Jere W. Witherspoon ’54

 Jere Warthen Witherspoon of Matthews, NC, died at his home in Matthews Glen on February 3, 2022 due to cancer. He was born in Shepherdstown, WV on June 24, 1932, to The Rev. Dr. James Whitted Witherspoon and Ethel Warthen Witherspoon, and was the youngest of three sons.

Jere is survived by his wife, Ellen, son Jay (Karen), daughter Jean, son Jim (Joy), four grandchildren, Katie (David Kellogg), John, Katherine and Caroline, sisters-in-law Carolyn Witherspoon and Alice Day, and brother-in-law Frank Wheby. His brothers, Lt. James W. Witherspoon, Jr., USAF, and John Witherspoon, as well as his parents, predeceased him.

During his 53-year membership at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, he served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons, an Elder, Sunday School Teacher, member of the Endowment Council, Co-Chair of the Senior Adult Fellowship, and treasurer of the Rhodes, Johnston, Boyce Bible Class.

Jere graduated from Davidson College in 1954, then served for five years as an F-86 pilot in the USAF. After receiving a Master of Health Administration degree from Washington University in 1961, he was employed in hospital management in WV and NC. He held various staff positions with The Duke Endowment for 27 years, retiring as Executive Director in 1996.

Jere’s career included participation in many national and local health care and philanthropic organizations. One of his most rewarding volunteer activities began in 1980 when he was chosen to serve as Chairman of the Board of Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte when the new service had only three employees and three patients.

Following retirement, Jere served on the advisory board of the Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation, volunteered for Friendship Trays, Habitat for Humanity, AARP Tax-Aide counseling and Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselor for the Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte and as a Charlotte Tutor volunteer.

The family wishes to thank Hospice, Myers Park Presbyterian Church, and friends for their unwavering support during Jere’s illness.

A memorial service will be held for the family. Memories and condolences may be posted online at

For those wishing to make a memorial gift, please consider Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 7845 Little Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28226, and Myers Park Presbyterian Church, 2501 Oxford Place, Charlotte, NC 28207.