Charles “Charlie” Darius Massey ’59

Charles “Charlie” Darius Massey of Davidson, NC passed away peacefully on May 14, 2024, at S. Mitchell Mack Hospice House. He was 87 years old. Born and raised in Waxhaw, NC, Charlie is remembered as a man who served God, his family, his community, and all of mankind faithfully, as well as being a people person who loved to listen, give advice, and tell stories.

Growing up, he loved riding his horse Whiteflash with his cousin Fefe in the woods of Waxhaw, playing with his brother Henry and their dog Bobby, his paper route, and the game of basketball, which he played when he attended Waxhaw Senior High School.
Charlie grew up in the Waxhaw Presbyterian Church which impressed upon him the importance of serving, leading him to eventually serve as an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Holly, the First Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, and at Davidson College Presbyterian Church in Davidson. Additionally, he taught Sunday school, served on numerous committees, and served as a delegate to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA.

Charlie’s strong Presbyterian roots led him to Davidson College where his love of basketball grew as he cheered on the Wildcats. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, graduating with a degree in English and a minor in history. Charlie honored his alma mater by serving as president of the Wildcat Club, the Davidson Athletic Foundation, and holding numerous alumni and volunteer positions.

Upon graduating from Davidson, Charlie spent time in New Orleans, taking classes at Tulane followed by a two-year stint in the U.S. Army. Subsequently, he began his career in his family business, The Massey Company, where he worked with his brother Henry for 40 years until they both retired on December 31, 2000.

In addition to his business career, Charlie was an active volunteer, serving on many boards, including several trade associations, numerous non-profit organizations including chambers of commerce, the United Way, and the American Red Cross, as well as numerous banks, including an almost 20-year run on the board of First Union Bank.

He served as president of Gaston Skills, a work center for people with disabilities, as chair of the Gaston County Heart Association, on the Gaston Regional Planning Commission, and was a founder and original board member of Covenant Village, Inc. a church-related retirement facility. Lastly, he served as president of the Residents’ Association at The Pines at Davidson. Charlie’s outstanding acts of service led him to receive the Alumni Service Award from Davidson College in 2019.

Along with Davidson College basketball, Charlie loved jazz music, dancing, good food and red wine, all things lemon and grape, key lime pie, searching for and collecting golf balls, and being at his vacation home on Seabrook Island with his family.

He had a passion for golf and was a member of the Southern Seniors Golf Association, the Senior Golfers of America, and the American Seniors Golf Association. Charlie got a hole in one at Pebble Beach and won the Senior Golfers of America Pebble Beach Championship in 2002.

Charlie is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sue Nance Massey; his son and son-in-law, Charles Chan Massey and Joseph Chan; his daughters, Susan Chesson and Katherine Noble; his grandchildren, Charlie Chesson and wife Melinda, Jake Chesson, Sarah Wunsch and husband Mike, Annie Echols, and Julia Noble; his great grandchildren, Addie Chesson, Ophelia Wunsch, and Ezra Chesson; his brother, Henry Heath Massey, Jr. and wife Emily; his cousins, Esther Prince, Fefe Booth and husband Richard; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Heath Massey, Sr. and Bessie Smith Massey; his parents-in-law, Earl VanBuren Nance and Vondola Biggs Nance; his son-in-law, Thad Chesson; and many beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held on June 1, 2024, at 2:00 pm at The Pines at Davidson in the Davidson Room.

Memorials may be made to The Pines at Davidson Resident Support Fund, 400 Avinger Lane Davidson, NC 28036, 704-896-1489 and the S. Mitchell Mack Hospice House, Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County at mindyr@hoic.org or 704-873-4719.
Online condolences can be made at www.jamesfuneralhomelkn.com. James Funeral Home, of Huntersville, is serving the family and obituary lovingly written by the family.

Gayle Owen Averyt ’55

Gayle Owen Averyt, age 90, of Columbia, South Carolina passed away on Monday, May 13, 2024.

A celebration of life service for Gayle will be held Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 11:00 AM at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 1100 Sumter St, Columbia, South Carolina 29201, followed by a reception following service at 12:00 PM.

Virgil M. Price III ’07

On Sunday May 12, 2024 Virgil M. Price, III, Age 39, tragically disappeared at sea while free-diving and spearfishing near a World War II shipwreck off of Florida’s Atlantic coast.

He graduated from the Benjamin School in North Palm Beach and attended Davidson College. He was an incredibly skilled freediver and instructed many people on the sport as a part of Florida Freedivers. From an early age he was drawn to music, wildlife and the ocean. He was adept at multiple different instruments including piano, bass guitar, and mandolin to name a few. He shared his gift of music while playing in local bands.

He is survived by his father, Virgil M. Price II, his mother, Kathleen Cerasaro, his sister Brit Drozda, brother in law Zack Drozda, Gail Obenour, his stepfather Adriano Cerasaro, his grandmother Shirley Mulligan and his niece and nephew. He will be reunited in heaven with his previously deceased grandfather Jim Mulligan of whom he was incredibly fond of throughout his life and his previously deceased grandfather Virgil M. Price. Virgil’s fun-loving playful spirit touched the lives of so many throughout his all too brief 39 years. He will be extremely missed.

A memorial service will take place on Monday, May 20, 2024 at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church (717 Prosperity Farms Rd, North Palm Beach, FL 33408) followed by a celebration of his life immediately following the service at Bradley’s (104 S Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401) All are welcome to celebrate our dear son, brother and friend.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Virgil’s memory to https://underwaterhypoxicblackout.org/.

William R. “Bill” Giduz ’74

William R. “Bill” Giduz, longtime public relations official for Davidson College, advocate for affordable housing, and committed community servant died May 11, 2024 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 72.

Born April 12, 1952 in Chapel Hill, NC, he was the oldest son of the late Roland and Helen Giduz. Their example instilled in him the value of civic engagement, the importance of a loving home where no one is a stranger, and the habit of quiet assistance to people in need. He attended Durham Academy and graduated from Chapel Hill High School. 

At 18, he arrived at Davidson College as a freshman intending to major in Math. After one calculus class with a prof nicknamed “The Smiling F” he switched to a History major and French minor. That shift led to the formative experience of his life: Junior Year Abroad in Montpellier, France. Bill considered his best year at Davidson College to be the year he wasn’t at Davidson. In France, he bonded with classmates who became lifelong friends, a second family, and instigators of some risky activities. The Université de Montpellier being on strike much of the year, they opted for experiential learning over the classroom, wandering all over Europe and working on their “passable kitchen French” as one of them called it. Upon their return to Davidson senior year, they had to take double course loads to graduate on time.

After graduation, Bill embarked on two epic trips in 1975. The first was a 2,700-mile drive from Algeria to Togo through Africa’s Sahara Desert with Davidson classmate “Bruno” Sorrentino in a Citroën 2CV, known as a deux chevaux, or, as others called it, “an umbrella on wheels.”  

Bill followed that with a two-and-a-half-month overland trip with his brother Bob that took them by buses and trains from Brussels, Belgium to New Delhi, India, including through Afghanistan’s Khyber Pass. Bill returned in the pink of health; Bob arrived home to undergo lengthy treatment for hepatitis and other ailments he acquired during the trip that almost killed him.

After earning a master’s degree in journalism from New York’s Columbia University and racking up $500 in parking tickets, Bill moved to Atlanta to work in public relations for Southern Bell. Collection Agents from NYC tracked him down there and extracted the parking fines. Bill remained on the right side of the law after that.

William R. "Bill" Giduz '74

In January of 1980, he started work at Davidson College as news writer and college photographer. It turned into a 37-year public relations career. He was a common sight around the tree-lined campus, long legs pedaling his bike, camera slung around his neck, looking for the moments and events that make up the college experience. He made a significant contribution to the College’s photo archives. In 2009 the College art gallery held a 30-year retrospective of his Davidson photos.

While chronicling college life was his profession, his greatest achievements may have been building a family, and serving his community in many ways. In 1981 he married Ellen Weber. They met riding in the back of a pickup truck on the way to a picnic at Stone Mountain with mutual friends. It wasn’t love at first sight. “I actually had my eye on his roommate,” Ellen said. “But as I got to know this kind, quirky, intrepid adventurer, I knew that he was a “oner” and that life with him would never be dull!”

During their 43-year marriage, they had two children, Jenny and Luke, and became part of the fabric of the town of Davidson. Giduz threw himself into a variety of civic activities, ranging from elementary school reading buddy and juggling instructor to founding staffer and editorial board member of the online newspaper NewsofDavidson.org. Believing that safe and affordable housing is the basis for strong communities, Bill got involved with local organizations dedicated to housing issues. He did writing and photography for Habitat for Humanity, Davidson Housing Coalition, the Rotary Club of Lake Norman, and various church efforts at Davidson United Methodist. 

“He published our monthly letter and was at house builds,” recalled Paul Leonard, who worked with Giduz for a decade at the Davidson Habitat for Humanity. Leonard went on to become a member of the international board of Habitat for Humanity, chairing it for two years, in addition to serving as interim CEO. “Bill was just always there to help us get the word out and get known in the community.”

Giduz was a recipient of the Town of Davidson’s Jack Burney Community Service Award for his positive impact on the town and its residents. Davidson College recognized him with its Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, for “unselfish service without due recognition.”

While Giduz enjoyed skiing, pickup basketball, bowling, and cycling—and even skydiving and spelunking–he made his biggest impact in juggling. 

William R. "Bill" Giduz '74

After joining a fledgling group in Atlanta, he became active in the International Jugglers Association, applying his journalist’s skills to the organization’s management. He served as editor of Juggler’s World magazine from 1979-1996, and as president and a board member of the IJA. He’s credited with inventing “joggling”—simultaneously running and juggling—at one of the organization’s competitions. He helped organize local juggling groups and taught an accredited Phys. Ed. juggling class at Davidson. His love of juggling carried over to his family. His children remember being his “juggling props,” Luke, his son, said.  “He used to juggle us as babies along with two balls,” added his daughter, Jenny. His love of juggling is immortalized in a bench placed by the juggling community on the Davidson Village Green where he spent so many Sunday afternoons juggling and making new friends.

In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by his younger brothers Bob Giduz (Lee Carol) of Asheville and Tom Giduz (Betsy) of Chapel Hill, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte region website, at the Davidson Housing Coalition website, at the Davidson United Methodist Church website, or any other cause of your choice

The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the Davidson United Methodist Church, with a reception to follow.

(Editors’ note: It is with such sadness that the editorial board of News of Davidson says goodbye to Bill Giduz. Bill was one of our founders, and his photography and writing illuminated our efforts and elevated us with his consistent excellence, insight, wisdom, and artistic talent. He was a beloved colleague and dear friend. He helped our readers see into life here with stories and photographs of citizens and organizations. No one ever loved this town more than Bill or gave it more of himself. We will miss him deeply.

David Cain of the International Jugglers Association wrote an obituary about Bill and we want to share a link to it.)

Rush Stuart Dickson ’51

Rush Stuart Dickson of Charlotte, NC passed away quietly on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Born August 18, 1929, he was the son of Rush Smith Dickson and Lake Simpson Dickson.

Stuart attended public schools in Charlotte as well as Charlotte Country Day then Culver Military Academy where he graduated in 1947 with a JROTC commission in the United States Army. He matriculated at Davidson College in the class of 1951.

Stuart married the late Joanne Shoemaker Dickson on October 14, 1951, and they moved to New York City where he began his career in investment banking with Goldman Sachs. He returned to Charlotte when his Army unit was called to active duty during the Korean conflict. Stuart and Joanne began a family which quickly grew to include four children. At that time, he went to work at RS Dickson Company where he became president in 1958. Along with his brother Alan, he formed and took public from the investment holdings of RS Dickson Company the RUDDICK Corporation, founded in 1968 – the parent company of Harris Teeter, American & Efird Mills, Jordan Graphics, Ruddick Investment Company and Heritage Capital Corporation, among other interests. Stuart served on the Board of Directors at Textron Inc, First Union, PCA, Pick and Pay and DIMON. His far-flung business interests took him around the world multiple times.

Stuart lived life to the fullest and with a great sense of adventure. He thrived on being engaged with people and touched the lives of many. He was a man of deep and quiet faith. The number of people whom he helped and supported is inestimable.

Stuart was an enthusiastic outdoorsman who had a love for both the mountains and the ocean. He loved duck hunting, quail hunting, snow skiing, boating and bonefishing on the saltwater flats in the Abacos.

An avid golfer; he played on his Davidson College golf team and was a member of Charlotte Country Club, Quail Hollow Club, Linville Golf Club, Augusta National, Country Club of North Carolina, Wacchesaw Plantation Club, Grandfather Golf & Country Club, Bald Head Island Club and DeBordieu Club.

His community activities included United Community Services Fund, The Piedmont Club of Charlotte, The Newcomen Society and the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry.

According to Stuart, his most rewarding accomplishment was the forty years of service as Commissioner, including twenty-five years as Chairman, of Charlotte Mecklenburg Hospital Authority (Carolinas Healthcare System – now Atrium Health). Under Stuart’s leadership, the former Charlotte Memorial Hospital merged with Mercy Hospital, leading to the foundation for a multi-facility, state and regional growth strategy that continues today. With the additions of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Advocate Aurora Health it is the fifth largest health system in the US.

He served as Chairman of The Dickson Foundation, Trustee of Davidson College, UNCC, Wake Forest University and Johnson C. Smith University. In addition, he was elected to the NC Business Hall of Fame. Stuart was a lifelong member of, as well as a Life Deacon at Myers Park Baptist Church.

Stuart is survived by his wife, Kathy; his children, Rush S. Dickson III and his wife, Kristin, Thomas Walter Dickson, John Alexander Dickson and his wife, Nancy and Laura Lake Watkins and her husband, Carlton; his eight grandchildren, Sarah Dickson Bourgeois (John), Rebecca Dickson Callis (David), William Thomas Dickson (Christina), Michael Alan Dickson (Mary Stuart), Rush Alexander (Jamie Lee), Ashlyn Sherwood Dickson, Carlton Gunter Watkins III, John Walter Watkins (Sarah) and twelve great-grandchildren. Also surviving is his sister, Jane Williamson. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joanne; brother, Alan Dickson; sister, Barbara Scott and his daughter-in-law, Cecelia.

The family wishes to extend a special thanks to each and all of the caring staff at Carolinas CARE Acute Care Hospital and the Levine Dickson Hospice House at Southminster.

A memorial service will be held 2:00 PM on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC. The family will receive friends following the service in Heaton Hall. The service will be livestreamed at: https://myersparkbaptist.org/worship/livestream/ for those unable to attend in person. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of Stuart to the charity of your choice.