Gene Houston Little ’52, 80, died July 8 in Richmond, Va. A retired United Methodist minister for 40 years, he is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carolyn Allen Little, 5925 Bliley Rd., Richmond, VA 23225-2476; two children, Marsha and Larry (Allyson); and three grandchildren, Joshua, Jared, and Tyler. Though an only child, he considered Carolyn Little Miller to be his true sister. He was preceded in death by his parents, Coy Houston Little and Mabel Hartsell Little, and cousin, C.G. Little. Little graduated from Davidson and Duke Divinity School. He served as a Methodist minister in the Western N.C. Conference, holding pastorates in Huntersville, Highlands, Thomasville, Rural Hall, Winston-Salem, Pilot Mountain, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Kannapolis, and as district superintendent in the Asheville, Statesville, and Marion districts. Little served on many boards of the Western N.C. Conference, including the Children’s Home, the Givens Estate Retirement Home, and the WNC Board of Ministry. He was elected to Jurisdictional and General Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 1991, he retired to Richmond, Va., and attended Reveille United Methodist Church. He enjoyed sharing humorous stories with local civic groups, churches, and of course family. He also enjoyed his part-time employment with the University of Richmond.
Frank Mallary Willingham ’39, 94, of Macon, Ga., died July 5. Willingham was born on Clisby Street in Macon on Aug. 14, 1916. His parents were the late Broadus Estes Willingham, Jr. and the late Rosalie Mallary Willingham of Macon, Ga.
Willingham attended Davidson for two years and transferred to University of Georgia, where he met his wife, Mary Eugenia Watson. Frank served in WWII as a Navy lieutenant. At the war’s conclusion, he was vice president and later president of Willingham Cotton Mills.
Willingham was one part of the founding families of Highland Hills Baptist Church. He was also a member of the choir and the chairman of the deacons. He also served on the Bibb County Board of Education.
He was a founding member of the Macon Touchdown Club, and he loved his Georgia Bulldogs football. Willingham was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was preceded in death by his three siblings, Broadus E. Willingham III, Rose Willingham, and Thomas Slade Willingham. Survivors include his wife of 71 years, Mary Willingham, 1139 Oakcliff Rd., Macon, GA 31211; sons, Broadus E. Willingham IV ’65 (Melinda), Frank M. Willingham, Jr. (Patricia), and Lloyd Watson Willingham (Carol); and seven grandchildren, Amy, Kassandra, Bo, Michelle, Frankie, Thomas, and Brandon.
James Michael “Mike” Harding ’74, 59, of Marietta, Ohio, died July 2 in Morgan County. He was born on Nov. 2, 1951, in Granville County, N.C., to Robert Lee and Willia Marie Long Harding, Sr. Harding received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the UNC Greensboro, and completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at Davidson. He was the head of the counseling center at Marietta College and was self employed, working with the court systems in Washington County, Ohio. He was a very active man who loved to play tennis, walk, and jog. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Brenda Jones, 110 Windy Point Dr., Marietta, OH 45750-9371; daughter, Jessica Harding ’08, a graduate student at Indiana University; two brothers, Ronald Harding (Sandra) and Clyde Harding (Ruth); four sisters, Kathleen Landis, Emily Washington, Rosa Marie Harding, and Vivian Hampton-Harding; and a host of nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Robert Lee Harding, Jr. and Warren Harding.
Case Ashmore Bodiford ’93 went to join his Lord and family on July 1. Bodiford was born in Pensacola, Fla., on June 25, 1971. He received his B.S. from Davidson in anthropology, M.S. from Samford University in environmental management, and J.D. from Cumberland School of Law. Bodiford was employed with the State of Florida’s Department of Revenue as a senior tax attorney in the Office of General Counsel. He had a passion for history and philosophy. He was an avid reader and enjoyed writing as well. In addition to Bodiford’s passions, he held strong relationships with his friends and family. Everyone knew him as a kind, caring, highly intelligent person who always made the people around him laugh with his witty repertoire. He will be remembered by his beloved parents, Larry Ashmore and Elizabeth Whitehead Bodiford; his devoted wife, Samantha Bodiford, 5390 Pedrick Crossing Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32317; loving daughter, Elizabeth Grace Bodiford; father and mother-in-law, Sonny and Patricia Thornsberry; brother-in-law, Keith Thornsberry; and will be dearly missed by extended family, Ken, Marilu, Ashley, and Rebecca Allewelt.
Charles Seawright Crowther, Jr. ’50, 84, of Sylacauga, Ala., and Sunset Beach, N.C., died June 30. He was born in Sylacauga, Ala., May 24, 1927, to Rebecca Byrd Crowther and Charles Seawright Crowther. After serving in the Navy during WWII, Crowther attended Davidson, and graduated from Auburn University. He was employed by Avondale Mills for 34 years in various sales and management capacities, living in Chattanooga, Boston, Charlotte, and Sylacauga. Upon retiring from Avondale Mills, Crowther became a consultant in risk management, and, most recently, was chairman of Seawright Farms, Inc., producer of livestock, and SeaBlu LLC, blueberry growers in North Carolina. Crowther served as a deacon/elder in five churches, and was most recently a member of Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church. He was an elder emeritus in the Presbyterian Church in America. At the age of 66, he and Kathy lived one year in the former Soviet Union, where they served with Co-Mission, an educational ministry. They served for shorter periods in Belgium and China. Among his various associations, Crowther was a member of Rotary International, served as president of Sylacauga Habitat for Humanity, and served as chairman of Knollwood Christian School. He was an Eagle Scout with three palms. Crowther had a positive influence on many people throughout his life. Proverbs 11:25 reflects his character best: “… he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kathleen Baxter Crowther, 119-2 Crooked Gulley, Sunset Beach, NC 28468; children, Cynthia C. Johnson (Ron), Charles S. Crowther III (Cindy), Gaye D. Crowther, and H. Bradford Crowther; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.