George A. Brinkley ’53

George A. Brinkley '53

Dr. George A. Brinkley, an authority on the Soviet Union and Communism, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame died in Youngsville, NC on October 24, 2019.

Prof. Brinkley was born on April 20, 1931, to George and Ida (West) Brinkley in Wilmington, NC.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife of over 59 years, Ann M. Kreps of South Bend; a brother, William M. of VA; and a sister, Jo-Anne Duck of NC.

He is survived by his daughter, Heidi Ann Stephens (Adolph) and a grandson, Jordan Ramos of NC; and a sister, Betty Westbrook of SC.

An honors graduate of Davidson College (NC), he completed his M.A. And Ph.D. Degrees and the Certificate of the Russian Institute at Columbia University in NY. As a student, he was honored by membership in Phi Beta Kappa and received many fellowships and research grants.

He began his teaching career at Columbia University and then joined the faculty of the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 1958.

In later years he served as Chairman of that department, as Director of the Institute for International Studies, and as Director of the Program of Soviet and East European Studies.

In 1999 his department established the George Brinkley award to be given to an undergraduate major for outstanding service to the department and to the community.

His scholarly work included a major study of the foreign intervention in the Russian civil war (1917-1921) which won the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association for the best international history in 1967.

He also contributed to nine other books on Soviet history, politics, and Communism, as well as articles in several professional journals.

When he retired in 1991 he had taught over 6,000 undergraduate students, directed 38 Master’s theses and 16 doctoral dissertations.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church in South Bend, IN.

Copyright 2019 South Bend Tribune. All rights reserved.

Ralph Manning Holt, Jr. ’53

Ralph Manning Holt, Jr. '53

Ralph Manning Holt, Jr. was born in Burlington, North Carolina on September 7, 1931, the second child born to the late Margaret McElwee and Ralph M. Holt, Sr.  His end of this life on October 14, 2019, came fairly quickly in the last weeks.  His mind and spirit were strong to the end, but his body had become weak. 

Papa, as he was affectionately called, was loved dearly by his family and those he befriended throughout his life.  We celebrate the many blessings he bestowed through these relationships.

Ralph was preceded in death by his sister Catherine Holt McCormick (Cattie) and his grandson Michael M. Holt, Jr (Mac). 

He is survived by his beloved wife Eda Contiguglia Holt, his four children Ralph M. Holt, III (Rusty) and wife Susan, Margaret Holt Dillon and husband Chip, John A. Holt, Sr. (Tony) and wife Mimi, and Michael M. Holt and wife Trina.   

Thirteen grandchildren with eight spouses survive:   Ashley Holt Smallwood (Warren), Ralph M. (Casey) Holt IV (Maggie), Maddie Holt Crandall (Justin), Wynne Dillon Nevins (Marshall), Charlotte Dillon Anderson (Derek), Claeson Thomas Dillon (Courtney), Caroline Holt Dillon, Taylor Edgren Dillon, John A. Holt, Jr. (Kelsey), Charles Davis Holt, Samuel Thomas Holt, Marguerite (Emma) Holt Maggi (Phil) and Amanda Morrison Holt. 

He was blessed with eight great-grandchildren:  Jackson Manning Crandall, Lillian Ruth Crandall, Harper Rose Holt, Ralph Manning Holt, V, Raleigh Grace Holt, Lucy Vines Crandall, Piper Jane Crandall and Margaret Wilhelmina Anderson. 

Also surviving is Sally Davis, sister of Mimi, who moved to Burlington and quickly became very special family to Ralph and Eda.  Again, to all of these, he was Papa.  Finally, his sister Cattie’s family always had a special place in his heart and those ties remained close to him always with Jim McCormick and wife Susan, Catherine McCormick, Holt McCormick (predeceased) and Bobby McCormick (predeceased). 

Special thanks to all who helped care for him these last days including Anna, Eric, Judy, Louise, Mai…. and especially the sweet staff of Hospice of Alamance-Caswell.

From his childhood, Ralph fondly recalled his many aunts, uncles, and cousins who would assemble at family gatherings – reminiscing about summertime on his grandfather’s farm in Southern Alamance (not so fondly priming tobacco), mischievous antics with neighborhood friends, backstage visits to many different circus troupes and ocean voyages during his teens.  However, all was not bliss in his home as there was an evenly divided Dark Blue – Light Blue rivalry which split the household and which remained as a lifelong “friendly” competition with sister Cattie and her family.

Ralph attended Burlington High School and then Davidson College where he graduated in 1953.  Following Davidson, he received his US Navy commission and was stationed aboard the USS Foss DE-59 in the Pacific Fleet.  He then attended Harvard Business School where he most notably met his bride-to-be.  Eda and Ralph were married June 3, 1957 in the Choir Loft of the Harvard Business School Chapel.  They moved to Burlington where they started a family and he began his career in textiles.

Home was where the family assembled, whether at May’s Lake, New York or Sunset Beach.  Ralph modeled his faith to his family with morning devotions at the breakfast table, by his heartfelt corporate prayers at family gatherings and through his compassion shown to others.  He loved his family and he loved the Lord.  This love of the Lord he had received primarily through the influence of his mother, our Gaga. 

As the family grew to the third and fourth generations, Sunset Beach vacations established family closeness which words cannot describe – an easy-going time of eating clams, grilling meals, church services on the beach, porch-sitting days and cornhole tournaments.  He loved sports and after retirement was a regular fixture at his grandchildren’s sporting events… always had the folding chair in the back of his Jeep.

While Ralph led a successful textile business, outside the workplace he served on many corporate and community boards.  There his true passions could be found in a wide range of community service investments in education, Christian outreach, politics, and healthcare… perhaps most notably his service to Alamance Regional Medical Center (ARMC).  Ralph served Memorial Hospital (later  ARMC) as a board member for 50 consecutive years,  over 30 as chairman.  Teaming with others in the 1990s, he was instrumental in the consolidation and expansion of health care services within Alamance County, what today has become ARMC a division of Cone Health.   

To those with whom he worked and associated, Ralph is remembered as always offering total support with high expectations, as a servant leader, as a patriot, as inspirational, as caring and as both task master and cheerleader.   Over the years, he received various accolades, but he never had a trophy room for these honors… he had humility about this.

His spiritual gifts were demonstrated through the most special care, time and compassion he selflessly gave to so many.  He touched many lives.  Perhaps one of his most special traits was that he was a wonderful hugger of people.  His warm embrace would convey his love and compassion… so often noted by those he knew.

We live in a world that by and large does not know God as Father and so we see so many pursue self-centeredness, selfishly not thinking of others first.  As a Christian, Ralph adopted a different way of looking at life, he knew to be generous because God is generous.  Generous in time and financial resources as he gave both, but most significantly his time.  His was a life that made such a positive difference for so many.

 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.”  Matt. 5:16

Generosity is a selfless lifestyle that is God-focused and other-centered.  Contrary to what the world says, there is more joy to be found in giving with the right heart than in accumulating more for ourselves.  (Recognition to Dr. Charles F. Stanley)

We love you Papa…

A celebration of life for Ralph will be held at First Presbyterian Church, Burlington, NC on Thursday October 17th at 2PM.  A reception at the church will follow the service.

Ralph asked that all gifts in his memory be made to The Alamance Regional Charitable Foundation, The Burlington School Endowment/Capital Campaign or First Presbyterian Church Burlington.

You may sign the online register book at

Frank E. Hanshaw, Jr. ’53

Frank E. Hanshaw, Jr. '53

Frank E. Hanshaw, Jr.,88, of Huntington, died Friday, August 30, 2019, at St. Mary’s Medical Center, surrounded by his family.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, September 6, 2019, by the Rev. Teresa Deane at Johnston Memorial United Methodist Church. Interment will follow in Woodmere Memorial Park.

Frank was born March 20, 1931, in Huntington, W.Va., son of the late Frank E. Hanshaw Sr. and Elizabeth Oakes Hanshaw, as well as his stepmother, Margaret D. Hanshaw.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Diane Cowden Hanshaw.

Mr. Hanshaw was the president of Huntington Wholesale Furniture Company. He attended Kentucky Military Institute, Davidson College, George Washington University (Master’s) and High Point University (honorary Management Degree). He served his country in the U.S. Army.

He was an active lifelong member of the Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church and E.T. Jones Fellowship Class.

Mr. Hanshaw was the past president of the International Wholesale Furniture Association and Associated Furniture Distributors; Marketing of Furniture Interior Design Advisory Board (member); Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church Board of Trustees (chair); Huntington Federal Savings Bank Board of Directors (secretary); The Huntington Foundation (vice president); Huntington Rotary Club (past president); Rotary Park Committee (chair); Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (past chair); United Way of the River Cities Board of Trustees (past president); Marshall University Library Associates (past chair); City Club of Huntington (past president); 2005 recipient of the Rotary International “Commitment to Service” award and 2006 Inductee of the City of Huntington “Wall of Fame”; U.S. Army Reserves (retired Major) and Reserve Officers Association (member).

Survivors include his son, Frank E. “Trey” Hanshaw III and his wife Sherry of Huntington, and his daughter, Dr. Helen M. “Meg” Hanshaw of Asheville, N.C.; five grandchildren, Amy, Lauren and Ashley Hanshaw and Meredith and Michael Matsakis; one great-grandchild, Evelynn “Evie” Hanshaw; one sister, Margot Pliml of Williamsfield, Ohio; two brothers, Tom and Charles Hanshaw, both of Huntington.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, September 5, 2019, at Klingel-Carpenter Mortuary.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made to the Jim Ray Fund or Pack for the Future Ministries at Johnson Memorial; i.b.mee. – Empowerment Education at; Foundation for the Tri-State, PO Box 7932, Huntington, WV 25779.

Family guestbook

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Robert “Bob” Murchison Tucker ’53

Robert (Bob) Murchison Tucker completed his journey home on Thursday, April 4, 2019, to the welcoming words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” He was born on November 27, 1931, in Burlington, NC to Leslie Dewey Tucker and Helon Murchison Tucker.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother L.D. Tucker, Jr., his first wife, Joann Newman Tucker and his great-granddaughter Joann Maria Burduja. He was educated in Burlington schools and he enjoyed playing football and baseball.

In 1949 he was selected to play in the North-South All-Star football game. He attended Davidson College on a football scholarship and was a 1953 Phi Beta Kappa graduate. He was also a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He was a member of Naval ROTC and was commissioned into the Navy upon graduation during the Korean War conflict.

After military service in the U.S Navy, he moved to Goldsboro, NC where he worked for General Electric for 37 years. He served as President of the Goldsboro Jaycees. Bob was a former Chairman of the Goldsboro Salvation Army Advisory Board and served the organization for decades. He especially enjoyed ringing the bell and continued to do so through his 86th year.

Bob spent many years in leadership at First Presbyterian Church in Goldsboro as an Elder, a member of the “Tuesday Trouble shooters,” and was involved in missions of the church, which included mission trips to Africa on 10 separate occasions. Recently, he was a member of Crossway Church of Goldsboro.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Marsha Barrow Tucker, his 5 children: Leslie Tucker Gayk (Ted), Robert M. Tucker, Jr. (Cindy), Jane Tucker Price (Doug), Donald H. Taylor, Jr. (Martha), and Tiffany Taylor Stroud (Ralph). He is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, at 5:00 PM at Cornerstone Church located at 401 N. Oak Forest Road, Goldsboro, NC. The family will receive friends following the service. Interment will be at a later date in the Eastern Carolina State Veteran’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given to the Salvation Army, 610 N. William Street, Goldsboro, NC 27530.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Published in on Apr. 9, 2019

Calvin Baird ’53

Calvin Baird, 87, of Charlotte, NC died Monday, January 28, 2019 at Novant Presbyterian Hospital surrounded by family. He was born April 5, 1931 to Calvin B. Baird and Mary Smith Baird at old St. Peter’s Hospital in Charlotte.

Because he was born on Easter, his mother nicknamed him Bunny as a child and among family and friends, he was always known as “Bun.” Raised in Charlotte on Sardis Rd., he attended Sharon School through ninth grade.

He graduated from Central High School in 1949 and matriculated at Davidson College where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and graduated with the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1953.

Having joined the Naval Reserve in Charlotte while at Davidson, Bun received a commission in the US Navy and served on the USS Albany from 1953-55 where he attained the rank of Lieutenant. Subsequently he served for eight years in the Naval Reserves. He met his wife, Peggy Phillips in 1950 and they married on June 19, 1954 after she graduated from Queens College (now University).

In 1955, Bun began work on the MBA program at UNC. After one semester, he and Peggy moved to Charlotte and started a family. He began his career in commercial finance at Commercial National Bank in January 1956 and worked at Southeastern Financial Corporation from September 1957 – 1970 advancing to the position of Senior Vice President of Southeastern and Vice President of American Credit Corporation.

From 1970-71, he worked at American Bank and Trust Co. of Monroe as Vice President of Commercial Loan Administration and returned in 1971 to Southeastern Financial Corporation as Senior Vice President-Executive Vice President. In 1976, he joined Associates of North America as Senior Vice President to establish a factoring division in Charlotte. He retired from Associates in 1986 and was hired as President of Colonial Financial Services in Mt. Holly where he worked for 11 years, retiring in 1997. Bun has served on the board for Sharon Towers.

Peggy and their children and extended family were the most important part of Bun’s life. A lifelong and seventh generation member of Sardis Presbyterian Church, he considered Sardis a cherished second family. He served the church as elder and deacon and on numerous committees throughout his life. He worked for a number of years with the Boy Scout Troop 33 at Sardis.

Bun enjoyed family activities including annual camping trips, as well as backpacking on trails in the NC mountains. He enjoyed gatherings with family and friends at their beach house at Caswell Beach, NC and later their house on the waterway near Southport, NC. In 2014, Calvin and Peggy moved to a cottage at Sharon Towers.

Preceded in death by his parents, Bun is survived by his wife, Peggy Phillips Baird; daughters: Dr. Sara Lynn Baird and partner Laurelie Gheesling of Florence, AL; Patricia Baird Isley and husband, Patrick of Cary, NC; Susan Baird Davis and partner Mike Tennant of Charlotte; son: Dr. Philip Baird of Florence, AL; sister, Nancy Baird Bowling and husband Tom; nephew, David Bowling and wife Hollie; and, niece, Marianne Bowling Bowman, husband James, and their children Abbey and Austin.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm in the sanctuary at Sardis Presbyterian Church (6100 Sardis Rd., Charlotte, NC 28270) with the Reverend Drs. Jane Fobel and Joe B. Martin presiding. There will be a reception in the Education Hall following the service.

Bun will be remembered for his extraordinary dedication and love for his family, his devotion to his faith and Sardis Presbyterian Church, his joyful spirit, his exceptional integrity, and his serving nature. He will be greatly missed but lovingly remembered.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the music ministry at Sardis Presbyterian Church (6100 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC 28270), Sharon Towers Resident Assistance Fund, or Novant Health Hospice and Palliative Care (200 Hawthorne Ln., Charlotte, NC 28204).

Published in Charlotte Observer on Feb. 1, 2019