1946. At UNC, he was a member of the Philanthropic
Society and Sigma Chi. Dr. Alvin Abraham Shure
(’ 40), 93, of Peachtree City, Ga.; July 19, 2008.
Shure opened his first dental practice in Savannah,
Ga., and moved to Atlanta in 1967. He was known as
the Golfing Santa Claus and opened his home and
office as a yearly Toys for Tots location. He wrote
humor columns for local newspapers, and his pieces
were published in Esquire, The New Yorker and The
Saturday Evening Post. He served in the Army
Medical Corps in WWII. Stanley Albert Simpson
(’ 49 AB, ’ 51 MA), 83, of Orlanda, Fla.; Aug. 3, 2008.
Simpson retired as vocational education administrator with the Florida Department of Education, where
he worked for 20 years. While with the Martin
Marietta and General Electric companies, he worked
on the Apollo and Manned Orbiting Laboratory missions. He developed a vocational education curriculum for the Egyptian education system in 1985. He
served in the Army Air Corps in WWII in India and on
Tinian. At UNC, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and
was a member of Phi Delta Kappa. Murtagh
Anthony “Max” Spellman Jr. (’ 47 AB, ’ 53 MEd), 86,
of Savannah, Ga.; June 25, 2008. Spellman was a
high school athletics coach and former professional
football player. He was quarterback of the Tar Heel
football team and set records in punting. He played
professional football with the Philadelphia Eagles. In
Savannah, he coached at Commercial High School,
and his teams won city and regional football and
basketball titles. He was athletics director for the
Chatham County, Ga., public schools when he retired
in 1977. He was inducted into the Greater Savannah
Athletic Hall of Fame. He served in the Navy in WWII.
Clarke Jackson Stallworth Jr. (’ 48 ABJO), 82, of
Birmingham, Ala.; June 27, 2008. Stallworth was a
newspaper reporter for The Birmingham Post. He
served in the Navy in WWII and the Korean War. At
UNC, he worked on the staff of The Daily Tar Heel
and was in NROTC and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
James Leroy Tapley (’ 47 AB, ’ 50 JD), 84, of
Bethesda, Md.; June 19, 2008. Tapley was a retired
lawyer and railroad executive. He joined the law
department of Southern Railway in 1953 and rose to
be vice president, law. After Southern Railway
merged with Norfolk & Western Railway in 1982, he
became vice president and Washington counsel for
the combined company, Norfolk Southern. He retired
in 1987. He was a member of the William Horn
Battle Society of UNC and the University Club. He
was a duplicate bridge player and attained the rank
of life master. He served in the Army Air Forces in
WWII as a flying meteorologist. At UNC, he graduated
Phi Beta Kappa and was on Law Review. Charlie
Velasco Tarango Jr. (’ 47), 84, of El Paso, Texas;
Sept. 29, 2007. Edna O’Hair Toland (’ 43, ’ 42 AB),
86, of San Antonio; July 22, 2008. Toland was a
chemist before becoming an Air Force wife. She
lived in England in the early 1950s and Saigon in
the early 1960s. Her knowledge of plants and growing conditions in the San Antonio area was extensive. She was a member of the Master Gardener
Association of San Antonio and received the
statewide Master Gardener of the Year Award in 1998.
At UNC, she belonged to Order of the Grail.
Cameron P. West (’ 42 AB, ’ 51 MAEd, ’ 56 EdD), 87,
of Raleigh; May 11, 2008. West retired as president
of Pfeiffer College (now University) in 1988. He had
served previous stints at the school as professor of
education and academic dean. In 1966, he was
appointed associate director of the N.C. Board of
Higher Education and was principal author of the
NANCY CORRELL ROBERTS-BROWN ’ 47 1924–2008
A Supernatural Talent for Telling Ghost Stories
Nancy Roberts-Brown ’ 47 usually Roberts-Brown, who graduated with a
wrote about other people’s encounters degree in comparative literature, died July 1 at
with ghosts. age 84. She was the epitome of the Southern
But there was one time when the woman lady: charming, intelligent and a little mis-who wrote Ghosts of the Carolinas and Ghosts
from the Coast and her husband, the Rev.
Jimmy D. Brown ’ 72 (MEd), experienced the
supernatural together. It was the early 1980s,
and the couple was visiting the Kehoe House,
a four-star bed-and-breakfast in Savannah, Ga.
They had left the windows open in their
room and gone out to eat one evening. When
they returned, they encountered something
“I wasn’t afraid. It was just a strange sensa-
tion. I stepped right into it and then out of it,” Nancy Roberts-Brown ’ 47 didn’t write about “the blood-
he recalled. stains ... that won’t disappear or the rattling chains.” Her
stories concerned ordinary people with supernatural
The next morning, his wife said she had encounters.
awakened in the night and seen a woman
combing her light brown hair. When he asked
where the woman had been in the room, she
pointed to the corner where he had experienced the cold vibration.
“I smelled rosewater in the room,” Jimmy
Brown said recently from his Charlotte home.
“I looked everywhere for the source of the
smell, checked the closets and chifforobe.
Couldn’t find anything.”
They gave up the search and went to bed.
Then he got up in the middle of the night to
go to the bathroom and was startled when he
passed through a field of what he called cold
electricity or vibration.
The couple then learned that the house had
once served as a funeral parlor.
chievous. And she was a ghost hunter. She
chased ghosts for more than 50 years. Her
books — she wrote 25 and they sold more
than 1 million copies — describe accounts of
apparitions and hauntings in the Carolinas and
along the Southern Coast. Haunted Houses:
Tales From 30 American Homes
tapped into tales from N.C. homes, including
the Mordecai House and Andrew Johnson
home in Raleigh, White Oaks in Charlotte
and the Reed House in Asheville.
She grew up in Maxton, and her career as a
writer of ghost stories materialized in the late
1950s after she wrote a series of tales for The
Charlotte Observer. Carl Sandburg sent word to
her that her stories were good and that they
should be collected into a book. In 1959, her
first book, An Illustrated Guide to Ghosts and
Mysterious Occurrences in the Old North State,
Roberts-Brown was a stickler for decorum
in her ghost stories. She once told a reporter,
“I don’t do the bloodstains on the floor that
won’t disappear or the rattling chains.” Instead,
she focused on ordinary people who go
through an unexplained supernatural experience.
“Ghost stories are good because they
stretch our minds to the fact that there is a
world beyond what we can see, touch and
measure,” she said.
Her books won her a certificate of commendation from the American Association
for State and Local History and a nomination
for a Western Writers of America Spur
Award. She was a member of the National
Storytelling Association and used her gift for
weaving a good tale to entertain college, civic
and children’s groups throughout the country.