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

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.

Clyde Hood Hobbs ’43

Clyde Hood Hobbs '43

Clyde Hood Hobbs, 98 of  Anderson, S.C. formerly of Whiteville, N.C. died Friday, October 18,2019 at Premier Living of Lake Waccamaw .

He was the son of the late William Black Hobbs and Mary Cooper Hood and was preceded in death by his wife, Oudia Pierson Hobbs and  a grandson, Joseph Michael Dutton.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War, II.

He was a member of  Whiteville United Methodist Church and was owner of W.B. Hobbs & Son  Coal Yard .

Survivors include  his daughters, Sharonne H. Dutton (Butch) of Whiteville, N.C. and Sabra H. Allen of Whiteville, N.C.,  3  Grandchildren and  4 Great-Grandchildren.

Funeral Service will be Wednesday, October 23, 2019  at 11:00 a.m. at Whiteville United Methodist Church  with Rev. Paul Stallsworth  officiating with burial following in the Whiteville  Memorial  Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Sloan Kattering Cancer Center @ P.O. Box 5028 Hagertown, MD. 21741-5028  or to Lower Cape Fear Hospice Center @ 206 Warrior Trail  , Whiteville, N.C. 28472

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Clyde Hood Hobbs, please visit our floral store.

James Dickson Phillips, Jr. ’43

James Dickson Phillips, Jr. died August 27, 2017, at home, surrounded by family. He lived a long and singular life, rich with duty and accomplishment, devotion to family, friends and country, and embrace of the eternal verities.

A man of great intellect and personal strength, he was soldier, lawyer, teacher, judge, churchman, outdoorsman, and music lover, but was defined by none of these — he thought of himself as a fellow pilgrim with all he met, and was beloved in return.

Born in Scotland County, North Carolina, on September 23, 1922, to James Dickson Phillips Sr. and Helen Shepherd Phillips, he was educated in the public schools of Laurinburg under many fine teachers. He was shaped in his childhood by the close-knit community of Scots descendants, the traditional faith, and the hardships of the Depression around him.

In 1939, he entered Davidson College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1943. At Davidson, he was captain of the baseball team and a member of ROTC. He went directly from Davidson into army officer training school and was commissioned a lieutenant in the 17th Airborne Division. He was still training in England when the Battle of the Bulge began in December 1944.

His 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment was in the mass of inadequately clothed and equipped troops rushed in to defend against the German onslaught. A rifle platoon leader, he was one of only about 18 men of the 165-man I Company not a casualty of that battle.

In March, 1945, he parachuted into Germany leading his platoon as part of Operation Varsity, the largest single-day airborne assault in history. Soon badly wounded in a firefight with retreating Germans, he spent the rest of the war in an English hospital. For his war service, he earned a Bronze Starand a Purple Heart, and his unit a distinguished citation.

Returning to Laurinburg immediately after his convalescence, he married his high school sweetheart, Evelyn Pearl Butler, in July, 1945. That fall, he caught a ride to Chapel Hill with childhood friend Terry Sanford, and was admitted on the spot to UNC Law School by Dean Wettach.

In law school, he was a member of the famed study group of the class of 48, Bill Friday, Bill Aycock, Bill Dees and John Jordan. The bonds formed among them endured through their respective careers and lives.

After law school, he served for a year as assistant director of the Institute of Government before returning to Laurinburg and going into law practice with childhood friend Donald McCoy. Soon they moved their practice to Fayetteville, joining Terry Sanford, to form Sanford, Phillips, McCoy.

In those years, he represented people from all walks and tried many cases, gaining experience and perspective that served his common sense understanding of the cases that came before him later as an appellate judge.

In addition to practicing law and beginning a family, he worked to elect to public office the major Democratic leaders of those years, Frank Porter Graham, Kerr Scott, and his own law partner, Terry Sanford. And he did a lot of fishing.

In 1957, his wife Evelyn died in an automobile accident, leaving him and their two young children. Carrying on, he soon accepted an invitation to try teaching at UNC Law school, which led to a permanent offer to join the faculty in the fall of 1960. He married his beloved partner for the remainder of his life, Jean Duff Nunalee, in the summer of 1960, and moved his family to Chapel Hill.

After teaching full time for several years, in 1964 he was made Dean of the law school, and served two terms until 1974. He was a youthful and energetic leader. He enlarged and diversified the faculty and student body, raised funds to build the facility the school still occupies, and generally put the school on the trajectory it has since followed.

As a teacher and mentor to thousands of law students over the years, he combined rigor, warmth and wit and earned their devotion. It is remarkable how many former students recount a pivotal encounter with him that somehow shaped the direction of their lives.

Never ambitious in material terms, he aspired to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, to which he was appointed in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. He served full time on that court until 1994, when he took senior status.

His role as an appellate judge brought together his great personal attributes of precision, clarity and wisdom along with a love of justice and mercy and a generous but realistic understanding of human nature and foibles.

He was esteemed by his colleagues and revered by the law clerks who served him through those years. He brought both a long view of history and the particular experience of life in the North Carolina of the Depression and post-war years to his decisions.

His cases included significant ones involving some of the most contentious issues of the day, minority voting rights, gerrymandering, and sex discrimination, issues that remain with us.

In a series of decisions beginning in 1982 with the Gingles case and continuing into the 1990s with the Shaw decisions, he led three-judge federal panels in finding unlawful state legislative districting that diluted minority voting strength, and upholding as constitutional majority-minority congressional districting.

In Gingles, particularly, he detailed the pernicious history of systematic racial discrimination in voting and election practices, race-baiting in campaigns, and the depressive effects of disadvantages in education, employment and housing on African Americans’ ability effectively to participate in politics.

The U.S Supreme Court affirmed most of the holding in Gingles, agreeing with his analysis and essentially deferring to his understanding of local conditions.

Although part of a long and complex history of election districting decisions, these cases remain important and played a key role in enabling African Americans to achieve better representation in state and congressional offices.

In the sex discrimination area, among other notable decisions, he dissented from the Fourth Circuit panel’s finding that the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) could constitutionally provide a “separate but equal” program for women, a dissenting position that the U. S. Supreme Court ultimately adopted in United States vs. Virginia.

The Supreme Court’s decision was one of the signal steps along the way broadening women’s right to participate in the military. While his legal opinions were written in the precise and technical language of law and legal analysis, his deep humanity and clear-eyed commitment to the principle of equality are plainly evident.

Over the course of a long and notable career, he contributed to many institutional and public efforts, always bringing clarity to the mission and bridging differences through wise counsel and a wry wit.

In the 1960’s he served on the State Wildlife Resources Commission and on the Courts Commission that drafted the constitutional and legislative measures that reorganized the court system in the State.

Later he was named the first chairman of the State Ethics Commission. For a number of years beginning in the late 1960s, he served as a trustee of Davidson College, and was a principal draftsmen of governance documents for that institution. He was a founding trustee of the North Carolina Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

And among his dearest affiliations was his and Jean’s 60-year membership at University Presbyterian Church where they both served on many committees over the years.

He received a raft of awards from the institutions he served. At UNC, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws, the Thomas Jefferson Award, and the Distinguished Alumnus award, among other recognitions. He received the distinguished alumni award from Davidson College and the John J. Parker Award from the N.C. Bar Association.

But most important to him were the enduring values of family and friendship, and living by the Protestant faith woven into his character from childhood. The deep friendships of his youth remained the strongest of his life. Such were those bonds that to his children the circle of close friends blurred the lines of family.

And he was most of all, on a personal level, an endearing model of decency and humanity – he never used his considerable powers of person or position to seek advantage over others, in matters large or small.

In the last years, his powerful mind was slowly drained by time and affliction, but the gentle core of his character never left. He was graciously accepting of the loving and skilled people who came into his life to assist in basic things, unfailingly courteous and grateful in difficult circumstances. He died with the grace and dignity with which he lived.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jean, whom he described as “all spirit”, daughter Lyn, son Dickson and his wife Lisa Frost-Phillips, daughter Elizabeth and her wife Tania Hannan, daughter Ida and her husband Fletcher Fairey, grandchildren Jonathan, Abigail, and Emmaline Phillips, Stella Hannan, and Fletcher Fairey.

He is also survived by brother Robert Derrick Phillips and his wife Susan Sihler, by his first cousin Whaley Brenner, and by nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Evelyn, and all of his closest friends from Laurinburg, among them Jim Sutherland, Tom John, Donald McCoy, Jonathan McLean, and Terry Sanford. Their memories live with his.

Published in The News & Observer on Aug. 29, 2017

John Frampton McGee ’43

John Frampton McgeeJohn Frampton McGee, 94, died on June 23, 2017, after a short period of declining health.

Born in Charleston, SC, January 9, 1923, he was the son of Hall Thomas McGee and Gertrude Wyman Frampton McGee. He graduated from Charleston (SC) High School in 1939 and Davidson College in 1943.

A member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, he was President of the Eumanean Literary Society, Track team manager and Army ROTC Captain. He received his Commission at Ft. Benning and was deployed to England. He landed at Utah Beach on June 12th and was assigned to Company “D” of the 117th Infantry Regiment of the 30th Division. He saw combat from Normandy to Germany.

During the Bulge, he aided in halting the S.S. Panzers at Stavelot, Belgium. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star with two Clusters, five Campaign Stars, a presidential Unit Citation and French and Belgian Croix de Guerre with Silver Star and was discharged as a Captain. In 1946, he joined the Evening Post Publishing Company in Charleston, SC.

In 1961, he joined the State-Record Company in Columbia, SC, and served as general manager and associate Publisher. He became General Executive with Knight Newspapers, Inc., in Miami in 1969 and joined Clay Communications in Charleston, WV, in 1970. He became its president and guided the company from one newspaper to a holding company with five daily and three Sunday papers, and four television stations.

After the sale of the company in 1987, he served on the Board Thomson Newspapers until 1990. McGee served on the Board of Directors of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and was President of the State Press Associations of South Carolina and West Virginia. He was elected twice as a member of the Board of Directors of the Associated Press.

The McGee’s shared a passion for travel and education, which they generously instilled in children and grandchildren through shared experiences with family. After his retirement, McGee and his beloved wife, Ruth, returned to Africa to teach journalism at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and later in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana. Because of his efforts in the development of a free press in Africa, he was chosen to be a poll-watcher in the 1994 election in which Nelson Mandela became President of S. Africa.

In Thailand, he continued his free-press development efforts through service on the Board of the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation and its development and distribution of a basic journalism textbook for students and working journalists throughout Southeast Asia.

The McGee’s shared a strong faith in God. They were devoted members of First Presbyterian Church in Charleston, WV. They established the McGee Foundation in Charleston, WV, in 1991, for philanthropic endeavors in the U.S., Africa and Asia, with a special emphasis on giving back to institutions in West Virginia like the Clay Center, WVU, and numerous other eleemosynary endeavors.

At Davidson, he served on both the Board of Directors and the Board of Visitors, which he chaired. The couple endowed a Visiting professorship in Writing and the Directorship of the Dean Rusk Program. McGee served as Vice-Chairman of the Charleston Area Medical Center, Vice-Chairman of the Clay Center, and Board of Directors of the United Bank.

A Rotarian, he was a member of the Huguenot Society of SC, the Cosmos Club, Edgewood Country Club, and numerous civic organizations. He received YMCA’s Spirit of the Valley Award for his lifetime of service to the people of the Kanawha Valley.

He is survived by two daughters from his first marriage to Ann Beverly Canby of Little Rock, AR., Beverly (Mrs. Archibald Hardy) of Saluda, NC, and Cathy (Mrs. W. deBerniere Mebane) of Greenville, SC, in addition to eight grandchildren: Perry Kinder Longno (Lance), Emory Kinder Wright (Jon), Will Mebane (Martha Corcoran), Harriet Mebane, John Mebane, Catharine Mebane Sturtevant (Drew), Jane Mebane Mobley, and Beverly Mebane Helms (Carter) and 14 great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his cousin, counselor and best life-long friend, Joseph H. (Peter) McGee and his wife Patti, of Charleston, SC. He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth Bauknight McGee, who was survived by one son, Charles Smedley (Sue), and one granddaughter, Sara Jane Smedley.

A memorial celebration will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 2, at First Presbyterian Church, Charleston, WV. The family will receive friends beginning at 12:30 p.m. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston

Copyright, 2017, The Post and Courier. All Rights Reserved.