Charles Franklin Blackburn ’46

Charles Franklin Blackburn ’46 of 645 Lakeview Drive, died Tuesday, October 15, 2013, in a local nursing home.

Born on April 30, 1925 in Cleveland, Tennessee, he was the son of the late George Cline Blackburn of Johnson City, Tennessee and Anne Rosson Templeton of Scottsboro, Alabama.

Mr. Blackburn graduated from Henderson High School in 1942 where he had been a drummer in the marching band directed by Thomas Hearne that marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City in the spring of his senior year. He attended Davidson College 1942-43 but left to enter the US Navy, training as a pilot for service in World War II.

After graduating from law school at Washington & Lee University, Mr. Blackburn was admitted to the bar in North Carolina and established Blackburn & Blackburn, Attorneys at Law, with his older brother George in 1949. Their firm subsequently merged with the firm of Perry & Kittrell.

After serving as Prosecuting Attorney for Vance County from 1950 to 1954, Mr. Blackburn was elected to the 1959 session of the North Carolina State Senate representing Vance, Warren, Halifax, and Northampton counties. Governor Terry Sanford appointed him to the NC Commission for the Study of Exceptionally Talented Children (1959-61) and as a member and then Chairman of the John H. Kerr Reservoir Development Commission (1962-67). He was City Attorney of Henderson (1966) and was the first Chairman of the Board Of Trustees of Vance County Technical Institute (1969) and of Vance Granville Community College, serving as Chairman until 1977 and seeing the college through its move to its present campus. Mr. Blackburn was President of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce (1977-78) and was named its Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1990. Mr. Blackburn served for many years in the NC Army National Guard, retiring with the U.S. Army rank of Colonel in 1985 after serving several years as Judge Advocate General for North Carolina. He received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 1965 during the administration of Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church.

A private graveside service will be held by the family at Elmwood Cemetery. A memorial service will be held Friday at 11 a.m. in the Rose Chapel of First United Methodist Church by Dr. John M. Check. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the church parlor.

He is survived by his wife, Thalia Jane Tillman Blackburn of the home; his son, Charles F. Blackburn, Jr. and wife, Marsha of Raleigh; his granddaughter, Katherine of Raleigh; and several nephews and nieces.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 114 Church Street, Henderson, NC 27536.

Arrangements were by J. M. White Funeral Home.

Thomas Oliver Duff, Jr. ’35

Thomas Oliver Duff, Jr. ’35, the courtly and gracious business leader and civic giant, died Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, at his home on Lookout Mountain. He was 100. His family’s connection with the wholesale pharmaceutical industry spanned more than a century, beginning in the early 20th century with his father’s regional company and ending in the early 21st century as a part of the largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in the world.

At 22, Mr. Duff went to work for McKesson Drug Co. in Huntington, W.Va. World War II interrupted his career, but he returned to Chattanooga to form Duff Brothers Inc. with his brother, the late Frank F. Duff in 1947. With his father in an advisory role, Duff Brothers quickly became the dominant wholesaler in the region and continued that role after its sale in 1978. Among Mr. Duff’s strengths were the abilities to stay close to his customers and to foster a respect among his employees for the central values of Duff Brothers. He was affectionately known at the company as “Mr. Tom.”

In his philanthropic and civic life, Mr. Duff left his mark on myriad organizations, including the Baylor School, the Universities of Tennessee in Knoxville and Chattanooga, the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Memorial Hospital, and numerous business-related organizations. He was the president of the Chamber, the Rotary, the United Way, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army fund drives. He was a member of the University of Chattanooga Foundation and the University of Tennessee Development Council. A much cherished honor, the Dorothy Patten “Love of Chattanooga” Award was presented to him in 1991 for his outstanding service to the community. On a national level, he was recognized by the National Wholesale Druggists Association, in its most prestigious award, for his “outstanding sportsmanship in both his business and personal life.” He also was a board member of the NWDA, the International Multiple Sclerosis organization and the Gulf Life Insurance Co. He was president of the Mountain City and Fairyland clubs and was King of the Cotton Ball in 1971.

One of his most satisfying relationships was with the American National Bank and Trust Co. In 1961, he succeeded his father on the board, and remained a member of the SunTrust Bank board until he assumed an advisory role in 1981. No one has ever served longer on that board than Mr. Duff. As the oldest alumnus of Baylor, Mr. Duff was able, with his brother and other family members, to establish in his lifetime the Duff Family Scholarship. It named the first Duff Family Scholar this year. On the occasion of his 100th birthday in August, the Lookout Mountain, Tenn. and the Lookout Mountain, Ga., commissions issued a joint proclamation, praising Mr. Duff for his “posture of service in deference to others.”

Born in the Chattanooga in 1913, he was a graduate of Baylor and Davidson College. He received a commission during World War II in the United States Naval Reserve, serving in New London, Connecticut, and Guam. He was a member of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, where he served as president of the Board of Deacons. In addition to his father and brother, he was preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth Ferrel Duff; his wife, Jane Kitchen Duff; and his son-in-law, David S. Latimore Jr.He is survived by his son and his wife, Thomas Oliver “Todd” and Martha Duff, Signal Mountain; his daughter, Catherine Duff Latimore, Newnan, Ga.; his grandchildren, Cakki L. and Jim Namorato, Richmond, Va.; Mary Duff L. and Mike Rayneri, Greenville, S.C.; Thomas Oliver “Tommy” and Abby Duff, Signal Mountain; great-grandchildren, David and Thomas Namorato; Emily Jane and Lillian Allen Rayneri, and Alexandra Duff. Also surviving are his brother, William E. Duff, Oakbrook, Ill.; and nephews, Frank F. Duff Jr., Chattanooga; C. Avery Duff, Marina del Ray, Calif.; Mark Duff, Aspen, Colo.; nieces, Elizabeth Duff Woods, Rye, N.Y., and Hillary Duff, Oakbrook, Ill.

The memorial service will be at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Joe Novenson officiating. The family will receive friends in the church’s Fellowship Hall from 11:30 a.m. until time of service at 1 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Baylor School, Duff Family Scholarship, 171 Baylor School Road, 37402, or the Jane and Thomas Oliver Duff scholarship at the University of Chattanooga,UC Foundation, 615 McCallie Ave., 37403, or the charity of your choice.

Please share your thoughts and memories at are by Wann Funeral Home & Cremation Center, located at the foot of historic Lookout Mountain, St. Elmo. 821-7551.

John Milton Bailey, Jr. ’49

John Milton Bailey, Jr. ’49 of Knoxville, TN, passed away October 12, 2013, at his home in the Shannondale Retirement Community. Dr. Bailey was born in Memphis, TN, to the late John Milton Bailey and Ruth Gregory Bailey. He was raised in Memphis and graduated from Memphis Technological High School. He received his B.S. in Physics from Davidson College in 1949 and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1952. He spent three years as an Instrument Engineer with E.I. Dupont in Orange, Texas. He then entered the Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1960. While at Georgia Tech, he received the M.A. Ferst Sigma XI Award for his Doctoral Dissertation. Dr. Bailey was a Professor Emeritus in the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Tennessee and an adjunct participant at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 1994, he received the most prestigious award given by the College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee – The Nathan W. Dougherty Award for Distinguished Service in the Engineering Profession. He had five patents in the field of electric motor design and control. Dr. Bailey was the beloved husband of Peggy Johnston Bailey who died in June, 2010. His twin brother, James Hilton Bailey, also preceded him in death. Survivors include: his daughters, Ruth Bailey O’Dell and Pat Bailey Deatherage; son-in-law, James Harold Deatherage; brother Marvin Bailey (Sue Anne); grandson, S. Ray Hill, III (Kathryn); granddaughter Sara Ruth Deatherage; step-granddaughter, Tracy Deatherage Perrine (Stanley); step-grandson Dee Deatherage (Jennifer); eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Memorial Garden of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church at 110 Sugarwood Dr., Knoxville, TN, 37934.

Patrick Murphy Williams, Jr. ’47

Patrick Murphy Williams, Jr. ’47 died October 10, 2013 of pancreatic cancer. Born in North Wilkesboro, N.C. on September 7, 1921, Pat completed his sophomore year at Wilkes Central High School before enrolling in McCallie School, Chattanooga, TN where he graduated in 1940.

That same year he entered Davidson College, and completed three years before joining the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged in 1946, having served as a 1st Lieutenant Platoon Leader in the 341st Infantry, 86th Blackhawk Division in the European and Pacific theaters of operation. Pat returned to Davidson and graduated in 1947.

While at Davidson, he was Vice President of the Student Body, President of the Senior Class, was a member of ODK, Kappa Sigma Fraternity and each year earned varsity letters in football, basketball and track. In football, Pat played the end position on offense and defense, and in 1942, was Honorable mention on the A.P. All-American Football Team.

In 1947, Pat moved to Jacksonville, FL and was employed by Moore Dry Kiln Co. with manufacturing plants in Memphis, TN and Jacksonville, where he worked for over 25 years. He was President (1965-1970) when Moore Dry Kiln Company merged with U.S. Natural Resources of Menlo Park, CA.

In 1973, Pat purchased Stanley Fans, a local manufacturer of commercial and industrial ventilating equipment. In 1992, Stanley purchased Breidert Air Products from Walton Enterprises in Bentonville, Arkansas, with the surviving company becoming Breidert Air Products with it’s manufacturing plant still located in Jacksonville. In 2004, Breidert was purchased by Soler & Palau.

Pat served on the boards of many business, charitable, educational and religious organizations: First Federal Savings & Loan Assoc., Local Initiative Support Corp (LISC), YMCA, Young Life, United Way, United States Industrial Council, the United States Woodworking Machinery Assoc. and the International Air Moving & Control Association.

He was a member of Meninak, Timuquana and Deerwood Clubs and Sons of American Revolution. He was a trustee of Bartram School, Jacksonville University, Davidson College and the Edna Sproull Williams Foundation. Pat was an Elder and Trustee at First Presbyterian Church.

Pat was an active hunter, fisherman and golfer and starting at age 73, shot his age in golf several hundred times.

Pat’s wife, Dorothy Skinner Williams, predeceased him in 2010 after 60 years of marriage. He is survived by his four children: Rev. Ann W. Brinson (Bob) of High Point, N.C., Molly Williams, of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Pat Williams III (Liz) of Orange Park, FL and Susan W. Brodeur (Rick) of Jacksonville, FL. He has seven grandchildren: Buck (fiance Susannah Baker) and Ellie Williams, Will (AK) and Charlie Brinson, and Ford, Patrick and Bryant Brodeur. He is survived by his two brothers in law Dick Skinner and Bryant Skinner.

A memorial service was held at First Presbyterian Church, 118 E. Monroe Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 on Thursday, October 17 at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Pat’s memory to First Presbyterian Church’s Pastor’s Discretionary Fund. Words of comfort may be shared with the family at

William Boyden Fesperman ’49

William Boyden Fesperman ’49 died October 9, 2013 at Cambridge Hills Assisted Living in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

He was born to the late John Thomas Boyden Fesperman and Katherine Novella Moose Fesperman, February 18, 1929, in Rocky Mount, NC. Bill graduated from J.W. Cannon High School and received a B.S. from Davidson College and went on to receive a Masters from Springfield College. He entered military service as a Second Lieutenant at Ft. Benning, GA and served in Japan and Korea as First Lieutenant assigned to the Infantry, 8th Calvary Regiment.

Bill followed in his father’s footsteps by making the YMCA his life’s work. He held many positions with the YMCA working in facilities in Atlanta, GA; Wichita, KS; Burlington, NC; Charleston, SC; Asheville, NC, and finally retiring as the Executive Director of the Cannon Memorial YMCA, where his father was the original Executive Director in Kannapolis, NC. After retiring in 1991 he and his wife Jean continued to assist others through the YMCA by making a year- long trip to Thailand and working with the YMCA in Bangkok. Bill also was a master fundraiser and put those skills to good use while on the Boards of the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater (SART) and Children First to name a few.

Bill is survived by his wife, Jean and their four children: Kathy Brown of Columbia, SC; Jim Fesperman, of Durham, NC; John Fesperman, of Pittsoboro, NC; and Martha Spradley of Oviedo, FL. He also is survived by seven grandchildren.

The Memorial Service washeld at 2 p.m., Saturday, October 19 at Pittsboro Presbyterian Church.