Richard “Dick” Spurgeon Belton ’57

Richard "Dick" Spurgeon Belton '57Mr. Richard “Dick” Spurgeon Belton, Sr., age 83 , of Mt. Airy died Thursday, October 25, 2018, at the Woltz Hospice Home.

Mr. Belton was born in Surry Country, April 16, 1935, the son of the late E.C. and Irene Roberts Belton.

He graduated from Mt. Airy High School and Davidson College where he excelled in football. Mr. Belton was a veteran of the United States Army and a lifelong member of First Baptist Church.

He was inducted into the Mt. Airy Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Reece Belton; his daughter and son-in-law, Lib and Ron Rabun; his son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Leshia Belton, Jr.; his grandchildren, Nathan (Misty) Belton, Jacob (Allie) Belton, Luke Rabun, Molly Rabun; one great-grandchild, Molly Belton; his sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Ed Bonahue; his brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Jeanette Belton.

A memorial service will be held Monday, October 29, 2018, at 12:00 at First Baptist Church in Mt. Airy with Rev. Jay Meadows officiating.  The family will visit with family and friends two hours prior to the service in the Fireside Room of First Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Woltz Hospice Home or First Baptist Church of Mt. Airy.

William Hampton “Bill” Balentine III ’57

William Hampton “Bill” Balentine III passed away peacefully on October 12, 2018 in Peachtree Corners, GA. Bill was born February 17, 1935 to William Hampton Balentine Jr. and Ruth Walker Balentine. Growing up in Greenville, SC, Bill graduated from Davidson College in Davidson, NC,  and became a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army. Bill married Beverly Lee Higginbotham in 1957 and they just celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary!

Bill worked for the Buick Motor Division of General Motors for 34 years. Bill and Beverly lived most of their lives in Charlotte, NC, where they attended Myers Park United Methodist Church. When he wasn’t playing golf, Bill volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, Loaves & Fishes, and the First Tee.

Mr. Balentine is survived by his wife Beverly, daughter Laura Balentine Jeu de Vine, son-in-law Charles William Jeu de Vine IV, and granddaughter Mary Hampton Jeu de Vine.

Donations are asked to be sent to Myers Park United Methodist Church at for online giving or Myers Park United Methodist Church c/o Business Office 1501 Queens Road Charlotte, NC 28207.

Georgia Cremation 3570 Buford Highway Suite 202 Duluth, Georgia 30096, 678-584-0914. Please leave online condolences at

Tommy Brewer Griffin ’57

Tommy Griffin

‘I am the vine; you are the branches….apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5. On his 82nd birthday, January 1, 2018, Dr. Tommy Brewer Griffin went to the place Jesus had prepared for him.

If an obituary of earthly works were going to be written, he wanted the reader to know that apart from Christ, he could do nothing. On January 1, 1936, Tommy was born to Marcus Vann and Elizabeth Brewer Griffin. By the time he was five years old he knew that he was going to be a physician.

After Aiken High School, he graduated cum laude from Davidson College with a BS in Pre-Med Sciences. From a very strong Alpha Omega Alpha Medical School career at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, he graduated in 1961.

The Yale University Grace New Haven Hospital was the site of his internship before he moved back south to Chapel Hill for residencies in internal medicine followed by a residency and fellowship in dermatology at North Carolina Memorial Hospital, the University of North Carolina.

He was a Major in the Army Medical Corps during the Vietnam War. His base was in Research and Development at the Letterman General Hospital at the Presidio of San Francisco. Tommy returned to the faculty of the UNC Department of Dermatology.

In 1971 He moved to Spartanburg and opened the second dermatology office (Dr. Paul Cook was the first.) His practice grew with more dermatologists and he retired from Spartanburg Dermatology and Skin Surgery Clinic in 2001.

Patients and their care, teaching in medical settings, and the superbly dedicated staff brought thirty years of great joy in the professional life! Even on his last day he still recognized with a twinkle, his wife, children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Freida Deaton Griffin; sons, Marcus Vann Griffin II, wife, Tracy, grandchildren, Maura and Nathanial, of Dana Point, CA, Thomas Scott Griffin, wife, Suzannah, grandchildren, Thomas and Sarah of Spartanburg, SC; daughter, Dr. Julia G. Girard and husband, Dr. Dhru Girard Griffin and granddaughter, Ava of Rome, GA.

An only child, Tommy completely embraced Freida’s siblings as his own: Nancy and Bennie Ward, Glenda and Don Loftis, Mary Jo and Chick Harvey, Dale and Lawrence Ledbetter and Becky and David Wilkins. Since its founding, All Saints Church, Spartanburg, has been Tommy’s very special church home and family.

Visitation will be 12:30-1:30 PM Saturday, January 6, 2018, at Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel, 2075 East Main St., Spartanburg, SC 29307, with services following at 2:00 PM in the Chapel.

The Reverend Nowell Copley, Rector and the Reverend Mike Smith, Deacon will be officiating the service. Burial will be in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, 1300 Fernwood-Glendale Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29307.

Memorial gifts may be considered to Mobile Meals Service, PO Box 461, Spartanburg, SC 29304 or to All Saints Church, Spartanburg, 401 E. Kennedy St. Suite B7, Spartanburg, SC 29302.

The family would like to express their great appreciation to Mary Sipple, his caregiver for over a year, for her love and care.

An online guest register is available at Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel

Copyright 2018 Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC)

Eugene Douglas Connell, Sr. ’57

Eugene Douglas Connell, Sr., “Gene”, 83 of Savannah, GA passed away peacefully Thursday, December 22nd holding the hands of his children.

Born June 19, 1934, in Spencer, NC, Gene was the son of the late Troy Grubb Wortham also from Spencer, NC. Gene graduated from Spencer High School, attended Fishburne Military Academy, Lenoir Rhyne University, and Davidson College – completing his textile engineering degree at North Carolina State University in 1959.

Gene began his career at Dan River Mills in Danville, VA and Cartex Mill in Salisbury, NC. He remained in the textile industry until he took early retirement from Celanese Corporation to do the things he loved – building houses and opening a barbeque restaurant. Always staying busy, he also worked in outside sales along the way.

Poppie, as he was called by his grandchildren and great granddaughter, was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. His love of family, quick wit, infectious laugh, meticulous attention to detail, loyalty, and generosity was loved, is missed and will always be treasured.

Gene cherished his friendships from his many family moves from Spencer, Salisbury, Danville, Gastonia, Charlotte, Marietta, Clover and Savannah; enjoyed every sport imaginable – from attending ACC basketball tournaments, Clemson football games, and NASCAR races with his best buddy Gene Auten; and took great pride in his famous hot slaw – only recently sharing the secret recipe with his children and grandchildren.

Those left to cherish his memory are the love of his life – his wife of 60 years, Elizabeth Swaim Connell; daughters Kelly Connell Gasque and husband Michael Gene Gasque, and Susan Connell Galvin and husband Michael Jeffrey Galvin; son Eugene Douglas (Doug) Connell, Jr. and wife Angie Rogers Connell; grandchildren Rachel Connell, Morgan Connell, Ashley Wilkes, Alex Grayson, Sam Grayson, Spencer Gasque, Travis Gasque, Brendon Galvin, and Kyle Galvin; son-in-law Austin Wilkes, daughter-in-laws Nicole Grayson and Courtney Galvin, Spencer’s love Taylor Post and great granddaughter Lucy Kate Wilkes.

Poppie loved his family and treasured the time they all spent together. So to follow his wishes, there will be no service, rather a private family celebration. Well-wishers are encouraged to raise a glass of Early Times in his honor.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made in Gene’s memory to St. Joseph’s Hospital along with a special thank you to the 7th floor south nursing staff for their loving care and support of their dear friend, “Mr. Gene”. St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundation, 5356 Reynolds Street, Suite 400, Savannah, GA 31405, 912-819-8683

We will always all be together. We love and miss you Poppie.

Please sign our online guestbook at

Savannah Morning News. All Rights Reserved.

Clelmer Kay Bartell ’57

Clelmer Kay Bartell originally from Indiantown, S.C. died on November 6th at his residence in New Orleans at the age of 83.

He survived despite many long-term medical problems due to his will to live and the skill of his physicians, some of whom he taught as undergraduates in his long career teaching at the University of New Orleans.

He is survived by long term friend Carl Hardy of New Orleans and sister Carrie Bartell of Colorado, as well as beloved cousins in South Carolina. Clel (a.k.a. Kay) was the son of Clelmer H. Bartell and Grace Wilson Bartell.

From boyhood Clel was known for his skills as a naturalist, his keen intellect and his artistic proclivity. He graduated from Davidson College in 1957 and earned a PhD in Zoology from Duke University in 1964.<

He matured into a kind and generous man who attracted a wide circle of loyal, loving friends.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 13th at 3:00 p.m. at the Indiantown Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the William "Bill" Chandler fund of Indiantown Church or an environmental group of one's choice.

© Copyright 2017, Morning News, Florence, SC