William “Bill” Lee Whitley ’43

William "Bill" Lee Whitley '43

Mr. William “Bill” Lee Whitley passed away Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Morningside in Concord. He was born in Kannapolis, May 19, 1923.

He was a son of the late W.H. Whitley Sr. and Robbie Lee Walters Whitley. He attended the local Kannapolis schools, Davidson College and Duke University.

In October of 1948, he married Johnette Padgett in the Duke University Chapel. Johnnette passed away Sept. 2, 2017.

They had four children, William “Whit” L. Whitley Jr., the late Dr. John M. Whitley, David E. Whitley and wife, Hope, and Jane L. Whitley; grandchildren, Elizabeth Whitley Carroll, Sarah Whitley Ciblak, Andrew Whitley, Alexandra Medley, Patrick Whitley, Anthony Antinucci, Madeleine Antinucci, Arianna Antinucci, Evan Antinucci, Kendyl Denson, Kaisyn Denson, Alyson Hodgkin, Lori Whitcomb, Kristi Huntsberger; great-grandchildren, Ava, Eason and Reeves Hodgkin, Lyla Hope Medley, Ezra Antinucci; brother, W.H. Whitley Jr.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mr. Whitley was a licensed funeral director and C.E.O of Whitley’s Funeral Home in Kannapolis. He began working at the funeral home at age 15 and worked his whole lifetime helping the families of Kannapolis and the surrounding areas during their most difficult times. He bought the business from his father in 1972.

He was a loving father, grandfather and loved spending time with his family. Bill has been active over the years in civic clubs, including president of the Kannapolis Merchants Association, president of the Kannapolis Lions Club, president of the Kannapolis Junior Chamber of Commerce, president and charter member of the Original Kannapolis Golf Club, life member of the 459 Bomb Group World War II Association, life member of the DAV Chapter 27 of Concord, life member of the American Legion Post 0115, life member of the Kannapolis Junior Chamber of Commerce, and life member of V.F.W. Poston-Perkins Post of Kannapolis.

He is a charter member of the Iron Dukes Scholarship Foundation of Duke University, a member of the Duke Alumni Association, James B. Duke Society, and the Founders Society. He is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Kannapolis.

He is also a member of Allen-Graham Masonic Lodge of Kannapolis, the Scottish Rite of Charlotte, the Oasis Shrine Temple of Charlotte, and a member of the Cabarrus Shrine Club. Bill was the Kannapolis Christmas Parade Chairman for over 20 years. He was instrumental in getting the A.L. Brown Football Stadium built. He also was an avid golfer through the years and was a charter member of the Kannapolis Golf Club, now the Club at Irish Creek.

Also, those who knew him best knew that Bill loved to eat. He was a fixture at many local restaurants in the area for many years.

Last but not least, Bill Whitley served his country in World War II, as an engineer gunner on a B-24 Bomber. He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in January of 1943, completing 35 missions with the 15th U.S. Army Air Corps based in North Africa and Italy during World War II. Some of his awards were The Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, The European-African Middle Easter Service Medal with 6 bronze stars, Medal for Valor, and the Medal for Meritorious Service.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 3, at Whitley’s Funeral Home Chapel officiated by the Rev. Mike Hubbard. Entombment will follow at Carolina Memorial Park with military honors. His family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 2, at Whitley’s.

For those with COVID-19 concerns, his body will lie-in-state at Whitley’s Funeral Home Friday, April 2, from 12 to 5 p.m., and Saturday, April 3, from 9 to 1 p.m., for those who would like to pay their respects.

Bill and his family would love for people to donate to a charity of their choice for veterans. He loved his country and loved all that served and honored their country.

Whitley’s Funeral Home www.whitleysfuneralhome.com

  • Copyright 2021, Independent Tribune, Kannapolis, NC

Charles Edward Ratliff, Jr. ’47

Charles Edward Ratliff, Jr. '47

Charles Edward Ratliff, Jr., 94, died March 17, 2021.

He was born October 13, 1926 in Morven, NC to Charles Edward Ratliff, Sr. and Mary Katherine Ratliff.

The son of a cotton farmer, he graduated from Davidson College in 1947 and earned his PhD from Duke University.   He served as an Aviation Supply Officer in the US Navy from 1944-46.  

One of the longest-tenured members of the Davidson College faculty, he taught Economics, spanning six decades, from 1947 until his retirement in 1992.  He devoted his life to teaching and serving others, for four years in the 1960s, he served as an educational missionary at Forman Christian College in Lahore, Pakistan. 

Seeing the abject poverty in Pakistan led him to his involvement in many non-profit organizations including:  Habitat for Humanity, CROP, the Davidson Housing Coalition, Bread for the World, Mecklenburg Ministries, and Rural Advancement/National Sharecroppers Fund. 

He was very active in the Davidson United Methodist Church serving on numerous conference boards.

Following retirement, he and wife Mary Virginia moved to Florida Presbyterian Homes in Lakeland Florida, joining many of their close friends from their days in Pakistan.

He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Virginia.

Survivors include his wife Ruth Miller and his children, Alice, Kate, John and his wife Kathy, and four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Services will be at a later date.

Memorials may be made to Davidson Housing Coalition or the Ratliff Endowment for Economics at Davidson College.

Benjamin Rice Lacy III ’43

Benjamin Rice Lacy III '43

Benjamin Rice Lacy III died peacefully on January 18, 2021 at Hidden Springs Senior Living in Bentonville. He was 98 years old. But as he would have said it, he was technically in his 99th year.

Ben was born on March 5, 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia. He spent his childhood in Richmond, where his father was president of Union Theological Seminary, and enjoyed summers at their family cabin at Freezeland Orchard with his parents and siblings Bob, Bill & Betty. These experiences paved the way for his life as a devout Christian and respected orchardist.

Ben graduated from Davidson College in 1943, where he was Quarterback of the Wildcats football team. He proudly served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps from 1943-1947, where he was a Rocket Officer during World War II. He received his Masters Degree in Horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1949 and was an assistant football coach for the Hokies.

In 1946, Ben married Carolyn West of Kinston, North Carolina. Together they had two children, Emma Lee and Benjamin. They spent much of their time volunteering at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church, where Ben taught Sunday School for 68 years. The Benjamin R. Lacy Compassion Center was recently established there in his honor.

After the death of his first wife, in 1975, Ben married Jean Boyd McIntyre of Norfolk who he proposed to on their first date. They were married for 35 years and he became stepfather to her three children, graciously hosting years of extended family gatherings and building a family business together.

Ben spent most of his life as an apple grower. For over 50 years, he was President and Manager of the Freezeland Orchard from his youth and a partner in The Apple House in Linden. He was a respected leader in the Virginia apple industry, serving as President of Virginia Fruit Sales, Inc., Vice-President of Shenandoah Apple Cooperative; Director of both the Virginia State Apple Commission and Virginia Agricultural Foundation; President of the National Apple Institute and Virginia State Horticultural Society and Chairman of the American Agricultural Marketing Association.

In 1979, inspired by his father’s tales of tasting sparkling cider as a Rhodes Scholar in Europe, Ben invented Alpenglow which he produced and distributed nationally with his family for 40 years at Linden Beverage Company.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents Benjamin Rice Lacy, Jr. and Emma White Lacy and son, Benjamin Rice Lacy IV of Richmond.

He is survived by daughter Emma Lacy Nashner (Dick) of Haverton, Pennsylvania, daughter-in-law Sandra Schute Lacy of Richmond, stepson, George Lee McIntyre, Jr. (Karen), of Front Royal, and two stepdaughters, Elizabeth McIntyre Quarles (Doug) of Fredericksburg and Debra McIntyre Hunter of Front Royal.

His grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren loved him dearly; they include: Benjamin Rice Lacy V (Carlie) of Columbia, South Carolina, Carolyn Lacy Brackett (Alex) of Richmond, Christine Wiley (Chris) and Carolyn Goede (Nicholas) of Havertown, Pennsylvania; Kathryn McIntyre Tewell (Tim), Courtney McIntyre Maier (David) and George Lee McIntyre III of Front Royal; Lacy Quarles Briney (John) and Douglas Earle Quarles IV (Shelby) of Richmond; Laura Hunter Drago (Matthew) of Valencia, California; and great-grandchildren Maggie, Mason, Addison, Peyton, Webb, Eason, Billy, Hunter, Abigail, Ben and Jones.

A private memorial service will take place for immediate family, conducted by Pastor Carrie Evans. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Benjamin R. Lacy Compassion Center at Front Royal Presbyterian Church, 115 Luray Avenue, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.

Arrangements are being handled by Maddox Funeral Home, Front Royal, Virginia.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.maddoxfuneralhome.com

 Copyright (c) 2021, Byrd Newspapers, All Rights Reserved.

James Elliott ’48

James Elliott '48

James (Jim) Elliott passed away peacefully on December 28, 2020 at The Pines at Davidson.

Jim was born on November 10th, 1925 in Lincolnton, NC, the son of William Forrest Elliott, MD and Mary Lily Johnson Elliott. He graduated from Lincolnton High School in 1942 and was able to complete two years of study at Davidson College before being drafted into the USA Navy to serve in the Hospital Corp during World War II. After the war, he returned to Davidson and graduated in 1948 with a B.S. degree in Biology. Jim continued to pursue his interest in medicine at The Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, earning the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. Shortly after, the Korean War called Jim to service again, this time in the US Air Force as a First Lieutenant in the Dental Corps.

After completing his military commitment, he established his private dental practice in Charlotte. Jim was a well-respected dentist and ran a busy practice from 1955 until 1990, when he retired. After retirement, Jim and his wife, Jane, moved to the town of Davidson.

During his life, Jim held various leadership positions in local and NC professional organizations. He was also very active in the Church, serving as a member of choirs and offertories alike. In addition, he enjoyed his involvement with the boards of several local institutions including The Charlotte Latin School, The Winghaven Foundation, The Pines at Davidson, and The Board of Visitors at Davidson College.

Jim also enjoyed many hobbies throughout his life. He was a talented artist and an avid gardener. He loved painting landscapes and scenic vistas from his beloved North Carolina. He also loved painting portraits, and in his later years he took delight in painting the pets belonging to family and friends. Jim was a man of many talents and was a gift to all who knew him.

Jim is survived by his wife, Jane Richards Elliott, his two children Jane Murphy of Cornelius, NC and James Elliott, Jr., of Larkspur, CA, and their respective spouses Brian and Sharlyn. He is also survived by his three grandchildren: Caroline Murphy; Kayden Elliott and Attison Elliott. Jim was predeceased by his sister, Virginia Elliott Taylor of Norfolk, Va. and his brother, William Cromartie Elliott, MD of Indianapolis, IN.

The family would like to thank the staff and nurses at The Pines Healthcare for their dedicated and loving care, as well as Hospice of Iredell County. The family is forever grateful.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to The Pines at Davidson – Chaplain’s Fund, 400 Avinger Lane, Davidson, N.C. 28036.

An interment service will be held at Davidson College Presbyterian Church for immediate family members at a later date.

Copyright (c) 2020 The Charlotte Observer