In Memoriam


Miriam Riggs Brothers
By Joanne Kollar


MIRIAM RIGGS BROTHERS ’29 of South Mills (right) died Feb. 5 at age 101. She taught elementary school in Pasquotank and Camden counties. She was a life-long member of Ebenezer Baptist Church where she served as a trustee. She played the piano and organ and directed the choir for many years. She is survived by three daughters, including Carolyn Brothers Umphlett ’55.

Neta Lee Townsend Riley1930s
NETA LEE TOWNSEND RILEY ’39 ’78 of Raleigh (left) died April 2 at 95. Before marriage she worked at the N.C. School for the Blind. NANCY SPERLING TADLOCK ’38 of Monroe died April 18 at 95. She taught in the Roanoke Rapids and Cleveland County school systems. She was also a founding owner of Mary’s Dress Shop in historic downtown Monroe. EVELYN WILSON TAYLOR ’39 of Roseboro died Feb. 12 at 93. She taught first grade for 40 years in Nash, Sampson and Cumberland counties. CORABOB SMITH TURNAGE ’38 of Ayden died Feb. 25 at 94. She is remembered as a wonderful helpmate to her husband who was pastor for Holy Trinity United Methodist Church, Greenville, and Salem United Methodist Church, Goldsboro. She was a church musician, playing the organ and piano, for more than 70 years.

Lillian JoynerLILLIAN JOYNER “JOY” BENNETT ’46 of Pfafftown (right) died March 25. She was a stewardess for Pan American Airlines, where she worked on the “clippers” flying between New York, London, France, Prague and South Africa until she married. Dr. JAMES LYERLY MENIUS ’48 of New Bern died Feb. 11. A WW II Navy veteran, he was an optometrist. MARY LUCILLE HARRIS RAPER MIXON ’42 of Newport News, Va., died April 23 at 90. She taught in Newport News from 1943-1985. WILLIAM CLAYTON MORRISETTE ’49 ’50 of Elizabeth City died April 20. A U.S. Coast Guard veteran of WW II, he retired as associate dean of continuing education at College of the Albemarle and was a principal at Weeksville High School and dean of Chowan College. JAMES PEARCE SENTER ’47 of Raleigh died Feb. 25. A WW II veteran who served in the Pacific as a Navy lieutenant, he worked in the N.C. Department of Revenue for many years. MARGIE LEWIS STILLEY ’49 of Rocky Mount died Feb. 7. She taught school in the Rocky Mount City Schools for 37 years. MARY ELIZABETH MIDYETTE THOMPSON ’46 of Greenville died May 9. She taught business at D.H. Conley High School, Greenville, where she organized the Future Business Leaders of America. MAE ELLEN WARWICK ’40 of Newton Grove died May 10. She taught for more than 30 years in the public schools of North Carolina, Florida and Oklahoma, with most of her time spent at Hobbton High School, Newton Grove, where she taught English and French. She also taught French part time at Mount Olive College.

G. RAZ AUTRY JR. ’50 ’53 of Raeford died April 18. A WW II Navy and Marine veteran, he was a retired teacher, coach, principal and school superintendent of Hoke County Schools who grew peaches, wrote books and served his community in retirement. At ECTC he was student body president and co-captain of the football team in his senior year. PHILLIP ALVA “AL” AVERETTE ’56 of Greenville died May 1. A U.S. Army veteran, he retired from Coastal Leasing Corp. in 2000 and worked for Hardware Suppliers of America until 2011. EVELYN FRANCES KORNEGAY COCHRAN ’51 ’67 of Robersonville died Feb. 6. She taught in Martin County Schools for 25 years. ETHEL TREW DRAPER ’55 of Mount Olive died March 26 at 93. In 1979 she retired as director of the Cumberland County Title I programs. Earlier, she taught at Chapel Elementary School, Johnston County, at Spring Lake Elementary School, Spring Lake, and was an elementary supervisor in Cumberland County Schools. WILLIAM GRANT “BILL” DUNNING ’57 of New Castle, Del., died April 3. He taught at Seaford Senior High School in Delaware until his retirement, then taught in the GED program at Delaware Tech for 14 years. BETTIE SUE TYSON FORREST ’59 of Greenville died April 17. She taught elementary school in Grimesland and at Elmhurst Elementary, where she was principal. Later she was principal of South Greenville Elementary before retiring in 1980. She then served as principal at Carolina Country Day School, retiring in 1984. She later served as assistant manager with the Pitt County Fair for 13 years. HARRY BRYAN GEROCK ’57 of Greensboro died March 11. A U.S. Army veteran, he retired from Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co. after more than 30 years of service. JACOB “JAKE” WINBERRY GODWIN ’59 of Newport died March 2. He was an administrator, teacher and driver’s education instructor at Morehead City High School and West Carteret from 1958 to 1991. BOOTEN FILANDER “B.F.” GOODALL ’59 ’62 of Roanoke Rapids died Feb. 20. He retired as a teacher in the Halifax County School System. CLAUDIA VIRGINIA “BOBBIE” HALLIBURTON ’53 of Charlotte died April 17. She taught in Goldsboro; Hollywood, Fla.; and Raleigh for 32 years before retiring in 1985. After retirement she was a substitute teacher for 16 years. EDNA ROWLAND HARPER ’50 of Washington died March 29. She taught public school for more than 45 years. ANNE MORTON HESTER JENKINS ’52 of Creedmoor died Feb. 8. At ECU, she was the bat girl for the men’s baseball team. GRAHAM W. MALLARD ’58 ’74 of Kinston died March 28. He spent more than 40 years in the Lenoir County Public School System. WILLIAM NEAL MASON ’52 of Raleigh died Feb. 5. He served in the Navy and Air Force, then worked in the aerospace and healthcare industries. Retired USAF Maj. EDWARD PENNIWITTE MONROE JR. ’59 of Sumter, S.C., died March 16. He retired from the military with more than 22 years of service, including duty in Vietnam as a combat and rescue helicopter pilot. At ECU he was a charter member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Retired Air Force Lt. Col. HARRY UPTON OLIVER ’52 of Fayetteville died Feb. 9. A combat pilot and Russian linguist, he served in the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. A highly decorated veteran of WW II (one of six brothers serving during that war) and the Vietnam War, he was an avid dancer who was inducted into the Beach Music Shaggers Hall of Fame, The San Flea Living Legend Association and the Fayetteville Area Shaggers Hall of Fame. ALBERT BASCOM REEVES III ’53 of Rocky Point died March 22. A WW II Navy veteran, he taught biology and chemistry at Long Creek School, Burgaw High School and Pender High School, retiring after 41 years of teaching. JAMES RODNEY “JIM” ROBERTS ’50 of Boone died April 25. He taught at the University of Indiana, where he was the chair of the Department of Music and the high school band director. He joined the Appalachian State University faculty in 1967 in the College of Education. A Navy veteran, he was a trombone player in the Watauga County Community Band. LINDSAY “STUART” SAVAGE ’59 of Greenville died March 30. For 50 years he worked in many capacities at The Daily Reflector in Greenville. His photography won him numerous awards; he was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Retired Air Force Col. CHARLES BRANTLEY WEST SR. ’55 of Fayetteville died Jan. 21. He had a 30-year career in the Air Force as a command pilot with service in Vietnam. HAROLD SHIPP WHITEHURST ’50 of Virginia Beach, Va., died April 13. A WW II Coast Guard veteran, he retired in 1991 as director of Virginia Beach parks and recreation. He was also an instructor in recreation for Tidewater Community College and the University of Virginia. At ECTC he played varsity baseball.


HILDA JEAN BARKER ’60 of New Hill died Feb. 18. She taught ninth-grade math and business courses and retired as director of the Franklin County Library. ELIZABETH AYCOCK BLACKMAN ’66 of Fremont died April 18. She taught more than 20 years at Fremont High School and then at Charles B. Aycock High School. JOHN THURSTON GRAY ’69 of Winston-Salem died Feb. 24. He owned and operated PM Ventures in Randleman. DAVID LEONARD GROCE ’66 ’68 of Jonesville died Dec. 16, 2011. He taught at Greene Central High School in Snow Hill for two years and at Starmount High School, Yadkin County, for 32 years. He and his wife, Carole Bass Groce ’66, were married for 44 years. LEWIS SHELTON GORE ’63 of Greenville died April 10. He taught geography and world history at Halifax County High School and Halifax County Junior High. GERALD DOUGLAS HARRIS ’61 of Hockessin, Del., died Feb. 20. He spent more than 30 years as a Delaware teacher, most of which was at Seaford Senior High School. GEORGE LIVINGSTON HAZELTON ’63 of Murfreesboro died March 13. For nearly 44 years he was a professor of physics at Chowan College, now Chowan University. PATRICIA HARVEY HOUCHENS ’61 of Wildwood, Fla., died April 26. She was a retired high school English teacher followed by 27 years as a social worker for Head Start in Madison County, Ky. Dr. DARRELL W. HURST ’62 ’67 of Waynesboro died March 1. He was professor of English and humanities at Blue Ridge Community College, where he was a founding faculty member in 1967. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces and Virginia Army National Guard from 1967 to 1998. FREDERICK EUGENE LEADBETTER SR. ’60 of Chestertown, Md., died Feb. 20. He taught at Centreville Elementary School, Md., for seven years and principal for 15 years and at Church Hill for 13 years. JUDITH LEAKE MARTIN ’67 of Stoneville died April 9. She taught at Stoneville High School, McMichael High School and Rockingham Community College. DEMPSEY BROWN MIZELLE ’60 of Easton, Md., died Jan. 31. He was a clerk for the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, then was a member of the U.S. Foreign Service in Europe and Canada. THOMAS N. NANCE ’60 of Richmond, Va., died Feb. 3. He was appointed to the Manchester Division of Richmond General District Court in 1977 and retired in 2002 from the Richmond Circuit Court. LILLIE TRUMAN JOHNSON PETERSON ’63 of Cary died Feb. 2. She taught elementary school in Wilmington for 23 years. JERRY WARD POWELL ’61 of Greenville died March 23. An Army veteran, he spent 36 years in banking in Greenville, first with NCNB and his last 10 years at Southern Bank. He was a past president of the East Carolina Alumni Association. He swam on ECU’s first competitive swimming team. EDWIN MARSHALL “EDDIE” RICKS JR. ’60 of Pantego died April 20. He taught in Conway, S.C., at Bath High School in Beaufort County, Ocracoke High School in Hyde County and Pungo Christian Academy in Belhaven. At ECU, he was a charter member of Epsilon Mu Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. BOBBY RAY SETZER ’60 of Mooresville died Feb. 23. He was a pharmacist with BiLo Pharmacy. CHARLES RUSSELL SMITH ’61 of Greenville died March 24. In 1988 he retired from Union Carbide after more than 27 years. JEAN MCLAWHON SMITH ’64 of Vanceboro died March 7. She taught for 32 years in the Craven County School System. JEAN JOYNER STEPHENS ’68 ’70 of Athens, Ohio, died Feb 28. She owned the Athens Book Center after spending many years as executive director of the Ohio Literacy Center in Kent, Ohio, and the Tennessee Center for Literacy Studies in Knoxville, Tenn. GERALD F. “JERRY” WILLIAMSON ’68 of Laredo, Texas, died April 4. He and his brother owned a ranch in south Texas.

CAROLYN HUNIKE BARDILL ’74 of Chapel Hill died Dec. 3, 2011. She was an RN and taught Lamaze classes for more than 30 years. KEVIN SCOTT BRANDT ’78 of Morehead City died April 7. He retired as creative director at Lewis Advertising in Rocky Mount. RAYMOND STEWART COUCH ’73 of Buxton died Feb. 21. Owner of Hatteras Realty, Outer Banks, he grew the company from 12 homes in 1987 to 568 homes worth $300 million. SARAH D. DOWD ’73 of Mountain Home, Ark., died April 7. She was in ECU’s first graduating class of occupational therapists and had a long career specializing in hand rehabilitation. She retired from Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, Fla. WILLIAM ROBERT “WILL” ENECKS ’75 of Greenville died April 22. A Reserve Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, he was a retired field investigator with the N.C. State Board of Heating, Plumbing and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. RAYMOND “RAY” B. HODGES ’77 of Louisburg died April 20. He was an independent insurance agent at Hodges Insurance Agency in Louisburg and Hartsfield and Nash Agency in Wake Forest. CHARLES “CHARLIE” EDWARD LEONARD ’78 of Greensboro died April 20. He was a teacher in North Carolina and Virginia for more than 20 years. PERRY WAYNE LINEBERRY ’70 ’72 of Greenville died Feb. 21. He had a career in insurance and financial investments. A member of the Pirate Club for 30 years, he was on the wrestling team and was a three-year starter on the football team and was inducted into the ECU Football Hall of Fame. After graduation, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills and played in their organization for two years. JOHN “CHRIS” CHRISTOPHER MCADAMS ’73 of Clayton died March 4. He worked for the N.C. Department of Transportation for 29 years. Rev. Deacon DAVID PALMER NARD ’70 of Asheville died April 26. He was staff chaplain for Mission Hospitals for 26 years. He served at Grace Episcopal Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church and most recently at The Cathedral of All Souls, Asheville. He was an archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. JOAN RUSSELL PILCHER ’75 of Richmond, Va., died March 24. For 40 years she worked for the Goldsboro City Schools, first as a bookkeeper and then as a reading teacher. At ECU she was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Upsilon Omicron and Phi Kappa Phi academic honor societies. IVEY GRAY ROGERS ’70 of Danville, Va., died April 2. He owned Frix Framing and Art. Previously, he was personnel director at the Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee. At ECU he was president at Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. JOSEPH “JOE” F. SEARCY ’78 ’81 of Halifax died May 7. He retired in 1998 as principal of Chaloner Middle School. JAMES EDWARD SHAW JR. ’70 of Pinehurst died Feb. 6. After serving in the U.S. Army, he had a career in textile manufacturing management. SUSAN VOLIVA SPIVEY ’74 of Columbia died March 9. She taught in the Tyrrell County Public School System. After retirement, she worked as the economic development coordinator with the Town of Columbia and was executive director of the Greater Tyrrell County Chamber of Commerce. JAMES R. “BUDDY” VAUGHN JR. ’70 of Eustis, Fla., died Feb. 26. He coached and taught at Eustis High School for 40 years. GEORGE ROBERT ZITTEL ’75 of New York City died March 5. He was a teacher of acting at his studio/theatre, The Independent, in Greenwich Village, and also a writer of plays, novels and screenplays.

STEPHEN DWIGHT CRAWFORD ’86 of Winterville died Feb. 4. He was a buyer for Robert Bosch Corp. THOMAS ARTHUR JONES ’88 of Marston died March 12. A Vietnam veteran, he received a Purple Heart and a Silver Star for valor and retired from the U.S. Army as a chief warrant officer after 21 years of service. Later, he earned a master’s degree from ECU in clinical counseling and retired from CareSouth in South Carolina. BETH SUSAN PIERCE ’82 of Raleigh died March 19. She was a broker with Merrill Lynch. GARY WAYNE RIVENBARK ’86 ’93 of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., died March 20. He taught chorus from 1986 to 2012 in North Carolina, Georgia and Ft. Lauderdale. TAMMY YVONNE SLATER ’89 of Winston-Salem died April 19. She was director of Stokes Stop Child Abuse Now for 12 years and an outcome specialist at Goodwill Industries. LINDA MUNDELL WOMACK ’83 ’86 of Snow Hill died Feb. 17. She served in the Pitt County Schools for 24 years. Her husband, Rev. PAUL LEON WOMACK ’83, died Feb. 29. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he was pastor of Glen Raven Baptist Church in Kinston for 19 years.

VICTORIA ANNE BOWLER ’92 of Charlotte died April 4. She was a paralegal at Stiles, Byrum & Horne Law Firm. SANDRA LEE BROWN ’92 of Cove City died March 2. She was an elementary teacher in the Craven County School System. STEPHANIE “STEVIE” LOUISE DAWSON ’92 of Durham and Baton Rouge, La., died March 15. She was a professor, technical director and production manager in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Tulane University. JOYCE GRIMSLEY ’91 of Supply died Feb. 17. She was a clinical social worker. TARA SPILLANE WEIKEL ’90 of Statesville died April 7.

KELLI BAILEY ’01 of Conway, S.C., died Feb. 7. DANA MICHAEL BLAKE ’04 of Shelby died Feb. 9. He worked with his dad as superintendent of Blake Construction. JENNIFER BLALOCK BROWN ’00 of Charlotte died March 1. She was a senior analyst at Duke Energy. MICHAEL CARDEN ’00 of New York City died April 9. He was project director at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and had a joint position at The Center for the Study of Hepatitis C at Weill Cornell Medical College. DAVID NICHOLLS JENNINGS ’01 of Camden died Feb. 7. He was an analyst for Wells Fargo. MICHELLE LEIGH O’NEAL MYERS ’04 of Bath died Feb. 29. She was a registered nurse at Vidant Medical Center and Vidant Pungo Hospital. AMY LYNN BURRESS RENFROW ’01 of Middlesex died Dec. 12. She was a math and science teacher in the Wilson and Johnston County school systems and an assistant principal at Glendale-Kenly School. She was principal of Corinth-Holders Elementary School.


CAMERON ADRIAN GRIFFIN of Kernersville, a junior applied physics major, died Feb. 5. SPENCER HAMPTON ’11 of Greenville, a former standout at D.H. Conley High School who earned a roster spot on the ECU football team as a walk on, died June 25 from melanoma at age 25. He married Lindsay Sutton Styons on April 21 at Bethel United Methodist Church, Bethel. He was employed as a realtor with Aldridge and Southerland. A defensive back on the football team, it was his interception of a pass as time expired that sealed ECU’s win over the University of Texas El Paso in 2008.

Dr. CHARLES FRANKLIN GILBERT of Greenville died March 17. He was an associate clinical professor of pathology at the Brody School of Medicine from 1975 to 1986 and co-director, Department of Laboratory Medicine, at Pitt County Memorial Hospital from 1966 to 1980.

MARK EDWARD LENZI, ECU diving coach from 2009-2011, died April 9. As an accomplished diver, he participated in the Summer Olympic Games of 1992 and 1996, where he was awarded the gold and bronze medals respectively and became the first driver to score 100 points on a single dive. He was the last American male to medal in the 3-meter springboard.

BETTY EILEEN PETTEWAY died March 17. She came to ECU in 1962 retiring after more than 30 years as professor emeritus of art. She was also an accomplished photographer, writer and poet.

Dr. LEO E. WAIVERS of Greenville died March 15. He practiced at the Brody School of Medicine from 1987 until 1990 when he formed his private practice, Greenville Internal Medicine, where he practiced until 2008. He most recently practiced at the ECU Student Health Center. He performed in productions at the ECU School of Theatre and Dance and was the “go to” physician in cases of urgent medical need for the performers.

Dr. DONALD ALTON BALL of Portland, Ore., died March 8. He taught marketing and international business at ECU from 1970 to 1971.

Rev. PRESTON D. PARSONS of Randleman died March 31 at 91. U.S. Navy chaplain, WW II and Korean War veteran, ordained minister, counselor and professor, he taught psychology at ECU from 1960 to 1962.

JOE BRINKER PAULK of Lexington, Ky., died April 14 at 94. He taught food service management in the home economics department at ECC from 1967-1970.

JUDY EVANS BEACHAM of Ayden died April 24. She retired from ECU-Psychiatric Medicine in 1998.

Bill CarsonBILL CARSON, who guided the East Carolina track and field program for 40 years, died July 3 at his home in Winterville at the age of 75. Under Carson’s direction, ECU athletes advanced to the NCAA national championships in 18 of his last 19 seasons. He was named the NCAA District III Coach-of-the-Year in 1988 and Southeast Region Coach-of-the-Year in 2002. He was president of the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America in 1999, and head coach of the South team at the 1993 United States Olympic Festival. An Ohio native and University of West Virginia graduate, Carson helped produce several Olympic-level athletes, including Lee McNeill, a five-time All-America selection at ECU before competing at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. He also mentored current 400-meter Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt. Carson began his coaching career in 1965 as head track and field coach at Furman University. A year later he moved to the University of Florida, where he completed work on his master’s degree in physical education and served as assistant coach from 1965-66. After a short stint as a high school track coach, Carson was hired at East Carolina in September 1967.

DEBORAH CASE JOHNSTON of Farmville died March 1. For 20 years she worked with the ECU Brody School of Medicine.

’89 of Greenville died March 7. He formerly worked in the ECU Police Department.

DARTH D. AKINS of Winterville died March 4. He was married to Dr. Virginia Dare Hardy ’93, ECU vice chancellor for student affairs.

Dr. LEROY T. WALKER of Durham died April 23 at 93. The first African-American to lead the U.S. Olympic Committee and the first black man to coach an American Olympic team, his name is on ECU’s LeRoy T. Walker International Human Performance Center, which he helped bring to ECU as a private, nonprofit corporation in 1997. The center was established to use technology to gauge international Olympic athletes’ performances, potentially leveling the playing field for small, poor countries whose athletes do not have access to those costly resources. He served on the College of Health and Human Performance advisory board.

Return to top of page