Thomas Wilson Warlick ’56

Thomas Wilson Warlick '56

Thomas Wilson Warlick, 85, a Newton attorney and prominent cultural, civic, historical, and educational leader on both the local and state level, died on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, after a brief illness.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 p.m., on Friday, August 23, 2019, at Newton First Presbyterian Church by the pastor, the Rev. Dr. David A. Roquemore. The family will receive friends in the church social hall following the service. There will be a private interment in the family plot at Eastview Cemetery.

Warlick was born in Newton on July 4, 1934, the son of the late Wilson Warlick, for many years a federal judge overseeing US courts in the Western North Carolina District, and the late Kittie Reed Hipp Warlick.

He is survived by a sister, Martha Reed Warlick Brame of Rockville MD., and a niece, Brandon Brame Fortune of Bethesda MD, as well as grandnieces Martha Fortune and Elizabeth Fortune and one great grandnephew, Leo Frankenberger.

In 1999 Warlick was the recipient of the North Carolina Governor’s Award in the Arts and Humanities, presented during a ceremony in Raleigh by Governor James B. Hunt. In 2002 he was the recipient of the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine, bestowed by Governor Michael Easley. Warlick was a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He served as attorney for the Town of Catawba from 1985 through 2003. He was chairman and is currently treasurer of the Newton Conover Auditorium Authority and was vice-chairman from 1995 to the present of the Newton Depot Authority.

He was also on the North Carolina Rail Council from 1994 to 2004. Warlick was chairman, vice chairman and director of the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation (formerly Catawba County Industrial Development Commission).

He is a former president, vice president, and director of the Catawba County United Way. He was president, vice president, treasurer, and trustee of the Historical Association of Catawba County (formerly Catawba County Historical Association) where he served as a trustee for 40 years. He served on the Newton Old Soldiers Reunion committee for many years. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

As a life-long member of First Presbyterian Church of Newton he was an elder and had been treasurer, a deacon and served on the Campaign Steering Committee and the Building Committee for the new sanctuary. He particularly enjoyed serving on the Organ Committee. He had been a director of the Catawba County Chapter of The American Red Cross.

He was president and a director of the Newton-Conover Jaycees and was recipient of the Distinguished Service Award (Outstanding Young Man of the Year) for 1968, presented by the Newton-Conover Jaycees. With a perfect attendance for 56 years record of the Newton-Conover Rotary Club, he served as president, vice president, secretary, and director of the organization. He is the recipient of the Rotary Club Vocational Service Award and the Dr. William T. MacLauchlin Humanities Award. Warlick was a member of the Board of the Directors of the Alexander Railroad Company.

He has been a director and was now a director emeritus of Sipes Orchard Home. He has been chairman, vice-chairman, and a trustee of the Catawba County Library Board of Trustees. He has been the second vice-chairman of the Catawba County Democratic Executive Committee and was president and treasurer of the Catawba County Young Democratic Club. Warlick was a former president, secretary and vice president of the Catawba County Bar Association and has been director and secretary of the Twenty-fifth District Bar Association.

He holds the Bachelor of Science degree from Davidson College, where he was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa, and the Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was in the Order of the Coif. He was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar and the United States District Court in 1959.

The family requests that any memorials may be given to Newton Depot Authority, P.O. Box 611, Newton, NC, 28658.

Gary Long ’73

Gary Stephen Long, 68, of Kiawah Island, South Carolina, passed away Thursday, July 4, 2019. 

Gary was born January 13, 1951, in Gastonia, North Carolina, son of the late James Darvin Long and Thelma Reneau Long. He had a BA with honors from Davidson College, where he later served as a Trustee and an MBA from Harvard University. 

Gary was Managing Partner & CEO of Pulse Capital Partners. He previously served as President and COO of Investcorp and as SVP at American Express. During his career, he worked in Toronto, New York, Bahrain, and London, where he was a longtime resident. He was a keen wildlife photographer and travelled often to Africa. 

He is survived by his wife, Lee Carpenter-Long; his sisters Maxine Long Hill, Toby Long Bryant, and Ellen Long Faulk. He was predeceased by brother James Darvin Long, Jr. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Gary Long Memorial Fund, Davidson College, PO Box 7170, Davidson, NC 28035. 

His Memorial Service will be held at Davidson College at a later date.

Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel.

Jessica-Elise Turner Austin ’03

Jessica-Elise Turner Austin, born October 29, 1980, in Monroe County, Mississippi, passed away Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at George Washington Medical Center, Washington, D. C. She was many amazing things!

Her personality can only be described as “boundless” in nature, begging the question, “How did so much personality find its way into one body!?” She had a dangerously shrewd sense of humor and a frustratingly sharp intellect, and yet, she had room in her heart for all of those who had room in their hearts for others. She was fearless. She was a force of nature. She was everything to her family.

She greedily devoured and enjoyed life and her spirit lives on with us. Jessica was the second of four children born to Honorable Curtis H. Austin, Sr. and his wife, Qua Mattix Austin of Columbus, Mississippi.

She was educated in the Mississippi public school system and attended Demonstration School of Mississippi University for Women, Columbus Municipal School District in Columbus, Mississippi and Mississippi School of Mathematics and Science. Advanced degrees included a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, and masters degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Criminology and Georgia Institute of Technology in International Affairs.

She worked as a reporter for Argus Media. She worked as a market editor for The Oil & Gas Year. She worked as an analyst for Gryphon Scientific.

Throughout her childhood, Jessica attended Sanders Chapel CME Church.

Jessica-Elise is survived by her grandmother, Earline C. Mattix; mother, Qua Austin; brother, Curtis H. Austin and his wife, Emily Austin; sister, Whitney Austin Pointe and husband, Chauncey Pointe; beloved niece and nephew, Mikayla Pointe and Austin C. Pointe; aunts and uncles, John Edwina Mattix, Florette D. Mattix, Virginia Austin Howard, Mary A. Woodrick and husband, Rev. Bobby Woodrick, Peggy Austin Greene, Ineather Austin, Carol Austin Bryant, Dr. Cynthia Austin Melvin, Janice Coleman Ewiing and husband, Dr. Willie B. Ewing, Brenda Coleman Randolph and husband, Jerry Randolph and Dr. Carolyn Coleman Denard and husband, Don Denard.

The following relatives predeceased Jessica: her father; sister, Amelia Rebecca Austin; grandparents, Herman Austin and wife, Lucretia Brewer Austin, Nellie Turner Mattix and John E. Mattix; uncles, Harvey L. Austin, and Charles W. Austin.

In lieu of flowers, we would like for Jessica’s community to celebrate her life and commitment to being an Auntie by contributing to what she considered the most worthy of her priorities, the education of her niece and nephew. So please contribute to the GoFundMe Campaign titled “Education Fund in Memory of Jessica Austin”. The URL for the campaign is as follows:

Gifts in the form of checks can be made out to and mailed to her brother, Curtis H. Austin, at the following address: Curtis H. Austin, 1128 Florida Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Copyright 2019, The Commercial Dispatch, All Rights Reserved.

Neal O’Neal ’51

Dr. Neal O’Neal, 89, of Valdosta, Georgia, passed away on Friday, January 4th, at the South Georgia Medical Center following an extended illness.

The son of the late Alan Smith O’Neal and Ruth Anderson O’Neal of Winston Salem, NC, he was preceded in death by his wife Virginia Bracy O’Neal, his brother Alan Smith O’Neal Jr of Raleigh, and his sister, Mrs. Ruth O’Neal Pepper of Winston- Salem.

While serving in the U.S. Air Force, Neal met his wife, then 2nd Lt. Virginia Bracy. Their marriage lasted 60 years until Virginia’s death in 2012.

After earning degrees from Davidson College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and from Florida State University in Tallahassee, he moved his family to Valdosta in 1967 as the newest member of the music department faculty at Valdosta State. Before retiring in 1991, he had served as Department Chairman, provided leadership in a program to offer stringed instrument education in local schools and was recognized as the co-founder and conductor of the VSU Opera program

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Valdosta for 52 years.

Dr. O’Neal was a man of strong faith, a devoted husband, a father who delighted in his children, a loving Grandfather to two young men (and now their wives), a self-described “obedient younger brother” and a proud Uncle to a niece and nephew who he loved and enjoyed immensely.

He also enjoyed important lifelong friendships.
Former students have remained in touch over the years, bringing him much joy as he followed their professional careers and the activities of their families.

Dr. Neal O’Neal is survived by his daughter, Kathleen O’Neal Bearden (Stan), son Neal O’Neal Jr., of Valdosta, Grandsons Andrew Bearden (Vanessa) of Gainesville, Georgia, and Jordan Bearden (Marissa) of Lawrenceville, Georgia, sister Mrs. Mark C. Garner of Durham, N.C., niece Jeanne Garner Clay of Raleigh, N.C., and nephew M. Craig Garner (Denisa) of Columbia, S.C..

Funeral services were held Monday, January 7th, at The First Presbyterian Church of Valdosta with interment at Sunset Hill.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Break Bread Together Program at First Presbyterian Church of Valdosta, 313 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA, or to your favorite charity.

Published on January 11, 2019

William Hampton “Bill” Ballentine III

William Hampton “Bill” Ballentine III passed away peacefully on October 12, 2018 in Peachtree Corners, GA. Bill was born February 17, 1935, to William Hampton Ballentine Jr. and Ruth Walker Ballentine.

Growing up in Greenville, SC, Bill graduated from Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., 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. Ballentine is survived by his wife Beverly, daughter Laura Ballentine 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

Copyright (c) 2018 The Charlotte Observer