David Solomon, Jr. ’36

David Solomon, a prominent attorney and lifelong resident of Helena, Ark., died Thursday morning, March 23 at his home. Last July he celebrated his 100th birthday with a community-wide celebration.

He is survived by his three sons and their wives, five grandchildren and their spouses, two great-grandsons, and numerous nieces and nephews and their children. His wife of 69 years, Miriam Rayman Solomon, predeceased him in 2011.

Solomon was a leader of the bar in Phillips County, as well as the State of Arkansas. He was admitted to practice in Arkansas and Tennessee in 1939, after receiving an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in that same year. Prior to entering law school, he graduated from Washington University at Saint Louis. He returned home following law school and began to practice law.

After serving three years in the Army during World War II, he again returned to Helena and reopened an office on Cherry Street where he practiced until 2015. He was honored in 2014 by the Arkansas Bar Foundation for his 75 years of active practice, which was thought to be a record.

Solomon was always a solo practitioner whose practice ranged from helping individuals with minor or major legal challenges to complicated corporate transactions. He was a top trial attorney, who was invited to become a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

His prominence in the state bar is evidenced by the fact that he held every office in the Arkansas Bar Association except president, which he declined.

He was for many years the Chair of the Fellows of the Arkansas Bar Foundation. On two occasions (1972 and 1989) when all of the justices on the Arkansas Supreme Court recused themselves, he was appointed as a Special Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

He served as a delegate to the Arkansas State Constitutional Convention in 1969. Locally, he was the Helena City Attorney in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

Solomon was active in promoting industrial development locally and regionally. He was appointed by Governor David Pryor to the Arkansas State Highway Commission in 1975, and was Chairman in 1984-1985. For fifty years, he led the White River Drainage District and was a member of the executive committee of the Mississippi Valley Flood Control Commission.

He was a long-serving director of the First National Bank of Phillips County, then of Southern Bancorp. When Worthen Bank sought several outside directors, he was selected. He was the pro bono attorney for the Helena Hospital and later the Helena Health Foundation and also served several terms on the Helena School Board.

In addition to his legal, banking, and pro bono work, he managed Solomon Farms LLC, his family’s farming interests.

David Solomon married Miriam Rayman, also a life-time resident of Helena, in 1942. Together they raised three sons in Helena, David (Nancy) a retired New York City businessman, Rayman (Carol) of Merion, Pa., dean emeritus at Rutgers Law School, and Lafe (Catherine) of Washington, D.C., a retired senior federal official.

David Solomon, like his father and uncles, was a life-long member of Temple Beth El in Helena. He and Miriam were active in the life of the congregation, and after it closed its doors they held services in their home. David served many years as president of the congregation and warden of the cemetery.

Funeral services will be held at Beth El Heritage House, 406 Perry St., Helena at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29th. Burial will immediately follow at Temple Beth El Cemetery. Following the burial, the family will receive friends and visitors at the Solomon home, 142 Stonebrook in Helena.

Memorials may be sent to The David Solomon Scholarship Fund at the Arkansas Bar Foundation, http://www.arkansasbarfoundation.com/make-a-payment, or to the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, http://www.isjl.org/memorials–honorariums.html.

Funeral services will be directed by Roller-Citizens Funeral Home, West Helena (870) 572-2571.

John Knox Wilson ’39

Dr. John Knox Wilson, age 99 years, 11 months and 4 days, of Black Mountain left this world Wednesday, May 4 in Black Mountain, NC. John was born in Kwangju, Korea on May 29, 1916. He lived in Korea until he graduated from high School. His parents, Robert M. Wilson and Bess Knox Wilson were medical missionaries who met in Korea in 1908.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, Elizabeth and Mary Stuart; and his brothers James, Robert, Ed, and Joe. He was the last leaf on their tree as he often said. He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Elizabeth Ann Seto.

His survivors include his wife of almost 68 years, Nancy Dupuy Wilson; daughter, Susan Mucci (Richard); sons, John Wilson Jr. (Mary), Dudley Wilson (Alice Coblentz), Peter Wilson, and Frank Wilson (Amy Fuller). Grandchildren left in awe include Lauren Seto, Katy Seto, Emily Wilson, Luke Wilson, Daniel Wilson, Rose Wilson, Tucker Wilson, Ruby Wilson, Maddy Wilson, Gretalyn Easler, Molly Dockery, Hannah Creel, Joe Fuller, and David Wilson; and great grandson, Max Seto.

He graduated from high school at Pyongyang Foreign School in Pyongyang, Korea in 1935 and from Davidson College in 1939.He attended medical school at Jefferson Medical College in 1943 and then served in the army in Korea alongside his father. After his discharge, he completed his pediatric training at MCV in Richmond, Virginia where he was Chief Resident.

He married Nancy Dupuy in 1948 and set up a private pediatric medical practice in Greensboro, NC. In 1966 the family moved to Sacramento, CA where he worked at a Kaiser Permanente clinic for two years.

John’s life was dedicated to service. In 1968 the family moved to Korea where he worked setting up rural clinics and at the leprosy hospital his father had started in 1911. In 1971, the family moved to Scottsville, Virginia where John worked in a rural clinic in Buckingham County while also serving as an associate professor at the University of Virginia Medical School. Then, in 1973 the family moved to Whitesburg, Kentucky where John worked in the Daniel Boone Clinic.

In 1975 he and Nancy moved to Black Mountain, NC where they became active members of the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church where he sang in the choir for many years. He set up his final private practice office and retired 10 years later.

Beginning in the years prior to his retirement, John answered the call to volunteer in refugee clinics all over the world—with Cambodian refugees in Thailand, with massacre survivors in Beirut, victims of famine in Somalia, and many other places around the world.

In his 80’s he created an economical greenhouse design delivering hundreds of greenhouse kits to families in North Korea and Bolivia.

Gardening was another passion of John’s. He had always gardened and when he moved to Black Mountain, his front yard included Lake Tomahawk, which at the time was surrounded by briars and debris. He and Nancy worked to clean up the area around the lake and he started garden beds there.

After several years the beds became more than he needed and he offered them to others to use. This was convenient, in that it also was discovered that these beds weren’t actually on his property but were on town property. The Town of Black Mountain was enlisted to take them over as the first phase of its community garden.

Demand for garden beds quickly overtook the number of beds available and a piece of property off Blue Ridge Road owned by the town was designated the new community garden. John worked there every day during spring, summer, and fall building garden beds, composting, building sheds, and teaching new gardeners his love of gardening. He kept detailed records of the tons of vegetables donated to soup kitchens and food banks.

Other passions included woodworking and birding. Winter time, when garden work wasn’t active, was the time for him to be in the workshop making toys, furniture, squirrel traps and other projects. While birding was a lifelong pursuit, he particularly enjoyed it when he became less active and was able to view the birds visiting his feeders from his living room overlooking Lake Tomahawk. He estimated that he had seen 300 different varieties of birds from his home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to Christian Friends of Korea (cfk@cfk.org) or to the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden through the Black Mountain Parks and Greenways Foundation, Black Mountain Recreation and Parks, 101 Carver Avenue Black Mountain, NC 28711.

Services will be held at Black Mountain Presbyterian church on Saturday, June 18th at 2 PM.

Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals.


Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on May 8, 2016

William Moseley Archer, Jr. ’36

William Moseley Archer, Jr. of Charlotte died at his home on February 27, 2016, twenty-two days before his 101st birthday. Bill was born in Anderson, SC on March 20, 1915.

He later lived in Salisbury, NC and Hickory, NC before moving to Charlotte in 1938.

He became an Eagle Scout in 1929, graduated from high school in Salisbury in 1932, and from Davidson College in 1936. Bill was a Reserve Commissioned Officer and a First Lt., 9th Division in the U.S. Army in 1940.

He was married to his beloved wife, Mary Hall Archer, of Hickory, NC for 52 wonderful years until her death in 1996. He had been a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church since 1953, where he was ordained an Elder and was Sunday School Superintendent. Bill was a tireless volunteer, often delivering meals to elderly recipients younger than he was.

His favorite pastimes and hobbies were gardening, woodworking, bread baking, reading and researching family genealogy. He was an exemplary role model for his children and grandchildren, living his life selflessly with kindness and warmth.

Neighborhood children (and dogs) liked visiting him, and enjoyed his home-baked cookies. In addition to his wife, Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William Moseley Archer and Dora Patterson Archer, and sister, Evelyn Parsley.

He is survived by his children, Mary Logan and her husband, Jerry of Fredericksburg, VA, William Archer, III and his wife, Ellen of Charlotte, Thomas Archer and his wife, Deborah of Matthews; grandchildren, Cynthia Cooper and her husband, Travis of Woodbridge, VA, David Shafferman and his wife, Margaret of Port Royal, PA, Mary Archer and Sally Archer of Raleigh, Thomas Archer, Jr. of Charlotte and Lindsey Archer Porter and her husband, Zac of Los Angeles; great-grandchildren, Caedmon and Mason Cooper of Woodbridge, VA, Hunter and Allison Shafferman of Port Royal, PA; nephews, James Parsley and his wife Carolyn of Hillsborough, William Parsley and his wife, Ellen of Winston-Salem; and sister-in-law, Ann Hines of Isle of Palms, SC.

The family thanks Novant Hospice and Visiting Angels for their compassionate caregiving in Bill’;s final months.

A memorial service for Bill will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3115 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC on Saturday March 12, 2016, at 2:00 pm. The family will receive friends following the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3115 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28211 or to Loaves &; Fishes, 648 Griffith Road, Suite B, Charlotte, NC 28217.

Copyright (c) 2016 The Charlotte Observer

George Donnell “Don” Davidson, Jr. ’39

George Donnell “Don” Davidson, Jr., businessman, philanthropist and devoted father and grandfather, died at home on Sunday, Oct. 18th, surrounded by family. He was 96.

Don was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Anne Stapleton Davidson, who died in 2005. Known to his three grandsons as “Buddy Don,” or “B.D.,” for short, he never missed a chance to remind each of the family motto: “Do right.” He famously greeted friends and family alike with an energetic “Happy Day!”

Don is survived by his three children: Sherry Anne Davidson of Asheville, NC, Sally Davidson Mathews of New York City and George D. Davidson, III of Athens, GA. Other family includes: George’s wife, Jeanne Ann Davidson of Athens; grandchildren Patrick O’Connor and his wife, Katie, of Bethesda, MD, Sean Davidson Mathews and his wife, Nell, of New York City, and Samuel M. Davidson of Oakland, CA; two great-grandsons, Sam and Ryan O’Connor, of Bethesda; his sister, Welshie Davidson Potts and her husband, Farrel, of Fearrington, NC; long-time family friend, Karen Futchel, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Don’s brother, Shannon W. Davidson of Charlotte, NC, predeceased him.

Don was born May 20, 1919, in Monroe, NC, the oldest of three children to Bernice Shannon and Don Davidson, Sr. He grew up in Wadesboro, NC where his father traded in land and timber and helped tenant farmers buy their land. Don drew on his dad’s lessons throughout his life, among them his father’s insistence of treating everyone fairly, regardless of the person’s race or social status.

At Wadesboro High School, Don served as editor and business manager of the student newspaper and created the school’s first yearbook. Don arrived at Davidson College at the height of the Great Depression, short of money, and quickly found a job washing dishes at a boarding house.

At Davidson, he managed the humor magazine, accompanied the Glee Club on piano and played organ in the chapel. He took pride in knowing most of his fellow students by name and served as class secretary after graduation, producing a comprehensive yearbook for their 50th reunion.

He served as a trustee of Davidson for 12 years and did a stint on the executive committee, saying, “I could never repay Davidson for what it meant to me.” As a show of gratitude, Don and Anne endowed the Stapleton-Davidson Internship Program at the college. After graduation, Don moved to Charlotte to work as a salesman for the Herald Press. He married Anne in December 1941.

After the outbreak of WWII, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a Buck Private. He participated in the first two invasions of the Central Pacific and handled administrative and logistical challenges to the thousands of civil servants who arrived at Hickam Field in Honolulu, HI. He earned two battle stars and eventually earned the rank of Captain.

Don returned to Charlotte after the war and was involved in the beginnings of Package Products, organizing a sales force across the Southeast and Texas. That experience led to an agreement with a Louisiana bakery to create another new company, Jack’s Cookies.

In 1968, he took the helm of Washburn Printing Co., where he was proud that every employee owned stock in the company. “Nobody worked for me,” he said. “We all worked together.” In 1984, he merged Washburn with William Byrd Press of Richmond, VA, to form Cadmus, serving as president until his retirement in 1986.

He served as chairman of the Greater Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and president of the Charlotte Rotary Club. He also served as president of the Charlotte chapter of the United Way in 1973. Don was a founding member of Covenant Presbyterian Church and was active in its leadership for most of his life. He joined its predecessor church, Second Presbyterian, in 1935.

In retirement, Don and Anne lived for a time in Black Mountain, NC, where they became active supporters of Warren Wilson College, a school with ties to the Asheville Farm School, where his father was educated in the early years of the 20th Century. Don and Anne established the G.D. Davidson Vocation Discovery Experience, a permanent endowment to honor his father.

A restless man, Don was calmed by his religious faith. An avid reader of theology, he was always open to new and deeper insights, aware that no one could ever fully grasp the questions that mattered most.

A memorial service will be held in Don’s honor at 11AM Saturday, October 24 at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 East Morehead Street.

There are no words to describe the gratitude his family feels toward the countless friends, extended family and caregivers from Hospice and Bayada Home Health Care for their support, concern and prayers. To avoid the risk of oversight, they are unnamed, but all should know how truly they have touched and sustained us.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made in Don’s name to Hospice & Palliative Care, Charlotte Region, 1420 East 7th St., Charlotte, NC 28204 or to the Stapleton-Davidson Internship Program, Davidson College, Box 7177, Davidson, NC 28035.

Online condolences may be addressed to www.carolinafuneral.com. Carolina Funeral Service & Cremation Center is entrusted with the arrangements.

James Herbert Gailey ‘ 37

James Herbert Gailey ' 37James Herbert Gailey was born in Atlanta, Georgia on October 17, 1916 and died peacefully in his sleep on October 17, 2015. During his 99 years, he was a scholar, theologian, educator, social activist and environmentalist.
A graduate of O’Keefe and Boys’ High in Atlanta, he continued his passion for higher learning with studies at Georgia Tech, Davidson, Columbia Theological Seminary, and finally at Princeton University where he received his Doctorate of Theology.
He married his first and only wife, Virginia, in May of 1949 and with her raised a family of two children, Landen and Bryan, in Decatur, Georgia. He began his affiliation with the Presbyterian Church as a pastor, first at First Presbyterian Church in Brewton AL, and then at Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Evergreen AL.
These posts led to a professorship at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur Georgia, where he taught Old Testament and Ancient Languages for 30 years.
Passionate travelers, he and his wife explored the world, with sabbatical studies in Heidelberg Germany, Berkeley California, and Ibadan Nigeria, as well as artisan workshops at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico and the John C. Campbell Folk School.
With the Institute for Mediterranean Studies, he led a summer archeological dig at Tel Zeror, in Israel, along with continuing studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Additionally, he and his wife traveled for pleasure to Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, the Middle East, Australia and South America.
 He and his wife Virginia retired to Brevard North Carolina in the early nineties, where he pursued his passions for environmental causes, political activism and furniture building. His community of friends in Sherwood Forest was central to him, and he was active in the Woodcutters, the Memoirs Group, the Green Areas Committee, and a regular contributor to the Instant Culture lecture series.
He will be greatly missed by his immediate family, Landen Gailey, Benny Elliot, and Bryan Gailey, as well as many friends locally and abroad.
Memorial donations can be made to the Sierra Club, Doctors Without Borders, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, all of which he generously supported.
A memorial celebration for James will be held at 2pm on November 14th at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 900 Blythe Street in Hendersonville NC. All are welcome.

Published in The Times-News on Oct. 21, 2015