Charles Lampley III ’59

Dr. Charles Gordon Lampley III, 83, left the arms of his family and sailed away from his earthly port to be with his Creator on April 25, 2020.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father and an infant son, Luke Leland Lampley. The world has lost an extraordinary husband, father, grandfather, friend, and physician.

He was born on April 6, 1937, in Mt. Gilead, North Carolina, to the late Charles Gordon Lampley II and Margaret Henry Lampley.   Charlie graduated from Shelby High School in 1955. He graduated from his beloved Davidson College in 1958 where he was a wrestler. He graduated from Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in 1962 and completed his residency there in obstetrics and gynecology in 1966.

He was a Lieutenant Commander in the  U.S. Navy serving as a physician at Camp Lejeune, NC. In 1968, he returned to Shelby and joined the practice his father started, Shelby Women’s Clinic. He retired from there in 1998.  

His joy came from being a father and a husband. A true renaissance man, a romantic, Charlie’s life exemplified his many different interests and passions. He was “The Stork” to many in Cleveland County where he was an OB-GYN, delivering many of the county’s population.

He was a lifelong, enthusiastic learner of many subjects, attending classes at Davidson from the time he retired College until just months before he passed away.  He was a lover of many art forms, including classical music, woodworking, playing the dulcimer, and was an avid supporter of WDAV. 

He was a Master Gardener, a collector of nature, who appreciated the beauty of Japanese Maples, azaleas, and rhododendrons down to the tiniest seed. He appreciated the arts – Bach, Beethoven, Maria Callas, Michelangelo, DaVinci, and his favorite artist and poet, his daughter, Cassie.

He was an avid traveler and storyteller, a lover of wine, food, and friendship,  an accomplished sailor, a scuba diver, a skier, a beekeeper,  a genealogist, a lover of Greek culture, a mentor to youth at Jefferson and  Rock Springs Elementary School, and served as a deacon and an elder at Shelby and Unity  Presbyterian Churches. His faith in Christ was the central guiding principle of his life.

Charlie was a nurturer and a healer. He brought 10,000 babies into this world and his most precious time was spent being a father to his own three, Chuck, Mark, and his daughter, Cassie. 

He greatly admired the tenacity of the human spirit and loved to tend and watch life grow, from tiny embryos to beautiful humans, from delicate seeds and saplings to their majestic glory.  He never stopped teaching, living, learning, storytelling, or listening.

He loved us unconditionally. He taught us how to love, learn, and know God. His love and wisdom will sustain us in our healing. He will continue to guide and parent Cassie from God’s side.

The unbearable pain felt by his loss is a reflection of how fully loved and deeply missed he is by his family and friends.  People were drawn to him – to know him was to love him or want to be his friend.

He is survived by his true heart’s companion and wife, Tammy MacKinnon Lampley, and his daughter, Cassie Emma Grace Lampley of Denver, NC; his sister, Ann Lampley Pharr of Shelby, NC, his sons, Charles Gordon Lampley IV (Laura) of Shelby, NC, and Mark David Lampley (Karen) of Knoxville, TN. He had five grandchildren: Elizabeth, Sydney, Sarah, Meg, and Luke.

The family will have a private ceremony to honor Charlie’s life in Denver, NC, and a celebration of life service at a later time. Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home in Shelby is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, Charlie would like donations made in his honor to: WDAV 89.9 Davidson College PO Box 8990 Davidson, NC, 28035; or The Honey Bee Conservancy, ℅ Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, 23532 Calabasas Road, Suite A, Calabasas, CA 91302.