Melville Dexter Cunningham, Jr. ’74, of Gurnee, Ill., passed away suddenly July 24, 2010, at his home. Born June 27, 1952, at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., into a naval family, Cunningham traveled throughout the U.S. and lived in Italy for a period of time. He received a B.A. from Davidson and lettered in football. Cunningham entered the Army as an officer and trained as a tanker. He was stationed in Erlangen, West Germany, where his principal duty was patrolling the East German Iron Curtain border, and obtained the rank of captain. Following the Army, he joined the corporate community and was most recently the vice president of operations at the Pactive Corporation in Lake Forest, Ill. Surviving are his wife, Pamela Smith Cunningham ’75, 1204 Vineyard Dr., Gurnee, IL 60031-5102; sons, Doug Cunningham (Ana) and David Cunningham; his grandson, Chase; and his parents, Capt. Melville and Dorothy Cunningham.
William J. “Jay” Bolin ’41 died peacefully at his home in Vinton, Iowa, July 23 following a long illness. Bolin was born Aug. 16, 1919, in the small zinc mining town of Mascot, Tenn., the son of Dr. H.J. and Stella Dykes Bolin. He married his high school sweetheart, Susan Buchanan, in Knoxville, Tenn., on Feb. 7, 1942. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Susan Bolin, 207 Lutheran Home Ct., Vinton, IA 52349-1684; daughters, Cindy Elwick (Mike) and Barbara Bolin; son, W.J. “Bill” Bolin III (friend, Patty Meixner); six grandchildren, Chris Elwick (Julie), Dawn Rall (Tim), Brian Elwick (Kristi), W.J. “Bill” Bolin IV, Kevin Bolin (Jennifer), and Jeff Bolin; and nine great-grandchildren, Karra, Kaila, and Koen Elwick, Sam, Simon, and Sydney Rall, and Madison, Cyrus, and Victoria Elwick. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Herbert Julian “Bill” Bolin II ’40, and his sister, Elnora Bolin Hill. Bolin graduated Davidson in 1941, where he excelled in football and baseball. At Davidson, he was inducted into the honorary leadership and service fraternity, Omicron Delta Kappa, was an outstanding marksman and leader in the ROTC, and was captain and “outstanding back” of the football team his senior year. After graduation in 1941, Bolin enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a major in the infantry as a weapons instructor until his discharge in 1946. After his tour of duty, he joined the American Zinc Company and remained with the firm until his retirement in 1984, working out of Columbus, Ohio, and later, St. Louis, Mo. He was an elder in the Vinton Presbyterian Church, a member of the George G. Luckey American Legion Post, the Vinton Lions Club, Aladdin Shrine of Columbus, Ohio, a 32nd degree mason with a 50-year award from Ohio Grand Lodge of Free Masons, a State of Missouri Master Gardener, and past president of the St. Louis Paint and Coatings Association. In his leisure time, he enjoyed gardening, golf, cards, following the stock market, Davidson, Tennessee, and Missouri football, cooking funnel cakes in the Lions Club trailer, and traveling and spending special times with Susan and Barbara.
William Tull Grimsley, Jr. ’44, born May 22, 1923, in Greensboro, N.C., died July 20 in Green Valley, Ariz. Son of the late William T. Grimsley and Corinne Justice Grimsley, he is survived by his wife, Esther Nowell Grimsley, 685 LaPosada Cir., Apt. 2004, Green Valley, AZ 85614-5143; sister, Corinne Grimsley Donkle; and many nieces and nephews. Grimsley was a graduate of Davidson and Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. He served in the U.S. Navy on a destroyer in the Pacific during WWII. He practiced solo medicine in Guilford County, N.C., for over 35 years and was a diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice. He served as a volunteer with USAID 1966-67 in Da Nang, South Vietnam, and in a mission hospital in Bangkia, Thailand, in 1979, later serving in the N.C. State Legislature for two years. In addition to the practice of medicine, Grimsley enjoyed bird hunting with his beloved dog Buffy, swimming, golf, and gardening. He retired to Montreat, N.C., and later to Green Valley. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Roberta Grimsley Baddar, and his brother, Robert Justice Grimsley.
Lt. Col. Edward Smoot Finley ’37 USAF (Ret.), of North Wilkesboro, N.C., died on July 20. He was born April 6, 1916 in Alexandria, Va., son of Edward G. and Sibyl Smoot Finley 1906. He grew up in North Wilkesboro and graduated from Davidson. Afterwards, he returned to North Wilkesboro, where he was employed by Meadows Mill Company until being ordered to active duty with the Army Air Force in June 1941.
On May 2, 1942, he married Elizabeth Stewart Heath, who preceded him in death in 2008 after 66 years of marriage. During WWII, he served in China Theater of Operation, commanding air bases in Sian, Ankang, and Pai-Shi, under the ultimate command of Gen. Claire Chennault, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. Returning to civilian life in 1946, he was again employed by Meadows Mill Company as secretary-treasurer and general manager. He served as chairman of the North Wilkesboro Board of Education from 1957-67; president of Wilkes Jaycees; North Wilkesboro Lions Club; vice president of Wilkes Chamber of Commerce; and treasurer of Friends of the Wilkes County Library.
At the North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church, he has served as deacon, receiving treasurer, elder, clerk of session, and Boy Scout leader. He was a member of the Board of Visitors of Davidson and its Ne Ultra Society. He raised cattle and trees on his Brushy Mountain Farm.
He is survived by Edward S. Finley, Jr. (Virginia Doughton Finley), 2024 White Oak Rd., Raleigh, NC 27608-1450; Ann Finley Reynolds (Fairfax C. Reynolds); five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Robert Wood Finley ’41.
William Amos Buck, Jr. ’56, of Pawleys Island, S.C., died July 18 in Pawleys Island. He was born March 1, 1931, in Jasper, Ala., the son of the late William A. Buck, whom took part in the D-Day landings during WWII, and Pauline Gray Buck. He was preceded in death by his stepfather, Thomas Pacey. Buck served in the U.S. Navy on the destroyer USS Van Valkenburgh during the Korean Conflict, and provided shore bombardment troop support. He attended Davidson, the University of South Carolina, and the Medical College of Virginia, receiving his DDS in 1959. He practiced in Myrtle Beach for over 30 years and was loved by all his patients for his expertise, wit, and chair-side manner. Buck provided free dental services to many through local charities. He was a Rotarian in Myrtle Beach for over 20 years and received the Paul Harris Fellowship in 1987. His family hosted numerous exchange students from all over the world during this time through Rotary. Buck traveled to Russia and China in the 1970s with the People to People organization, serving as ambassadors in dentistry groups teaching modern methods. As a member of the S.C. Dental Association and the Pee Dee Dental Association, he served as directing secretary and commercial secretary for the annual meetings, then as president of the Pee Dee Dental Association in 1967-68. He was elected to the South Carolina State Board of Dentistry (1973-78) and served as president in 1977. In 1978 Buck received a fellowship in the academy of General Dentistry. He has held membership in the American Academy of Oncology and the International College of Dentists. In 1986 he received his certified financial planner degree and enjoyed helping other dentists set up planning for their practice. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Sada Ann Cox Buck, 76 Old Waccamaw Dr., Pawleys Island, SC 29585-7233; two sons, Thomas Brewster Buck (Jamie) and John Franklin Buck (Cindy); a daughter, Sarah Lacy Anderson (Sammy); nine lovely grandchildren, Dalt Todd, Mary Ashley Mercer (Buck), David Buck, Paulina Buck, Ward Buck, Caroline Buck, Juliet Buck, Pace Anderson, and Elle Anderson; and his siblings, Terry Buck (Iris), Barbara Bianco (Joe), and Peter Buck (Rebecca).