Joe Elwood Weatherly, Jr. ’46

Joe Elwood Weatherly, Jr. '46

Mr. Joe Elwood Weatherly, Jr., 94, died Saturday, August 31, 2019, at his home in Thomasville, NC. 

He was born on August 6, 1925, to Joe Elwood Weatherly, Sr. and Christine Walker Weatherly in Elizabeth City, NC. Graduating valedictorian from Elizabeth City High School, he attended Davidson College, Duke University, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy. 

He served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S. Leyte CV-32 during the Korean War, receiving a Bronze Star. He served as Ex. Officer of P.T. boat squadron 1 and as a Midshipman Company Officer at the Naval Academy. 

He entered private business serving with several subsidiaries of Sovran National Bank, retiring from Sovran Capital. After retirement, he taught continuing education classes in computer programming at Forsyth Tech and GTCC. 

Joe was an avid golfer, bridge player, and reader. He also grew beautiful roses and lilies. Wherever he resided, he was an active member of his church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School and serving in various other offices. He tutored third graders in English and delivered Meals on Wheels for years. 

He was preceded in death by his grandson, J.B. Cordell, III. 

He is survived by his wife of almost 34 years, Eleanor Gray Weatherly of the home; his daughters, Christine Cordell (Joe) of Cashiers, NC and Betsey James (John) of Richmond, VA; his son, Joe Weatherly, III (Mitzie) of Greensboro; five grandchildren, Elizabeth Rice (Sean), Jack James, Sarah James, Ellie Weatherly, Maggie Weatherly; great-grandson, Walker Rice; and step-sons, Michael and Patrick Rutherford. 

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 5, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Pine Woods UMC with Rev. Sidney Lanier officiating. Inurnment will follow in Holly Hill Memorial Park Columbarium with military honors provided by the Randolph County Honor Guard. The family will receive friends at the church on Thursday one hour prior to the service from 1-2 p.m. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Hospice of Davidson County, 200 Hospice Way, Lexington, NC 27292 or to Pine Woods UMC, 200 Pine Woods Church Rd. Thomasville, NC 27360.

Online condolences may be sent to 

Copyright (c) 2019 High Point Enterprise

Thomas Poindexter Speas ’46

Thomas P. Speas, 94, passed away at Salemtowne in Winston-Salem, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m. in Amos Room/Babcock Health Center, Salemtowne.

Mr. Speas graduated from Reynolds High School in 1942. He attended Davidson College and graduated from University of Virginia in 1944. He received his master’s degree from Drexel Institute of Technology in 1963.

Mr. Speas was in the United States Army Signal Corps from 1943-1946. He was employed with Western Electric and retired from RCA in 1987.

Surviving are his wife of 70 years, Ruth L. Speas; children: P. Lynne S. Messenger (William) and Thomas P. Speas, Jr. (Suzan); grandchildren: Bert Haifley (Jeanette), Justin Haifley, Brad Messenger (Mary Charles); Sara Messenger, and Laura Messenger (Amber); and great-grandchildren: Maya Haifley, Maverick Haifley and Eli Messenger.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. William P. Speas and mother Nora E. Dixon; brothers: Frederick W. Speas, Dr. W. P. Speas, Jr., Charles A. Speas and Richard D. Speas.

In lieu of flowers, memorial may be made to Parkinson’s Association of the Carolinas, 2101 Sardis Road North, Suite 102, Charlotte, NC 28227 or the Boy Scouts of America, Old Hickory Council, 5058, 6600 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

Online condolences may be sent to

Edwin Allen Meeks, Sr. ’46

Edwin Meeks '46Edwin Allen Meeks, Sr. MD died on March 17, 2018. Dr. Meeks was born in Columbia, SC on September 16, 1925.

He began the practice of Pediatrics in Johnson City as a partner with Dr. Robert Bosman and Dr. Robert Piston at the Bowman Clinic in 1958. Dr. Meeks and Dr. James M. Pearson were founding partners of Pediatric Associates in 1979. Dr. Mark Donavan and Dr. Paul Bischoff joined the group later.

Following Dr. Meeks’ retirement in 1990 the group became First Choice Pediatrics. Dr. Meeks began his under graduate education at Davidson College and received the B.S. Degree from Union College, Schenectady, NY in 1946. Prior to entering Medical School he was employed as a chemist by Whitehall Pharmaceutical Co. in Knoxville. He received his MD from Vanderbilt School of Medicine in 1950. Dr. Meeks served his internship and residency at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC.

He served in the Navy during WW II. Dr. Meeks was a hospital corpsman at St. Albans Naval Hospital on Long Island, NY, which received casualties from the D Day invasion. He was commissioned an Ensign upon completion of the Naval V-12 program at Union College.

After receiving his MD, he entered the Army Medical Corps. While an intern at Walter Reed, he was involved in the care of soldiers injured in the Korean War. Dr. Meeks was Assistant Chief of Pediatrics at Brook Army Hospital in San Antonio, TX and Chief of Pediatrics at the 11th Field Hospital in Augsburg Germany. He was promoted to Major in 1956.

Dr. Meeks was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at ETSU Medical School. Dr. Meeks was a member of the Medical Staff of the Memorial Hospital and the Johnson City Medical Center Hospital.

He held membership in the Washington, Carter and Unicoi County Medical Society, the Tennessee Medical Association, The Tennessee Pediatric Society, the Southern Medical Association, and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics designated Dr. Meeks as the Senior Pediatrician of the year in 1995.

Dr. Meeks served as a deacon, and Elder and Sunday school teacher at the First Presbyterian Church in Johnson City and at the time of his death was an Elder Emeritus at Midway Presbyterian Church in Jonesborough. He was a member of the Board of the Presbyterian Journal.

Dr. Meeks was preceded in death by his father, the Rev. Benjamin A. Meeks, and mother, Miranda Taylor Meeks, his wife of 52 years, Ann Russell Meeks, brother and two sisters. One sister Marjorie M. Webb, Cabot AR, and brother-in-law Gene Pierce, Prattville, AL, survive him.

He is survived by two sons, Edwin Allen Meeks Jr. and wife Mary, Johnson City and Matthew Taylor Meeks and wife Katie, Jonesborough, five daughters, Elizabeth M. Lueck and husband Michael, Wilmington, OH, Lynda M. Carter and husband Bill, Jonesborough, Julia M. Slemp, Jonesborough, Margaret “Rita” Teeters, and husband Randy, Alliance, OH, Sarah M. Roberson and husband Shawn, Elizabethton, 14 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren, 6 nieces and 5 nephews.

Graveside services will be in the Pleasant Forest Cemetery Concord Road, Farragut, TN on Tuesday, March 20th at 12:00 p.m.

A Memorial service will be on Saturday, March 24 at Midway Presbyterian Church, Jonesborough. Family will greet friends from 12:00 PM til 2:00 PM. Memorial service to follow at 2:00 PM.

Donations may be made to Samaritan’s Purse or Gideons International in lieu of flowers.

Memories and condolences can be shared by visiting

Appalachian Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 800 East Watauga Ave., Johnson City, TN is serving the Meeks family. 423-928-6111


Copyright: © 2018 Journal Media Group

Alfred Hill ’46

Alfred Hill '46Dr. Alfred Emanuel Hill, Hickory Native Son, Member of “The Greatest Generation”

HICKORY – Dr. Alfred Emanuel Hill, well-known Hickory optometrist and multi-trophied golfer, died Sunday morning, July 16th, 2017 at Kingston Residence following a period of declining health. He was 92.

He was born May 16, 1925 in Hickory to James Henry and Sadie Salvo Hill and spent nearly his whole life there, loving the familiarity of the people and places that surrounded him. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and later served as a Scoutmaster.

Known affectionately as “Fonze,” “Alphonse,” and “Big Al,” he received his first set of golf clubs when he was 12 years old, playing at Lake Hickory Country Club on sand greens. Several older members once referred to him as a “child golf prodigy.” He made the golf team in high school (Claremont Central), at The Citadel, and the Army golf team while stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky during World War II.

Army Generals invited him to play with them at the exclusive Louisville Country Club, an offer which he gladly accepted. He later also played on the golf team at the Illinois College of Optometry, where he received his O.D. degree in 1950.

He may have had one regret his whole life, and that was over his appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis while he was a student at Lenoir Rhyne College. Unfortunately, a botched eye examination prevented this from working out. He went on to volunteer for the Paratroopers, and was turned down for this because of his flat feet.

He then joined the Army, and made Staff Sergeant in 10 months while at Camp Blanding, Florida at the Infantry Replacement Training Center. When the war ended, he helped disband this camp and then went on to Fort Knox where he was placed in charge of the motor pool, an amazing accomplishment for someone who was only 19 years old.

Following his end of service, he returned to The Citadel, and then went on to the Illinois College of Optometry on the recommendation of a friend.

He met the love of his life, Peggy Jane Blum of Winston-Salem, on a blind date in 1948. The following year they were married and he took her back to Chicago while he finished optometry school. They returned to Hickory where Dr. Hill opened his optometry practice in 1951. The first of three children, Sara, was born that year, followed by Denni in 1953 and Alfred, Jr. in 1959.

Dr. Hill continued to excel at the game he loved so much, capturing the Catawba Country Club Championships in both 1954 and 1956, and later several Lake Hickory Country Club championships. In 1963, with the whole family in tow, he beat out “Dynamite” Goodloe in the quarter finals of the Southern Amateur Golf Tournament in Rome, Georgia. To his family, this was the equivalent of winning the US Open or the Masters.

He played the Carolinas Amateur tournament at Pinehurst #2 course, making his way to the quarter finals in 1955. With his son, Al Jr., he won the Carolinas Golf Association Father-Son Golf Tournament in 1978. He qualified for the USGA Senior Amateur tourney twice (1982, 1986), and was asked to join the Society of Seniors in 1983 where he remained a charter member until his death. On November 19, 2007, at the age of 82, he shot a hole in one at Lake Hickory Country Club.

He was a lover of good jazz, a taste which he refined during his Chicago days when he would frequently be found at the “Blue Note” Club. Here, he heard such greats as Nat King Cole, Woody Herman, George Shearing, Stan Kenton, and Lionel Hampton.

He transferred this love of music to all three children, who love to tell the story of the day he came home from Starr Music Mart with the new Chubby Checker album under his arm. He ordered the entire family into the living room where he proceeded to teach them how to do the “Twist.” He and Peggy were quite the pair on the dance floor, and they remained members of the Hickory Cotillion and other dance clubs for many years.

Al was a member of the Catawba Valley Optometric Society, serving as their President in 1955. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

He served as Director of the Greater Hickory United fund campaign of 1959-1960. He also served as President of Hickory’s Quarterback Club in 1954. He was a member of the Hickory Kiwanis Club for 31 years, serving as President from 1974-1975.

Al was a man of quiet, constant faith and deep intellect. He was an active and devoted member of First Presbyterian Church for over 70 years, serving as a Deacon, teaching Sunday school and participating in many of their outreach ministries and committees.

As Al said in an interview many years ago in the Hickory Daily Record, “My church has a covenant that says that we give of our time, our abilities and our money. That’s the way I go about everything.” He believed deeply in the importance of family, and this same faith carries on today within the many who knew and loved him.

He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Peggy, in 2009. Surviving him are daughter Sara and husband Hank Williams of Graham; daughter Denni of Winston-Salem, and son Al, Jr. of Gainesville, Florida, as well as six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

The memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 22nd at 2:00pm, First Presbyterian Church, with Reverend Heather Wood Davis officiating. The family welcomes everyone to join them in the fellowship hall following the service. Private burial for family at Oakwood Cemetery will precede the memorial service.

We would like to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to the staff of Kingston Residence who gave such extraordinary care to our father. Special thanks also are extended to Laura Moody and Alana Gibbs for their special love and attention. And, the “Angel Team” of Angela Herman and Angela Myers of Catawba Regional Hospice is to be commended for their unique expertise and devotion.

The family requests that memorials be made to First Presbyterian Church or Catawba Regional Hospice.

Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the family of Dr. Alfred Emanuel Hill.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Dr. Alfred Hill, please visit our Tribute Store.

Merrill Lee Gattis ’46

Merrill Lee Gattis '46Mr. Gattis, 92, died February 8, 2017, at home after a brief illness. He was a second generation Charlotte native, born November 3, 1924, the younger son of Minnie Smith Gattis and Louie S. Gattis

He was a graduate of Central High School and attended Davidson College. Merrill was an accomplished musician, and while a student at Central, he was invited to play violin with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

Mr. Gattis was never happier than when he was in, on or near the water. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Artemis in the South Pacific during World War II.

He started one of Charlotte’s only Sea Scout troops while a member of Mouzon Methodist Church. A competitive sailor, Merrill belonged to the Lake Norman Yacht Club (Highlander class) and the South Carolina Yacht Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

He enjoyed skippering chartered boats in the Caribbean and river barges in England and France. Mr. Gattis was a member of Myers Park United Methodist Church. He served on the board of the Metrolina Association for the Blind and was a dedicated literacy volunteer at the YMCA.

In 1950, Mr. Gattis began a distinguished career in retail furniture at the helm of Colony Furniture & Interiors. Under his leadership for six decades, Colony was known for fine home furnishings and decor throughout the Southeast.

At the store’s closing in 2015, loyal customers traveled from D.C., Florida, Virginia, and North and South Carolina to offer well wishes (and shed a few tears) for the loss of the iconic Charlotte retailer.

Mr. Gattis is survived by his wife, Gail H. Maynard Gattis; his daughter, Linda Gattis Shull (Graeme); and his son, Merrill Lee Gattis, Jr., all of Charlotte. In addition to his parents, Mr. Gattis was predeceased by his brother, Louie S. Gattis, Jr., and his wife, Franklyn Love Gattis.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at Myers Park United Methodist Church.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2017 at Harry & Bryant, 500 Providence Rd., Charlotte. Interment will be private.

The family thanks especially Dr. Reza Nazemzadeh, Hospice & Palliative Care of Charlotte, and Compassionate Care of Charlotte for their kindness and care of Mr. Gattis.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Charlotte or Myers Park United Methodist Church. Condolences may be offered at

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