Henry Neal Pharr II, age 75, of Charlotte, died on 7 January 2015. He was born 28 January 1939 in Charlotte, the son of Neal Yates Pharr and Jean Wheeler Pharr and was predeceased by his parents.
Mr. Pharr is best remembered for his sharp intellect and humor, insightful wisdom, and humble demeanor. He was a loving husband, brother, father, grandfather, and friend. Young Henry Pharr attended public schools in Charlotte and received the Eagle Scout Award in 1952. In 1954 he enrolled in the Asheville School where he lettered in four sports and was chosen Most Valuable Player in football and track. While at Asheville School he was captain of the football team and the tennis team. He was selected the school’s best athlete in 1956 and 1957. Over the years he served as President of the Asheville School Alumni Association and served as ex officio member of the Board of Trustees. Later in life he maintained an active interest in Charlotte Country Day School and was a member of the Board of Visitors.
In 1957 he entered Davidson College. He joined the SAE fraternity and continued his enthusiasm for sports, active in soccer and track and field. He was Field Captain of the soccer team for four years and for a time held the school record for pole vault. Later he participated in marathons, triathlons, white-water canoeing, and fly-fishing. In 1961, as a graduate of Davidson College with a Bachelor of Arts in History, he enrolled in the University of North Carolina School of Law from which he was awarded the J.D. Degree in 1964.
Mr. Pharr followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Henry Neal Pharr and his father Neal Yates Pharr, both graduates of Davidson College and UNC Law School, and is succeeded in the practice of law by his son Henry Neal Pharr III. He was senior partner of the law firm Horack, Talley, Pharr, and Lowndes P.A., and practiced law for forty-nine years with distinction in the fields of commercial real estate and finance, as well as governmental relations. He was well known for strong devotion to his clients and his tireless work ethic, as well as his deep appreciation and understanding of law. His professional affiliations include Mecklenburg County Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association, and American Bar Association.
In 2008 he was honored by Business North Carolina as part of the “Legal Elite” for 2008, an honor accorded to only three percent of the North Carolina Bar Association membership. He was also a member of “The Best Lawyers in America.” Mr. Pharr served as co-chairman of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association Memorials from 1996 until 2008. In the 1970’s Mr. Pharr worked closely with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce serving as Chairman of its Low Income Housing Committee. His efforts added to the city’s housing units by helping to create many public/private partnerships. Later he served on the Chamber Land Use Committee as its water matters representative.
From 1993 to 1999 Mr. Pharr served on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Advisory Committee. He became its first Chairman and served as the Storm Water representative on the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Advisory Committee charged with making recommendations for the water quality of streams in Mecklenburg County. Henry Neal Pharr II served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Thompson Home from the late 1960’s until 2008, and as Chairman of the Board 1997-1998. His maternal grandfather Rev. William Hardin Wheeler was the third Superintendent of Thompson Orphanage from 1922 to 1943. His family continued to support the many good works of this institution. Henry served on the Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church and was a member of Christ Episcopal Church. He was a member of Charlotte Country Club and of Belle Acres Golf and Country Club.
He is survived by his wife, Carol Hovis Pharr; by his sister, Jean Pharr Gilland and husband Ivan; by his sons, Henry Neal Pharr III and wife Judith, Charles Yates Pharr and wife Marisa, and Stephen Boys Pharr and wife Courtney; by his stepchildren, Athos Rostan III and Elizabeth Carol Rostan; and, by thirteen grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to: Thompson Child and Family Focus, 6800 St. Peters Lane, Matthews, NC 28105 or UNC Charlotte Foundation: Buchenau/Pharr Scholarship, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223
A service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC at 2:00PM Monday, January 12, 2015. The family will receive friends following the service. Interment will be private. T.H. Robertson Funeral & Cremation Service will be serving the family, www.throbertson.com.
Published in Charlotte Observer on Jan. 8, 2015