Thomas Benton “Tommy” Rose III ’52

Thomas Benton “Tommy” Rose III '52

Thomas Benton “Tommy” Rose III, 89, passed away Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. He was born Aug. 18, 1930, in Henderson and had been a resident of Wilmington, New Hanover County, for 25 years.

Thomas was an honor graduate of Henderson High School, Class of 1948, and a 1952 graduate of Davidson College, after which he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Faye.

Next, he served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard in Cape May, New Jersey. Following his military service, he attended UNC at Chapel Hill to obtain a master’s degree in business administration. He then began his 35-year career with Roses Stores Inc., where he served at many levels, retiring as vice president in charge of Warehouse and Distribution. Tommy and Faye retired to their second home at Wrightsville Beach, where they enjoyed being members of Wrightsville Beach Methodist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas B. Rose Jr. and Kathryn Rose; sister, Ann Rose Allen; grandson, Thomas B. “T.” Rose V; and daughter-in-law, Janice Kelly Rose.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 67 years, Faye Beckwith Rose; four wonderful sons, Thomas B. Rose IV, Andrew Cameron Rose (Vicki), David Paul Rose and Robert Pierce Rose (Pam); six grandsons, Drew, Ben. Pierce, Alex, Parker and Phillip; brothers, Paul and David (Diane); sister, Kathy Kobos (Donnie); and numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 6, at Wrightsville Beach Methodist Church. Casual attire is welcomed and requested.

The family wishes to thank many individuals, but especially the staff and volunteers at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare (Hospice).

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Arrangements by Atlantic Cremation Service.

Howard Allen Penton, Jr. ’53

Howard Allen Penton, Jr. '53

Howard Allen Penton, Jr., 88, lifelong native of Wilmington and prominent business and civic leader, died Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Mr. Penton was born Aug. 5, 1931, the son of Marjorie Willard Penton and Howard Allen Penton.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Roi Malott Penton; daughter, Elizabeth Malott Penton, and her husband, David Alden Dyer; son, Howard Allen Penton III, and his wife, Elizabeth, Williams Penton; four grandchildren, Rachael Malott Mullen, Donald Collins Mullen III, Alexandra Claire Penton, and Emily Elizabeth Penton; and sister, Mary Penton Maliga. His sister, Marjorie Penton Miller, preceded him in death in 2011.

Mr. Penton was a devoted member of St. James Episcopal Church, where he met his wife, and where he and his family were nurtured over the years.

At New Hanover High School, Mr. Penton achieved a distinguished record as president of his Senior Class of 1949, as company commander in the ROTC, as a member of the football team under Coach Leon Brogden and as a member of the National Honor Society.

After attending Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mr. Penton served on active duty with the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954, followed by 28 years of service in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as full colonel in 1991. During his military career, he earned his Ranger tabs and graduated from the U.S. Army Infantry School, The Intelligence School and the Command and General Staff College. His last assignment as a Mobilization Designee was as deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Intelligence School, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

Mr. Penton returned from active military duty to assume management of the family business, Springer Coal and Oil Company. He served as president of the North Carolina Fuel Merchants Association in 1961. While actively managing Springer Coal and Oil during changing times, he also served as a trustee of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina from 1973 to 2001 and was chairman from 1995 to 1997.

Mr. Penton was a director of the Wilmington office of Wachovia Bank for 25 years and was also a director, and later chairman, of Peoples Federal Savings Bank of Wilmington, continuing on as a director after its merger with First Citizens Bank. In addition, Mr. Penton, throughout his career, organized and managed several small business ventures ranging from boat building to bowling alleys to beer distribution.

Mr. Penton was a leader in local civic affairs. In the 1960s, he was proud to serve on the Wilmington Development Corporation (later the committee of 100) in revitalizing the Wilmington business community in the face of loss of major businesses. He was campaign chair of the New Hanover United Fund in 1964 and member of the Board of the Carolinas United Fund Group for North and South Carolina. He served as president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1965, when Wilmington was designated an All-American City.

He was one of a group to spearhead efforts to build the Blockade Runner Hotel at Wrightsville Beach and to construct a downtown parking deck in Wilmington, and he was one of 12 incorporators of the Historic Wilmington Foundation. For his service to the community, he was named “Man of the Year” by the Wilmington Jaycee’s and Star News Citizen of the Year.

In the political arena, Mr. Penton served two terms in the North Carolina General Assembly. While in Raleigh, he proudly endorsed the proposal to bring Wilmington College into the North Carolina University System. He also presented the bill that made the red drum the official North Carolina Saltwater Fish. In 2014, Mr. Penton received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in recognition of service to his community, his state and his country.

Mr. Penton enjoyed the fellowship of the Cape Fear Club, serving as its president in 1987, and he was an active member of the Cape Fear Country Club, where he played golf for many years. He was also a member of the L’Arioso German Club, the Inter Se Cotillion Club, the Surf Club at Wrightsville Beach, the Carolina Yacht Club, and a charter member of the Figure Eight Island Club.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 28, at St. James Church. The family will receive guests following the memorial service at 2329 Ocean Point Drive, Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to Cape Fear Hospice or any charity of choice.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

Fred Deaton ’53

Fred Deaton '53

Mr. Fred Hyams Deaton, Jr., 88, of Statesville, passed away Friday, January 24, 2020 at Atrium Health Pineville in Charlotte, NC.

Mr. Deaton was born September 14, 1931 in Statesville and was the son of the late Fred Hyams Deaton, Sr. and Jane Elizabeth Sherrill Deaton. He was an Eagle Scout and a graduate of Statesville High School. He attended Davidson College and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

On November 22, 1958, he married the late Gwendolen Gemmell Deaton, who passed away in March 2015.

He was the Executive VP and a Director of The Statesville Flour Mills, and served as an executive officer of Carolina Motor Co. and Deaton Brothers. He served on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Statesville prior to its acquisition by BB&T in 1970. Subsequently, he served on the Board of Directors of BB&T from 1971 to 1996. He also served on the Board of Directors of Home Federal Savings and Loan of Statesville.

Mr. Deaton was involved in a host of charitable and community organizations, including Grandfather Home for Children, Mitchell Community College and Lees McRae College. In addition, he was a long-time class agent at Davidson College.

He is survived by two sons, Frederick Sherrill Deaton (Barrie) of Winston-Salem, Robert White Deaton (Gaither) of Charlotte; one daughter, Margaret MacGregor Deaton of Blowing Rock and Nashville, TN; three grandsons, Thomas Eggleston Deaton of Kure Beach, NC, Robert Alexander White Deaton of Charlotte, James Whitaker Ballou Deaton of Charlotte; a niece, Louise Price Holland (Gene) of Durham; a nephew, John Furman Price of Wilmington and a host of extended family members.

Funeral services will be held 2:00pm Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at First Presbyterian Church. The family will visit with friends in the church parlor following the service. Graveside services will be held 11:30 am Tuesday morning at Oakwood Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church or the Deaton-Sherrill Scholarship Fund at Davidson College, PO Box 7170, Davidson, NC 28035. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family of Mr. Fred Deaton, Jr.

Published in Charlotte Observer on Jan. 26, 2020

Otis Milner ’50

Otis Milner passed away January 17, 2020 after a long life of 90 years. He was born on May 10, 1929 in Rome, GA to the late C. Glenn Milner and Rubye McGaughey Milner. Otis enjoyed a fulfilling life.

He was a 1946 graduate of Darlington and went on to earn degrees from Davidson College (1950) and Emory University (1951). He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was active in his life as a Christian by being a charter member of Westminster Presbyterian Church where he joyfully sang in the choir. He also loved fishing many of the North Georgia streams and spending time in nature. He and his late brother, Doug Milner, ran a cattle business in the area for many years before retiring in the 1980s.

Mr. Milner leaves behind many to mourn: Brother, Jim (Late, Anne) Milner, of Charlotte, N.C.; Sister in Law, Mable Milner, of Rome, GA; Niece, Brooke Cornwell; Nephews, Brad Milner, Cliff Milner, Frank Milner, Andy Milner and Clay Milner; and several grand/great nieces and nephews, and his best friend, Clint Payne, of Lindale, GA.

The family will receive friends at Daniel’s Funeral Home on Friday, January 24, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. with a funeral service to follow in the chapel of Daniel’s Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Sunset Hill Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests donations to be made to a charity of your choice in memory of Otis Milner.

Daniel’s Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements.

Charles “Alex” Hodgin ’53

Charles "Alex" Hodgin '53

Charles “Alex” Hodgin, 88, passed away Thursday, January 9, 2020, at home.

He is preceded in death by his parents Col. Charles E. and Elizabeth Hodgin, and his sister Anne Hodgin Williams. Alex is survived by his wife of 63 years, Diane (Deutsche) Hodgin; son, Eddie Hodgin; daughter, Jennifer Bentz (Chad); three grandchildren: Martha Neihart (Bryan), Jack Bentz. and Sam Bentz, as well as two great-grandchildren, Nora and Eloise Neihart. He will also be dearly missed by his longtime friends Joe Jones, John E. Williams, and Bob Montgomery.

Alex had a distinguished career in education serving as commandant of Cadets at Kentucky Military Institute until it’s close in 1971. He later became a successful insurance agent affiliated with Underwriters, Safety & Claims.

Alex is a graduate of Davidson College (’53) and earned a master’s degree from Indiana University after serving as First lieutenant in the US Army. He loved golf and belonged to Big Spring Country Club.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to Robbie Sims, Kathy Durham, and Brendan Kavanauh for their excellent care of Alex in his final year.

Visitation will take place from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday, January 18 at Pearson’s Funeral Home, 149 Breckenridge Lane in St Matthews. The funeral service will be immediately following at 10 a.m. at the same location.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Published in The Courier-Journal from Jan. 10 to Jan. 12, 2020