ECU remembers . . .
FRANCES DEAN CURRIN CURRIE ’37 of Broadway, N.C., died Dec. 21 at 93. For 36 years she taught in the Angier and Broadway public schools. BEATRICE HAMMOND “BEA” MASSINGALE ’35 ’37 (senior picture, right) of Evans, Ga., died Jan. 4 at 93. She retired from Forest Hills Elementary School in Decatur, Ga., where she was a fifth-grade teacher and later school librarian. HATTIE MALLARD ODOM ’36 (senior picture, left) of Fayetteville died Feb. 19 at 95. She retired as a teacher in the Cumberland County School System. She taught a variety of subjects and grade levels but will be remembered most as an earth science teacher at Alexander Graham Jr. High School.
ELIZABETH HAISLIP DENNING ’42 of Benson died Jan. 31. She taught third and fourth grades in Johnston and Sampson counties. MATTIE LEE “PAT” JACKSON BARNES STRAUSS ’40 ’44 of Southern Pines died Feb. 6. She was a teacher and counselor for more than 40 years, mostly in Robeson County. During that time, she earned a master’s in five subjects. MAXIE BROADWELL SMART ’40 ’52 of St. Petersburg, Fla., died Aug. 27. For 34 years, she taught first grade in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. IDA DAVIS WELLS ’40 ’47 of Durham died Jan. 27. She taught in Roxboro, Burgaw, Chapel Hill, and Durham schools.
CONETOE PAIGE BAKER ’58 ’59 of Athens, Tex., died Feb. 10. For 32 years she taught at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, where she was an active participant in Phi Theta Kappa and Delta Kappa Gamma. In 1997, she retired to Levelland, where she continued her involvement with family, church, and civic groups. ALLEN HOLLAND BATEMAN ’53 of Washington, N.C., died Dec. 10. As a U.S. Marine in WW II, he fought at Iwo Jima and was awarded two Purple Hearts. After graduating from ECTC, he returned to work the family farm in Beaufort County. Dr. KENNETH WALLACE BLAKESLEE ’51 ’61 of Jacksonville, Fla., died Dec. 27. He was a retired Duval County Public School teacher and administrator. HILTON E. BOYD ’50 of Greenville died Jan. 31. A WW II veteran, he retired in 1981 after 30 years with the IRS in Wilmington and Greenville. ROBERT ODELL BRADLEY JR. ’52 of Salisbury died Dec. 26. He was a U.S. Navy veteran from WW II. KENNETH LARRY “COACH” BURGESS ’58 of Portsmouth, Va., died Feb. 3. An all-state high school baseball player, he played football and baseball at ECC, serving as captain of the football team and a starting guard for three years. He earned all-conference honors and was chosen as the outstanding senior his last year. The Pittsburgh Pirates offered him a pro baseball contract, but he wanted to be a high school coach. He taught in Portsmouth and Chesapeake, Va., public schools for 48 years. CAMILLA SELBY BURRUS ’51 of Suffolk, Va., died Dec. 19. After 36 years, she retired from teaching in the Suffolk City Schools, including Forest Glen High School. WALTER ELLIOTT FAULKNER ’58 of Callaway, Fla., died Feb. 4. A Vietnam War veteran, he served 24 years in the Air Force. He continued to serve as a Disabled Veteran Outreach Program counselor with Panama City Workforce Center. CLYDE H. GENTRY JR. ’54 of Wrightsville Beach died Dec. 27. He was retired from the Social Security Administration. MARY HELEN KILBY HIGH ’53 of Bath died Feb. 1. JOSEPH CARROLL LINA ’57 of Fairfax, Va., died Jan. 10. He retired after 30 years with the Fairfax County School System as a teacher and assistant principal. JOE NEVETT MCWHIRTER ’57 of Shelby died Feb. 12. A teacher and principal for 30 years in North Carolina, he enjoyed teaching “basic” math and science but loved teaching geography. Col. FURNEY POWELL ’56 of Marietta, Ga., died Dec. 7. A Vietnam War veteran, he retired from the U.S. Air Force after 30 years. He taught quality assurance at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga. EVELYN PENNEY RHODES ’58 of Greenville died Jan. 17. She taught for a few years after graduation. WILLIAM KENNETH SYKES ’59 of Pink Hill died Dec. 6. He was a retired teacher with the Duplin County School System. RUSSELL BOLLING TATUM ’51 of Hopewell, Va., died Dec. 18. He served in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force and was a retired production control coordinator with Continental Can Company.
BRUCE D. BROWN ’69 of Lafayette Hill, Pa., died Jan. 17. In 1999, he retired after teaching 30 years in Round Meadow Elementary School in Upper Moreland School District, Pa. CHARLES B. “CHUCK” GORDON ’62 of Clayton died Jan. 8. He played varsity football for ECU for four years and was captain for two years. He was all conference and NAIA and nominated Who’s Who in 1960. He was a land developer, builder, utility contractor, and owner of Charles B. Gordon Construction Company, currently known as EBG, Inc. & CBE Development. GILES DION HOPKINS ’63 of Whispering Pines died Dec. 9. He started GDH Consulting after many years working in county and city planning. He also served on the village council and as mayor of Whispering Pines. FRED LOUIS JOHNS ’62 of Stamford, Vt., died Dec. 7. He was a professor of biology from the early 1970s until 2000 at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, formerly North Adams State College. He had a special interest in ecology, microbiology, and scientific and technical photography, which he taught in addition to biology. PEGGY HARRELL MOORE ’62 of Wilmington died Oct. 11. She taught at Bradley Creek Elementary School and Tileston Junior High School in Wilmington. MARIE LOUISE MOORE MORROW ’65 of Springmoor Retirement Center in Raleigh died Jan. 3 at 93. She taught in Beaufort County schools before becoming a librarian at schools in Chocowinity and at Washington High School. CHARLES SALISBURY SHARP JR. ’69 of Wilmington died Feb. 11. An Army veteran, he worked in the addiction treatment field, including more than 16 years as executive director of CRC Health Corp.’s Wilmington Treatment Center. WALLACE EDWARD THOMPSON ’68 of Easton, Md., died Dec. 13. He sold real estate in North Carolina and Ocean City, Md., where he earned Realtor of the Year Awards and Top Selling Agent in the Ocean City area. CHARLES ROBERT ZUCAL ’64 of Millville, N.J., died Dec. 16. He taught accounting and business law at Vineland High South for 43 years where he also served as chair of the business department and head of the finance department. Mrs. Nancy Foley Humphrey ’68, an Alpha Xi Delta sister, died Nov. 10 in Anne Arundel County, Md., where she had a long career in early childhood development and as a media specialist in the public schools there. She also was an author and artist.
BRENDA JEAN BAGGETT ’72 of Greenville died Nov. 30. As Mrs. Ross, she taught at Ayden- Grifton High School for 18 years and was employed at Pitt County Memorial Hospital for 10 years as a HIMS supervisor. SUSAN HUNT BAILEY ’73 of Morehead City died Feb. 16. She worked for the NC Division of Health Services and retired in 1994 as a public health program consultant with the Division of Public Health responsible for the 33 eastern North Carolina counties. LEONARD JONATHAN BREARY ’71 of Beaufort died Jan. 17 at 93. In 1968 he retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a decorated chief warrant officer 3. He taught one year at Swansboro High School and retired in 1978 from the Employment Security Commission. KEVIN CAMERON ’79 of Sanford died Dec. 5. He worked with Home Shield, Inc., of Raleigh. DORIS M. CHEUNG GARNER ’75 of Riverside, Calif., died Dec. 4. She taught special needs children. BARRY DALE GRAY ’73 of Lexington died Feb. 5. He worked at Lowes Home Improvement. His hobby was raising Black Angus cattle. Dr. LARRY O. LAMM ’78 ’83 of Mishawaka, Ind., died Dec. 11. He was a research professor in the physics department and technical director of the Nuclear Science Lab at Notre Dame. CAROL MCCOMBS NOBLE ’78 ’82 of Winterville died Dec. 26. She operated Southridge Learning Center, providing diagnostic services and tutoring for students in eastern North Carolina. JAMES PAPPAS ’76 of Joplin, Mo., died Dec. 13. He retired in 1975 from a career in the U.S. Marines going on to earn a master’s and two doctorates and working for Vocational Industrial Clubs of America based at Pittsburg State University in Kansas from which he retired in 1999. JULIEN DAVID RATTELADE SR. ’75 of Raleigh died Feb. 6. He worked in community association management as a founder of Talis Management Group. FRANCES B. “BLOSSOM” STEVENS ’77 of Port Charlotte, Fla., died Nov. 19. In 2006 she retired from opening and operating homes for persons with developmental disabilities and visual impairment in California.
EDWARD F. COLSTON ’84 of King George County, Va., died Dec. 6. He was a retired physicist at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN CRAWFORD ’80 of Valdosta, Ga., died Nov. 30. He was a teacher and principal in North Carolina and Georgia school systems. WILLIAM “RILEY” GRAY of New Bern died Feb. 16. He was a CPA and vice president of fiscal services at Carteret General Hospital. DEBBIE HARTSELL ’88 of Raleigh died Nov. 30. She worked in the business department at the ECU Brody School of Medicine. ALBERT JAMES ’87 ’95 of Jacksonville died Jan. 16. He was the principal of Northside High School in Jacksonville. A U.S. Army veteran, he served in Vietnam. KIM GLOVER MCDANIEL ’85 ’95 of Greenville died Jan. 3. During her 28-year career at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, she held various staff and leadership positions and most recently was a surgical patient facilitator. MARY FRANCES JOHNSON MILLER SIGMON ’84 of Statesville, formerly of Charlotte, died Jan. 21. She taught business education at the high school and collegiate levels and retired from the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Public School system. BYRON STRATAS ’86 of St. Petersburg, Fla., died Feb. 8. He was the cataract surgeon at St. Luke’s Cataract & Laser Institute in St. Petersburg. He was the founding medical director of the LASIK and Refractive Center at Eye Associates in Wilmington and the first physician certified to perform laser vision correction in eastern North Carolina, according to Eye Associates. Kathy Arnold Taft ’81 of Greenville died March 9 while in Raleigh to attend a meeting of the State Board of Education, on which she had served for 15 years. Born in Milwaukee, she was raised in Kinston and was a graduate of Grainger High School. She was a former vice chair of the Pitt County Board of Education, a founding member of Pitt County Communities in Schools, a board member of the Governor’s Schools, a guardian ad litem volunteer, a member of the ECU Women’s Roundtable and a member of the ECU Educator’s Hall of Fame. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kathy A. Taft Scholarship for a female undergraduate in education policy at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Kathy A. Taft Scholarship for a female undergraduate in education leadership in the ECU College of Education. STUART K. WARD ’89 of Morehead City died Feb. 9. He was a business account executive for Verizon Wireless in Morehead City. MARY BETH WHITFIELD ’88 of Greenville died Dec. 8. She was a medical technologist in the pathology department at Pitt County Memorial Hospital for 23 years. in
NANCY WILSON ANDERSON ’92 of Falls Church, Va., died Dec. 30. She was an Environmental Protection Agency manager whose work included revising federal rules on mercury, which resulted in an EPA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service. MARY ELIZABETH BROOME ’90 of Colorado died Dec. 7.
KATHERINE BRAY-STRICKLAND ’09 of Farmville died Feb. 10. She was a family medicine resident at ECU Brody School of Medicine. KEITH JOSEPH ZAMBITO ’00 of Washington died Jan. 29. He worked in insurance, investments, and landscaping.
Dr. ROBERT LUKE HAUSE III of Greenville (above, directing the ECU orchestra in 1974) died Feb. 4. He joined ECU in 1967 and was a professor of music and conductor of the ECU symphony when he retired in 2005. He founded and directed the North Carolina Suzuki Institute. With Charles Kuralt and Loonis McGlohon, he conducted North Carolina Is My Home for UNC Public Television. In addition to his career as a musician, composer, conductor, and music educator, he was an avid sailor and was active in the North Carolina Power Squadron, Pamlico-Tar River Chapter.
SYLVIA MARTHA IWANOWSKI ENGLISH of Greenville died Feb. 3. She was a certified diabetic educator and served as an adjunct faculty member of the School of Nursing. She was also a clinical nurse specialist at Pitt Community Memorial Hospital. Since 2007 she chaired the Pitt Partners for Health dedicated to improving the health of Pitt County residents.
EDITH HILL “EDIE” WEBBER of Greenville died Dec. 26. A professor emeritus of English, she taught from 1965 to 1985, specializing in teaching the hard of hearing and serving as faculty sponsor for the ECU gay community. She was best known in the community for her 15 years of work with the Little Willie Center, where they named a library and a garden in her honor.
DAVID “ROD” COMPTON of Greenville died Feb. 12. Since 1970 he was an assistant professor and program director of safety and first aid education in the Department of Health Education and Promotion. He was also the former director of sports medicine for the athletics department and received many honors for his research and publications in sports medicine.
Dr. ELAINE MAYO PAUL of Greenville died Jan. 15 at 94. She earned an undergraduate degree from ECU and later taught history at ECU from 1964 to 1967. In 1989 she retired from teaching and returned to Greenville, where she was an active community volunteer. One of her favorite causes was teaching prison inmates.
Dr. JOSEPH LAWRENCE GLUCK of Central Jersey, N.J., died Nov. 23. A professor emeritus, he taught medicine at ECU Brody School of Medicine for 10 years before retiring completely to help care for his wife, Sally, who died in 2004. He practiced internal medicine and cardiology for more than 35 years in Red Bank, N.J. A gifted student, he graduated from high school early and entered Cornell University at 16. Due to WW II, he entered medical school before completing his premed degree. The war was over by the time he completed medical school, but he remained in the army, with the rank of captain, and during the Korean War, he served at the Veteran’s Hospital in Valley Forge, Pa.
NANCY JANE MILLER HOUSTON of Chocowinity died Dec. 31. She was the lead coordinator in the Office of Clinical Experiences for the College of Education. In Ohio, she was a highly regarded educator for 30 years as a teacher, reading specialist, curriculum coordinator, and a regional director of teacher development for the state of Ohio.
GWENDOLYN SIMPKINS ’01 ’06 of Elizabeth City died Dec. 28. She was a distance education instructor for ECU.
GLADYS M. SAIEED of Greenville died Dec. 31. In 1990, she retired as an assistant librarian at Joyner Library.
Staff and friends
FRANCEINE PERRY REES ’69 (above left), a former Class Notes editor of East and long-time writer for the ECU News Bureau, died Apr. 2 in Greenville. She joined the News Bureau after graduation and in the late 1980s became editor of the campus newsletter, Pieces of Eight, from which she retired in 2000. For many years she portrayed the Lady of the Manor at the ECU Christmas Madrigal dinners. She was married to ECU communication professor Jim Rees, who died in 2008. She was active in the Greenville community through voter registration efforts and helping local Democratic party candidates and neighborhood association activities. She was a member of the Greenville Historic Preservation Commission and on the board of the Friends of Joyner Library, of which she was past president. She was active in the DAR and the Jamestown Society, among others, and had an ongoing interest in genealogy. A member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, she volunteered in the office and the food pantry.
Dr. CYNTHIA SUMMERLIN JONES of Greenville died Feb. 1. She was assistant director of administrative services at Joyner Library. After 36 years, she had retired from Sprint Telephone Co. and went on to earn a doctorate from NC State.
J. CARLTON TAYLOR of Greenville died Jan. 16. He owned Coastal Leasing Corp. and later Taylor Properties. In 2008 he became CEO of Brook Valley Country Club. An ardent supporter of the Pirate Club, he was active in many community organizations.
ROBERT WALLACE HOWARD of Greenville died Nov. 23 at 94. He was a former member of the board of directors of the ECU Foundation.
ROBERT “BOBO” GLEN RECTOR, formerly of Sanford, died Dec. 31 in Winston-Salem. He was a member of the advisory board that established ECU’s construction management program, serving as its president for a couple years. He worked for American South Contractors of Sanford and was a member of their board until his death.
EDNA LEWIS of Blowing Rock died Feb. 17. A native of Pitt County, she worked for the ECU Bookstore and the Pitt County Tax Collector’s Office.
Dr. LARRY O. LAMM ’78 ’83 of Mishawaka, Ind., died Dec. 11. He was a research professor in the physics department and technical director of the Nuclear Science Lab at Notre Dame.
CAROL MCCOMBS NOBLE ’78 ’82 of Winterville died Dec. 26. She operated Southridge Learning Center, providing diagnostic services and tutoring for students in eastern North Carolina.
JAMES PAPPAS ’76 of Joplin, Mo., died Dec. 13. He retired in 1975 from a career in the U.S. Marines going on to earn a master’s and two doctorates and working for Vocational Industrial Clubs of America based at Pittsburg State University in Kansas from which he retired in 1999.
JULIEN DAVID RATTELADE SR. ’75 of Raleigh died Feb. 6. He worked in community association management as a founder of Talis Management Group.
FRANCES B. “BLOSSOM” STEVENS ’77 of Port Charlotte, Fla., died Nov. 19. In 2006 she retired from opening and operating homes for persons with developmental disabilities and visual impairment in California.