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winter 2018

In Memoriam

Remembering men and women from the Wofford family.


Francis Earl Williams, Dec. 22, 2015, Northridge, Calif. Williams served in the U. S. Navy Signal Corps in Europe as an interpreter in World War II. He was a retired elementary school principal. He was the brother of John King Williams ’59. 


The Rev. Dr. Harley Morrison Williams, March 4, 2016, Asheville, N.C. Williams retired from active United Methodist ministry in 1986 and moved with his wife to Lake Junaluska. He held numerous leadership positions within the church, including service as council director for the Western North Carolina Conference. He was a 20-year member of Rotary International and a frequent speaker for naturalization ceremonies. 


William Frederick Cline, March 30, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. A U.S. Army Air Force veteran, Cline served in World War II as a fighter pilot. 


Dr. Stephen Pierre Gibert, Feb. 1, 2016, McLean, Va. Gibert served in the Pacific during World War II and was one of the first to occupy Japan and free 8,000 prisoners of war following surrender in 1945. He earned advanced degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins before joining the faculty at Georgetown University, where he served as professor of government for 48 years and founded the National Security Studies Program, still the nation’s preeminent professional master's of arts program devoted to security studies. 


William Ervin Fisher Sr., March 30, 2016, Greenwood, S.C. Fisher served in the Marines during World War II, earning battle ribbons for Philippine Sea and Iwo Jima, before attending Wofford. He was a teacher and coach at Blacksburg High School and Emerald High School.

Dr. George Truett Hollis, Jan. 28, 2016, Pasadena, Calif. An accomplished pianist and musicologist, Hollis was professor and chair of the Music Department at East Los Angeles College. He retired as professor emeritus from Los Angeles City College, where the Dr. George Truett Hollis Music Library holds his extensive music collection and is named in his honor.


Herman Lee Sims, Feb. 20, 2016, Rutherfordton, N.C. Sims came to Wofford after serving in World War II on the beaches of Iwo Jima. He later served in the Korean War. An entrepreneur at heart, Sims also loved serving on the boards of Ruth Elementary and R.S. Central High School. 


Gary Dean Burns, Feb. 24, 2016, Greenville, S.C. Burns retired as a controller for Jennings and Dill Inc.

Joseph Harley Coffey, March 29, 2016, Kernersville, N.C. After serving in the Korean War, Coffey worked in the petroleum industry for 30 years and in the transportation industry for another 17.


Jesse L. Cooksey, April 3, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. A U.S. Army and South Carolina National Guard veteran, Cooksey was a retired executive with Cooksey-Reynolds Insurance Agency. He played basketball and football at Wofford and still holds the record for the most fumble recoveries in a single game. He served two terms on the Spartanburg City Council and was the recipient of the North Carolina Order of the Longleaf Pine and the South Carolina Order of the Palmetto. Cooksey was among the earliest founders and supporters of the Wofford Terrier Club and also was active in the Republican Party.

Joseph Earl Pace, April 15, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. At Wofford, Pace was a member of Kappa Alpha Order and sang in the Glee Club. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He retired as vice president of Bruce Chemical Corp.

James Edward Parris, March 13, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. Parris played baseball and basketball during his college career. He was a U.S. Army veteran and retired from Michelin. He was a longtime member of Bethany Baptist Church.


Don Pratt Ferguson Sr., Feb. 25, 2016, Rock Hill, S.C. Ferguson worked in pharmaceutical sales before becoming a stockbroker with Interstate Securities. He opened the firm’s first South Carolina office and later became senior vice president and regional manager for five states. Ferguson was an active member and leader of Rock Hill First Presbyterian for more than 70 years.

Ben Moore Tatum, April 12, 2016, Mount Pleasant, S.C. As a member of the Mt. Pleasant City Council, Tatum brought awareness of the lack of services and access for citizens with disabilities. He was recognized by Gov. Dick Riley in 1985 with the South Carolinian of the Year award, in large part because of these efforts. Lake Ben M. Tatum in the city of Mount Pleasant was named in his honor. Tatum was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity at Wofford. 


Dr. Joseph Willard “Joe” Davis, Feb. 16, 2016, Laurens, S.C. Davis had a career in public education that included teaching and administration from the elementary to the university level. He retired from Lander University as chairman of the Education Department. He also worked as a U.S. Army military policeman, a car man apprentice on the Southern Railroad, an industrial engineer, and a photographer and proofreader for the Spartanburg Herald.


Emsley Baskin, Feb. 12, 2016, Columbia, S.C. Baskin had a long, successful career in banking. After retirement, he enjoyed playing golf, hunting, camping and attending stock car races.

Col. Marshall Willis Breland Jr., Feb. 15, 2016, Las Vegas, Nev. Breland retired after a successful career as an officer in the
U.S. Army.

James Franklin Gore, March 19, 2016, Rock Hill, S.C. At Wofford, Gore was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and the Glee Club. He served in the Army National Guard and worked in car sales and management for more than 50 years. He served for 27 years as the choir director and an elder of Tirzah Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Clyde Randall Neighbors, Oct. 2, 2015, Spartanburg, S.C. A U.S. Army veteran, Neighbors was a dentist and active Shriner. 


Bumber Broadus “Buzz” Biggerstaff, May 3, 2016, Shelby, N.C. Biggerstaff retired from a long career with Cone Mills in Cliffside, N.C. He served as chairman of the board of trustees for Boiling Springs United Methodist Church and was a former chief of the Boiling Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

Charles Lee Kellett, April 28, 2016, Greer, S.C. Kellett served in the U.S. Army and retired from Greenville Textile Supply Co.


Frank Ray Malone, March 12, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. A U.S. Navy veteran, Malone was the retired owner of McDowell’s Restaurant.


Thomas David McBrayer, Feb. 26, 2016, Forest City, N.C. McBrayer worked for many years in the family business, McBrayer Furniture Co., until he established McBrayer Motors, which he operated for 30 years. He was a former member of the Forest City Town Council.

Don Alan Moulton, Feb. 27, 2016, Georgetown, S.C. Moulton made his home in Cheraw, S.C., for many years, where he served as treasurer of Ina Bearing Corp. Later in life he moved back to the Georgetown area, where he opened his own business.


Gerald Edmunds “Gerry” Burns Jr., Feb. 17, 2016, North Kingstown, R.I. Burns worked for Hartford Insurance Group for 22 years and later for MetLife for 15 years.

Alfred Magruder Dillard Jr., March 23, 2016, Pawleys Island, S.C. A talented woodworker and craftsman, Dillard renovated a home, built beautiful furniture and made an intricate, functioning dollhouse for his three daughters. He retired from DuPont. 


E. Frank Watts Jr., March 19, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. Watts worked in banking and insurance before retiring in 1995.


Charles Henry Neely, March 3, 2016, Roebuck, S.C. After retiring from RR Donnelly, Neely worked at Piedmont Farm and Garden. He enjoyed serving in the pit crew for the Dorman High School band.


Frank David Haddon, Feb. 16, 2016, Columbia, S.C. True to his adventurous spirit, Haddon worked on a windjammer sailboat as a crew member out of Miami, Fla., before returning to Columbia. He later taught school and worked in environmental conservation with South Carolina Electric and Gas.


John Emanuel Iseman Jr., Feb. 26, 2016, Hartsville, S.C. Iseman taught school and coached football for 16 years at Williams Middle School in Florence, S.C., before retiring in 2015. He also coached the Academic Challenge Team, which enjoyed a strong winning tradition under his leadership.


Miriam Elizabeth “Betsy” Rosemann, May 2, 2016, Goldsboro, N.C. Rosemann was the director of travel and tourism for the city of Goldsboro and worked passionately to advance the travel and tourism industry in Goldsboro and Wayne County.


James Stephen Rush, April 6, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. Rush spent his career in banking, most recently as a senior vice president of Carolina Alliance Bank. He served the community in a variety of ways, including as a member and past chairman of the Spartanburg Housing Authority board of directors. He was a co-founder of both the Eastside Rotary Club and the Palmetto Men’s Club and served as president of Spartanburg Regional Hospice. 


John David Abercrombie, May, 16, 2016, Spartanburg, S.C. Abercrombie was a beloved teacher at Dorman High School, where he taught government/economics, worked with at-risk and special-needs children, and served as the voice of the athletics department. 

Miriam Smoak Henry, April 13, 2016, Myrtle Beach, S.C. Henry was a talented pianist, vocalist, jitterbug dancer and court reporter. She was one of the first and few federal court reporters who recorded court proceedings in Gregg shorthand. She also collaborated on the writing of a history of the district court in South Carolina. She graduated magna cum laude from Wofford at the age of 69.

Summer 2016