also be fondly remembered by all his 1st cousins who he willingly adopted as his “extended family.”  Also, he will be greatly missed by his life-long friend, Marie G. Cline.

A special sadness for the Baptist Hospital Annual Lunch Group, the Post Card Family, the mentored students who all attend their annual lunch together every year since finishing training together.  They will always remember him by his “delightful smile”.

Giles graduated Davidson College, UNC-Chapel Hill Medical College and his Orthopedic Surgery Residency completed at Bowman Gray School of Medicine.  Also, his advanced Surgical training in children’s Orthopedic surgery was completed at Dupont Institute in Wilmington, Delaware.

He had a distinctive medical practice located primarily in San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA and Ann Arbor, MI.

Giles served honorably in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War.  He was a flight surgeon at the US Air Force Academy, located in Colorado.

Giles requested NO funeral services be held at his passing.  Instead, he requested that his Cremation Urn be placed in the sanctuary of his childhood church at Myers Park Presbyterian.

A simple private celebration of life prayer will be prayed over his ashes at this time.  Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com.

Francis “Frank” J. Houghton, Jr. ’94

Frank Houghton '94Francis “Frank” J. Houghton Jr., age 46, of Garnet Valley, PA passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on September 21, 2018 at HUP in Philadelphia.

Raised in Wilmington, DE, Frank graduated from Salesianum High School, class of 1990. He then received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Davidson College where he met the love of his life, Karen Podolsky.

After their marriage, they spent 8 years in Charlotte, NC, later settling in Concord Twp. raising their three children.

Although Frank played college football at Davidson, he was an avid Notre Dame Football fan. He was active with his children in their sports over the years and coached both soccer and basketball with BYC and the Garnet Valley Soccer Club.

Devoted to his Catholic Faith, Frank was a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church where he also taught CCD.

In addition to his parents, Francis Sr. and Barbara Downs Houghton, he is survived by his wife of 24 years, Karen E. Houghton, 3 children, Jason, Nicholas and Claire Houghton, 7 siblings, Joseph (Angela) Houghton, Michael (Eileen) Houghton, Barbara (William) Rizzo, Daniel (Jordan) Houghton, Melissa (Syrome) Singleton, Stephen Houghton and William (Katie) Houghton.

In addition to numerous nieces and nephews, Frank is also survived by aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.

A Visitation will be held on Wednesday evening, 6-8PM at the Pagano Funeral Home, 3711 Foulk Rd., Garnet Valley, PA and again on Thursday, 9:15-10:15AM at St. Thomas the Apostle Church (New Church), 430 Valleybrook Rd., Glen Mills, PA followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:30AM. Interment, St. Thomas Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Frank’s memory may be made to the Houghton Children’s College Fund, (www.mealtrain.com/trains/z9vrnr/donate). Online condolences may be made by visiting www.paganofuneralhome.com

Published in The Daily Times on Sept. 25, 2018

William Simendinger ’56

William Simendinger '56Dr. Simendinger, 83, passed away on September 18, 2018.

He was born on September 23, 1934, in Montclair, NJ, a son of the late William Henry Simendinger, Sr. and Margaret Ring Simendinger.

Dr. Simendinger graduated from Davidson College and earned a degree in dentistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He practiced his beloved dentistry for over 50 years in southeast Charlotte. He was a member of the Dental Society. He was also a member of the Rose Society of Charlotte, and was an avid gardener for many years.

One of his favorite places to be with friends was the Town House Restaurant on Providence Road. Dr. Simendinger was a member of Myers Park United Methodist Church.

He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Evelyn Shepard Simendinger; daughter, Gail Simendinger Felton and her husband Hill Felton, Jr.; son Dr. William Simendinger, III and wife Dr. Denise Tucker Simendinger; grandsons, Dr. Hill Felton, III and wife Courtney, Mahlon Felton and wife Lauren; and granddaughter Miss Lauren Grace Simendinger.

The funeral service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, September 22, 2018 in the chapel of Harry & Bryant, 500 Providence Rd., Charlotte with Reverend Nancy Watson officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Lawn West Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 10-10:45am prior to the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Myers Park United Methodist Church, or to Hospice and Community Care, Rock Hill, SC.

Condolences may be offered at www.harryandbryantfuneralhome.com

Copyright (c) 2018 The Charlotte Observer

Dan H. Barefoot ’66

Dr. Dan H. Barefoot, husband of Betty “BJ” Foster Barefoot, passed away Friday, September 14, 2018 at Tranquility at Kennesaw Mountain, he was 74.

Dan was born September 13, 1944 in Bentonville, N.C. to the late Golden Hardy and Juanita Smith Barefoot.

Dan grew up working on a tobacco farm with his family in North Carolina. He attended Davidson College on a football scholarship and later graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Doctorate in Periodontics.

Dan served for 3 years in the United States Army and loved the time he was stationed in Germany, even becoming proficient in the German language. He was an award winning chili cook in the C.A.S.I chili competitions, winning best chili awards in N.C., S.C., and GA.

Dr. Barefoot was a member of the Rotary Club in North Carolina and was instrumental in starting two more chapters there. In later years he became an expert at framing his wife’s cross-stitch creations and loved spending time at his grandchildren’s sporting events.

In addition to his parents, Dan is preceded in death by his twin brother Tan Barefoot.

He is survived by his wife BJ Barefoot; daughter, Christa Nelms and her husband Jason; brother, Jerry Barefoot and his wife Glenda; and grandchildren Tate and Cooper Nelms; as well as a host of other family and friends.

A celebration of Life service will be held at Poole Funeral Home, 1970 Eagle Dr. Woodstock, GA 30189, on September29, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice in memory of Dr. Dan Barefoot.

Online condolences may be made at www.poolefuneralhome.net