John Addison Ricks, Jr. ’29

John Addison Ricks, Jr. ’29, 103, passed away Aug. 13, 2010, at Waddell Nursing Home in Galax, Va. He was the son of John A. Ricks, Sr. and Ruth Harriss Ricks. He was born Dec. 23, 1906, in Greenville, N.C. He was a proud and loyal alumnus of Davidson. He also graduated from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., in 1932.

His first pastorate was at historic Rocky River Presbyterian Church in Rocky River, N.C.

In 1941, he moved to Webber City, N.C., with his wife, Mamye. He organized a Presbyterian congregation in the community, meeting in a vacant automotive garage for 11 years and eventually laboring alongside church members as they cut trees, planed lumber, and constructed a building for Immanuel Presbyterian Church.

After 15 years there, he and his family moved to Roanoke, Va., where he served as pastor at Belmont Presbyterian Church for 17 years. In 1973, he was called to Hillsville, Va., and served as pastor at Dinwiddie and Fairview Presbyterian Churches until his retirement.

He also served as interim pastor at Anderson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Pulaski, Va., and supplied Westminster Chapel of First Presbyterian Church, also in Pulaski.

In addition to his parents, Ricks was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Mamye Turner Ricks; his son, William Timothy Ricks ’71; grandson, William Scott Ricks; sister, Julia Hodges; brother, George Harris Ricks; and nephew, John Ricks Hodges.

Survivors include his son, John A. Ricks III ’61 (Elaine), 201 E. Beech St., Cochran, GA 31014-8510; daughter, Mary Elizabeth Whartenby (Tom); grandchildren, Anne Ricks Lampton, J. Addison Ricks IV, Bryan Glover, David Whartenby, and Kathryn Whartenby; great-grandchildren, Amy and Maggie Lampton; niece, Norwood Strasberger; nephews, G. Harris Ricks, Jr. ’75 (Wendy Smith Ricks ’81) and Tom Hodges ’50.

George William Crawford ’29

George William Crawford ’29, of Statesville, N.C., died Nov. 3 at his home at the age of 103. Crawford was born Oct. 21, 1906, and was the son of the late John Clifton and Mary Niblock Crawford of the Chambersburg (Bethany) township of Iredell County. He completed Davidson with honors, earned his master’s degree at UNC Chapel Hill, and later his Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

In 1940, he was called into service during World War II and served as lieutenant colonel of infantry in the European Theater as a member of the First U.S. Army Headquarters. He took part in Normandy, Central European, and Rhineland campaigns, being awarded six ribbons and three campaign stars.

On May 19, 1934, George married Frances Knox of Cornelius, who died Aug. 21, 1991. They had no children but both chose to educate children. She taught first grade, and he served as a professor of physics at N.C. State University, Davidson College, and The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Va.). He retired from William and Mary, and they named him professor emeritus of physics. He cherished the title of “professor.”

In addition to enjoying teaching, he had many interests and hobbies, including forms of woodworking (marquetry and furniture making). Until he was nearly 100, he shared his knowledge of astronomy through articles and star charts published in the Statesville Record & Landmark.

A lifelong Presbyterian, Crawford has served his church as a deacon, elder, and teacher and on many committees. Until recently, he rarely missed Sunday worship at Forest Park.

He is survived by a nephew, Robert C. Crawford, and by nieces, Agnes C. Mayes, 849 Old Mocksville Rd., Statesville, NC 28625; Mary Frances C. Holland; Sara C. Wolfson; and Betty Crawford.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Fred N. Crawford, Sr., James A. Crawford, and Thomas N. Crawford, and by a nephew, Fred N. Crawford, Jr. He is also survived by several great- and great-great-nieces and nephews, whom he adored.

William Kendrick Pritchett ’29

William Kendrick Pritchett ’29, one of the nation’s foremost scholars on Greek language, culture and literature, died May 29, 2007, in his Berkeley home after a fall. As a UC Berkeley professor of Greek, he patiently helped students beginning to learn the difficult language. But in the academic world, he reveled in his reputation as a combative scholar, eager to challenge other academics and long-accepted beliefs.

During his 28 years as a professor in the department of classics—including four as its chairman—and after his retirement, he wrote more than 30 books and 100 articles. The topics included ancient Greek grammar and syntax, literature and historiography, topography, war, religion, political institutions, chronography, and the study of inscriptions carved into marble.

But he always loved teaching, and despite his experience and reputation, insisted on teaching elementary Greek as often as possible.

At Davidson he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He earned a master’s from Duke University in 1930. He earned a doctorate in 1942 from Johns Hopkins University. From 1936 to 1942, he was a researcher in the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly after Pearl Harbor and rose to the rank of captain before leaving the military and returning to Princeton.

In 1948, he was hired as an associate professor of Greek in the UC Berkeley classics department. At UC, he distinguished himself as an authority in the fields of Greek typography, military science and practice, and the intricacies of the Athenian calendar and time-reckoning. He traveled extensively in Greece to establish the veracity of such historians as Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon and Polybios, whose accounts were often viewed with skepticism by modern academics.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Dow, and daughter, Katherine. He is survived by two grandchildren.

Thomas English Hill ’29

Thomas English Hill ’29 of Chapel Hill, N.C., died July 8, 2006. He spent his early years in Richmond and Fayetteville, and graduated from Davidson College and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. After studying in Germany and Scotland, he earned a doctorate in theology from the University of Edinburgh.

He taught briefly at King College and Southwestern [Rhodes] College and did post-doctoral study at Harvard before a long and successful career teaching and writing philosophy at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

His five books concerned ethics, knowledge, meaning, and “a good life.” He was an esteemed teacher and colleague influential in the academic development of the college.

He enjoyed more than fifty years of marriage to Sara Armfield, a graduate of Agnes Scott College and a teacher of physics and mathematics. They retired to Chapel Hill in 1974, and even after her death, ten years later, he continued to write and take part in local philosophy discussions.

A national AAU wrestling champion in 1929, he remained devoted to tennis and exercise for many years. Survivors include his daughters Sara P. Hill and Mary A. Hill (John Anderson); son Thomas E. Hill, Jr. (Robin Hill); four grandchildren, Thomas Hill, David Porter, Noelle Parker, Kenneth Hill; and five great-grandchildren, Nathaniel Porter, Austin Parker, Nicholas Porter, Kelsey Parker, and Dylan Parker.

Francis Newton “Fritz” Littlejohn ’29

Francis Newton “Fritz” Littlejohn ’29 died November 24, 2005, in his New York home. After graduation from Davidson, he played minor league baseball in Danville, Va. He then got a job as a sports reporter for The Charlotte Observer that lasted until 1937.

He went to the Associated Press and, as a sports reporter, interviewed baseball icon Babe Ruth and tennis great Bill Tilden. He then became news editor and later served in the Army Air Force 1942-43.

He was news supervisor at NBC Radio until 1952, then advanced to managing editor of CBS-TV News. He covered the political scene until 1972 and attended every nominating convention in that era.

While he was at CBS, his wife Edith Killian died. He went to ABC and was made events director. He met Ann, a writer whose work he edited. They married in 1962, but Fritz had no children from either marriage. While at ABC, Fritz’s job empowered him to make the inventive decision to carry the McCarthy hearings live.

Fritz retired from the Voice of America as deputy to director John Charles Daly. Surviving is his wife, Ann Gihuly Littlejohn, 349 E 49th St., New York, N.Y. 10017