William Orin Whitaker, Jr. ’47

William Orin Whitaker, Jr. ’47, of Brewster, Mass., passed away June 23. He is survived by his wife, Bernadine B. Whitaker, 135 Vesper Pond Dr., Brewster, MA 02631; his two daughters, Sarah Whitaker and Leslie Whitaker; and two grandchildren.

Claude Shuford Abernethy, Jr. ’48, of Hickory, N.C., died July 8 after an extended illness. Born April 26, 1927, in Hickory, he was the son of the late Claude S. Abernethy, Sr. and Iva Adair Abernethy. A lifelong member of Corinth Reformed Church in Hickory, he served with a number of church-related ministries of the United Church of Christ, including 49 years as a board member at Catawba College in Salisbury, a founding board member of United Church Homes and Services, Inc. in Newton, and a board member with Johns River Valley Camp in Collettsville. Abernethy took early admission to Davidson, from which he graduated summa cum laude. He also received his master’s of business administration from Harvard University in 1950. He was a veteran of the Merchant Marines and the U.S. Army. Abernethy opened the first successful branch office of the brokerage firm Interstate Securities in 1952 in Newton. Through a series of mergers, this office is now a branch of Wells Fargo Advisors. He served as senior vice president of Interstate Securities and later Wachovia Securities, LLC. Abernethy was a member of one of Catawba County’s founding families, tracing his heritage nine generations to the second settler to cross the Catawba River, Heinrich Weidner. His father was Scoutmaster for more than 50 years of Boy Scout Troop 1 in Hickory, founded as one of the first Scout troops in the United States, where Abernethy received his Eagle Scout award. He served in leading roles in many civic and charitable organizations, including Newton-Conover Rotary Club as club president, chairman of the Catawba County Library board, member of the Hickory Jaycees, president of the United Way, chairman of the Catawba County Chapter of the American Red Cross, member of the Campbell University finance committee, president of the Catawba Valley Executive Club, treasurer of the YMCA of Catawba Valley, vice chairman of the Sipes Orchard Home board, chairman of the Catawba Valley Community College board of directors, and member of the Newton-Conover Auditorium Authority board. At the time of Abernethy’s death, he continued to serve on the boards of Carolina Mills, Inc. Little Mountain Airport (Air-T) and Alexander Railroad. Abernethy was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Raenelle Bolick Abernethy. His three children, Anne Abernethy Wepner ’78, C. Shuford Abernethy III, and Martha Abernethy Sowers, survive him. He was grandfather to 19 grandchildren, John Wepner, Grace Wepner Ludtke, Nell Wepner, Iva Wepner, Henry Wepner, Franklin Wepner, Gordon Wepner, Estella Wepner, Gill Wepner, Ruth Wepner, Huitt Wepner, Inman Wepner, Clara Abernethy, Clay Abernethy, Sam Abernethy, Rose Abernethy, Savannah Sowers, Mary Katherine Sowers, and Will Sowers. He also is survived by his sons-in-law, Tim Wepner and Mike Sowers; his daughter-in-law, Jayne Abernethy; his sister-in-law, Anna Bolick; a nephew, James Bolick; and a niece, Elizabeth Bolick.