John Wilson Moore ’41

John Wilson Moore, a biophysicist who made important contributions to understanding neurotoxins and was a pioneer in the field of computational neuroscience, died on Saturday, March 30. He was 98.

John was born on November 1, 1920 in Winston-Salem. He graduated from Davidson College in 1941 and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Virginia in 1945. His graduate work was directed toward the war effort: assisting in the effort to enrich uranium by centrifuge, and building a radar-directed gun system for ships.

As a young scientist, John worked at the RCA Laboratories, the Medical College of Virginia, the Naval Medical Research Institute, and the National Institutes of Health, gaining unusual expertise that combined physics, feedback systems, electronics, and biology. He also began a lifelong tradition of summer research at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.

In 1961, John joined the Department of Physiology at Duke, where he made his greatest contributions to the field. He developed a new experimental method of measuring electrical current in neurons. Using this technique, he studied the actions of various neurotoxins with collaborators from around the world. Most notably, he and Toshio Narahashi discovered the method by which tetrodotoxin, the puffer fish venom, blocks nerve signals. John received the Cole Award from the Biophysical Society in 1981 for this and other work.

John also saw the potential for using computers to simulate the electrical signals in neurons. With help from student programmers, and using the recently developed Hodgkin-Huxley equations as a basis, he began in the late 1960s to run computer simulations in parallel with each lab experiment.

This groundbreaking method proved to be highly successful both in predicting the outcomes of experiments and in showing that the equations had wider applicability than previously known. With Michael Hines he developed the neuronal simulation software NEURON which remains one of the most popular tools for computational neuroscience instruction and research.

After his retirement from Duke in 1990, John focused his efforts on education. With his wife, Ann Stuart, a neurobiologist at UNC-Chapel Hill, he developed Neurons in Action, a digital textbook that includes interactive experiments using NEURON. It is now widely employed to teach neurophysiology.

Throughout his life, John struck up friendships wherever he went. He was beloved by family, colleagues, employees of the institutions where he worked, musicians he admired, and his many caregivers during his final year.

John is survived by his wife, Ann Stuart; their son, Jonathan Stuart-Moore (Megan Guiliano); three children from his first marriage, John Reid Moore (Beth), Marjorie Moore Kastrinsky (Howard), and Stephen Wilson Moore (Kathy); eight grandchildren, Jennifer, Josh, Matt, Kimberly, Elizabeth, Michelle, Steve, and Julian; and two great-grandchildren, Henley and Emily.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at 2 PM, at the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Thomas B. and John W. Moore Scholarship Fund at Davidson College or to the The John W. Moore and Ann E. Stuart Endowed Fund at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

Published in The News & Observer on Apr. 7, 2019

John McDowell Moore ’41

John McDowell Moore Jr., 98, passed away peacefully in Huntersville, surrounded by his family, January 17, 2018.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at Davidson College Presbyterian Church in Davidson and the Rev. Larry Lyons officiated.

He was born April 18, 1919 in Laurens, S.C., where he attended the Laurens City Schools. John later attended the Darlington School in Rome, Ga. He attended Davidson College and graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1942, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. John served as a 1st Lt. in the Army Air Corps in the North African Campaign during World War II.

On June 9, 1951, he married Nancy Anderson Moore of Moore, S.C. John and Nancy raised four daughters and lived happily in Lexington. His beloved wife predeceased him in 2006 after 54 years of marriage. While in Lexington, John was vice president of Dacotah Cotton Mills.

An active member of the Lexington community, he served as chairman of the Lexington Memorial Hospital and was a Life Member of the Kiwanis Club in Lexington. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, where he served as Deacon, Elder and Clerk of the Session. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Perpetual Savings and Loan.

For the last nine years of his life, John resided at the Pines at Davidson, where he had wonderful friends, and continued his life-long love of learning and cheered for his beloved Davidson Wildcats.

John was known for his warm, outgoing personality and his ability to connect with people. He enjoyed reading, celebrating his Scottish roots and attending his weekly wine club meeting at the Pines. He and Nancy travelled extensively and his wide range of experiences made John a wonderful storyteller. He will be missed greatly by family and friends alike.

John is survived by daughters, Margaret Moore Robb (David) of Cincinnati, Ohio, Elizabeth Moore Glenn (James) of Spartanburg, S.C., Mary Moore Palmes (Wes) of Statesville, and Nancy Moore Jenkins (Butch) of Biscoe. He is also survived by ten wonderful grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Pines at Davidson, Resident Support Fund, 400 Avinger Lane, Davidson, NC 28036 or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Davidson Funeral Home, Lexington.

Online condolences may be made at

L. Tyson Betty ’41

Laban Tyson Betty, 98, of Asheville, died peacefully at Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community on January 13, 2018.

Born in Montgomery, Alabama, he was the son of Lee Irby and Anne Tyson Betty. He was a graduate of Duke University and served as an officer in the U.S.Navy in World War II.

He was retired from First Union National Bank, past board member of Biltmore Forest Country Club, and member of All Souls Episcopal church.

Mr. Betty was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 52 years, Anne Mitchell Betty, who passed away in 1993 and by their daughter, Catharine Hunter Mitchell who passed away in 1997.

Surviving are: his sons Tyson Betty and wife, Nancy, (Gainesville, FL), and Mitchell Betty and wife, Darlene, (Cashiers, NC); grandchildren Christine Denny and husband, John (Gainesville, FL); Lauren Betty-Eremin and husband, Sasha (Atlanta, Ga.), Matt Betty and wife, Ann (Cashiers, NC); Kristin Betty Grimm (Franklin, N.C.); and great grandchildren Ella and Tyson Denny and Sarah and Eli Betty.

Family services will be private.

To place a condolence online, please visit

Groce Funeral Home, Lake Julian, is serving the family.Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Jan. 16, 2018

Edward Nisbet Maxwell, Sr. ’41

Ed MaxwellEdward Maxwell, Sr., 96, of Louisville died Monday, February 13, 2017 at Jefferson Place.

He was a native of South Boston, Va., served as a medical officer in the US Public Health Service in World War II, was a member of Fourth Presbyterian Church and a longtime choir member. He was the former chief of Radiology at Audubon Hospital and the old St. Joseph’s Infirmary, was a Fellow of the American College of Radiology and was a former member of the AMA and JCMS.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Ethelyn LeGrand Jones Maxwell; parents, Columbus Wirt Maxwell and Evelyn Nisbet Maxwell; and sister, Betty Maxwell.

He is survived by his children, Edward N. Maxwell, Jr., MD (Nancy Lee) of Lexington, KY, Betsy Maxwell, Kenneth L. Maxwell, James H. Maxwell. MD (Susan) of Greensboro, NC, Nancy M. Hanna (Bill), and Margaret A. Maxwell of Richmond, KY; sister, Louise Worth; grandchildren, Jennie Hale (Jason), Christopher, Dr. Matthew (Sara), Ryan, Clay and Leigh Maxwell, Colin and Will Hanna; and great grandchildren, Georgia and Ari Hale, Wesley, Caroline and Maggie Maxwell.

His memorial service will be held at Noon on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Fourth Presbyterian Church 3016 Preston Hwy. Visitation will be after 10 a.m. at the church.

Memorial gifts may be made to Fourth Presbyterian Church or MUSCL 1207 Hart Avenue Louisville, KY 40213.

Published in The Courier-Journal on Feb. 22, 2017

Thomas Arthur Galbreath, Jr. ’41

Thomas Arthur Galbreath, Jr. '41Thomas Arthur Galbreath, Jr. died Thursday, November 24, 2016.

He was born May 21, 1920 in Greenville, N. C. He was the son of Thomas Arthur and Amine King Galbreath. Tom was a graduate of Davidson College.

He began his career in banking with The Commercial Bank, now Wells Fargo. He was employed with J. P. Taylor – Universal Leaf Tobacco Co. for thirty five years.

Upon retirement he joined his wife Margaret, in managing the Coral Bay Club, at Atlantic Beach.

Following their retirement they lived in Kinston. Tom loved life and lived it to the fullest. He was a life time member of Queen Street Methodist Church, where he was an active member.

He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Margaret, and brother-in-law Philip E. Edwards.

He is survived by his sister Amine G. Edwards of Rocky Mount and nieces Amine E. Morgan (John), and Ruth E. Nicholson (Paul) and step children Jess Roper McLamb (Gene), Liza Roper, and Thomas J. Roper (Sue), and numerous great nieces and nephews.

Interment will be at Westview Cemetery. A memorial service will be Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Queen Street United Methodist Church.

Reception immediately following at The Kinston Country Club, 1501 Country Club Dr. Memorials may be made to Queen Street Methodist Church, 500 N. Queen Street, Kinston, N.C. 28501, or a a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are with Edwards Funeral Home.

Published in The News & Observer on Nov. 27, 2016