Kenneth M. Ritchie ’50

Kenneth M. Ritchie, 91, of Wilmington, NC died Tuesday, December 11, 2018, in New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Mr. Ritchie was born in Stanly County on January 27, 1927, the son of the late Hugh S. and Mary H. Ritchie.

Mr. Ritchie was a graduate of Albemarle High School. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a radioman aboard the U.S.S. Stewart. He was a graduate of Davidson College and subsequently worked for Kaiser Agricultural Chemicals.<

He was a member of St. Andrews Covenant-Presbyterian Church. He enjoyed playing golf and took great pride in sharing his experiences in the Navy.<

Surviving are his daughters, Rita Ritchie Wolfe and husband, Jimmie of Calypso, NC and Kenna Ritchie Bullard and husband Glenn of Loris, SC; grandson, James Thomas Wolfe, Jr. and wife Kim of Calypso, NC; his two great-grandchildren, J.T. Wolfe and Katherine Wolfe of Calypso, NC who were the light of his life.

A graveside service will be held at 11am, Thursday, December 13, 2018, at Oleander Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of one's choice.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Copyright, 2018, StarNews, All Rights Reserved.

Charlton Kennedy Torrence, Jr. ’50

Charlton Torrence '51Charlton Kennedy Torrence, Jr. passed away peacefully on November 9, 2018.

Born in Gastonia on October 5, 1928, to Charlton Kennedy Torrence, Sr. and Marguerite Ring Torrence, his ancestors were among the earliest settlers in Gaston County. He embodied both their native Scots frugality and his own compassionate generosity and made a lasting impact on Gastonia and Gaston County.

Charlton graduated from Gastonia’s public school system, Darlington Prep School and Davidson College, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He remembered with pride his 1945 pitching triumph in a 5-0 shutout against Shelby, who won the American Legion World Series that year.

He also pitched for Davidson from 1947-1951. Charlton joined the Navy Reserve in 1952, served aboard the USS Francis Robinson and was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant in 1955.

He began his career at Superior Yarn Mills, doing every job in the mill before becoming its VP and Treasurer. He continued in sales after Superior was sold to Clyde Fabrics which was sold to Textiles, Inc., (later Ti-Caro, Inc.) and then to Dixie Yarns. He was a member of Civitan in the late 50s, joined The Rotary Club of Gastonia in 2014 and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 2015.

He was also awarded the Bud Schiele Lifetime Achievement plate in 2009 by the Schiele Museum and Planetarium, a proclamation of gratitude from Gastonia City Council and then-mayor John Bridgeman in 2016, and received the Community Foundation of Gaston County’s Alan H. Sims Award in 2017.

Charlton was married for 42 years to the love of his life, Mary Elizabeth Mason, who died in 1997. They married in June of 1955 and raised their 3 children in Gastonia. He was a member of Gaston Country Club and excelled on the golf course and tennis court, where he was so competitive that he was known as “Nasty” after popular tennis star Ilie Nastase.

He was a lifelong member and leader at First Presbyterian Church, serving as a Deacon and Elder and chairing numerous committees. He was instrumental in the creation of the church’s columbarium, and in commissioning “A Christian Witness: History of First Presbyterian Church, Gastonia” by Marion Ellis.

He loved his community and worked tirelessly to make things better for all. In addition to significant financial contributions, he generously gave his time and experience and became a vital part of those causes and organizations: First Presbyterian Church Gastonia, The Schiele Museum and Planetarium, Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, Gastonia Potter’s House, Crisis Assistance Ministry, and many others. Numerous individuals, churches and schools also benefited from the deep well of Charlton’s compassion.

Family was the center of Charlton’s life, and we are so grateful for every one of his 90 years on this earth. He and son Charlton III shared the same birthday and never missed a year of celebrating together. The most recent occasion was October 2018 at Pawley’s Island, a beloved vacation spot, often enjoyed with family and friends.

Charlton was preceded in death by his wife and parents and his sister Jean Marie Torrence, and is survived by daughters Elizabeth Ring Torrence Stafford (Billy) and Catherine Mason Torrence Giles, son Charlton Kennedy Torrence III – all of Gastonia – and granddaughters Sarah Elizabeth Giles Arnold (Sean) of Wasilla, Alaska and Meredith Torrence Giles of Charleston, South Carolina and their father, Christopher T. Giles of Gastonia.

He is also survived by his cousins Clay Vance Ring (d. November 17, 2018) and Ann Hall Ring Wauford, Ellen Larson Gray, Mary Gray Clouse, April Gray Rohrer, William M. Gray, George A. Gray III, Glenn L. Gray, Sally Gray Lovejoy, Nan K. White and James Tracy Ormand.

Charlton Torrence will be remembered as a quintessential Southern gentleman of kindness, integrity, and generosity, with a roguish twinkle in his eye and a deadpan sense of humor that caught people off guard. He was an endearing flirt and was always ready with a wink or a hug to brighten someone’s day. He was a humble man who much preferred to stay in the background, but, graciously allowed his name to be used in order to encourage philanthropy in others.

The family will welcome friends at a visitation from 3:00-4:30pm on Friday, November 30 in the Covenant Village Living Room.

There will also be a short visitation after the memorial service at 1:30pm on December 2nd, First Presbyterian Church, Gastonia before interment at Oakwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers or food, the family requests that memorials may be made to any of the organizations listed above to or the charity of your choice.

Condolence messages and remembrances may be shared online at

McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the Torrence family.

Published in Gaston Gazette on Nov. 24, 2018

William Stokes “Billy” Houck, Jr. ’50

Billy Houck '50William Stokes “Billy” Houck, Jr., MD, passed away peacefully at home in Florence, SC, on Friday, November 2, 2018, just 6 days before his 89th birthday.

He was born on November 8, 1929, to the former Charlotte Weston and William Stokes Houck. He was raised in Florence and graduated in 1946 from Florence High School where he excelled in sports, particularly football and baseball.

He received his B.S. degree from Davidson College in 1950, and received his M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston in 1956.

After an internship with the St. Louis (MO) City Hospital during 1956-57, Billy married the former Ann Ward of Rock Hill on June 22, 1957.  Billy fulfilled a five-year residency at Duke University in 1962.

Shortly thereafter, he joined the US Army Medical Corps and served his country as a Captain and the Section Chief of Surgery based in Fort Leavenworth, KS.

During that time period, he completed his boards in General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. He was discharged in December 1964 and spent one year in private practice in Richmond, VA.  He moved home to Florence in 1965 and began a practice in General, Thoracic, and Cardiovascular Surgery that would last until 1990.

Billy maintained memberships in a number of medical organizations, including the prestigious American College of Surgeons, and especially the Southern Surgical Association; he cherished the friendships he made with these doctors from throughout the southeast.

In 1977, he was given a faculty appointment at MUSC Clinical as an associate professor of surgery, and was elected as vice-president of the South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners.

In 1986-87, he served as president of the SC Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, and was president of the South Carolina Surgical Society in 1988-89.

At the urging of his good friend and state representative Malloy McEachin, he ran for and won SC House Seat 63 in the fall of 1990, and represented Florence County as the only physician in the state House or Senate for two terms.

He spent his remaining 24 years enjoying his family and good friends, either playing golf at his beloved Florence Country Club with Joe, playing tennis with Tommy and Jimmy, catching fish at DeBordieu with Took and Lukie, watching the Gamecocks play football in Columbia with his boys and their Davidson buddies, tending to his greenhouse, or reading anything he could get his hands on.

Along with his parents, Billy was predeceased by his brother, the Honorable Charles Weston Houck.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ann Ward Houck; their four children and spouses: Jacqueline Houck Borowicz and Eric Justin Borowicz (Greenville, SC), Dr. William Stokes Houck, III, and Betsy Hoffman Houck (Charlotte, NC), Robert Bates Houck and Shannon Stevenson Houck (Mount Pleasant, SC), Dr. Ward Vaughn Houck and Caroline Blackhurst Houck (Murphreesboro, TN); and fourteen grandchildren: Sarah, Kate, Emma, and Robert Borowicz; William IV, Lee, and Mary Houck; Charlotte and Ann Wallace Houck; and Megan, Klara, Isabel, Liam, and Scarlett Houck; nephew and niece, Charles Houck and Elizabeth Houck; as well as dozens of truly beloved in-laws in the extended Ward family of Rock Hill.

The family wishes to thank Agape Hospice Care and Tommy Porter who helped tremendously with Billy’s care in the last years of his life.

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church with burial following in Mount Hope Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, at Waters-Powell Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to Agape Hospice, 1516 W. Palmetto St., Florence, SC  29501; or to First Presbyterian Church, 700 Park Ave., Florence, SC  29501; or to a charity of one’s choice.

Robert Bruce “Bob” Bumbarger ’50

Robert Bruce "Bob" Bumbarger '50Robert Bruce “Bob” Bumbarger, 91, passed away Friday, June 8, 2018, at Frye Regional Medical Center. Born July 17, 1926, in Catawba County, he was the son of the late Paul William Bumbarger and Margaret Horan Bumbarger.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Caroline Brown Bumbarger; and a brother, Paul William Bumbarger, Jr. Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy immediately after high school graduation at age 17.

After basic training, he volunteered to serve on a PT Boat in the Atlantic Theater of Operations patrolling coastal shipping lanes to detect enemy submarines that were tasked with sinking American ships transporting men and equipment to Europe.

Following an honorable discharge from the Navy he attended Davidson College, where he was member of the golf team. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1950. Bob returned to Hickory and began working in the family business, Bumbarger’s Inc.

He joined the Hickory Rotary Club in 1951, served as President from 1963 to 1964 and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by club members for his service. He served as President of the United Way and the Hickory Merchants Association. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Salvation Army, Board Member of NCNB and was awarded “Man of the Year” by the Hickory Jaycees.

He was an active member of First Presbyterian Church. Bob was an avid golfer and was a six-time club champion of Lake Hickory Country Club. He was also a huge sports fan, especially enjoying Davidson basketball. Bob loved nothing more than sharing funny stories with his family and friends.

Bob, better known as “Bobby” to his friends and family was always smiling with a twinkle in his eyes that put everyone around him at ease. To know him was to love him. He will be remembered for his hilarious “Sunshine” reports at Rotary and especially for his gentle spirit and kind heart.

He is survived by his son, Bruce Bumbarger and wife, Gayla, of Hickory; daughter, Eleanor Coleman and husband, Doug, of Hickory; and grandsons, John Coleman, William Coleman, Robert “Bob” Bumbarger and Brock Bumbarger, all of Hickory.

A memorial service with military honors will be held at 2 p.m., June 14, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Heather Davis officiating.

The family will receive friends at the church following the service. A private burial will be held in Oakwood Cemetery. The Hickory Rotary Club and Hickory Coffee Club will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Memorials in his honor may be sent to First Presbyterian Church, 237 2nd St. NW, Hickory, NC 28601; Hickory Rotary Club SAS Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 2628, Hickory, NC 28603; or to the charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Bass-Smith Funeral Home is serving the family of Robert Bruce Bumbarger.

Copyright: © Copyright 2018, Hickory Daily Record, Hickory, NC

Harry Faison Shaw ’50

Harry Faison Shaw '50Harry Faison Shaw, 91, of Fayetteville passed away on May 19, 2018.

Harry was a life-long resident of Fayetteville. He attended Fayetteville Public Schools. Harry served with the US Navy in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

After graduating from Davidson College in 1950 he worked for Superior Stone Company in Lillington, North Carolina.

In 1960 the Shaws returned to Fayetteville when he took a position with Home Federal Savings and Loan Association where he remained for 32 years. After retirement, he became a partner in Gaines and Shaw Appraisers. He was president of both the McLean Foundation and the McLean Development Corporation.

Civic Positions/Boards served:
-Fayetteville City Council
-Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the Lafayette Society
-Chairman of the Historic and Scenic Sights Committee
-Member Cape Fear Botanical Garden Board
-Member State Board of Community Colleges’ Commission on the Future
-Member of the West Fayetteville Rotary Club
-Elder Emeritus
-First Presbyterian Church
-President and Chairman of the City of Fayetteville Linear Park Corporation

In 1975 he was appointed by the governor to the board of FTCC and then was appointed as a member of the State Board of Community Colleges’ Commission on the Future.

In 2005, FTCC dedicated the Harry F. Shaw Virtual College Center to honor his 29 years of serving as the Chairman of the FTCC Board. In 2015 he received the I.E. Reedy Award from the State Board of Community Colleges.

Harry’s integrity and energy is the great legacy he leaves behind. His civic and philanthropic pursuits will be missed not only by his family but an entire community.

Harry was predeceased by Sarah Stewart, his wife of 58 years and his son Paul Stewart Shaw.

He is survived by his wife, Claire Chestnut Shaw of the home; two daughters, Faison Shaw Covington of Charlotte and Sally Shaw Schmitz and husband Richard of Piney Creek; his sister, Gillie Revelle of Fayetteville; four grandchildren, Mary Jane Hansen of St. Louis, MO, Greg Shaw of New York, NY, Harry Schmitz of Morehead City, and Clair Shaw of Charlotte; his great-granddaughter, Emma Hansen of St. Louis, MO and two step-children, Kate Henley Paradis of Charlotte and Wilson Henley of Washington, CT.

The family will receive friends Tuesday, May 22, 2018 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church Eller Hall.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the church with Dr. Mike Garrett and Rev. Donna Marchant officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in Eller Hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cross Creek Linear Park Foundation.

Services entrusted to Rogers and Breece Funeral Home.

Published in Fayetteville Observer on May 21, 2018