Robert L. Avinger, Jr. ’60

Robert Livingston Avinger, Jr. died on June 23, 2021 of advanced dementia. Born on April 26, 1938 to Frances Haltiwanger and Robert Livingston Avinger, Sr., Bob grew up in Columbia, South Carolina in a happy neighborhood filled with family and life-long friends.

Bob was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Dreher High School in 1956, where he was a proud member of the 1956 State Championship basketball team. Bob attended Davidson College and thrived academically, socially, and athletically. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, was president of Beta Theta Pi, and played on Dr. Tom Scott’s golf team. Bob developed a deep love for Davidson College and his network of college friends remained incredibly important to him. After graduating from Davidson in 1960, Bob served for two years as a lieutenant in the United States Army. Bob then earned his PhD in Economics from Duke University.

Returning to Davidson College in 1967, Bob taught Economics and served as the Dean of the Center for Special Studies. He received the first ODK Award given by students for outstanding teaching. His relationships with his students were deep and influential; he remained closely connected to former students throughout his life. That influence continues today through the Avinger Impact Fund – providing annual grants awarded through the Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Davidson College to current students to support the development of business start-up ideas. Indicative of Bob’s influence, the fund was established by his former students.     

In 1980, Bob left Davidson College and joined his friend Olin Nisbet at Sterling Capital Management, an investment advisory firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. After retiring from Sterling in 1998, Bob continued to pursue his passion for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Bob and Jane McRae Jackson married in 1962. For over fifty years, they have lived in and served the Davidson community. Bob was a devoted member of Davidson College Presbyterian Church, where he was an Elder. Together, Jane and Bob received the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award for service to the community – and most notably for their leadership in developing the Pines Retirement Community. Bob served on the Board of Trustees at Davidson College and on the Board of the Union Seminary.

Through the years, the family spent summers at Pawleys Island, South Carolina. While at Pawleys, Bob shared his love for sailing, flounder fishing, and spending time in the creek. Their home at Pawleys, “Lagniappe,” was a joyful haven for friends and family. Bob adored music and reading. He entertained many with his mean jazz piano playing and was a founding member of the Davidson Book Club.

Bob is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jane Jackson Avinger of Davidson, his children Mary Charles Avinger Montgomery, Asheville, and Robert Livingston Avinger, III (Jane Price), Nashville. Bob was affectionately called “Grandbobby” by his six grandchildren: Findley Dean Montgomery, Catherine Stuart Montgomery, Whitney Harris Montgomery, Jr., Anna McNair Avinger, Robert Baker Avinger, and Caroline Coker Avinger.

His brothers and sisters-in law and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins from the Avinger, Haltiwanger, Jackson, and Rivers families were all important to him.

The family is profoundly grateful to the many loving and compassionate caregivers both at home and at the Pines Health Center and is especially grateful for Eddy Beam. 

A worship service in celebration of Bob’s life will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, June 27, in the Lilly Family Gallery in the Chambers Building on the campus of Davidson College. A reception will follow. Unvaccinated attendees are requested to please wear a mask.     

There will be a visitation at the Avinger home on Saturday, June 26 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorials gifts can be made to the Avinger Impact Fund at Davidson College or to The Pines at Davidson. 

Avinger Impact Fund
Davidson College 
Box 7170
Davidson NC 28035-7170

The Pines at Davidson
400 Avinger Lane
Davidson, NC. 28036

William Hollister ’51

‘I cannot rest from travel: I will drink life to the lees.’ That immortal line of poetry by Tennyson was one of our father’s favorites and it served as his life’s motto.

A life-long seeker of adventure and travel, William Hollister, 92, embarked on his final and most epic voyage on Father’s Day, June 20, 2021. Born to medical missionaries in Mokpo, Korea, Bill was nick-named, “Billy Go Hollister” by his mother, who noted at an early age his passion for discovering and exploring new horizons both near and far.

A graduate of The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Bill graduated from Davidson College in 1951, promptly married his hometown sweetheart, Jacqueline Bryan Wade, then attended the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore, Md. He completed a year of internship at the Medical College of Virginia before crossing the Mediterranean Sea with the Navy aboard the USS Rockbridge, serving as the ship’s doctor.

After serving in the Navy for two years, Bill completed four years of surgical residency at the Medical College of Virginia. Bill moved to Fredericksburg in 1962 to join the surgical practice of his friend and partner, Dr. Richmond Low. He would be a general surgeon at Mary Washington Hospital for the next 33 years, making house calls and providing devoted care to his patients despite their means, all the while traveling extensively with his wife, his family members, and friends.

He traveled with People to People to China to perform surgery with a team of doctors and nurses and went on safari in Africa as the expedition’s physician. He was a long-time member of the Presbyterian church in Fredericksburg serving as a Sunday school teacher, a Deacon and an Elder for many years.

He will be remembered for his love and devotion to his family and friends, his clever wit, his great sense of humor, his love of poetry and literature, and his boundless curiosity. We cherish memories of his writing clues for his family members to find their hidden birthday gifts, the family skiing trips, the Maryland Terps football games, the entertaining car rides to New Bern and Atlantic Beach, and the ability to make us all laugh at any given moment- even during his final days. He was also a sentimental man, who had a soft spot for stray animals.

Bill leaves behind his wife, Jackie, and his four children: Jackie, Chi (John), Bill and Sarah, along with grandchildren Buck Decatur, Wade (Ashley) Gustafson, Greta (Ronnie) Hobbs, Stephen (Annie) Potts, Emily and Will Potts, and two great-grandchildren Connor and Madelyn Hobbs. He also leaves behind a brother, Robert M. Hollister and a sister, Emily Hollister Vecella. He was preceded in death by his parents William and Emily Hollister and his brother, Gordon Hollister.

A family graveside service will be held in the Hollister family plot in Cedar Grove Cemetery, in Bill’s hometown of New Bern, North Carolina. The family would like to extend a special thank you to his many caregivers, especially Denise Ott and Stella Adeniji and to his supportive Hospice team.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Fredericksburg Presbyterian Church, Mary Washington Hospice or the Fredericksburg SPCA.

Copyright: © Copyright 2021, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, VA

Charles Nelms, Jr. ’61

Charles Randall Nelms, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S. was born September 14, 1939, in Kingsport, TN to C.R. and Jane Dickinson Nelms. He died peacefully June 13, 2021 in Pinehurst NC, just about two months shy of his 60th wedding anniversary (8/5/1961). He was preceded in death by his parents and his infant granddaughter Ashlyn Morgan McCabe.

He is survived by his 4th grade sweetheart, (Kara) Gretchen (Goerdel) and children, Kara Elizabeth Ferril (Byron) of Amarillo, TX; Dr. Wendy Marion Nelms McCabe (Eric) of Lino Lakes, MN; and Dr. Jennifer Lynn Cutter of Cincinnati, OH. Surviving grandchildren are Kayla Elizabeth Lloyd (fiancé, Mitchell Norman); Nicholas Randall Lloyd (Elizabeth); Cullen Austin; Devlin Alexander and Cashlin Abigail McCabe; brother, Frank Dickinson Nelms (Farris); nephews and nieces, Frank (Susan) Nelms; David (Leigh) Nelms; Preston (Ashley) Nelms; Beth (Jon) Pierce; John (Trey) Hill III (Ross Ann); Karl Hill; Kevin (Beata) Hill; Robert Hill; Kimberly (Michael) Neas; Kathie Cashion; and Hank (Susan) Dunning, as well as several great nieces and nephews.

Dr. Nelms grew up in Kingsport, TN, later taking “Minnesota Hillbilly” as his CB handle for his many family road trips. He graduated from Dobyns-Bennett HS in ’57 and Davidson College in 1961 where he was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity. He graduated from U.T. Medical School in Memphis in Dec. 1964; where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, an Honor Medical Society. His internship and ENT residency were completed at the University of MN in 1970.

He served two years in the Air Force as a Major at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, NE. Upon completion of his military service, he returned to the Twin Cities to practice ENT and head and neck surgery for 27 years. He served as Ramsey County Medical Society President for two terms and President of the Minnesota Medical Association, also two terms. He held two patents relating to ENT, the Nelms Elevator and Earbear Otoscope.

While in the Twin Cities he learned to downhill ski and enjoyed skiing with his family in CO, camping, canoeing and golfing. He attended all four golf majors as a spectator, a few more than once. Greg Norman nailed him in the thigh on hole #6 at Hazeltine National in the ’90s. He was an accomplished athlete logging numerous marathons, triathlons, Birkebieners and one Ironman, finishing first in his age group.

He went on to earn an MBA at the then College of St. Thomas in the early 90s and even took piano lessons for a few years. He retired to Pinehurst in 1999 and continued to play lots of golf. He was proud to have won Couples Club Championships at 3 different clubs (North Oaks Golf Club, Pinewild CC, and Pinehurst Super Senior division). He had 5 holes-in-one in his lifetime.

He loved travelling and visited 6 continents. He also travelled to visit his daughters and the grandchildren to watch/support their numerous sports and endeavors

We would like to thank the Comfort Keepers caregivers and those at Hospice House. Memorials may be made to Hospice House, 251A Campground Road, West End, NC 27376.

 Copyright Sandusky Newspaper Group, Kingsport Times-News, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Harry Lee Broome ’60

Dr. Harry Lee Broome was born in Salisbury, NC in 1937. He was Valedictorian at Needham Broughton HS in Raleigh NC graduating in 1956, where he also became an Eagle Scout and a champion tennis player. He went on to play tennis for Davidson College graduating in 1960. He then attended UNC School of Medicine and served as a physician in the US Army as a Major stationed overseas in Korea.

Returning to Fort McPherson in Atlanta, he completed his training in orthopedic surgery at Georgia Baptist (now Atlanta Medical Center) and opened a practice, Chattahoochee Orthopedic Clinic, with his longtime friend and partner, Dr. Lyn Crooms.

He later practiced at Pinnacle Orthopedics.Harry was a family man, a dog lover, a student of history, a tennis player and a bass fisherman. Mostly, however, he was a charming, honest and sincere friend to so many people and those who were lucky enough to be counted amongst them have learned the true meaning of loyalty and friendship.

He was preceded in death by his daughter Mary Elizabeth Broome and his beloved dog Allie.

He leaves behind his wife of 43 years and best friend, Sandra Jean (Sandy). His adoring children – Harry Jr., married to Karen, Trey, and Shawn, married to Paul Castino. His grandchildren include Payson, Evan, Anna, Jake, Abby and Michael who loved him dearly. It was mutual. His sisters, Betty and Bonnie and their extended families in North Carolina.

Finally, he also leaves behind his two Portuguese Water Dogs, hundreds of dear friends, and thousands of largemouth bass fish that he put back into the water at the Suwannee River. He is and will be deeply missed.

Visitation will be held at Roswell Funeral Home, 950 Mansell Road, Roswell, GA on June 18, 2021 from 12 noon until 2 PM with a celebration of Harry’s life following at 2 PM.

In Lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Atlanta chapter of the Humane Society.

Copyright: Copyright (c) 2021, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Paul Howard Sellers ’55

Paul Howard Sellers, 87, of Norfolk VA, died May 11, 2021. He was the son of Charles Howard Sellers and Norma Willis Sellers.

He graduated from Winyah High School in Georgetown SC and Davidson College (NC).

He is survived by his children, Virginia (Mark) Bitikofer; Charles (Berenice Krebs) Sellers; Ellen (James) Honeycutt; and Paula Sellers; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He was an electronics engineer, employed by the U.S Navy, when he retired. He was a member of Larchmont United Methodist Church.

Burial will be private.

Copyright: Copyright (c) 2021 The Virginian-Pilot