Bill Pettys ’63

Bill Pettys '63

Norman William Pettys, Jr. (Bill), 78, Son of Norman William Pettys and Jenny Lind Mather Pettys, passed away on Sunday, January 26, 2020, from sudden cardiac arrest.

An Atlanta native, he attended Morningside Grammar School and graduated from Grady High School, Class of 1959.

He attended Davidson College where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity and obtained his J.D. from Emory Law School in 1966. While at Emory he was a member of the Bryan Society (honorary scholastic fraternity) and Phi Delta Phi (legal fraternity).

His career in law began in Brunswick, GA as the Law Clerk to the legendary judge, Honorable Frank M. Scarlett. An active member of the US Army National Guard, he returned to practice law in Augusta and then opened a private practice in Acworth, GA. Around this time, he became an active Freemason and Shriner, following in the footsteps of his Father and Grandfather.

A lifelong dream, he purchased the Lake Rabun Hotel in 1990 and operated it until 2003. He moved permanently to Rabun County in 2004. He continued practicing law in Clayton and offered legal help to many who could not otherwise afford an attorney.

He once stated, “Although pursuit of other interests has provided a diversion, needed at times, law has always been my primary focus. I have always been a serious student of law, and have always performed my own legal research.”

Bill was always interested and active in local political campaigns. He was a Hospice volunteer in Clayton for many years. His church, the Clayton First United Methodist Church and his weekly Men’s Prayer Group were of primary importance in his life. You would find him regularly at the Rabun County Senior Center Pool.

He was an avid hunter and fisher, a licensed boat captain, a winemaker, a notorious practical joker, a lifelong broccoli hater, and the most loyal friend anyone could have. You wanted him on your side.

He enjoyed spending time with his Grady High School friends over the years and treasured the many memories together. His dog “King B” was his best friend and constant companion.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Richard Roy Pettys, Sr. (Dick).

Bill is survived by his son Norman William Pettys, III; sister Barbara Macon; cousins Larrilee Mather Smith and Susie Mather Butler; sister-in-law Stephanie Pettys; nephews, Ric, Beaux, and Chip; nieces, Laurie, Lynn, Jan, and Jenny; and many friends.

He spent the last 9 years of his life with his “Sweetheart” and Grady classmate Claudette Ransom Christensen.

There will be a Memorial Service at Clayton First United Methodist Church, 71 South Main Street, Clayton, GA 30525, (706) 782-4426, on Saturday, February 22nd at 11:00 am, visitation starting at 10:00. There will be a reception after the service at the Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to Clayton First United Methodist Church, and FAITH charity in Rabun County, Inc., P.O.Box 1964, Clayton, Georgia 30525. 706-782-1003.

George Lawrence Sledge ’63

George Lawrence Sledge, 78, of Brandon, died on Monday, September 23, 2019. Born in 1941 in Charlotte, NC to the late Hartwell Kendrick and Mary Sledge, he was raised in the Steele Creek community of Charlotte and graduated from West Mecklenburg High School in 1959. He earned a degree in chemistry from Davidson College in 1963 and entered the US Army.

In 1964, he married his beloved Reebo. After his service to his country, he settled in Brandon, FL and was owner/proprietor of McMullen Dry Cleaners in Riverview for over 30 years.

Having been a member of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church since 1965, he served on the vestry, played softball, and sang in the choir. He helped start the church’s Adopt-a-Family program, and supported his wife’s lifelong work with Meals on Wheels.

He enjoyed coaching little league and working on his golf game as a member of Buckhorn Country Club. He loved being a grandfather, tending to his animals and working on his next outdoor home project.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Marie “Reebo” McMullen and is survived by his children, Larry (Debbie) Sledge, Jennifer (David) Mowrey and Melissa (Alex) MacKinnon; his treasured grandchildren, Garrett, Danny and Colin Sledge, Jack and Jessica Mowrey, Lexi Zuo (Jeremiah), Mack (Haley), Annesley, Hartwell, Ben, Luke and Addisyn MacKinnon; his brother Ken Sledge of Clinton, SC and sisters, Billie S. Erwin of Summerville, SC and Mary Anne Sledge of Columbus, NC.

A memorial service will be held at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, 604 N. Valrico Road, Valrico, 3:00 P.M. Saturday, September 28, 2019, with the family receiving friends one hour prior to services. A reception will also follow at the church. Private interment to be held at Serenity Meadows Memorial Park.

No flowers please; memorials may be made to Meals on Wheels of Tampa or your local homeless shelter.

James McCutchen, Jr. ’63

James McCutchen, Jr., 77, of Spartanburg, SC, died Thursday, March 7, 2019 at home. Born August 5, 1941, in Spartanburg, he was the son of the late James McCutchen, Sr. and Mary Alexander McCutchen.

Jamie was a graduate of Spartanburg High School and Davidson College, and he received his MBA from the University of North Carolina. In his Davidson years, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and was recognized as “Wildcat of the Week” when he was goalie on the soccer team.

During his professional career, he worked as a real estate developer, appraiser, and consultant in the Spartanburg area and beyond. He was also a member of First Presbyterian Church where he formerly served as a Deacon. 

Jamie was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed golf and hunting, but was an especially enthusiastic fisherman. His love of fly fishing gave him the needed excuse to travel far and wide to such locations and Christmas Island, Venezuela, the Caribbean, and “tailing in the flats” of South Carolina’s inlets and marshes. His annual fishing trip to Montana with long-time fishing buddies was a cherished tradition for over 25 years. Jamie was known and loved for his great sense of humor and often sarcastic wit.

Surviving are his wife, Beverly Eubank McCutchen; son, James David McCutchen (Laura) of Spartanburg; daughter, Stewart McCutchen Yeargin of Greenville, SC; grandchildren, James David McCutchen, Jr. (Elizabeth), Samuel Watkins McCutchen, William Houston Yeargin, and Mary Isabella Cooper Yeargin; sister, Anne McCutchen Wilson of Atlanta, GA; and several nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a daughter, Beverly Catherine McCutchen.

A graveside service will be conducted at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, 1300 Fernwood-Glendale Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29307, by The Rev. Joanne R. Hull. Visitation will follow at the graveside.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mobile Meals Service, PO Box 461, Spartanburg, SC 29304, or the charity of one’s choice.

Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel 

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Leland Park ’63, Director Emeritus of the College Library

Leland Madison Park, Ph.D., 77, died on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at The Pines at Davidson. He was born October 21, 1941, in Orlando, Florida, to Rebecca Leland Park and Arthur Harris Park, who provided his earliest example of civic engagement.

A 1959 graduate of the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he entered Davidson College in 1959. Often referring to Davidson as a “way of life based on things of the mind, tempered by manners and morality,” Dr. Park quickly made Davidson the way of his life after his graduation in 1963.

Apart from Army service and acquiring advanced degrees from Emory and from Florida State, and a stint on the staff of what was then called the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, Dr. Park devoted the rest of his life to Davidson College.

“Devoted” is, indeed, the right word. When he retired in 2006, Dr. Park concluded nearly 40 years of service as Director of the Library – the third person in Davidson’s history to hold that position. He also was the Library’s most entertaining and authoritative reference source. He welcomed many generations of students, faculty, and staff with presentations of Davidson’s history and with emphasis on the most enduring and admirable of its values and traditions.

He also welcomed new presidents and others with tours beyond campus. As Carol E. Quillen, Davidson’s current president relates, “Leland gave me a tour of the town, complete with a history of who had lived in each house for the past fifty years and some pretty incredible stories.”  Others might add that the “incredible stories” were always seasoned with anecdote and, when appropriate, spiced with gossip. 

Like any master storyteller, Dr. Park told stories with a point: he sought to make newcomers welcome and to lead them to find the best in both the past and present of what had become his chosen home.

As Dr. Quillen notes, Park’s stories were “punctuated by his joy-filled, one-of-a-kind laugh.”  That laugh led to free tickets to comedies in the early days of the Davidson Community Players; his joyful laughter could help bring together the Davidson community beyond the campus boundaries.

One of the leaders instrumental in preserving the town’s branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg library, and a supporter of many other community efforts, Dr. Park was honored in 2011 by the Town of Davidson with its G. Jackson Burney Community Service award, which he treasured perhaps even more than the state’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine bestowed on him at the time of his 2006 retirement – because the award from Davidson represented the mutual devotion of a person and his chosen community.   

Having no children of his own, Dr. Park leaves many heirs: friends and colleagues, to be sure, but first and foremost the students for whom both colleges and libraries exist. Dr. Clark Ross, former Dean of the Faculty, has described Dr. Park as a “supportive, but candid, adviser and friend” to everyone from entering first-years to experienced presidents.

He advised countless students over the years, either officially or unofficially, and was an enthusiastic supporter of Wildcat basketball. In 2007, a group of alumni whom he had influenced established a scholarship in his name. At least one former advisee gave his son the middle name “Madison” in tribute to Dr. Leland Madison Park. 

Park will be remembered as a gateway and a bridge to the institution he loved, whether for students attempting to navigate scholarly life or new staff and faculty enjoying a tour of campus led by one of the few people who could gracefully walk the path between the college’s past and present.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Leland M. Park Scholarship, Davidson College, Box 7170, Davidson, NC 28035-7170, and to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 115 W. 7th St., Charlotte, NC 28202.

A service to celebrate the life of Leland Park will be held at 4 p.m. in the sanctuary of Davidson College Presbyterian Church on Sunday, February 17, with a reception to follow in the Lilly Family Gallery.

Calvin James McGehee, Jr. ’63

Calvin James McGehee Jr of Ashburn, Va.,passed away on Saturday, December 22, 2018, at the age of 82. 

Calvin was born to parents, Calvin James Sr and Margaret McGehee on August 3, 1936, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Growing up he was active in the Boy Scouts and received the Eagle Scout merit badge. He attended Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC, where he graduated in 1955.

Calvin enrolled in the United States Army Corps in 1959 and served for 6 years, both in active duty and the Army Reserves. While serving, he studied Russian at the U.S. Army Language School, after which he was stationed in Japan at the 12th US Army Security Agency.

He attended Davidson College receiving his diploma in Business-Economics, graduating in 1963. He was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.

After college, Calvin began his work career as a credit and financial manager with Uniroyal, Inc. in Charlotte, NC. He then worked for more than 25 years for General Telephone of the South as a District and Division Manager for different regions and departments and was responsible for training programs within the company.

After retirement, he went on to receive his North Carolina Real Estate License. Later, he was recruited by Volt Telecommunications as a consultant. Calvin was actively involved in his community, serving on the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Charles Town Kiwanis Club, and West Virginia Telephone Association.

As a member of the Charles Town Presbyterian Church, he was part of both the Board of Deacons and Elders. Calvin and his wife Judy relocated to Virginia to be close to and enjoy time with their daughters and grandchildren. He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. 

He is survived by his wife, Judy, daughters Suzanne and Julie, son-in-law, Frederick, and grandchildren, Mireille, Cullen, and Quinn. He is preceded in death by his parents, Calvin James Sr, Margaret Sue Logan McGehee and sister, Peggy. 

His church has always been near and dear to his heart. Donations can be given to Ashburn Presbyterian Church 20962 Ashburn Road, Ashburn, VA 20147, or a charity of your choice with “In memory of Calvin J. McGehee on the memo line. 

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 11:00am at Ashburn Presbyterian Church. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Calvin’s life.