Kenneth Haller Jones ’73

Kenneth Haller Jones '73

Kenneth Haller Jones, died August 28, 2019, succumbing to his fourth bout with cancer. He was predeceased by his father, Jean Jones, and mother, Frances Haller Jones.

He is survived by his brother, Steven R. Jones (Jan, Tim, Danny, Beatrice) and his sisters, Susan J. Dobson (Jim, Sarah, Jean, Susannah), Barbara D. Jones (Martin Konowitch, Sam, Jake, David) and Margaret J. Czarsty (Craig, Mary, Beth, Isabel, Lucas).

He is also survived by incredible friends, especially Michael, Karen, Sharon, Cindy, Frances, Mary Ballou and Pearlie.

He is also survived by his brother, Troy Hendrickson (Shelly, Tori, Josh). Troy was a major part of his life since they were matched in 1992 through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ken was born in Washington, D.C. on August 21, 1951. He went to Ginter Park Elementary and graduated from James Caldwell High School (West Caldwell, N.J.) and Davidson College.

At Davidson, he was a varsity letterman on the 1970 and 1971 Southern Conference Champion Soccer teams. He had leading roles in seven major dramatic productions and was a member of Alpha Psi Omega (national honorary dramatic society) beginning in his sophomore year.

He was a Freshman Hall Counselor and was Entertainment Chairman of the student body his junior year. Ken had the highest math GRE score of his senior class and majored in economics. He spent half of his senior year in the Planning Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, as the first Davidson student in a program that awarded course credits for paid work experience.

After graduation, he worked as an analyst in the Planning Department at the Federal Reserve in Richmond. Ken then worked for Best Products Company, Inc. in Corporate Development and later became a Director of Merchandising.

A major interest in his life was writing fiction. Although he never achieved financial success or acclaim for his fiction, he was a six-time Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

In 1995, he co-founded The Tax Complex, LC with Cindy Greer and Frances Goldman. They added Jim Short as a partner in 2007. The partnership flourished and continues to do so today. Ken was a Big Brother twice, to Troy and to Jonte. He was a board member and officer of local charitable organizations.

These include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Richmond (Chair, President, V.P. and Treasurer), J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation (Treasurer), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (Treasurer), City of Richmond Public Library Foundation (Treasurer), Commonwealth Community Foundation (Treasurer) and Boulevard United Methodist Church (Treasurer).

He also volunteered with Shalom Farms of the United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond, the Richmond Arts Council and Business Volunteers for the Arts.

He would be pleased to be remembered with a donation to the Kenneth Haller Jones Endowed Scholarship at the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Foundation (P.O. Box 26924, Richmond, Va. 23286) or the Kenneth Haller Jones Endowment Fund at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (154 San Angelo Drive, Amherst, Virginia 24521).

Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

That which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. (Tennyson) 

 © Copyright 2019, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, VA

Lawrence Howard Nabors ’73

Lawrence Howard Nabors '73Lawrence Howard Nabors, 66, of Thurmond and formerly of Statesville, went home to be with the Lord on Nov. 21, 2017. He was the beloved son of James Julius and Joyce Lawrence Nabors, whom preceded him in death.

Howard, or “Doc” as most of his friends called him, attended Davidson College and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He honorably served in the United States Army for five years. Howard completed general surgery training at Baptist Hospital. He completed a trauma fellowship in Birmingham, Alabama. He then became an associate professor of surgery in Jackson, Mississippi.

He was an associate professor of surgery with UVA, in Roanoke, Virginia, prior to becoming a general surgeon in Elkin. He practiced surgery for more than 30 years. For the last 10 years of his life, Howard practiced general medicine.

Howard was saved at a young age and baptized at Western Avenue Baptist Church in Statesville. He was a deacon and active member or Peace Haven Baptist Church prior to joining Marler Road Baptist Church. His love for the Lord was shown daily to his patients, in the loving care that he always bestowed upon them.

Howard’s patients were always a priority in his life, but his love for the Lord shown through his life in their treatment daily. He will be greatly missed as physician, colleague, friend, brother and uncle. Howard died after a brief illness at Forsyth Hospital in Winston-Salem.

He is survived by two sisters, Lisa and Rebecca Nabors of the home; a sister, Jennifer Nabors Hethcox and nephew, Andrew Nabors Hethcox, of Statesville; a niece, Rebecca Hethcox (Kermit) Smith and great-nephews, Maddox Kilpatrick, Beckett Thomas and great-niece, Georgia Grace of Boone; a sister, Wendy Nabors (Vernon) Gilliatt and three nieces, Samantha Nabors, Mackenzie Lawrence and Alexandra Rebecca of High Point.

The family will receive friends Nov. 24, 2017, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Nicholson Funeral Home, Statesville.

The funeral service will be at Marler Road Baptist Church, Hamptonville, on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 11 a.m., officiated by Randy Johnson, pastor of Marler Road Baptist Church, and Howard’s former pastor and friend, Bruce Freeman. Special music will be sung by beloved family friend, Squire Parsons Jr.

Pallbearers will be John Gilleland of Lincolnton, Chris Gilleland of Denver, Andrew Hethcox of Statesville, Kermit Smith of Boone, Travis Spicer of State Road, Mark Green of Thurmond and Jeff Flynn of Hamptonville.

Honorary Pallbearers will be Mike Whitaker of Yadkinville, Dr. Tomas Vybial of Thurmond, Dr. Alex Snyder of Hamptonville, David Morrison of Elkin, Larry Moxley of Boonville, Larry Irwin of Elkin, Larry Wagner of Elkin and Clyde Hayes of Elkin.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorials are made to the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Foundation, Elkin, or Shriners Children’s Hospital  “Alec”. Nicholson Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.

A special thanks to Dr. Lori Kellam, whom he thought the world of, and Dr. John Hoyle.

Thank you to the other physicians and nurses involved in his care that, just like “Doc,” exemplified kindness and compassion.

Condolences may be sent online to the family to Nicholson Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.

Published in The Tribune from Nov. 23 to Nov. 24, 2017

John “Jack” Willits ’73

John “Jack” Willits, 64, died Thursday, July 7, 2016. Jack was born in Pittsburgh, PA, August 23, 1951, son of the late John Ward Willits and Janet Claybaugh Willits. He was pre-deceased by his sister, Janet “Janney” Willits.

He was a behavioral councilor at Myrtle Beach Middle School.

Jack graduated from Davidson College in 1973, where he was a four-year letterman in baseball and was Honorable Mention All-American. He received his Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of S.C.

For thirty-two years Jack was a band member of the “Mullets” along with Terry Amaker, Russ Flack, Bob O’Connor and Tom Smith, who all were his dear friends.

He is survived by his long-time friends, Molly Whitworth of Charles Town, WV and Mike Frye of Myrtle Beach.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM, Monday, July 11, 2016, at Southern Palms Memorial Gardens in North Myrtle Beach.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grand Strand Miracle Leagues, PO Box 7503 Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29572.

An online guest book is available at

Copyright (c) 2016 The Sun News

Bill MacDonald Gupton, Jr., ’73

William “Bill” MacDonald Gupton, Jr., 63, passed away peacefully at the Levine &; Dickson Hospice House at Southminster, Charlotte, NC, on June 16, 2015, following a brief, courageous battle with cancer. He was born in Charlotte on July 28, 1951.

After receiving degrees from Davidson College and UNCC, Bill taught at McClintock Junior High and West Charlotte High School for several years. He enjoyed fourteen summers in various capacities as staff at the YMCA’s Camp Thunderbird. He also co-founded, along with Nancy Yudell, a middle school ski club and taught rock climbing, backpacking and outdoor skills to high school students and adults.

Bill left North Carolina in 1981 to begin a twenty year successful career in pharmaceutical sales and marketing. He won numerous state and national awards, including his company’;s highest honor, the President’s Club Award. When Bill returned to Charlotte in 2001, he became involved with the Sierra Club and many other organizations whose missions are to protect the environment. Bill’s involvement with these groups was not passive.

He organized and coordinated meetings, work sessions and protests. He often lobbied agencies in order to advance agendas that would protect the environment and support a clean energy economy. Bill’s contributions were recognized by our community when he received the Sustain Charlotte’;s 2013 Leader of the Year Award. He mentored and inspired countless others to work to make the world a better place.

Bill is survived by his wife Nancy Yudell; step-sons Adam and Mark Segal; sister Janet Gupton Holt; daughter Katie Gupton; and nieces Anna Holt Upton and Meredith Holt. He is predeceased by his parents William MacDonald Gupton, Sr. and Emma “Red” Allen Gupton. He will be greatly missed by all those whose lives he influenced.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the North Carolina Sierra Club, Chapter 19, W. Hargett St., Suite 210, Raleigh, NC 27601 or to any other environmental organization of your choice.

A gathering for the celebration of Bill’s life will be held on Thursday, June 25, at 7:00 pm at RibbonWalk Nature Preserve, 4601 Nevin Rd., Charlotte, NC 28269. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a chair or blanket and a memory of Bill you may want to share.

Online condolences may be made

Copyright (c) 2015 The Charlotte Observer

James Michael Gaynor ’73

James Michael Gaynor '73
James M. Gaynor passed away July 31, 2014. Jay was director of historic trades at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation at the time of his passing. He was one of the most caring people that you are likely to come across in life and was dearly loved by all family, friends and work colleagues. He had an insatiably inquiring mind and over his life, he developed probably the most comprehensive understanding that has ever been accomplished in the study of historic tools and trades. Perhaps the most singular thing about Jay was that he shared that knowledge so generously and freely with anyone who showed an interest, whether they be academics, working tradespeople or just interested amateurs or collectors. Not only was he hugely knowledgeable and willing to share, he was also immensely interested in whatever his colleagues and friends were doing, sustaining that level of interest throughout his career.

Jay was born in Elkton on Oct. 31, 1950. His parents, Michael (now deceased) and Frances Gaynor stayed in Elkton until 1957, when Jay’s father took up a job at the Woodrow Wilson Rehab Center in Fishersville, and they moved there. They lived at the Center until 1959 when they moved to Waynesboro into a house his parents had built and where his mother still lives.

He started school in Fishersville Elementary, moving on to Westwood Hills Elementary before going on to Kate Collins. He graduated from Waynesboro High School as class valedictorian. After two years at Davidson College, Davidson, N.C., he entered William and Mary College in Williamsburg where he received his bachelor’s degree in history with honors in 1973. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

He spent time during the summers of 1971 and 1972 doing architectural research for the Ohio Historical Society at the historical sites of Ohio Village and Zoar Village and in 1973 he became assistant curator at Ohio Village and in 1975 was appointed associate curator of history. It was during this period that he became more specifically interested in historic tools and trades.

In 1977 he was appointed director of the High Point Museum, High Point, N.C. In 1980 he and Joseph Hutchins formed the Jamestown Tool Company making high class english-style bronze woodworking planes. They only made around 50 of these beautifully-made tools all of which were finished to the highest degree with the exceptional attention to detail that was characteristic to Jay’s approach to anything he undertook.

In 1981, he was appointed Curator of Mechanical Arts at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and left High Point for Williamsburg where he lived for the remainder of his life. During his time as Curator, he worked to improve the collection at the Museum. By studying specific tools and technology, he advanced a whole new way of looking at objects based on the way they were made and the tools used rather than the style.

In 1994 he curated Colonial Williamsburg’s tremendously successful exhibit, “Tools, Working Wood in 18th Century America”, which ran from January 1994 through June 1995 in the DeWitt Wallace Gallery at Colonial Williamsburg, which brought together the best of many collections from both America and Britain. He edited the publication “Eighteenth-Century Woodworking Tools”, a collection of the papers presented at the symposium that accompanied the exhibit when he brought together leading historic tool experts from England and America. He co-authored, with Nancy Hagedorn, the book “Tools, Working Wood in Eighteenth Century America” which gives a lasting record of the exhibit and is a seminal reference work for anyone interested in this field.

In 2002 he was appointed director of historic trades and a consulting curator for mechanical arts, responsible for all historic trade shops and tradespeople at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He carried out his duties with great thoroughness and care whilst also managing to be fun, caring and a wonderful friend to them all. To everyone who was associated with him in Colonial Williamsburg, his passing is a huge loss that will leave an immense hole in their lives. As part of his duties he ran a number of symposia covering various trades, including the hugely popular Woodworking Symposium, that takes place in January of each year.

He has written and lectured extensively on historic tools and trades. He was a founding member of the Tools and Trades History Society in Britain. He served on the board and was president of the Early American Industries, continuing to serve on various committees after his term.

He has many interests besides the historical study of tools and trades including archery, he ran a tournament each year in Williamsburg, military history, particularly regarding World War II, amateur radio and model building. He took a huge interest in the activities of his nephews and the children and grandchildren of his friends and loved to spend time in England, pursuing the activities of many like-minded friends.

When growing up in Waynesboro, he was an active member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church and after moving to Williamsburg was a member of the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church.

He is survived by his mother, Frances; his brother, Walter; sister-in-law, Malina; nephews Clay, wife, Becca and son, Reed Gaynor of Washington, D.C., Will Gaynor of Austin, Texas; his beloved friend, Jane Rees of Wellow, England; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Two memorial services will be at Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, Richmond Road, Williamsburg, on Friday Aug. 8 at 1 p.m. and at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Mount Vernon Road, Waynesboro, on Saturday Aug. 9 at noon. A reception will take place after each service in the churches.

Honorarium may be made to the Endowment Fund of the Early American Industries Association c/o Executive Director, PO Box 524, Hebron, MD 21830-0524, email: or the Williamsburg Salvation Army,