Charles Grice “Lefty” Driesell

Lefty was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018. He was the Head Basketball Coach (never an assistant) at Granby and Newport News High Schools, Davidson College, University of Maryland, James Madison University, and Georgia State University. His achievements and contributions to the game of college basketball and his investment in the lives of hundreds of young men are too numerous to list but are well-documented in the media. His children and grandchildren remain his biggest fans, and while proud of his coaching accolades, they want others to know that there was so much more to love about him. They give thanks to God for the 92 years Lefty stirred up excitement, laughter, and fun in this world. Whether coaching, recruiting, storytelling, boating, and living the beach life; there are endless memories of Lefty adventures and antics. His spirit remained strong to the end and true to form, his life went into OT. He spent his final days exactly where he wanted to be – in his home overlooking the Chesapeake Bay beach where his story with Joyce began.

Charles Grice “Lefty” Driesell went to his everlasting victory on February 17, 2024. The southpaw was born in Norfolk, VA on Christmas Day 1931 to Frank and Lucy Driesell. Charles (as his mother always called him) became a manager of the Granby sports teams in second grade and went on to play varsity basketball, baseball, and football, becoming known to all as “Lefty.” The star athlete courted Granby Cheerleader Joyce Gunter and they became high school sweethearts. While Lefty was at Duke University on a basketball scholarship, he convinced Joyce to take a bus to Durham, NC, so they could elope; on December 14, 1951, they were married at the Durham courthouse and together they coached Lefty’s Most Valuable Team: their family.

With Joyce’s support, Lefty graduated from Duke University, earned his master’s degree from William and Mary College, left a stable job at the Ford factory to coach high school basketball and in 1960 launched what became a legendary career as a Division 1 coach. He accumulated 786 wins over 41 seasons and scored a lifetime of friends. Players, coaches, managers, administrators, and fans from all seasons of his life supported him to the end, and the family is especially grateful for the ways they loved him during the difficult years without Joyce by his side.

Lefty is survived by his 4 children and their families: Patti Moynihan and children Michael Moynihan, Patrick Moynihan, Morgan Hollings (husband Preston, son Easton); Pam Driesell (husband Joe Loveland) and children Tysor Anderson and Walker Anderson; Chuck Driesell (wife Paula Driesell) and children Taylor Driesell, Brette Driesell, Luke Driesell; Carolyn Kammeier (husband Brett Kammeier) and children Jake Kammeier, Charlie Kammeier, Christian Kammeier; sister Martha Driesell and her children Bill, Charles, Martha and Richard and their families; sister-in-law Margaret Gunter and her children Matt and Claire and their families; “sister” Diane Hodgson and her family; and a host of other beloved relatives and family-like friends. He is predeceased by his parents Frank and Lucy Driesell, brother-in-law William Gunter, sister-in-law June Batson, and lifelong sweetheart Joyce Lee Gunter Driesell.

The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the many caregivers and neighbors in Virginia Beach, VA and Bethany Beach, DE who cared for him with patience, love, and dignity during his last season of life, especially Taylor Marron and Glenn Hamilton.

A visitation will be held Monday March 4 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at HD Oliver Funeral Home 1501 Colonial Avenue Norfolk, VA. followed by a 1:00 pm Celebration of Life Worship Service at First Presbyterian Church Norfolk 820 Colonial Ave. followed by a private family burial.

Those who wish to make a memorial donation may contribute to Charles “Lefty” Driesell Endowed Scholarship at the University of Maryland or the “Lefty” Driesell Memorial Fund of the Jimmy V- Victory over Cancer Foundation v.org/lefty.

Fitzhugh McMaster Legerton ’47

Fitzhugh McMaster Legerton, Sr, a man of deep integrity and subtle wit, a retired pastor, who cared deeply especially for persons carrying the burdens of society, died Wednesday, February 7. He was 97.
A thinker who loved a good conversation, Fitz was curious about science, philosophy, history, literature, politics, and people. He kept index cards in his pocket to write names and notes on new people he encountered. He listened intently, asking thoughtful questions, providing perspective, and sending clippings and articles from the many books, journals, and newspapers he read daily. Playful with words and ideas, the three books open on the day he died, beside his reading place on his couch give a glimpse into his mind: Muller’s The Loom of History (1958), Lee’s Language Habits and Human Affairs: an introduction to semantics (1941), and Colson Whitehead’s 2020 novel, Nickel Boys.
With a sober demeanor, Fitz also had bright eyes and a winning smile. He was a delightful playmate, with candy and toys in his home, playing musical chairs at a family dinner, chasing little ones around the house, making marble-rolling games that three generations have loved, even allowing the children to play “beauty salon” with his hair. All four generations loved being together in the Montreat, North Carolina, home his grandmother built in 1916.
Fitz was born on June 20, 1926, in Charleston, South Carolina. His parents were Clarence William Legerton, Sr, and Winnie McMaster Legerton; he had two older brothers, Clarence W. Legerton, Jr and Clifford Lewis Legerton. He attended Davidson College, entered the U.S. Navy and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, with a commission in the Chaplain’s Corps. On December 20, 1946, Fitz married Emmy Lou Capps, of Washington DC, whom he knew from Montreat.
He received graduate degrees from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia (B.D.) and from Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M.). At Union Presbyterian Seminary, he served as President of the Senior Class and, at graduation, received the Nellie Payne Drum Fellowship for further graduate study. In 1967, Presbyterian College awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.
An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA), Fitz was called to the pastorate of the Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia in 1950. He served as Pastor of Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church until his retirement in 1992, when he was named Pastor Emeritus. He completed continuing education studies every year of active ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Union Theological Seminary in New York, Furman University, and at Manchester College, Oxford University in England. He arranged pastorate exchanges in Oregon, England, and New Zealand.
During his ministry in Atlanta, Fitz served as Moderator of the Presbytery of Atlanta, on committees in the church, a commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, and was an engaged leader in many educational, civic, nonprofit, justice, and social service organizations throughout his life. On the boards of Pace Academy and Oglethorpe University, Fitz also taught courses at Oglethorpe University and at Columbia Theological Seminary. He co-chaired “Christmas International House” in which local churches hosted international students attending colleges and universities from other areas of the United States.
An award-winning newspaper column Fitz wrote is entitled, “True Religion is Often a Disturbing Force in Life.” That understanding of the gospel is how he lived out his ministry and his life. In the 1950s, he chaired the Race Relations committee of the ecumenical Christian Council in Atlanta, helping to craft the “Atlanta Manifesto” in November 1957 (co-signed by eighty Protestant clergy) and its 1958 version (co-signed by 300 interfaith clergy). This statement identified six principles they deemed essential for promoting racial justice. The Presbyterian Historical Society in Montreat, North Carolina, has in its archives an exhibit on the Atlanta Manifesto and its place in the South’s involvement in the civil rights movement.
In 1994, Fitz and Emmy Lou moved to Montreat, North Carolina (NC), and Fitz became Assistant to the President for Church Relations at Warren Wilson College. He served in this capacity from 1994 until 2005. In their new community, the Legertons participated in Leadership Asheville for Seniors, and Fitz served as precinct chair for the Buncombe County Democratic Party. Fitz and Emmy Lou were Patrons of the Montreat Conference Center for the PCUSA, and they were deeply involved at Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church, in the Verner Center for Early Learning, and Highland Farms Retirement Community, where they moved in 2014. Fitz loved his men’s breakfast group, book clubs (one that lasted for him and Emmy Lou for over forty years) and being closer to family in Montreat. His dear Emmy Lou died on November 23, 2015.
The Rev. Dr. Legerton is survived by his and Emmy Lou Capps Legerton’s three adult children:
Winifred Roper Legerton [Winn] of Black Mountain NC, her daughter, Hannah Legerton Young of Greensboro, NC, and her loved ones with her beloved husband, John J. Young, Sr., who died in 2016: John J. Young, Jr. of Middlebury, VT and Molly Young Maass of Alexandria, VA and their families.
Fitzhugh McMaster Legerton, Jr. [Mac] of Pembroke, NC and his spouse, Donna F. Chavis, their four children-Rhiannon Chavis-Wanson (Derek Wanson) and family, Dakotah Chavis-Legerton, Amanda Chavis-Legerton and family, Priscilla Woods and family.
John Capps Legerton of Asheville, NC and his spouse, Katharine R. Meacham, their two children-Wendy Meacham Legerton (Dave Love), Hannah Meacham Legerton (William High), all of Asheville, and their families.
Fitz Legerton is also survived by his sister-in-law, Mitzi Herrin Legerton and her children, Clarence W. Legerton, III [Chip] and Coleman, Mary Legerton de Luzuriaga and Luis, Gregg McMaster Legerton and Keisha-all of Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, and their families. He and Emmy Lou have generations of nieces and nephews and their families.
A memorial service for Fitz will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 2 PM, at Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church in Swannanoa, North Carolina.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be received with gratitude at any of the three following organizations Fitz supported during his life:
Montreat Conference Center: Office of Development, P.O. Box 969, Montreat, NC 28757 www.montreat.org/memorialgiving (in memory of Fitz and Emmy Lou Legerton)
Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church: 101 Chapel Lane, Swannanoa, NC 28778 (in memory of Fitz and Emmy Lou Legerton)
The Verner Center for Early Learning: 2586 Riceville Road; Asheville, NC 28805
https://vernerearlylearning.networkforgood.com/projects/108426-your-gift-supports-children-and-families-now (in memory of Fitz and Emmy Lou Legerton)
A lean and elegant writer, Fitz crafted not only sermons for almost half a century, but also insightful letters to editors, to friends and family, and to congregants; he wrote columns in the North DeKalb Record for six years, and he contributed to the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. He was as apt to quote Thomas Hardy or William Butler Yeats as he was to quote scripture. In one newspaper column, he reminds the readers that God’s comfort gives strength to bear burdens:
“God does not coddle us when he comforts us. Nor is God’s comfort an anaesthetic that dulls us to pain. It is no spiritual sedative, no paregoric: such would not only dull us to pain, but also to joy. The word “comfort” means “with strength.” God gives us strength to bear the burden or meet the challenge. Life loses its tyrannies-fear, worry, responsibility-and we face it with a quiet comfort.”
Fitz died with a calm expression on his face, lying with composure on his bed, robe neatly tied, socks on, phone, glasses and reading material within reach-the appearance of quiet comfort.

John Howard Roe, Jr. ’69

John Howard Roe, Jr., aged 77, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on February 6, 2024, after a brief but valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. John was born on December 29, 1946, in Springfield, Tennessee, to John Howard Roe, Sr. and Lillian C. Roe. John grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee, graduating from Clarksville High School before attending Davidson College for his undergraduate studies. He attended Vanderbilt Law School, graduating first in his class as Founder’s Medalist in 1972.

John began his legal career in Atlanta, Georgia, and then moved to Nashville in 1974 to be closer to his hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee. In 1981, he and his colleague and friend Tom Sherrard opened the law offices of O’Hare, Sherrard & Roe, now Sherrard, Roe, Voight & Harbison, an esteemed law firm of more than 40 attorneys today. Known for his strong work ethic, his razor-sharp memory, and his expert legal acumen, John was dedicated to providing his clients not only the best legal advice, but to offering his clients a holistic approach to their business needs and goals. Over his 50-year legal career, John developed an expertise in real estate and tax law, co-authoring the Tennessee Condominium Act of 2008, but more importantly, he developed lifelong relationships and friendships with his clients and colleagues that he valued deeply.

John was committed to the organizations in which he was involved, the people for whom he cared, and the communities in which he lived. As an elementary school student, he became involved with the Boy Scouts of America, rising to the rank of Eagle Scout. He spent his summers at Camp Boxwell, where he developed lifelong friends with whom he continued to gather year after year. He remained involved in the Nashville chapter of the Boy Scouts until his passing, and is to be honored for his lifelong service to the Boy Scouts in April, 2024. In partnership with one of his best friends from high school, Jerry Clark, John purchased the abandoned 100-year-old building in which his high school was housed, and restored it into an apartment building, saving the historic structure from demolition. He also helped found the Wade Bourne Nature Center at Rotary Park in Clarksville. He was a long-time supporter of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, serving as Board Chair in 2005.

Learning to sail as a Boy Scout, John sailed during his free time throughout his life and kept his own sailboat on Percy Priest Lake until his passing. He loved the outdoors, and enjoyed backpacking, canoeing, and fishing trips with his family. A life-long student of history and an adventurer, he enjoyed traveling to places all over the world. But perhaps his favorite pastime was spending time at Moosehead, his home in Monteagle, where he enjoyed hiking, swimming, and sitting on the deck with his wife, children, and grandchildren, and friends.

John will be remembered for many wonderful qualities, but his family and friends will remember him best as someone who was intensely loyal, devoted, and generous to those he loved. John’s friends were friends for life, and he would do anything for someone he considered a close friend. He valued his family dearly, cherishing his relationships with his immediate and extended family members. He was beloved by his children, his stepchildren, his nieces and nephews, grandchildren, sister, and his wife Jane, all of whom gathered by his side in his final days to support him in his transition.

John is survived by his wife of 20 years, Jane Buchi Roe, his children Lillian (Nate) Gilmer, John (Alicia) Roe, and Alan (Tatiana) Roe; his grandchildren Emi, Lila, and Hannah Gilmer, Tasman and Amelia Brinton-Roe, and Matthew and Naomi Roe; and his sister, Lynne Wilson. He is preceded in death by his wife of 34 years, Emily Hunt Roe, his father, John Howard Roe, Sr., and his mother, Lillian C. Roe. Through his marriage to Jane, he was blessed with three additional children, Marla (Topper) Doehring, Hunter (Katty) Connelly, Will (Lauren) Connelly, and eight additional grandchildren, who survive him as well.

Services will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Saturday, February 10. Visitation will be held at 2:30 p.m. with a Celebration of Life Service to be held at 4:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society, or Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville.

Samuel H. Hay ’45

Long-term Pines resident Sam Hay died shortly before midnight on February 6, 2024, surrounded by two of his sons and daughters-in-law. 

Born September 10, 1924 in Brevard, NC to Presbyterian minister John R. Hay and his wife Sara Craig Hay, Sam Hay grew up in Hickory, graduating from Hickory High School in 1941. He then moved on to Davidson College, graduating in 1944. From there he headed for Chapel Hill where he completed the two-year program for Certificate of Medicine at the UNC Medical School, finishing first in his class. Hay finished his training for his M.D. at Harvard Medical School.

From 1949 to 1953, Sam Hay served his internship, fellowship, and residency at the University of Virginia Hospital, serving concurrently during the years 1950 to 1952 at the US Navy Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Having married Dorothy Churchill in 1949, Hay moved in 1953 to Toccoa, Georgia where he practiced internal medicine at Toccoa Clinic from 1953 until his retirement in 1991. After retirement from full-time practice, Dr. Hay worked for ten years at the Stephens County Health Department Indigent Clinic which he organized. Ever a mainstay at the First Presbyterian Church of Toccoa, he served as church elder, clerk of the session, and Sunday School teacher among other responsibilities. He also served on the boards of Stephens Federal Bank and the Bank of Toccoa and was active in Habitat for Humanity, serving as president after helping to found the local chapter. He and Dot worked regularly with the Stephens County Soup kitchen and supported the Stephens County Symphony and the Georgia Heart Association.

In January of 2002, Sam and Dorothy Hay moved to The Pines. While living at The Pines Dr. Hay volunteered at the free clinic in Huntersville. He and Dorothy were active members of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church. Dot Hay predeceased Sam in June of 2019. Dr. Hay is survived by his four children, Sam Hay Jr. of Stuart, Florida, Dorothy Hay Kurtz of Lexington, Kentucky, Fred Hay of Boone, North Carolina, and Dick Hay of Davidson, as well as six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, February 10, 2024 at The Pines.

Memorials in his name may be made to: The Chattooga Conservancy or The Blue Ridge Conservancy.

Richard “Buddy” Alan Birgel, Sr. ’58

Richard (Buddy) Alan Birgel, Sr. died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, after a short illness. He was 88 years old.

Buddy was born in Greensboro, NC on December 7, 1935 to Stephen Harrington Birgel and Maude Jones Birgel. He graduated from Greensboro High and then attended Davidson College. Buddy spent two years serving in the Navy before beginning a long and fruitful career in sales and real estate development, part of which was serving as an executive at Triangle Brick Company.

Buddy was known for his vibrant personality, infectious sense of humor, and generous spirit. He frequently went out of his way to help a friend or acquaintance in need. Buddy’s favorite way to connect with people was over a great meal. He was an excellent cook and loved to feed people, often showing up at your door unannounced to drop off a batch of his latest soup. When visiting a new restaurant that really wowed him, Buddy walked into the kitchen clapping and asked to shake hands with the chef. It is no surprise that over the course of his life, he made many friends in the restaurant industry.

Buddy’s love of travel made him friends across the globe. Of all the places he visited, Adelaide, Australia was his most beloved home. Other things that Buddy enjoyed included playing bridge, watching Turner Classic Movies, and singing along to Frank Sinatra. He was a master of the punchline and never lost his sense of humor, even as his health declined in the last few years of his life. Most importantly, Buddy was a devoted father. His seven children and ten grandchildren were his reason for being, and nothing brought him more joy than spending time with them.

Buddy was predeceased by his parents and younger sister Cynthia (Cookie) McAdoo. He is survived by his two sisters, Carolyn McCall and Nancy Vanstory (Neal); his brother-in-law, Halstead McAdoo (Karen); his seven children, Coleman Whittier (Brian), Anne Birgel Cunningham (Greg), Richard Birgel Jr. (Ali), Stephen Birgel (Kate), Mary Dehnert (Rick), Samuel Birgel, and Maggie Larson (Bradley); and his ten grandchildren: Eric, Crispin, and Lili Whittier; Haley, Jeanette, and Silas Cunningham; Anne and Helen Dehnert; and Emmie and Lucy Birgel. He also leaves behind eight nieces and nephews and too many special friends to list by name.

Buddy loved God and his Christian faith was very important to him. Our hearts rest a little easier knowing he will spend eternity with his Father in heaven.

Out of respect for Buddy’s wishes, there will be no formal service at this time. We hope to honor Buddy’s life by continuing to spread the joy that he so freely shared with others during his life. He will be dearly missed.