James Lafayette Houston, Jr. ’42

James Lafayette Houston, Jr. ’42, 90, of Hickory, N.C., passed away peacefully May 11, 2012, surrounded by his family. He was born Sept. 29, 1921, in Columbia, S.C., and was the son of the late James Lafayette Houston, Sr. and Elizabeth Williams Houston. He spent his childhood in York, S.C., and had many fond memories of his upbringing in York. Two of his most notable memories of York were of his many experiences with the circuses that wintered there and the development of a relationship with a young lady, Martha Elizabeth McCorkle, who, on June 11, 1947, became his wife. They spent 51 years together until her death on Oct. 24, 1998. He enrolled at Davidson, earning his bachelor of arts degree in 1942. Houston then faithfully served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was stationed in the Philippines and flew DC-3 cargo planes throughout the Pacific Theatre. After WWII, he continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve, attaining the rank of captain. He was honorably discharged in 1954. After his service in the Pacific, Houston began his business career by joining a building materials business, working there until 1950. At that time, he joined First Securities Corporation, working in Greensboro until 1952. He then moved to Hickory to continue his career and served First Securities Corporation and successor corporations in various capacities until his retirement. In addition to his professional duties, Houston was also very active in many civic organizations. Among his favorites were the Hickory Rotary Club, of which he was a member for more than 55 years, and First Presbyterian Church, where he served in a number of capacities, including elder and member of pastoral search committees. In his later years, he served on the board and became involved in the activities of Adult Life Programs. During his 51-year marriage to his beloved Lib, he was blessed with three children, all of whom survive him and are left with many lasting memories. He is survived by daughter, Leslie; son, James III (Peggy); and daughter, Mary, 1864 Timberwood Trce., Decatur, GA 30032-5228. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Alicia Houston, James L. Houston IV, and Abby Houston. In addition to his parents and wife, Houston was preceded in death by a sister, Janet Anderson. Memorials may be made to the Davidson College General Scholarship fund, Davidson College, Box 7174, Davidson, NC 28035-7174.