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In Memoriam

Remembering men and women from the Wofford family.


Dr. William Cannon, Oct. 5, 2015, Asheville, N.C. Cannon was a retired pathologist. He and his wife, Theoleen, established a trust and named Wofford as the ultimate beneficiary. The trust will eventually support scholarships for generations of Wofford students.


Donald H. Fraser, Nov. 13, 2015, Walterboro, S.C. Fraser was sent to Oklahoma to learn Japanese after completing the ROTC program at Wofford. There he became interested in the plight of minorities. He was a Navy veteran of World War II called back to active duty during the Korean War. He retired as a partner from the Jefferies, McLeod, Unger law firm. Fraser enjoyed crafting historically accurate military models and miniature soldiers.


Thomas Bartley Prince, Dec. 29, 2015, Spartanburg, S.C. A U.S. Navy veteran, Prince taught in Spartanburg County District 7 schools and was a member of Ben Avon United Methodist Church. 


Bob Clary Oglesby, Jan. 14, 2016, Gaffney, S.C. Oglesby attended Wofford College but graduated from Robinson Business School. He was a U.S. Army veteran and retired from Draper Corp.

Dr. L. Benton Williams, Dec. 6, 2015, Georgetown, S.C. Williams served as a 30-caliber machine gunner with the 8th division in the U. S. Army in Germany during World War II. He came to Wofford on the GI Bill. He practiced general medicine for 58 years.


Robert A. Youmans Sr., Nov. 22, 2015, Furman, S.C. Youmans served in the Army during the Korean War. He was an agriculture leader in the state, serving on boards for Farm Bureau, Farm Credit and Clemson University. 


Harold M. “Sonny” Cannon, Dec. 23, 2015, Roebuck, S.C. Cannon was the former owner of C.L. Cannon & Sons, Cannon Roofing Co. Inc., Roof Masters Inc. and Canny Supply Inc. In remembrance of Cannon, memorials may be made to the Harold M. (Sonny) Cannon Endowed Scholarship Fund at Wofford.


Thurman Robert Martin, Nov. 20, 2015, Moore, S.C. Martin served in the U.S. Navy and worked in accounting and textiles. He asked that memorials be made to the general scholarship fund at Wofford.


Dr. Samuel Marvin Atkinson Jr., Jan. 24, 2016, Greenville, N.C. During his 50-year medical career, Atkinson served in the U.S. Air Force as chief of gynecologic oncology at Malcolm Grow Hospital at Andrews Air Force Base and as chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Eglin Air Force Base. He also worked in private practice and taught in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine.

Joel Wyman Hand Jr., Nov. 4, 2015, Bamberg, S.C. Hand was well known at Wofford for playing his drum set and singing in the Glee Club. He went on to study photography at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. He operated a photography studio and became a staff photographer for the Department of Health and Environmental Control in Columbia, S.C. Hand was active in the United Methodist Church and was a founding member of the South Carolina Professional Photographers Association.


Dr. William Wesley Pendleton, Nov. 30, 2015, Salem, S.C. Pendleton earned his Ph.D. from Tulane University and spent most of his career as a professor at Emory University.


Richard Warren Baird, Jan. 29, 2016, Lake City, S.C. Baird built a successful career as a commercial lender.


Dr. Charles L. “Buddy” Garrett Jr., Nov. 10, 2015, Jacksonville, N.C. Garrett retired in 2008 after practicing forensic pathology for 42 years. He served a term as president of the Joint Alumni Council of the Medical University of South Carolina. He received the university’s distinguished alumnus award and spoke at commencement. Garrett served as president of the North Carolina Medical Board and was honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state of North Carolina’s highest civilian honor.

The Rev. Edward Donald McKinney, Dec. 4, 2015, Greenville, S.C. A veteran of World War II, serving in the 8th Air Force 493 Bomb Group, 861st Squadron, McKinney was a retired minister of the United Methodist Church.


Harold Thomas Ellis Jr., Jan. 9, 2016, Mount Pleasant, Texas. Ellis played quarterback for the Terriers. After graduation he enjoyed a lengthy career in the pharmaceutical industry.


Dr. Willie “Wicky” B. Moseley, Dec. 24, 2015, Greenwood, S.C. Moseley practiced psychiatry for 30 years. As a Wofford student he was senior editor of the Old Gold and Black student newspaper and a brother in the Delta Sigma Phi social fraternity.


David “Terry” Harned, Nov. 28, 2015, Rockford, Ill. Harned worked for Co-Lin Metals Inc. for more than 30 years. He was a sports enthusiast who particularly loved golf, bowling and tennis.


Thomas Bouchier Armstrong Jr., Feb. 5, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. Armstrong spent 30 years as a pharmacist at Smith’s Drugs. He was a 29-year member and two-time president of the R&B Shag Club of Spartanburg.


Van T. Hill, Dec. 15, 2015, Charlotte, N.C. Hill’s Sigma Nu fraternity brothers remained among his closest friends throughout his life. He worked in textiles, real estate and as the facilities manager at Christ Episcopal Church. He taught bridge to beginners and loved experiencing good food and new restaurants.


Robert Benedict “Roben” Eleazer III, Feb. 6, 2016, Due West, S.C. Eleazer worked in sales with Milliken & Co. and BEST Inc. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to sail, hunt, travel, scuba dive and fly fish.


George Roberts Sperling, Jan. 4, 2016, Shelby, N.C. Sperling worked in the family business at Loy’s Men Shop and later in real estate property management and as a substitute teacher.


Mark Grey Raines, Dec. 6, 2015, Florence, S.C. Raines was the owner and operator of Raines Hospitality Inc. He enjoyed driving short-track late model stock cars and took great pride in his racing win in the Southeast Division Championship in 1990. 


Zachary Bayard Maddox, Jan. 19, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. Maddox was a teacher at Spartanburg High School for 19 years. A true Renaissance man, he loved teaching, playing the drums, yoga, books, music, movies, the Tour de France, Manchester United and engaging with the world by challenging himself and others.


The Rev. Robert Christopher Barrett, Feb. 24, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C., and New Palestine, Ind. “Pastor Chris,” as he was lovingly known by most of his parishioners, was a fourth generation United Methodist minister. He received his master of divinity degree from Duke University and served churches in Blacksburg, Manning, Charleston and Spartanburg. During his nearly four-year battle with lymphoma, he inspired hundreds of people by writing of his experiences and sharing the lessons of faith that arose from his illness. Barrett was Wofford’s Presidential International Scholar. During his lifetime, he traveled to 38 countries and as many states. No matter where he was, he distinguished himself with his infectious laugh and joyful service to others. Barrett was the son of Sally Cross Barrett ’69 and Dr. Charles Barrett ’55, a longtime member of the religion faculty at Wofford. Memorials may be directed to the Chris Barrett Fund for Community Justice at Wofford.


Jordan David Small, June 28, 2015, Okemos, Mich. Small traveled extensively and participated in the National Outdoor Leadership School trip to India. His travels also included trips to Japan, Indonesia and Thailand. Small loved photography and the arts and was an internationally published photographer and writer.


Jacob West Summers IV, Nov. 15, 2015, Columbia, S.C. West was a second semester senior at Wofford. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. Summers loved watching sports, ice hockey in particular, and he enjoyed politics and debate.


Cathy Conner, Dec. 11, 2015, Spartanburg, S.C. Conner worked in Information Technology for Wofford College. She was well loved by students, faculty and staff and asked that memorials be made to the Cathy Conner Scholarship Fund at Wofford.

Leon Steele Goodall, Jan. 5, 2016, Columbia, S.C. Goodall was the father of Wofford trustee Chris Goodall ’79. Goodall retired as president and chairman of Continental American Insurance Co. He was an active member of Washington Street United Methodist Church and spent many years working in support of education initiatives in the state of South Carolina.

The Rev. Robert Jackson James, Feb. 20, 2016, Charlotte, N.C. James was the father of Wofford trustee R. Michael James ’73. After U.S. Naval service during World War II, James worked in electrical contracting. After receiving the call to ministry, he served Presbyterian churches in Georgia and North Carolina, including service as the general presbyter/stated clerk of Mecklenburg Presbytery.

Susan Keller, Dec. 10, 2015, Spartanburg, S.C. Keller spent her career in education, retiring from Spartanburg Day School. She was the wife of Dr. Jim Keller, Samuel Pate Gardner Professor emeritus at Wofford. The family asks that memorials be made to the general scholarship fund at Wofford.

D. Grant Peacock, Dec. 31, 2015, Greenville, S.C. Peacock served on the Wofford Board of Trustees from 2005-2013 and was instrumental in the creation of the college’s Chinese language program. He also offered years of support and professional mentoring to Wofford students through The Space in the Mungo Center, the college’s professional development program. An accountant and attorney by training, Peacock was first and foremost an entrepreneur.

Kaiser Thomas, Jan. 28, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. Thomas came to Wofford in the late 1970s as a sergeant major with the college’s Southern Guard ROTC battalion. When he retired from the Army, Thomas stayed on at Wofford as the assistant dean of students and director of housing. His sense of humor, quick wit and love of students made him a favorite among the Wofford student body, many of whom he mentored and stayed in touch with long after graduation. 

Donald James Welch, Jan. 22, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. Welch served Wofford College as the dean of students and later as the college chaplain. While at Wofford he also taught religion, philosophy, public speaking and humanities. He served as pastor of numerous churches and held leadership positions at several other colleges. In 2013, Welch retired as resident minister of the Seven Lakes Chapel in the Pines, an interdenominational church in Moore County, N.C. The Rev. Dr. Paul James ’76 followed him in that role and delivered a talk on the occasion of Welch’s retirement. 

Reverend Don Welch - A Remembrance
by the Rev. Dr. Paul B. James ’76
The Seven Lakes Chapel in the Pines

In September of 1972, I entered Wofford College and my first freshman act was to walk across the stage of Leonard Auditorium during Opening Convocation and shake the hands of several faculty members, one of whom was Dean of Students Don Welch. Shortly after that I became immersed in the Milliken Science Building under the tutelage of folks like Drs. Ray Leonard, Donald Dobbs and William P. Cavin. But, when there was a moment to emerge from the depths of that building and breathe the fresh air of liberal arts at its finest, there was a spirit at Wofford that was embodied by a radical, liberal religion professor, Dean Welch.

We had come from the small towns of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Many of us would return to work on the family farm or in dad’s bank. But, the spirit of Dean Welch pointed to the larger world and said, “Focus outside yourself, look beyond your narrow experience, and direct your attention to the wider world and what you might accomplish for the common good.”

But, there was more. The spirit of Dean Welch echoed the writings of writer and theologian Fredrick Buechner who said, “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” The world that Dean Welch pointed us toward was intriguing and ripe with potential, yet at the same time, it was deeply flawed. And the Spirit of Dean Welch said, “We’ve done what we could to prepare you … don’t be afraid.”

Finally, the spirit of Dean Welch said, “We leave it up to all of you to transform this world into the dream that God has for each one of you and for all of creation.” And, with his words in our heads and his spirit in our hearts, we set out.

For me it has been a 44-year journey since our first meeting, but I write today, Don, to give a report from the many young people in your churches, colleges, and universities that you have mentored over the years.

Don, we encountered the world to which you pointed us. It IS beautiful, and it IS troubled. We have done our best to transform it, and we have had mixed results. We have worked for the common good with the dream of God as we understood it always before us, yet there is still much left to be done. But, with the spirit of Don Welch as our guide, we are not afraid, and we will carry on.

Thank you, Don, from all the young people whose lives you have touched over the years and may God bless you and keep you in God’s loving arms of eternal peace. Amen.