The Rev. Harper Jerome Sasser ’50, 82, of Rossville, Ga., died at home surrounded by his family Jan. 7. A native of Durham, N.C., he was the son of Frank Matthew and Arita Harper Sasser. He grew up in Raleigh and Fayetteville, N.C. Sasser was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He attended Davidson and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va. He also received a divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and pursued additional studies in counseling at UTC. He was a retired member of Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. He served churches in Chattanooga, Maryville, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge districts. For six years he was the executive director of the Holston United Methodist Home for Children in Greeneville, Tenn. Sasser also taught GED classes for prison inmates for several years. After his retirement in 1991, he taught English and writing at Chattanooga State for two years. He then served as minister of congregational care for 10 years at Brainerd United Methodist Church. He has chaired and served on numerous boards and committees of the Holston Conference. He was a delegate to the Jurisdictional Conference and the World Conference of Methodism. He was an Eagle Scout and was active in the Boy Scouts for many years, teaching swimming and canoeing. Sasser loved hiking and camping, especially in the Great Smoky Mountains. He served on the original camp committee for Camp Lookout and Camp Wesley Woods in Townsend, Tenn. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club for over 30 years and served as president while living in Greeneville, Tenn. Harper was an amateur musician playing the French horn, trumpet, baritone horn, and sousaphone. When he was 12 years old he started taking violin lessons and continued to play the violin throughout his life. At the time of his death, he was a member of the violin section of the Alexian Brothers Senior Neighbors Orchestra. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Ann B. Sasser, 1203 Applebrock Dr., Rossville, GA 30741-3768; children, Arita Jewart (Tom), Harper Jerome, Jr. (Gina), Thomas Henry (Diane); grandchildren, Thomas Jewart (Katie), Leigh Anne Jewart, Jeremy Sasser, Logan Sasser, Daniel Sasser, Alexander Sasser, and Dominic Sasser; brother, Frank M. Sasser (Joan); sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Gweneth and Bill Holden; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Al and Lynne Cunningham; Betsy Sasser-Hobbs; and several nieces and nephews.
Robert “Bob” Bugg Brannan II ’54, of Concord, N.C., passed away Jan. 6. Brannan was born Aug. 12, 1932, in Nashville, Tenn., to Henry Miller Brannan and Rebecca Cooke Brannan. He grew up in Charlotte and attended Davidson, where he played golf, then transferred to UNC Chapel Hill, where he graduated in 1954 with a degree in business. After spending two years in the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in Korea, he began a successful career in banking working for Mutual Savings and Loan, Home Federal Savings Bank, and First Charter Bank in Charlotte, and was president of Cabarrus County Savings and Loan in Concord. Brannan was an active member of the Rotary Club in both Charlotte and Concord, and was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts in both communities. His favorite pastime was golf, and when he was not working hard at the bank, one would find him playing golf. Golf was a lifelong passion of his starting at a young age as he caddied at Myers Park. A gentleman one day asked him if he would like to learn how to play golf. A few short years later in 1950, he won the 1950 Junior National Four Ball Championship. Brannan was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Concord, where he served as a deacon, and Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. His welcoming smile and kind heart will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Brannan is survived by his sister, Ann Brannan Repetto, and the mother of his three sons, Shirley Brannan. He is also survived by his three sons and their families, Bob Brannan (Debbie), 1260 Giverney Ct., Concord, NC 28027, and their two children, Elizabeth Brannan and Rob Brannan; Bill Brannan; and Tate Brannan (Michelle) and their two children, David Markwell and Aldin Zbacnik. He also has five nieces and three nephews.
George Michael Moskos ’70, of Swarthmore, Pa., died Jan. 4. Moskos, a professor of French language and literature and James C. Hormel professor in social justice at Swarthmore College, was a dedicated and talented teacher, a scholar eager to explore new intellectual territory, and a champion of justice and equality. He was 62 and is survived by his partner, Blair Gannon, 915 Harvard Ave., Apt. 1100, Swarthmore, PA 19081-2210. Moskos joined Swarthmore College and the modern languages and literatures department in 1975, after earning a B.A. at Davidson and then completing his Ph.D. in French, with a minor in art history, at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He was a specialist in French literature of the 19th century and, in his academic pursuits, often explored themes of identity, gender, and sexuality. Moskos sometimes co-taught with colleagues outside of his discipline and was an active participant in the comparative literature and women’s studies programs. While serving on the benefits committee of Swarthmore College, he was instrumental in moving the college to support same sex partner health benefits until the insurance industry adopted that practice. In 1997, Moskos was appointed to the James C. Hormel professorship in social justice, a chair that recognizes a professor in any academic division whose teaching and scholarship stimulate increased concern for and understanding of social justice issues, including those pertaining to sexual orientation. Moskos was an ardent traveler, a generous and entertaining host, and a collector of tasteful and intriguing mechanical toys, some of which could be seen on the bookshelves of his campus office.
Thomas M. Rankin, 80, a retired Army colonel who served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, died Jan. 4 at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney after a heart attack.
Col. Rankin, a Rockville resident, served in the Army during the Korean War and returned to active duty soon after graduating from law school in 1958. He served 20 years in the Army, including service in West Berlin and the Dominican Republican.
His final active-duty assignment was at Fort Detrick, in Frederick County. In retirement he owned and operated a general law practice in Reidsville, N.C., for nine years. He continued to live part time in the Washington area while practicing law before returning to the area full time.
Thomas McCargo Rankin was born in Greensboro, N.C., and raised in Reidsville. He was a 1954 economics graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also went to law school.
He was an elder and deacon at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda. His other memberships included the Rotary Club, the Scottish Rite and the Montgomery County Civil War Round Table, which he helped start.
He wrote three Civil War books, including books about the 23rd and 37th Virginia infantry regiments and Stonewall Jackson’s military campaign in Romney, W.Va.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Rachel Mixson Rankin of Rockville; two children, Roxanne Lineberry of Charlotte and Thomas Rankin Jr. of Ponte Vedra, Fla.; and a granddaughter.
Robert was born on November 20, 1928 and passed away in December 2010.
Robert was a resident of Morganton, North Carolina at the time of his passing.
He is survived by his wife Vivian.
Memorial services will be held Monday, January 3, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home Chapel conducted by Rev. Scott Eanes. The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: National Alzheimers Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011.