Arthur Eugene Morehead IV, born August 18, 1971, transitioned in peace from this life to the next, on February 8, 2019, surrounded in love by his devoted wife, his precious children, and adoring parents. He departed this life in much the same way that he lived his life: humbly, faithfully and gracefully.
Arthur grew up in the loving community of Florence, SC. He was blessed to experience the small-town feel of love and camaraderie through significant relationships with many Flo-town families, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and teachers.
He and his adoring little sister Anne Meree, both talented singers and actors much like their musical and creative parents, were nurtured in Florence’s community theater. Their theater experience imbued in them a lifetime love of the arts. Arthur and Anne Meree took regular trips with their parents to NYC to see Broadway shows, and also enjoyed extended family beach trips to Garden City with cousins.
Arthur was a natural athlete who excelled in many sports; he was a standout on West Florence’s basketball and tennis teams. Arthur found his sporting life provided him many lessons in leadership and compassion. A consummate teammate, Arthur lived his life like he played basketball always pass first.
He was elected president of the student body at West Florence High School in 1988. In the same year, he attended American Legion Palmetto Boys State and was elected Lieutenant Governor. Arthur went on to represent S.C. at Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. Arthur applied early decision to Davidson College and was thrilled to be accepted.
Arthur would mark his time at Davidson as a period of growth, while also a time of joy. Arthur found in Davidson an environment that allowed and encouraged him to question things he had never questioned before, forced him to think critically, supported him in honing his now-revered writing skills and scaffolded everlasting memories and friendships.
Arthur connected easily with others, was a skilled listener and an honest friend. As such, his junior year he was elected as defense advisor to the Honor Council. While Arthur was a committed student, he also relished the aspects of Davidson that were pure fun.
A standout in intramural athletics, he built a resume of intramural championships but more importantly accumulated many great memories on the fields and courts, which he has later enjoyed sharing with his children, in hopes that they too understand that a college community like Davidson is a special place.
Perhaps his most well-known moves were not on the basketball court, but on Patterson Court, as he was universally regarded as the best dancer on campus. Most importantly, his junior year he coached a freshman girl’s flickerball team — a staunch Davidson tradition — where he started at quarterback his then-crush, Christy Rikard.
Upon graduation, after considering a few teaching positions, Arthur ultimately decided to pursue a law degree at the University of South Carolina.
Following the bar exam, Christy and Arthur were married on August 24, 1996. The newlyweds spent their first years of marriage in Columbia, SC where Arthur began his law career at Ellis Lawhorne & Sims. Arthur’s interest in trusts and estates led Arthur and Christy to the University of Miami, where Arthur earned an LLM degree in 1999.
The still youngish couple then settled in Charlotte, NC, where Arthur practiced at Helms Mulliss & Wicker, PLLC and later at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A., where he became a shareholder.
In 2007, Arthur joined The Duke Endowment as General Counsel, and later as Vice President. Arthur embraced the missional indenture of this private foundation, which serves both North Carolina and South Carolina by funding and supporting selected programs of higher education, health care, child care and rural church. Arthur’s intellect, commitment and generous spirit made him indispensable across the organization.
One of his many roles included helping the Endowment build its first standalone headquarters, which opened in Dilworth in 2014. Trustees and staff alike sought out Arthur for his wise and good-natured guidance. When faced with complicated and difficult issues, the Endowment found Arthur’s thoughtful, intentional counsel and deliberate style of problem solving, invaluable.
Above all else, Arthur cherished his family. In Christy, he married the love of his life and their happy marriage was as well known for its devotion to their children, as it was for their devotion to each other.
Over their 22 years of marriage, Arthur and Christy shared thousands of laughs, hundreds of dances, dozens of beach trips, many sleepless nights with newborns, countless hours on baseball fields, golf courses and horse shows, and one inexorable cancer diagnosis.
But, instead of changing the way that they were, their response to this life-altering circumstance reflected everything that Arthur and Christy were as a team: courageous, determined, patient, loving, kind, humble, faithful and devoted.
Arthur’s volunteer work, and child care work at the Endowment, demonstrated his belief that how we care for our children determines the health of our society. He volunteered in many capacities on behalf of children, but is most revered and remembered for his volunteer work as a coach.
Arthur coached both Ben and Laura in baseball, softball and basketball. Arthur brought to every practice, every game, the desire to leave a child with a feeling of “I can do that” and “that was fun!”. No small task in the cut-throat world of youth sports. Arthur had the unique ability to understand what a kid might need to bring his or her very best to the task at hand.
In short, he knew how to fill a child’s emotional tank. He took many a child that lacked confidence in a skill, and made them believe that they could master it, and very often they did. Parents in the stands, and players in the dugout, whom he referred to by number when on the field, recall his running and always positive coaching banter.
Examples of coaching Arthurisms (all while calmly sitting on an overturned baseball bucket): “You’ve got this 2”, “Have fun out there 5”, “You can do it 5”, “No harm 2, no harm”, “Gonna get ’em next inning” and “Nobody hurt.” It wasn’t filler either; the kid knew Arthur meant it, and the positive messages became part of the child’s psyche.
Arthur believed that a child measures time not by quantity, but by quality and therefore he gave every bit of his kindness to every child he encountered. While Ben and Laura will not be able to have as much time with their Dad as they wanted, they will take comfort and find strength in the quality of the time that they had. Throughout elementary school, Arthur’s parting morning advice was “smile a lot, laugh a lot.”
Arthur coveted our family trips where there was always a busy itinerary, and always laughter and memories to be made. Arthur rejoiced that Ben and Laura have found passions that bring them both a sense of agency and joy and admired Ben and Laura’s gritty determination in pursuing those passions. He never let a lack of his own knowledge about their chosen activity stand in the way of expressing his sincere interests in their pursuits.
The past two years Arthur relished learning more about Ben’s golf and spent countless hours supporting Ben by learning what was needed to enter the competitive junior golf field. Arthur was even well-versed in Laura’s Hunter-Jumper world attending lessons and clinics and learning how to identify when Laura got a “lead change”, had a “good round”, and nailed “path, pace, and position.”
Ben and Laura are both competitive creatures, and both have “ice in their veins,” as Arthur liked to say. He fostered that tenacity and competitiveness but rounded it out with the caveat that whatever they choose to pursue, those pursuits should also provide them some measure of meaning and joy.
Most of all, he found Laura and Ben to be wonderful human beings that are comfortable in their own skins. Their kindness and authenticity are reflections of their sweet Daddy. He had nicknames for both, “Lalu or Lala girl” for Laura, and “Bennie or Hana” for Ben. Arthur filled Ben and Laura’s lives with his beautiful voice, joyful antics, humble wisdom, and palpable love. He will live forever imprinted on their hearts and minds.
Arthur will be profoundly missed and always remembered by so many people. He is described by his friends and colleagues, from all seasons of his life, as confident with a nod toward humility, as someone who searched for and fostered strength in others, and as a Gentle Giant. There was no better dancer at a wedding reception, no better coach, no better father, no better husband, no better friend and no nicer person than Arthur Morehead. He will live on in all of our hearts. Our very full hearts.
In addition to his wife, Christy, and their children, Ben (17) and Laura (15), Arthur is survived by his parents, The Honorable Arthur Eugene Morehead III and Elaine Morehead, of Florence, SC; his younger sister, Anne Meree Craig and her husband Les, of Bozeman, MT; his in-laws, Janis and William Rikard, of Charlotte, NC; his brother-in-law and wife, Will and Annaliese Rikard, of Wilmington, NC; and sister-in-law and her husband, Melissa and Bill Veronda, of Charlotte, NC; two nephews; three nieces; and one niece on the way; numerous cousins; and countless friends.
The two things Arthur valued most were family and friendships.
With that mind, in lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Myers Park Trinity Little League, with a designation for the Arthur Morehead Coaching Fund, MPTLL, PO Box 11556, Charlotte, NC 29220, or to Covenant Presbyterian Church, with a designation for the capital campaign for the Child Development Center and Affordable Housing, or Covenant Presbyterian Church Child Development Center Scholarship Fund, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 East Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC 28204.
The service to celebrate his life will be held at 11 am on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at Covenant Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends following the service in the Fellowship Hall. Interment will be private.
Condolences may be offered at www.harryandbryantfuneralhome.com
Published in The State on Feb. 10, 2019