In Memoriam


ECU remembers . . .

Julia Farrior Shaw

Mary Frances Mitchell Beaman ’35 ’59 of Snow Hill died Jan. 21 at age 92. She taught at Maury and Snow Hill primary schools and was active in Free Union Free Will Baptist Church in Walstonburg. Ruth Hayes Turnage Lupton ’39 died Jan. 30 at age 90. She taught home economics in Belhaven; owned and operated The Red Rooster craft store in Washington during the 1970s; was a charter member of the Pamlico River Quilters Guild and a member of Washington’s First United Methodist Church. Sarah Elizabeth Layden Perry ’38 of Elizabeth City died Oct. 27 at age 92. She studied French, history, and early childhood education; had two daughters and a son; and supported the ECTC Memorial and Golden Alumni scholarships. JULIA FARRIOR SHAW (right) ’33 of Knoxville, Tenn., died Feb. 6 at age 96. She taught high school in Calypso, Warsaw, and Roanoke Rapids; was an elder in Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church; and received the Honorary Life Membership Award from the Presbyterian Women. She was the first woman elected to the school board in Roanoke Rapids. Sue Taylor Myers Sutton ’34 ’59 ’60 of Morehead City died Feb. 19 at age 93. With Lenoir County Schools, she was a teacher, director of guidance, and supervisor of elementary education. Ruby Lucas Wheeler ’36 ’41 of Matthews died Jan. 16 at age 91. She taught school for 10 years, was an assistant registrar for the Durham Nurses Professional Registry until her retirement, and was active in Durham’s Watts Street Baptist Church and the Exchangette Club.


WITN-TV founder dies
William R. “Bill” Roberson Jr.
of Washington, N.C., a business leader and founder of WITN-TV, died Jan. 3. He was 90. As a member of the General Assembly in the 1960s, he helped pass legislation bestowing university status on East Carolina and creating the School of Medicine. He graduated from Washington High School and Davidson College and returned home to start a soft drink bottling company, Roberson’s Beverage, which operated several plants in eastern North Carolina from 1946 until 1982. Roberson also had a long and varied career in broadcasting. For 30 years he was chairman and CEO of WITN-TV, an NBC affiliate which went on the air in 1955. He was a director of the ECU Medical Foundation and a director and past president of the Pirate Club. He served as DOT secretary during Gov. Jim Hunt’s second term.

ECU baseball's biggest fan dies
Les Holland Garner
, 89, a pillar of Greenville civic life and the man who for years led the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch of ECU home baseball games, died Feb. 23. He didn’t attend East Carolina but adopted it as his own after becoming a successful merchant here. He was the second president of the ECU Pirate Club. He served as mayor of Greenville from 1986-1987. He led Greenville’s Salvation Army’s Christmas Fund Drive for more than 40 years. As state president of Kiwanis, he helped organize more than 50 new clubs, including the first all-female club in Kiwanis International.

Faculty Deaths

David Phelps
Phelps (right) talks with anthropology students in 1978

David Sutton Phelps Jr. of Fort Pierce, Fla., died Feb. 21. A professor emeritus, he taught anthropology from 1970 to 1996 at ECU, where the archaeology laboratory is named for him. His notable digs include a Tar River site that shows evidence of human occupation dating back more than 11,000 years; the Neoheroka Fort Tuscarora War site near Snow Hill; Lake Phelps in Washington County; Fort Raleigh near Manteo; and a site near Buxton on Hatteras Island, where he found a 16th century signet ring that may have belonged to one of the Lost Colonists. Memorial contributions may be made to the David S. Phelps Jr. Anthropology Scholarship Endowment.

Paul Arnold Hickfang of Columbus, Ohio, died Feb. 6. He taught at ECU from 1954 to 1962 and at UNC Greensboro before retiring as director of opera and voice at Ohio State University. He was in the Air Force for 28 years before retiring as a lieutenant colonel; toured with Boris Goldovsky Opera Group; sang with the Columbus and Honolulu symphonies and others; and owned and operated Columbus Opera Tours.

Dr. Ruth Elizabeth Mitchell-Pitts died Feb. 1. She taught political science at ECU from 1992 to 1994. She helped develop the Center for European Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, directed three European studies programs, and received several grants.

Dr. Ralph Steele of Greenville died March 6. He taught at East Carolina from 1960 to 1990. He developed the parks, recreation and conservation department. For 55 years, he was married to Marilyn Fulton Steele ’71, who taught in the College of Health and Human Performance. Memorials may be made to the Dr. Ralph Steele Memorial Lecture Series.

Robert M. “Bob” Woodside Sr. of Greenville died Dec. 17. A Staunton, Va., native, he taught math at ECU for 30 years until his 2000 retirement.

Sara Louise Franck Charlton ’46 of Aiken, S.C., died Feb. 5. She taught in N.C. and Aiken County public schools, and enjoyed playing bridge and gardening. Mildred Watkins Cooke ’43 of Apex died Feb. 11. She taught physical science at Apex High School for 30 years, was the 1974 Wake County teacher of the year, and was active in Apex Baptist Church. Elizabeth Adley “Lib” Edwards ’41 died March 2. She traveled with her Coast Guard husband during WWII and taught at Boone Trail in Harnett County and at Falkland, Chicod, Winterville, and W. H. Robinson in Pitt County for 23 years until her 1975 retirement. She taught Sunday school and Girl’s Auxiliary at The Memorial Baptist Church in Greenville. Sara Britt Hatchett ’40 of Tucker, Ga., formerly of Tifton, died Feb. 6. She taught fourth grade at Len Lastinger Elementary School from 1971 to 1981 and after her retirement worked at the Tifton-Tift County Library. Elizabeth Page Holly ’43 of Burgaw died Feb. 12. She taught in New Hanover, Forsyth, and Pender counties for 38 years and was a member of Pender County Historical Society, Retired Teachers Organization, and Alpha Delta Kappa. Ossie Virginia Faircloth McLamb ’41 of Autryville died Jan. 30. For 37 years, she taught in Cumberland, Sampson, Johnston, and New Hanover counties, and in Florida. Lucile Plummer Husketh Olive ’46 died Jan 8. She taught second grade at Wakelon Elementary School in Zebulon and was an officer in the American Legion Auxiliary. Anne Shearin Overby ’47 of Knightdale, formerly of Roanoke Rapids, died Feb. 7. She taught in the N.C. Department of Education’s pilot kindergarten program and was active in Alpha Delta Kappa and the Homemakers Home Extension clubs in Roanoke Rapids and Knightdale. Helen Sorrell Robertson ’41 of Greensboro died Feb. 2. She taught in the Madison School System of Rockingham County for 28 years. Muriel Whitehurst Spain ’45 of Waverly, Va., died Feb. 7. She taught at Bayside Elementary School in Norfolk and at Waverly High School. A Worthy Matron in the Order of the Eastern Star, she and her husband, owner of Spain Lumber Co., donated the Spain Conference Building to the 4-H Airfield Conference Center in Wakefield. The Wakefield Foundation of the Arts named Spain Auditorium in their honor.

Richard Bryant Anthony Sr. ’58 of Richmond, Va., died Jan. 24. At Douglas Freeman High School, he was an industrial arts teacher starting in 1958 and was principal from 1973 to 1986 when he became an administrator for a new vocational-educational foundation in Henrico County. June Pritchard Bain ’52 of Nashville, Tenn., died Dec. 20. Originally of Tarboro, she taught elementary school for 25 years at Emsworth Day School; sang with the regional Sweet Adeline organization in competitions for more than 15 years; and was married for 52 years to Otis G. Bain ’52, a Southern Bell Telephone employee. Leon M. Brock Jr. ’57 of Stedman died Feb. 3 at the N.C. Veterans Nursing Home. He taught and coached at Stedman and Cape Fear high schools for 36 years, was a member of the Fayetteville Sports Hall of Fame, and received the Order of The Long Leaf Pine. The Cape Fear High School gym floor is named for him. Melrose Alford Williams Caines ’53 died March 1 in High Point. She taught in High Point City Schools for 29 years. James Edward Collins Jr. ’50 of Greenville died Dec. 25. He was an Army veteran, owner and operator of Collins Grocery Co., and a deacon in First Christian Church. William Henry Davis ’51 of Moss Hill died Jan. 24 at age 93. A Navy veteran, he was the first principal of Goldsboro’s Greenwood Junior High School from 1962 to 1985 and retired at age 70. Jean Jackson Harper ’51 of Smithfield died Feb. 20. She taught in N.C. and Tennessee for 35 years until her 1989 retirement from Wilson’s Mills School. Vernon Monroe Lewis ’58 of Jacksonville, Fla., died Dec. 9. He was an IRS officer for 32 years before retiring and becoming an independent tax consultant. He was a deacon, elder, and board chair at Arlington Christian Church. Sue Graham Mangum ’51 of Wake Forest, formerly of Creedmoor, died Dec. 26. She was a teacher and principal in Granville County until her 1979 retirement. Robert Francis “Bobby” McCotter Sr. ’50 of Vandemere died Jan. 29. He played baseball at ECU and with other local teams; was a Pamlico County Board of Education member and Vandemere United Methodist Church trustee chairman; and was married to Thelma Joy McCotter ’51. Martha Whitehurst Mills ’50 died Jan. 12. A Greenville native, she was a credit manager for Brody’s for more than 30 years and was active in Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church. Vergie Barefoot Riggs ’52 of Waynesville died Feb. 6. She was a retired Red Cross social worker. Jane Andrews Smith ’58 of Greenville died Feb. 8. She worked at Sheppard Memorial Library; was one of the first librarians at Pitt Community College, where she retired in 1996; and sang in the choir at Hooker Memorial Christian Church. Waylon Cline UpchurcH ’53 died Dec. 27. With El Paso Natural Gas Co. for 35 years, he worked in personnel and was administrator of group benefits-design and implementation. Barbara Seagle Whaley ’59 of Maysville died Feb. 10. She retired from teaching in Onslow County.

Edward Liddell “Dell” Adams ’65 of Durham died Feb. 11. He was an associate professor of music at Ferrum College for four years, and in Durham was a public school band director for five years and registrar at Durham Technical College. JOSEPH CLINTON “JAY” BARBER JR. ’67 of Coral Springs, Fla., died Feb. 12. At ECU, he was Alpha Phi Omega president and worked at WECU radio and WECU television. He was a personnel manager and sales consultant for Control Data Corp. and Metro Information Services in several states, and president of Heron Bay Group. Linda Flowers Bunn ’63 of Raleigh died Feb. 19. She taught in Cumberland County and worked with the N.C. Public Instruction and Agriculture departments. An N.C. State University professor emerita, she was a teacher and administrator with the extension program and received the Outstanding Extension Service Award. She also owned and operated the firm Elegance by Design. E. Lee Carroll ’62 of Garner died Dec. 25. From 1963 to 1989, he owned and operated Carroll Produce Co., and retired in 2004 from the N.C. DOT. For 47 years he was married to Kay Efland Carroll ’62. Burl Ray Clements Sr. ’64 of Keysville, Va., died Dec. 9. He retired from Charlotte County, (Va.), Public Schools in 1991. James Cecil FormyDuval Jr. ’69 ’86 of Whiteville died Feb. 10. He was principal at Old Dock Elementary School for 36 years until his 2001 retirement. He was a member of the National Guard and president of the Whiteville Lions Club. Barry Frederick Gans ’69 of Las Vegas died Dec. 5. He moved to Lake Tahoe in the early 1970s for the scenery and enjoyed hiking and music. Donna Kay DeBruhl Hill ’69 of Kinston died Dec. 14. A member of Alpha Delta Kappa, she taught in Lenoir County for 36 years and was the 2000-2001 teacher of the year for Southeast Elementary School. Douglas Murray O’Neal ’63 of Wake Forest died Jan. 17. He worked with the N.C. DOT until his 1994 retirement. Barbara Rose Patrick ’66, formerly of Jacksonville, died Feb. 26 at Sunbridge Nursing Home in Mount Olive. She worked with the YWCA, was a teacher and counselor, and retired from Camp Lejeune Dependent Schools. Antoinette Morel Patterson ’67 of Raleigh died Jan. 30. She got her masters degree from N.C. State and retired in 2006 as assistant superintendent for human resources for Wake County Public Schools. Frances Kugler “Franke” Rumley ’64 of Washington died Jan. 2. Traveling with her military husband for 30 years, she lived in several states. Charles Ballentine Savage ’65 ’69 of Sand Hill Township died Jan. 21. He taught high school in Snow Hill and later became a vocational rehabilitation counselor and rehab unit manager in New Bern.

Richard Brian “Rick” Batts ’79 of Greenville died Feb. 28. He worked in banking and with ECU’s Human Resources, taught in Tarboro and Aurora, and was a Pitt County magistrate. Douglas Michael Benson ’74 of Raleigh died Jan. 7. After receiving his Ph.D. from N.C. State in 1984, he did post-doctoral work at Baylor University and became chief scientist and director of software development with DVC of Austin, Texas. Russell Blanton Fonvielle ’70 of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., died Feb. 2. He taught school and retired as a pharmacist after 29 years. In 1979, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and N.C. Highway Patrol honored him for rescuing an accident victim from a submerged car at Sunset Beach. Dennis Gerald “Dick” Jones ’73 of Greenville died Jan. 30. He worked for Northern Telecom, later named Nortel. Memorial contributions may be made to the ECU Educational Foundation. Lottie Greenwood Matheson Lassiter ’74 of Ahoskie died Dec. 18. She opened That Added Touch Florist in 1975 and was named working woman of the year in 1982. She was executive director of Ahoskie’s Chamber of Commerce, served on the Downtown Rehabilitation Committee, and held several positions with The Gallery Theatre. William Ronole “Bill” Lewis ’72 of Wilson died Feb. 19. He was an Army representative guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, White House clearance guard, and representative guard in President Dwight Eisenhower’s funeral. He was a corporate safety director at Nash-Johnson Farms. John Brooks Nelson ’75 of Whitehouse Station, N.J., died Jan. 31. He founded and was CEO of Media Marketing Services of Flemington. He was married to Carol Nelson ’72. Lorraine Biddle Nobles ’73 ’89 of Greenville’s Cypress Glen Retirement Center died Jan. 4. She was chief dietician at PCMH from 1976 to her 1991 retirement. Betty Juanita Packer ’75 of Raleigh died Jan. 31. She worked for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.  Raymond “Bussey” Howard Smith Jr. ’78 of Greensboro died Dec. 29. He worked for the Department of Corrections for almost 30 years. Sally Scheipers Suther ’71 of Sanford died Jan. 17. She taught in Lee County Schools for 30 years. Richard West ’72 of Charlottesville, Va., died Dec. 21. A Sigma Phi Epsilon brother, he was the first clinical licensed social worker to train at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and the first to graduate from a psychoanalytic institute accredited by the American Psychoanalytic Association and The International Psychoanalytical Association. June Kuleen Whitehurst ’73 ’77 of New Bern died Jan. 11. Originally of Whitehurst Station, she worked in special education. Charles C. Williams ’73 of Greenville died Jan. 19. He retired in 2007 as superintendent of parks after 22 years with the City of Greenville. A College of Health and Human Performance outstanding alum, he received the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer award. Hilda Ray Blue Worth ’79 of Durham’s Croasdaile Village died Feb. 15. She taught in Grifton, Carthage, Whiteville, and Wilmington, and was an attendance counselor with New Hanover County Public Schools until her 1984 retirement, after which she volunteered for 15 years as an elementary school tutor.

Susan Blake Dewar ’86 of Jamestown died Jan. 14. She directed the Guilford County Health Department’s nutrition and WIC programs and graduated from the Center for Creative Leadership. Tina Harris Jacobs ’87 of Maxton died Feb. 13. She was a nurse. Mari Cecelia Mileur ’82 of Ahoskie died Feb. 21. She was a speech and language pathologist with public schools and Guardian Care of Ahoskie and Scotland Neck. Nancy Marion Outlaw ’89 ’02 of Mount Olive died Jan. 11. Originally of Rocky Mount, she worked in Wayne and Duplin counties as a middle school teacher for 20 years and a counselor for eight years. She was named Duplin County teacher of the year. Frances Kenna McClure Peters ’86 of Tarboro died Feb. 27. She taught kindergarten at Willow Grove and Bridgers elementary schools, was principal at Bridgers and Stocks elementary schools, and retired as personnel director for Tarboro City Schools. Ronald Dale Pugh ’84 of Sophia died Jan. 9. He was manager and vice president of Quality Auto Sales in Asheboro and a member of the Carolinas Independent Automobile Dealers Association. John Matheson Young ’80 of Atlantic Beach died Jan. 25. He taught in the Nash-Rocky Mount school system before becoming head librarian and cross-country coach at West Carteret High School.

George Dunn ’96 ’97 of Mount Holly died Feb. 8. He was a vice president with Bank of America in Charlotte and enjoyed working with the Boy Scouts. Jennifer Lisa Smith Jones ’99 of Raleigh died Feb. 1. She taught at Goldsboro and Garner senior high schools before becoming assistant principal at Beddingfield High School in Wilson and taking her last job as assistant principal at Middle Creek High School in Apex. Penelope Jane Nelson ’96 of Goldsboro died Feb. 6. She taught public speaking and drama at Chambersburg High School in Pennsylvania for 10 years and later at Wayne Community College. Scott Tyrone Stewart ’92 of Charlotte died Feb. 9. He was a safety manager with ThyssenKrupp Safway in Columbus, Ohio, and completed the Ironman Florida Triathlon in November 2008.

Michael Douglas Edwards ’00 of New Bern died Jan. 13. He worked at Joyner Library and then at Craven Community College for four years. He enjoyed vintage radio and classic television. Brian K. Pulliam ’07 of Raleigh died Feb. 12. A Theta Chi brother, he was a greenhouse technician at Syngenta Biotechnology in West Chester, Pa.