Edward Lee Blanton, Jr. ’53

Edward Lee Blanton, Jr. '53

Edward Lee Blanton, Jr. (89) of Glen Arm, Maryland passed away Easter morning at home with his wife of 60 years, Cathleen Estelle Blanton (nee Edwards) and his daughters by his side. He was pre-deceased by his sisters Mildred Blanton, Jean Gallagher and Faye Curtis. He is survived by his son Edward Lee Blanton, III of Yorktown, VA (wife, Mary; children Julia, Sarah and John), his daughter Cathleen E. Blanton of Alexandria, VA, his daughter M. Ellyn Beiler of Falmouth, VA (husband, David; son Brandon) and many nieces, nephews and extended family.

Ed Blanton was educated at Poly HS, Davidson College (’53), Vanderbilt (MA, ’54), UMd Law School (’60). He also served in the US Army in Germany in ’55 and taught math while attending law school at night. He practiced law in Baltimore for 40 years, and enjoyed mentoring and playing tennis with junior associates and friends whom he called his “sons in the Law.”

Ed was active in several organizations including: Long Green Valley Association, Historic Long Green Valley, Inc, CBMC, First and Franklin Street Presbyterian Church, Center Club, Towson Exchange, the Masons and St James Academy, Monkton, MD. He was also politically active and ran for attorney general in 1978 and 1990.

A small private burial will be held at St. James Church in Monkton, where he was received into the Episcopal church in 2017. The family looks forward to receiving visitors at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, Inc. on Friday from 2-4 & 6-8 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions to St James or Family Tree would be appreciated.

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Copyright (c) 2021 The Baltimore Sun Company

Harry Flynn Wolfe, Jr. ’53

Harry Flynn Wolfe, Jr. '53

Harry Flynn Wolfe, Jr. passed away on Monday, March 15, 2021 in Charlotte, NC after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Despite being ill for many years he unfailingly charmed his friends and neighbors who knew him as a caring, compassionate man with wisdom and boundless grace.

Harry was a lifelong resident of Charlotte. He earned a business degree from Davidson College and then attended the University of Tennessee to complete his master’s degree in business. There he met the love of his life, Jo Ann Rhegness. When he first saw her from across the street, he knew that she was going to be his wife. After they were married, he was drafted into the Army and sent to Williamsburg, VA on a two-year assignment as an instructor.

After his army commitment he returned to Charlotte where he was a staple in the finance industry, first working at North Carolina National Bank, the predecessor to Bank of America, and then completing his career at Sterling Capital Management. He was an expert in investment strategies, a mentor to countless coworkers, and a master in his field.

Harry’s most significant contributions were as a husband to Jo Ann and as a father to Flynn, Ed, Margaret, and James. He was a loving husband who supported Jo Ann’s creative energy to include helping her to complete college and graduate school, and then supporting her multiple business endeavors.

As a dad, he could always be counted on and had never-ending forgiveness frequently tested by each of his kids, once even waving at them when they were seen skipping school as he drove out for a weekend getaway. Harry provided love, understanding, support, and wise counsel and for that they will be forever grateful. He instilled in them a love for the beach and the ocean where the family gathered every year without fail, he treated their friends as his own and nurtured countless pets. He was there whenever and wherever he was needed.

Harry was a lifelong and dedicated member of Covenant Presbyterian Church and served the church in many ways. His children grew up at Covenant and participated in the many events and activities offered there. Many good friends were made at Covenant to Harry as well as to JoAnn and his children. It was a fine place to worship and serve, and cultivate the many good friendships.

Harry loved to travel. All parts of America were fair game, but he also enjoyed travel overseas. He went to Europe frequently and developed lifelong friends in the UK. Harry took the entire family on an epic trip to Jamaica, introducing the locals to red hair on James, eating fresh coconut plucked from a tree as they watched, fresh fish pulled from the ocean that very day, and sleeping under mosquito nets. The whole family experienced life in a tropical paradise.

His favorite destination was Debordieu, his home away from home. Harry and JoAnn built a second home there which was a place of gathering for family and friends. He enjoyed swimming in the ocean, eating fresh shrimp from Independent Seafood, walking on the beach, and especially spending time with those he loved most.

Harry was a sportsman who played high school football, later enjoyed tennis, and had a lifelong passion for golf. He loved cool cars, great food, and enjoyed ice cream, especially ice cream, up until his final day on earth.

Harry was preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth Ruth Wolfe and Harry F. Wolfe, Sr., his sister, Betty Boyd, and grandson Harry F. Wolfe, IV (Buddy).

He is survived by his children, Harry F. Wolfe III, (Flynn) and his wife, Sherri, Edward Rhegness Wolfe and his wife, Maria, Margaret Wolfe Clarida and her husband, Daryl, and James Blythe Wolfe and his wife, Julie. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider contributing to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or https://www.alz.org/

A memorial service at Covenant Presbyterian Church, where Harry was a lifelong member, will be delayed due to the Covid pandemic. As the spread of the disease decreases, and the vaccine becomes more readily available, the family hopes to be able to hold a memorial service within two to three months. Prior to the memorial service, Harry will be interred at the columbarium at Covenant in a private ceremony attended by close family members. This obituary will be published again once the date of the memorial service has been finalized.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

Copyright (c) 2021 The Charlotte Observer

Robert Bruce ’53

Robert Bruce '53

Robert Wallace (Bob) Bruce passed away peacefully at home on January 27, 2021. He was born to Sydney Bruce and Ethel Lee Wallace Bruce on May 7, 1931 in Greenville, SC.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother and sister-in-law, Sydney Bruce, Jr and Betsy Highsmith Bruce, nephew Sydney Bruce, III, and his step-daughter, Caroline Ivester.

He is survived by his wife, Syd Coleman Bruce; children Robert Wallace Bruce, Jr, (Andrea Miller-Bruce) and Martha Bruce Beatley; nieces whom he raised like his own Lee Bruce Heery (James Moss Heery) and Ernestine Bruce Galloway (Eugene Vance Galloway); stepson Tom Ivester (Ann); grandchildren Rob Bruce, Ashley Bruce, Connor Beatley, Miranda Beatley; Clayton Heery (Chelsea), Sam Heery, Henry Heery, Sarah Galloway, Will Galloway, Laura Galloway; and great grandchildren Bradley Haupt and Emma Heery; his devoted friend/pilot Will Byrum (Britt); and his ex-wife, Anne Spier Bruce, the mother of his children.

He was a graduate of Greenville High School and Davidson College, and he served 2 years in the US Army after college. He spent most of his career in commercial real estate, starting with properties near the old Camperdown Mill, which had been owned by the family.

One of his first projects was the IBM building, located next to the Camperdown bridge on Cleveland St. In the 1970’s he began a long and productive business relationship with Earle Furman, Jr, which continues to the present time.

Bob’s life was filled with fun and family. He was an active parent to his children and 2 nieces, and he cared for his own parents later in their lives. He taught his children and many of their friends to ride horses, water ski, snow ski, and to do whatever activity was planned for the day.

He was an avid sailor and loved hiking the mountain trails near the family cabin at Caesar’s Head, SC. The hummingbirds there will miss his constant refilling of the many feeders. He loved riding horses, flying, and traveling the world with Syd and friends.

He was tech savvy and embraced new technologies, buying one of the first Segways in Greenville and driving hybrid and electric vehicles as soon as they were available.

Those privileged to know him well will remember the stories and the laughter that all enjoyed on the porch and around the dinner table at Caesar’s Head and wherever friends gathered.

There will be a memorial service, to be announced later, at the family cemetery in Pickens.

The family requests that no flowers be sent, and memorials be made to The Lindy Fund, Greenville Center for Creative Arts, 101 Abney Street, Greenville, SC 29611, 864.735.3948 or the charity of one’s choice.

Visit RobinsonFuneralHomes.com or Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory Downtown Easley.

James Bryan II ’53

James Bryan II '53

Dr. James Alexander Bryan II, “Jim” named for his grandfather, the Reverend James A. Bryan, “Brother Bryan of Birmingham,” passed away on January 8, 2021 at age 88 after a fulfilling life.

His beloved wife, Elizabeth (Betsy) Russell Bryan from Waco, Texas met him in the summer of 1953 when they both worked in Montreat, NC. They married in 1956, and were constant partners and companions for over 64 years, raising a family of 4 children and nine grandchildren.

Jim, the eldest of 3 children, was born in Tokyo, Japan on June 18, 1932, where his father, the Reverend Harry Haywood Bryan and mother, Margaret Hollingsworth Lancaster Bryan were serving as Presbyterian missionaries. The family returned to the United States in 1941 due to the war.

Jim spent his formative years in Bessemer, Alabama, where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout and served as president of the student body of Bessemer High School. He enrolled in Davidson College at the age of 16, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1953 with a B.S. in Chemistry (Phi Beta Kappa).

After college graduation, he entered the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, graduating in 1957 with his M.D. (Alpha Omega Alpha). After medical school, Jim stayed on at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for further training, completing his internship, residency and a fellowship in Hematology. Jim and Betsy deeply cherished their time and friendships while at Penn, and returned many times to Philadelphia and surrounding areas for reunions and visits.

In 1961, in order to fulfill his national service obligation, Jim entered the U.S. Public Health Service at the Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta (now the CDC), where he was an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Polio Surveillance Unit. In 1964, the Bryans moved to Chapel Hill and Dr. Bryan joined the Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina Medical School, where he began a distinguished career as a clinician and a teacher at UNC that spanned 50 years.

During his career, he was a respected and beloved teacher and mentor to thousands of medical students and residents, including teaching the popular Introduction to Medicine course for 18 years. His connection with medical students is best expressed by an alum, “[Jim] taught me, and many others, that each patient was an individual worthy of respect and kindness. He taught me how to deal with the difficult. He also was an exceedingly excellent mentor and fantastic physician.”

Jim’s focus extended to helping improve healthcare and access to it for all North Carolinians. He earned a Masters in Public Health degree from UNC in 1966, and assisted with expansion of medical education and community medical services locally and throughout the State. He provided physician coverage for the medically underserved in Chapel Hill and other areas through many organizations, including the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC Clinic) which still operates today, the N.C. Area Health Education Centers program which improved quality and distribution of medical care in communities outside of academic medical centers, serving the Interfaith Council Clinic, and establishing a community-based continuing care clinic to provide for citizens who did not have access to adequate healthcare. Care for others, whether a patient, student, colleague, or anyone he came across, was central to Jim’s character. He set an example of humane and compassionate care, and had a strong commitment as advocate for all his patients.
Jim received several awards both at UNC and nationally, that recognized his excellence as a physician and teacher.

Due to his humble nature, he never wanted to draw attention to these honors. But meaningful to him among the awards were several that underscored the bond he valued so highly with his medical students, notably being selected multiple times by graduating UNC Medical School classes for “The Professor Award” to recognize significant contributions to their education.

In 1984, Jim was honored by UNC as a recipient of the O. Max Gardner Award, selected system-wide from all UNC campuses each year for faculty who have made the greatest contributions to the welfare of the human race. He served as a governor for North Carolina in the American College of Physicians, and in 2002 was named a Master in the American College of Physicians, recognizing his excellence as a practitioner.
Jim’s contributions to bringing hospice care to North Carolina were very important to him.

In 1974, as part of a small group of advocates, he helped establish a model for hospice and palliative care, and within a few years hospice care was available across the entire State. In 2017, UNC Healthcare honored the Bryans by opening the SECU Jim & Betsy Bryan Hospice Home in Chatham County.
The Presbyterian church and his strong faith were cornerstones in Jim’s life.

Jim and Betsy cherished their lifelong involvement in the church, including the community at University Presbyterian Church. Montreat was a special place for Jim from childhood, where he formed bonds with close friends, and pursued his love of the outdoors. Jim also deeply loved music, whether through his melodic and audible participation in the tenor section of the UPC church choir or taking in musical performances, particularly classical.

A favorite story was Jim picking up a phone call from one of the Bryan children, who quickly figured out that he was simultaneously listening to opera, reading a book, and watching his beloved Carolina Tarheels play basketball. While always a Davidson College man at heart with a deep lifetime connection to his undergraduate alma mater, UPenn, UNC and Chapel Hill were all very important to Jim throughout his life. Jim became a diehard Carolina fan quickly, which continued throughout the family’s decades of living in Chapel Hill.

Jim had a strong family life and was a proud and adoring husband, father and grandfather, as well as a devoted son and brother. Family and many friends loved him so much, and he loved them all back. In addition to his parents, Harry and Peggy Bryan, he was predeceased by his brother, Dr. Edwin L. Bryan (Ned) of Greensboro. Jim is survived by his wife Betsy, of Chapel Hill, and children Dr. Jamie Bryan (Anne) of Chapel Hill, Russell Bryan (Scott) of Charlotte, Dr. Clayton Bryan (Maria) of Asheville, and Elizabeth Poteat (Dr. Tony Poteat) of Greenville, South Carolina. In addition, Jim is survived by his sister, Mary Clayton Bryan DuBard and her husband James of Durham, NC, formerly of Birmingham, and his sister-in-law, Joan D. Bryan of Greensboro. Jim loved his nine grandchildren, Carolyn, Alison and Anderson Bryan, Scotty and Pheriby Bryan, Holly and Worth Bryan, and Thomas and Sarah Poteat. He is also survived by many, cousins, nieces and nephews and their families, all of whom he adored.

A memorial service to celebrate Jim’s life will be held on Saturday January 23rd at 11:00 a.m. Due to Covid restrictions, the service will not be attended in person, but will be streamed on the web via a Zoom link. To receive the link, please email University Presbyterian Church at : rsvp@upcch.org The service will be recorded and available afterward at www.upcch.org

Gifts in Jim’s memory can be made to the following organizations: UNC Hospice c/o UNC Health Foundation of North Carolina P.O. Box 1050 Chapel Hill, NC 27514-1050; University Presbyterian Church 209 East Franklin Street Chapel Hill, NC 27514; Montreat Conference Center 401 Assembly Drive Montreat, NC 28757

Published from Jan. 16 to Jan. 17, 2021.

Joseph Mayon Parker ’53

Joseph Mayon Parker '53

Col. Joseph (Joe) Mayon Parker, 89, a native of North Carolina and a resident of Raleigh, passed away on October 26, 2020.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Lauretta Owen Dyer Parker, mother Mildred Poe Parker and father James Mayon Parker. Joe was born on October 11, 1931, in Washington, NC and lived in Windsor, NC until the age of 3. His family later moved to Ahoskie where he and Lauretta raised their family.

Joe graduated from Ahoskie High School in 1949. He attended Davidson College for 2 years and earned his undergraduate degree, and in 1992, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

While in Ahoskie, Joe ran Parker Brothers, Inc., a Printing and Publishing Company, which published the Hertford County News-Herald, and the papers in several surrounding counties. Joe eventually acquired full control of the company which continued to grow under his leadership, at one point publishing as many as seven community newspapers in northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. For many years, he wrote a weekly column for the papers.

Joe worked tirelessly to promote economic growth in northeastern North Carolina serving on numerous local and state boards. As a member of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees he helped bring more and better health care to eastern North Carolina with the establishment of what is now the Brody School of Medicine.

Joe met his wife, in Pittsburgh, PA while he attended a printing management program at what is now Carnegie Mellon University. They were both members of the Roger Williams Fellowship, a Baptist student group. They especially enjoyed their many dates watching the Pirates play and dining on Italian food.

In 1993, Gov. Jim Hunt appointed Joe to head the Governor’s Highway Safety Program whereby Joe brought the “Click It or Ticket” and “Booze It and Lose It” programs as we all know them today to North Carolina, along with many other safety initiatives. In 2018 and 2019, he was honored with special awards for his work during his 8 years as the leader of the program.

Joe’s military career extended into a lengthy commitment to his country by serving two years in the U.S. Army in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He then served in the National Guard for 31 years. During his career, he attended both the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College, and in the late 70s and early 80s he led the guard’s state public affairs division in Raleigh.

Joe was active throughout his life in the Democratic Party. He served on the party’s state executive committee, and in 1980 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. His last act was to vote in the 2020 election. He gathered his remaining strength to loudly and proudly declare his votes for Democrats- local, state, and national.

For as long as his health allowed, he attended his weekly Rotary lunch meetings. He was proud to be recognized as a Paul Harris fellow and always looked forward to his weekly fellowship time with his fellow Rotarians. As time passed, going to Rotary became a highlight of his week. He could always deliver a “beautiful prayer” as part of the meetings.

Joe loved his church and the Lord. He was baptized into the Ahoskie First Baptist Church at the age of 9. A special highlight Joe always carried with him was leading other boys his own age to accept Christ and join the church. After they were married, he and Lauretta joined Ahoskie United Methodist Church. In Raleigh, they became members of Hayes Barton United Methodist Church.

While at Hayes Barton, Joe served for 15 years as Chairman of the Communication Committee for the NC Conference of the United Methodist Church. He also traveled on various mission trips to Guatemala, Nicaragua and Africa.

Joe and Lauretta loved traveling and seeing the world and some of their trips included South Africa, Victoria Falls, Russia and Zambia. One of their favorite overseas trips was visiting Lauretta’s childhood WWII pen pal Enid Heath and her husband in England. Lauretta and Enid continued their letter writing for all of their lives. Some of Joe’s other greatest loves were Parker’s BBQ, the NC Symphony, NC Theatre, a good steak, and above all watching his beloved Tar Heels play.

He leaves behind a son, Joseph Wilbur Parker of Raleigh; daughter, Katherine Parker-Lowe of Ocracoke, North Carolina; sisters, Julia Credle of Savannah, Georgia, and Suzannah Early of Apex; brother in law, Gifford Dyer and wife, Mary Ann, of Orange, Ohio; nieces and nephews, Janet Largent of Solon, Ohio, Jennie Fazio of Solon, Ohio, Carroll Credle III of Chapel Hill, Jamie Credle of Savannah, GA, Lyn Hardway of Greensboro and Herbert Turner, Jr. of Apex.

There will be a graveside service at Historic Oakwood Cemetery on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hayes Barton UMC Music Fund or Ahoskie United Methodist Church, 212 Church St., Ahoskie, NC 27910.

Funeral arrangements are by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Raleigh.


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