Dr. Leonard Hobson “L.H.” Buff Jr., Sept. 9, 2022, Spartanburg, S.C. Buff taught biology at Spartanburg Methodist College for 25 years, retiring in 1995. Early in his career, he served as youth minister at Clemson United Methodist Church and as director of the youth at the Methodist Board of Education in Columbia, S.C. He loved music and sang in choirs at many churches and schools throughout his life, including Central UMC in Spartanburg, where he was a member. He was a Boy Scout leader and enjoyed working with youth. He was a voice for many boys and girls in the Guardian ad Litem program for many years. He had a love for genealogy and was a member of the Lexington County Genealogy Society. He went to Europe in search of his family lineage, was a regular visitor to the Columbia archives researching his ancestors and later wrote books on the Buff, Gunter and Miller families.
The Rev. George Bull Salley Jr., Aug. 10, 2022, Savannah, Ga. Salley served four years in U.S. Army Intelligence. He worked as a CPA in Greenville and Spartanburg before receiving the call to the priesthood. He graduated from St. Luke’s School of Theology of the University of the South in 1973 and was ordained in 1974. He served the Diocese of Upper South Carolina for 12 years, first as the founding vicar of St. Alban’s Church in Lexington, S.C., and then as curate and rector of All Saints Church in Cayce, S.C. In 1985 he was called to Savannah to serve as rector of St. Michael and All Angels Church, where he stayed until retiring in 1999. He remained active in the priesthood for many years after retirement, serving as interim priest at St. George’s and as priest-associate at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle, both in Savannah. He served on numerous committees and commissions in both the Diocese of Upper South Carolina and the Diocese of Georgia, and he served as dean of the Savannah Convocation.
Michael Eugene Cavin, Sept. 1, 2022, Greensboro, N.C. Cavin spent his entire career in the building supply industry, where he traveled to help restructure manufacturing plants. While at Wofford, his passion as a drummer led him to join two bands, The Aristocrats and later The Collegiates. He played drums at several Wofford reunions. He enjoyed playing golf and was the last surviving member of his foursome of 20-plus years.
Perrin Quarles “Pep” Dargan Jr., Oct. 20, 2022, Mount Pleasant, S.C. Dargan had a successful career as a stockbroker, principally with the A.G. Edwards firm. He was an avid golfer who played many of the world’s great courses, including The Old Course at St. Andrews, Gleneagles, Augusta National, Pebble Beach, Cypress Point and Wade Hampton. Following back surgery in his early 70s, he shot his age and under many times, frequently on his challenging home course, The Reserve in Pawleys Island, S.C. He notched two holes in one, separated by a 50-year drought. He enjoyed food and was as pleased with a cheeseburger as he was with any fine meal. He was a recovering alcoholic who at his death had remained unflinchingly abstinent for nearly 50 years, during which time he counseled many people. He was baptized and raised Presbyterian, but after marrying he became an Episcopalian. He served multiple stints in his Episcopal and Anglican parishes on the vestry, as senior warden and as treasurer.
Melvin Hayes Mizell, Sept. 26, 2022, Columbia, S.C. Beginning in his undergraduate days, Mizell sought to be a changemaker. His social justice work ranged from student activism for the desegregation of public places to creating equal opportunity for those facing obstacles in securing quality public K-12 education. In 1966, he began his work for the American Friends Service Committee as a community advocate for desegregating South Carolina schools. President Jimmy Carter appointed him as chair of the National Advisory Council for the Education of Disadvantaged Children in 1979. He twice served as a member of Richland One Board of School Commissioners, beginning in 1970 and again in 1982. In the late 1980s, he worked closely with then S.C. Gov. Richard Riley developing legislation for more equitable school funding. He directed and administered grants for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s Program for Student Achievement from 1987 to 2003, working with city school systems across the country to improve the quality of classroom instruction. In his role as distinguished senior fellow for the Learning Forward organization, he promoted quality professional development for educators. The United Way of the Midlands recognized him in 2015 and again in 2020 for his many years of volunteer service on steering committees and the education council.
Harold Dean Motts, Aug. 20, 2022, Kinston, N.C. Motts served in the U.S. Air Force before attending Wofford. He represented RCA for 30 years as a sales representative. After retiring in 1990 from Southern Radio Corp., he established the Parkway Group, of which he was president/owner until his retirement in 2005. He enjoyed traveling, sharing fish stews with his buddies, “Gunsmoke” reruns and feeding his sweet tooth.
William Slaughter “Bill” Derrick, Oct. 6, 2022, Myrtle Beach, S.C. After graduating from the University of South Carolina School of Law, Derrick spent his entire career serving clients in Marion, S.C., and surrounding areas. Always believing that everyone, regardless of means, was entitled to fair representation under the law, he served many years as a public defender in Marion County. He was an active participant in various civic and nonprofit organizations, including serving on Marion City Council and the Marion Rotary Club. He had a deep and abiding love for the Pee Dee River Basin and spent many days hunting summer ducks and catching redbreast along the Little Pee Dee River. He also loved spending time with family and friends at cookouts along the riverbanks at White Oak and Dill Creek landings.
Medus Preston “Pete” Henry, March 9, 2021, Easley, S.C. Henry was a U.S. Army veteran. He worked for Alice Manufacturing for many years and retired as vice president of Mayfair Mills. In retirement, he worked as a part-time associate with Robinson Funeral Home. He was a longtime member of Brushy Creek Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon, trustee and in many other capacities.
Dr. Donald Collins “Don” Jones, Aug. 23, 2022, Hendersonville, N.C. Jones served in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Okla., where he was the director of sports. He was a high school teacher and football coach in Virginia and South Carolina. He then became an assistant professor and athletics director at Berry College in Rome, Ga., where he also served as head basketball, track and field and cross-country coach. He became director of Camp Kanuga in Hendersonville and worked as a sales estimator for Hendersonville Paving Co. He also was a corporate motivational speaker. He served as president and executive director of the Henderson County Education Foundation for 10 years, leading the community to grow the foundation’s number of scholarships from four to 63. He was a member and teacher of the Roy Johnson Men’s Sunday School class at First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville for 40 years.
Dr. Thomas William Kelly Jr., Oct. 2, 2022, Murrells Inlet, S.C. After graduating from the Medical College of Virginia, Kelly began his dental career with five years of private practice in Spartanburg. In 1970, he joined the Veterans’ Administration as a staff dentist, serving in Salisbury, N.C., and Leavenworth, Kan. In 1974, he was chosen as chief of dentistry for the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, N.C., where he also served as chief of staff. During his years in Fayetteville, he was on the faculty at the University of North Carolina Dental School. He helped train over 500 dental students and nearly 100 dentists seeking postgraduate training and degrees. He retired after 29 years of service and returned to private practice in Murrells Inlet. He served on the faculty of the dental department of Horry-Georgetown Technical College from 1999-2017, helping train approximately 540 dental assistants and hygienists.
Barry Carlisle Newton, Aug. 2, 2022, Cary, N.C. Newton earned a master’s degree from Duke University in 1963, then served in the U.S. Army for two years. He taught for the Department of Defense school system for U.S. military families in Germany for three years. He joined Bank of America in 1968, rising to senior vice president of bank operations. He retired in 2000, then worked for several years with WestStar Technologies. Newton enjoyed traveling, returning to Germany and France several times. He also enjoyed boating, teaching his children to water-ski and swimming with his golden retriever, Oscar. He played tennis, golf and guitar.
Albert Bernard Martin, Oct. 9, 2022, Spartanburg, S.C. Martin was a U.S. Army veteran who served a year in Italy. He worked as a supervising cartographer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Martin was a member of Roebuck Baptist Church, where he was a deacon, as well as a member of the choir and the men’s fellowship class. He enjoyed traveling and visited all 50 states.
Dawson Jerome “Jerry” Stallworth Jr., Oct. 28, 2022, North Augusta, S.C. Stallworth started a tradition of family members graduating from Wofford, with two daughters, two granddaughters and a grandson following in his footsteps. A U.S. Army veteran, he retired after 26 years in management with Sears, Roebuck and Co. He and his wife then established Sentimental Journey, an antique and jewelry business. He was a member of The Episcopal Church of the Ridge, where he served as a lay reader. He was a member of the South Carolina Forestry Commission for the past 10 years. An avid outdoorsman, he especially enjoyed fishing and hunting with his friends.
Stephen Bruce Jones, Aug. 17, 2022, Seneca, S.C. Jones enlisted in the Navy, where he was a submariner on the USS Clamagore, which is now docked beside the USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C. He spent his entire career in merchandising management, most notably with Tom’s Foods and Moore’s Foods. He was on the golf team while at Wofford and loved playing and watching the sport. He could fix anything after analyzing it for two to three weeks. He enjoyed ancestry, finding a good dirt road to drive on and his cats.
Fredrick Emde “Rick” Placak Jr., Sept. 21, 2022, Columbus, N.C. Placak was a U.S. Army veteran. He was president of Village Properties and Appraisal and had a 50-year career as a residential realtor and appraiser.
Donald Everette “D.O.” Owens, Aug. 22, 2022, Boiling Springs, S.C. Owens served as a pit crew member on the NASCAR team owned by his father, Cotton Owens, throughout the 1960s and 70s. The team won the 1966 NASCAR Grand National championship. After many years with Aetna Insurance Co., he returned to work at his father’s side until his subsequent retirement. He also was an avid golfer.
Joseph H. “Joey” Blanton II, Aug. 24, 2022, Concord, N.C. Blanton spent most of his career specializing in commercial insurance at Blanton Insurors, the company founded by his father in Spartanburg, S.C. He worked with the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program for 12 years, traveling domestically and internationally as Olympic Development Administrator for Region 3 (N.C. to Texas). He was active with the Rotary Club of Spartanburg and volunteered with Mobile Meals. He was a voracious reader, with a special interest in history and different cultures. He loved the mountains of North Carolina, his many cats and dogs and all things Wofford College.
George Cameron Todd Jr., Aug. 30, 2022, Spartanburg, S.C. Todd was a partner of Signature Wealth Partners at the time of his death. He was previously a first vice president with Merrill Lynch for 30 years. Todd, who gave of his time, talent and resources to the college and Spartanburg community over the years in a variety of capacities, served on the Terrier Club Board of Directors, the Alumni Association board and the Parents Advisory Council. He received the Distinguished Service Award from Wofford’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001 and was recognized as the Young Alumnus of the Year by the college’s Alumni Association in 1993. In 1984, Todd and his wife, Sarah, established the G. Cameron Todd and Elizabeth C. Todd Endowed Scholarship at Wofford in honor of his parents. Awards are made annually to students planning to enter the field of business, with preference given to student-athletes. Memorials may be made to this fund.
Stephen Terrell Jeter, Aug. 12, 2022, Richmond, Va. Jeter founded The Handlebar, a music club in Greenville, S.C., with his brother, John, in 1994. He worked in management and field positions at Frito-Lay, Pepperidge Farm and, since 2018, R.L. Schreiber in Richmond. He enjoyed CrossFit, pickleball and listening to music. He donated a kidney to his brother in 1984, and he called his sister, Sally Jeter Gregg, every Saturday morning.
John Sherrod Bumgardner, Oct. 12, 2022, Lexington, S.C. A multitalented musician, Bumgardner was an exceptional drummer as well as a songwriter and vocal performer. In 2021, he wrote, composed and released a solo country music EP titled “A Heart Breaks Slow” as the artist JB Redbeard on major streaming platforms. He was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed scuba diving, earning advanced credentials and frequently exploring the state’s inland and oceanic underwater landscape. He also was a skilled hunter and particularly enjoyed bow hunting. He had a lifelong love of learning, particularly through traveling and experiencing new cultures, customs and geographies. He undertook postgraduate studies in Arabic at the University of Jordan. Bumgardner was an accomplished chef and a black belt in tae kwon do. One of his favorite joys in life was a good nap after a holiday meal.