Margaret Lynn Morgan ’91

On November 24, 2022, Margaret Lynn Morgan, beloved wife, devoted mother, cherished sister, and much-admired friend and educator, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family.

Margaret was born August 16, 1969, in Cutchogue, New York to Dr. Donald O’Quinn Morgan and Sue (Brown) Morgan. Dr. Don Morgan’s work as a research veterinarian took the family to Lexington, Kentucky and Urbana, Illinois, but home was the tip of Long Island where the potato and pumpkin farms provided most of the entertainment. She graduated from Mattituck High School in 1987.

Margaret’s lifelong dream was to teach high school math, so she began her education at Davidson College, in Davidson, North Carolina. At Davidson, Margaret found her place. She loved the college almost as much as she loved the friends she made there. You didn’t know Margaret for long without knowing how important her Davidson years were to her. She loved to tell the story of when Hurricane Hugo came through, and the campus lost power for a week. She cherished the time with her Davidson family at the Davidson gatherings at Montreat, North Carolina. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Davidson, Margaret decided to move to Athens, Georgia to pursue her graduate education at both of her parents’ alma mater, the University of Georgia. Margaret earned both a master’s degree in Mathematics Education (1993) and a master’s degree in Mathematics (1995). While in graduate school, Margaret worked as a tutor for the UGA Athletics Department, making friends with most of the football players of the early nineties.

It was during graduate school that Margaret met the love of her life, Derrell Hall. Margaret and Derrell were married August 3, 1996, holding the event on land that had been in her family for over a hundred years and where her family still had a home. Margaret and Derrell made their home in Athens, Georgia, and Margaret procured a mathematics teaching position at what was then called Athens Area Technical Institute. Margaret rose quickly through the ranks at Athens Tech, serving as mathematics instructor, department coordinator, e-Learning coordinator, Director of Instruction, and Dean for the Division of Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing. Margaret would eventually follow her dream of teaching high school math and ended her career as a mathematics instructor at Cedar Shoals High School. One of Margaret’s driving forces was to mentor students to love math as much as she did. More importantly, she wanted her students to love learning and to achieve more than they thought possible (which they did). In 2011, Margaret earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia. She was proud to follow in her father’s footsteps with the title Dr. Morgan.

Without question, the greatest moment of Margaret’s life was the day her son Jackson was born. Jackson brought a happiness to his parents’ lives that they could never have imagined. She always liked to say that Jackson was made of the best parts of both of his parents. She was thrilled when she began teaching high school that Jackson was still young enough for long summer vacations. They made a goal to visit as many major league baseball parks as they could and visited all of the major national parks. One of her favorite annual traditions was spending the holidays in Snowshoe, West Virginia, drinking hot chocolate and watching Derrell and Jackson ski. Most recently, Margaret celebrated Jackson’s admittance to UGA-another Dawg in the family!

In addition to loving math, Margaret was an outstanding baker. She loved making cakes, cookies, and breads. She said that cooking for others is what helped her relax. Her friends and family all benefited from her “relaxation,” and everyone had their favorite dish that she would make for them on birthdays and special occasions. Her pumpkin cake was legendary.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, Derrell Hall; son Jackson Morgan Hall; her brother, Ernest (Kelly) Morgan of Star, North Carolina; her nephew Donald (Stephanie) Morgan and her great-nephew Bruce Morgan of Las Vegas, Nevada; and her niece, Madeline Morgan of Alexandria, Virginia. She also has special friends, who are like family, Madeline and Jonathan Ransom and their parents and her friend, Caroline Angelo, Jackson’s “second” mom. She also leaves behind her two much-loved dogs, Wrigley and Chipper.

A celebration of life ceremony will be held Saturday, December 17, 2022, at 11:00 AM at Milledge Avenue Baptist Church. The family will receive friends from 10:00AM until 10:45AM at the church.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Athens Area Habitat for Humanity or the Fund for Davidson College.

Gary Allen Sims Jr. ’82

Gary Allen Sims Jr., 62, of Salisbury, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center.

Born Sept. 17, 1960, in Cabarrus County, he was the son of Ada Fink Sims and the late Gary Allen Sims Sr. Gary graduated from Concord High School’s Class of 1978, where he played football and baseball and from Davidson College’s Class of 1982. He played football at Davidson and was proud to be a Wildcat. He began his career as a teacher at Concord Middle School and serving a few other schools. He later worked for the NCDMV as a driver education specialist and retired as supervisor.

Following his retirement, he worked in the TMU Unit at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and was an on-campus transportation driver at UNC Charlotte.

Gary loved his family, watching his nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews play sports. He loved watching sports on TV and playing golf. Gary also loved going to the beach with Lisa for special getaways. He was an Eagle Scout and taught himself to play the bass guitar and serve on the Praise Band at Salem Lutheran Church.

Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 39 years, Lisa Vanderford Sims; mother, Ada Fink Sims; sister, Donna Sims; cousin, Jeff Bowling; mother-in-law, JoAnn V. Alessandrini; two sisters-in-law, Judy (Kenny) Jones and Linda (Brian) Corcoran; nieces and nephews, Natalie Morgan, Wesley (Meredith) Jones, Anna (Zeb) Winslow; Brianna Corocran and Erin Corcoran, and Chrissy (Marshall) Braden, Katie (Vince) Ewell; and 10 great-nieces and -nephews.

The family will receive friends Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., at He’s Alive Church, 1310 N Cannon Blvd. in Kannapolis. The celebration of life service will begin at 11 a.m., in the church sanctuary, with Pastor Bill Coleman and Pastor Doug Hardin officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741 or the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231.

Peter Cassell ’64

Peter Ingve Cassell, 80, of South Down Shores, passed away on Sunday, November 20, 2022, at his home surrounded by family, after a 2-year battle with sarcoma. Peter was born on April 21, 1942, in New Rochelle, NY. He was the son of the late Carl and Lucile (Anderson) Cassell.

He moved to West Palm Beach, FL, at age 2. He met his future wife, Veronica (Connie) Morkert, in junior high school, and they married on August 25, 1962. They raised their family in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, moving to Andover, MA in July 1975, and to Laconia in November 1998.

Peter graduated from Davidson College in 1964 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English, where he was a brother of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He worked as a computer analyst and programmer during his working years. He proudly attained the rank of colonel in the US Army Reserves, retiring after 30 years of service. Over his lifetime, Peter volunteered for many groups and served on several committees. He worked with the Trauma Intervention Program in Andover, and after moving to Laconia, he volunteered with the Got Lunch Program, was a co-developer of the We Honor Veterans Program, and was a hospice volunteer with Granite VNA. He also held various positions on multiple committees in South Down Shores. Peter loved his community and wanted to give back as much as he could.

Peter loved boats, both sailboats and power boats. He and Connie made several sailing trips to the Virgin Islands with friends. He also enjoyed boating on Lake Winnipesaukee, and often enjoyed spending an afternoon moored in a small cove on the Lake, just relaxing. Peter also loved music and singing. From singing in church choirs to Barbershop choruses or quartets, he always had a song in his heart.

Peter was predeceased by his parents, Carl Ingve and Lucile (Anderson) Cassell, and his wife of 50 years, Veronica (Morkert) Cassell. He is survived by his daughter Melanie (Cassell) Prugh, her husband Duane Prugh, Jr., their children Ashley (Prugh) Rosa and Geoffrey Prugh of Methuen and North Andover, MA; daughter Tracy Cassell, of Stoughton, MA; sister Susan (Cassell) Everson, and her husband John, of Vonore, TN; brother-in-law Terrence Morkert, and his wife Stephanie, of Boca Raton, FL; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

Per Peter’s wishes, there will be no calling hours. A private family burial will be held at a later date at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, Boscawen, NH. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held, as well. In lieu of flowers, for those who wish, the family suggests memorial donations in Peter’s name be made to the New Hampshire Humane Society, NHHumane.org, or the Granite VNA, granitevna.org. Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services and 603Cremations.com, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH, is assisting the family with arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, please visit www.wilkinsonbeane.com.

John Bruce Steigner ’64

Dr. John Bruce Steigner, MD, was born in Pennsylvania to John and Regina Steigner on October 31, 1942 and passed from this life in Houma, LA on November 13, 2022. 

Bruce graduated from Davidson College and the Medical University of South Carolina.  He practiced as an ophthalmologist in Houma.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon Honeycutt Steigner, his sons, John (Julie), Mike (Claire), Patrick (Sarah), and Jason, seven grandchildren Loraine, Oliver, Liam, Gwen, Sebastian, Ethan, and Caroline Steigner, two sisters, Barbara Bland and Sally Duckett. He is also survived by the mother of his sons, Milly Dampeer, stepsons, Bruce Ryland (Leigha) and Clint Ryland, and five step grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in Houma, LA at Chauvin Funeral Home Friday, November 18, 2022 from 9:00 AM until service time at 11:00 AM. Chauvin Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Dr. John Bruce Steigner.

To send condolences please visit www.chauvinfuneralhome.com.

John McDermott Monaghan, Jr. ’74

John McDermott Monaghan, Jr., 70, passed away November 12, 2022, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease. John was born May 14, 1952, in Fayetteville, N.C. to his loving parents Sara Weatherly Monaghan and John McDermott Monaghan, Sr. John dearly loved his hometown, where his father’s family lived for 150 years.

John was a proud graduate of Terry Sanford High School, Davidson College (Go Wildcats!), and earned a MPA from NCSU.

Beyond John’s academic and corporate successes, he was a loving husband to Cathy Constant Monaghan for 43 years. John was Dad to Katherine Monaghan Nisbet (husband Thomas), and Ann Clark Monaghan, and he was an outstanding “Daddy J” to Thomas Gluyas Nisbet IV (Ford) and John McDermott Nisbet (Mac), all of Raleigh.

John was a hands-on guy – a Mr. Fix It, and he was always there with his tools ready to work. He was a happy, dedicated family man, eager to lend a hand. His quiet, compassionate, witty persona helped John make and keep friends for a lifetime.

John’s professional career was long and varied with unique duties ranging from city government to downtown revitalization, and then the natural gas industry. He worked for the City of Fayetteville as Assistant City Manager, Downtown Revitalization Director, and as President of Fayetteville Progress. A career change took John to North Carolina Natural Gas, Carolina Power and Light, Progress Energy, and finally Piedmont Natural Gas, where he worked in governmental affairs until retirement.

He was passionate about figuring out how to make things in the world work better. This was true throughout his life − from restructuring how to best manage garbage pickup, to routing natural gas through a maze of pipelines from the Gulf of Mexico during a rare deep-south blizzard so that his beloved Tar Heel State’s residents could heat their homes and industries didn’t have to shut down.

John was a genuinely smart guy who loved a challenge. He was equally comfortable fishing with friends off the N.C. coast or on a drilling rig in the Gulf as he was giving a presentation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington D.C. Upon John’s early retirement from Piedmont Natural Gas, he was awarded membership in the Order of the Longleaf Pine, a high honor for North Carolinians.

Although he received numerous awards in his career, John was most proud to be called Dad and Daddy J. Daddy J enjoyed digging in the dirt and playing with trucks with his grand boys, paying homage to his own childhood passion. He was thrilled to spend time at the coast, in pursuit of his favorite seafood, or in the N.C. mountains with friends or family. From classical to New Orleans jazz to classic rock, John loved all music and never argued about the cost of concert tickets. He enjoyed travel, but anywhere in the Tar Heel State was always a top destination. John claimed to have played “the worst rounds of golf on the best courses” in the country. His dry wit and sense of humor got John through many sticky situations and endeared him to friends and coworkers alike.

Church was also an important element of John’s life. He was a spiritual man who loved sharing his faith. From leading youth group camping trips to his time serving the church vestry at St. Johns in Fayetteville, John was an ever-present source of strength and wisdom. When his career took him to Raleigh, the Monaghan’s found their home at Christ Church, where he again lent a hand whenever needed.

Our family wishes to thank the staff at The Cardinal at North Hills, for the love, patience, and daily care shown to John for the past 14 months of his residence there. They are truly angels without wings.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at Christ Church, 120 East Edenton St., Raleigh, on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 2 p.m., with a reception following in the parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to one of John’s favorite organizations in his memory: Christ Episcopal Church, 120 E. Edenton St., Raleigh, NC 27601 (https://ccral.org/give/memorial-honorarium/); Cumberland County Foundation, 308 Green St., Fayetteville, NC 28301 (https://www.cumberlandcf.org/give/give-now.html); St. John’s Episcopal Church, 302 Green St., Fayetteville, NC 28301 (https://www.stjohnsnc.org); or St. Saviour’s Center, 616 Tucker St., Raleigh, NC 27603 (https://www.saintsaviourcenter.org/donate/).