roles included president of the Sanford Jaycees.
◆ Joseph Banks Morton (’ 52, ’ 55 BSBA), 86, of
Camden, S.C.; March 6, 2017. After a career in the
oil business, Morton retired as a senior marketing
representative for Phillips 66. He served in the Air
Force during the Korean War. ◆ William Archer
Smith (’ 52 BSCH), 86, of Pagosa Springs, Colo.;
April 18, 2016. Smith worked for Shell Chemical Co.
in Houston for 32 years, retiring as senior account
representative. He made cross-country motorcycle
rides, flew a small plane and rode his horse in
the Texas Salt Grass Trail Ride. At UNC, he was
elected to Phi Beta Kappa. ◆ Hale Baxter Van Hoy
(’ 52 ABJO), 87, of Clemmons; May 6, 2016. Van
Hoy began his career as an auditor and system
analyst with Western Electric. He then served for
25 years as executive director of the Carolinas Golf
Association. In 1992, he was inducted into the
Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame. ◆ John Henry Welborn
(’ 52 BSPHR), 89, of Lexington; March 27, 2017.
Welborn retired from Lexington Drug Co., which he
owned and operated. He served in the Merchant
Marine in WWII and in the Navy during the Korean
War. ◆ Margaret “Peggy” Jane White (’ 52 MEd),
93, of Winston-Salem; March 15, 2017. White
taught elementary school in Raleigh and Winston-Salem. ◆ Paul Barber White (’ 52), 92, of Cary;
March 4, 2017. White, a CPA, was a life insurance
executive who later formed his own accounting firm.
He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII and in
the Navy in the Korean War.
SAVE THE DATE
May 10–13, 2018
1953 obituaries L.A. “Buddy”
Baarcke Jr. (’ 53, ’ 54 BA), 85, of Dahlonega, Ga.;
March 10, 2017. After setting a world record in
the butterfly stroke in 1954, Baarcke became a
swimming coach, at UNC and the University of
Florida. He taught many Olympic medalists. He
was inducted into the American Swim Coaches
Association’s Hall of Fame in 2016. He served in
the Army. At UNC, he belonged to the swim team
and Phi Delta Theta. ◆ Mary Ballew Countess (’ 53
BA), 85, of Thomasville; Jan. 26, 2017. Countess
taught elementary school. A published poet, she
also wrote the children’s book Cow Path Days,
based on the rural lives of her mother’s family. At
UNC, she was on the Yackety Yack staff and was
elected to Phi Beta Kappa. ◆ Carl Norris Hanna
(’ 53), 86, of Gastonia; May 4, 2016. Hanna was an
audiologist. After retiring, he taught young people in
Gaston County schools and the YMCA to play chess.
At UNC, he was on the tennis team. ◆ Clyde Walter
Lentz Jr. (’ 53), 88, of Suffolk, Va.; Feb. 21, 2017.
Lentz retired from Allstate Insurance after a 30-year
career. He attended UNC on a tennis scholarship,
but left to join the Air Force. He flew 131 missions
during the Korean War. ◆ Dr. James A. Montgomery
(’ 53), 84, of Jacksonville, Fla.; March 4, 2017.
Montgomery, an internist and anesthesiologist,
retired as medical director for Prudential Insurance.
He also taught medicine at the University of Florida
and consulted for the Nassau County, Fla., AIDS
clinic. He served as a flight surgeon in the Navy. ◆
Robert Garland Smith (’ 53 BSPHR), 89, of Mount
Airy; Feb. 11, 2017. Smith owned and operated two
pharmacies and served on the board of Centura
Bank. He served in the Army during the Korean
War. At UNC, he was a member of Kappa Psi. ◆ F.
Darrell Vuncannon (’ 53 BSCH), 86, of Jamestown;
March 19, 2017. Vuncannon retired as plant
manager of High Point Chemical Co. He previously
worked for Pfizer and served in the Navy. At UNC,
he belonged to Lambda Chi Alpha and Alpha Chi
Sigma. ◆ M. Thomas Wagner Jr. (’ 53 BSPHR), 86,
of Pittsboro; Feb. 22, 2017. A radiation biologist
with the U.S. Public Health Service, Wagner retired
from the EPA. Later, he was appointed to the N.C.
Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Authority.
At UNC, he belonged to Phi Delta Chi. ◆ Conyers
“Connie” Shanklin Woodruff (’ 53 BA), 85, of Cary;
March 22, 2017. A substitute teacher, Woodruff
also volunteered for many nonprofits, including
Habitat for Humanity and Hospice. At UNC, she was
a member of Kappa Delta.
1954 obituaries Kenneth C. Anders
Jr. (’ 54 BSBA), 84, of Greenwood, S.C.; March
20, 2017. Anders was an industrial engineer
and controller with Milliken & Co. for 38 years. In
retirement he worked part time for H&R Block. He
served in the Army during the Korean War. ◆ Dr.
Alexander Jones Biddell (’ 54 DDS), 89, of Raleigh;
Feb. 3, 2017. A member of the first graduating class
of UNC’s dental school, Biddell ran a dental practice
in Laurinburg with his brother. He served in the Army
from 1945 to 1947. At UNC, he belonged to Psi
Omega. ◆ H. Cowles “Cokie” Bristol Jr. (’ 54 BSBA),
90, of Statesville; March 5, 2017. Bristol founded
a financial consultancy and taught continuing
education classes at Central Piedmont Community
College. He was an Eagle Scout and served in the
Army Air Forces during WWII. At UNC, he was a
member of Kappa Sigma. ◆ James Ralph Hawkins
(’ 54), 85, of Brevard; Dec. 16, 2016. An engineer
by training, Hawkins made his career in sales, first
with Westinghouse, securing contracts with electric
companies to build nuclear power plants. He next
joined Texas Instruments, maker of a range of
products from cellphones to space systems, and
Signetics, a maker of specialized electronic circuits.
He was an Eagle Scout. He served in the Army in
the Korean War. ◆ Buck J. Hicks (’ 54 BSBA), 84,
of Courtland, Va.; Feb. 16, 2017. Hicks was an
accountant and 25-year Air Force veteran. He served
as a treasurer of his church. At UNC, he belonged
to AFROTC. ◆ Jerah Williams Johnson (’ 54 MA, ’ 63
PhD), 85, of New Orleans; Feb. 12, 2017. Johnson
was among the founding faculty of the University
of New Orleans. He taught Renaissance history as
well as Louisiana and world history. He successfully
prodded the university to integrate its history faculty.
◆ Smith Fleming Langdon (’ 54), 84, of Asheboro;
Jan. 23, 2017. Langdon was recreation director for
Acme-McCrary, a textile manufacturer in Siler City.
Among his community involvements, he formed a
basketball league for 8- to 10-year-olds. ◆ Robert
Gene Laughter (’ 54), 84, of North Myrtle Beach,
S.C.; Feb. 14, 2017. Laughter had a long career in
advertising that included 35 years at Heilig-Meyers
Co. in Richmond, Va. An interest in early 20th-
century photography led him to become adept in the
process of bromoil, or stippling. He taught classes
on the technique and published a guidebook on it.
He served in the Army in the Korean War. ◆ J. Joel
Moss (’ 54 PhD), 94, of Orem, Utah; March 3, 2017.
Moss was a bishop in the Mormon Church as well
as an educator who taught child development and
family relations at Brigham Young University in Salt
Lake City. He had an international reputation in his
field and received many professional honors. He
served in the Army during WWII. ◆ Robert Spruce
Nichols Sr. (’ 54), 84, of Swansboro; Feb. 25, 2017.
Nichols worked for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co.
until 1959, when he entered the jewelry business.
He retired from his shop in Swansboro in 2015.
He served in the Navy during the Korean War.
At UNC, he was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma
and the soccer team. ◆ Katherine Jente Siebel
(’ 54 BA), 83, of Kenner, La.; March 28, 2017. A
music teacher, Siebel operated a piano studio.
She also belonged to the New Orleans Music Club
and the American Guild of Organists. She sang
in her church’s choir and was an enthusiastic
birder. ◆ Joanne Floyd Underdown (’ 54 BA), 84,
of Hickory; Feb. 3, 2017. Underdown volunteered
in many community organizations. She served First
Presbyterian Church as an elder and deacon, among
other roles, and was honored with an Honorary Life
Membership in Presbyterian Women. ◆ Parks C.
“Neil” Underdown Jr. (’ 54 MBA), 86, of Hickory;
Jan. 25, 2017. Underdown retired as president of
his family business, Hickory Springs Manufacturing
Co., and was active in many community activities,
including Hickory’s Human Relations Council and
the Catawba County Foundation for the N.C. School
of the Arts. He served in the Navy. At UNC, he
belonged to Pi Kappa Phi.
Submit a class note or update your record:
1955 obituaries Gwenlyn Huss
Butler (’ 55 BSN), 82, of Tryon; May 3, 2016. Butler
and her husband owned a pharmacy in Tryon. She
retired as the administrator of Shelby Convalescent
Center. ◆ Lewis Baxter Eller Jr. (’ 55 BSBA), 89,
of Raleigh; March 14, 2017. Eller retired after 40
years with the credit-monitoring firm Equifax. He was
a lifelong amateur photographer. He served in the
Coast Guard during WWII and as a photographer in
the Army in the Korean War. At UNC, he belonged
to Delta Sigma Pi. ◆ David Gardner Futch (’ 55 BA),
84, of Menifee, Calif.; Feb. 6, 2017. Futch was a
biologist who taught at San Diego State University
and retired with emeritus status. He served in the
Army. At UNC, he joined Pi Kappa Phi and was
elected to Phi Beta Kappa. ◆ Leonard James Howell
(’ 55 BSBA), 83, of Locust; March 1, 2017. Howell
retired as the purchasing manager for Belk stores
and was a member of the Locust town council for
many years. He served as a navigator captain in
the Air Force. At UNC, he was a member of Alpha
Kappa Psi. ◆ John Leslie Humber (’ 55 BA, ’ 62 MA),
83, of Chapel Hill; Feb. 25, 2017. Humber was a
writer, historical researcher and consultant for the
N.C. Department of Public Instruction. His childhood
home, the Robert Lee Humber House in Greenville,
was added to the National Register of Historic
Places in 1981. Humber served in the Navy, retiring
from the Reserve as a captain. At UNC, he sang in
Glee Club. ◆ Harry Lee Johnston (’ 55), 84, of Long
Beach, Miss.; Feb. 2, 2017. Johnston retired from
Rolled Alloys, a specialty metals business. He was a