Robert Cullen Rapp, Jr. ’48

Robert Cullen Rapp, Jr., 98, of Greensboro, passed away April 10th 2024 peacefully at his home with his family. Bob was born in Thomasville, NC on February 6th, 1926 to the late Eunice Blair Jerome Rapp and the late Robert Cullen Rapp, Sr., and is preceded in death by his brother Walter Jerome Rapp.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jean Victor Graham Rapp; son, Robert Cullen Rapp III of Greensboro; daughter, Katherine Reston Rapp Wood and her husband, Jon, of Columbia, SC and his precious granddaughters, Adelaide, Adair, and Reston Wood.

Bob was a proud graduate of Woodberry Forest School, Davidson College, and later went on to study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His love and loyalty to each of these schools ran deep.

Bob was a man of faith and a devoted servant leader. He fiercely loved his church and its community. He faithfully served First Presbyterian Church as a deacon, an elder, and was former president of the Young Men’s Bible Class. He dedicated his time as chair of the Property Committee and was steadfast in his work through the church’s historic renovation project. It was through Bob’s insightful benevolence that the “Special Projects Fund” was established to assist necessary expenses for members who might be experiencing difficult times.

Believing in the importance of good and healthy communities, Bob followed in his father’s footsteps as an active Rotarian. He was a lifetime member of Rotary International and was a Paul Harris Fellow.

Bob’s love of work was in the construction and building business. In the late 1960’s he co founded Westminster Company which later became a subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Co. He went on to establish Arappco Inc. that was later acquired by D.R. Horton Company in the late 90s.

Bob loved the game of tennis, playing well into his golden years, snow skiing, and playing golf. He was a Formula One sports enthusiast and enjoyed vintage car racing on his own at the Virginia International Raceway. His love of Ferraris, in particular, was immeasurable. He served as Treasurer and Vice President of the Ferrari Club of America.

Bob was a dedicated and loyal friend. His friendships were plentiful and spanned across generations. He never missed an opportunity to celebrate and share fellowship. At 98 years he had outlived most of his contemporaries, yet he was still surrounded by generations of friends who loved him dearly. He will be remembered for the many ways he shared his sense of humor – always ready to share a joke from his back pocket.

Bob was an active member of the Greensboro community, exercising generously the importance of giving back. His benevolences and philanthropy were vast and he knew the importance of sharing blessings with others. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice in honor of Bob.

Of all Bob’s accomplishments, his greatest point of pride was his family and his three granddaughters.

The family would like to express gratitude for Carolyn Rivers, his long time caretaker and friend, Tonya McCulley, and Authora Care Collective – providing so much peace for Bob and his family. A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, April 18th at 2:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro, NC. The service will be available via livestream for those who cannot attend at www.fpcgreensboro.org. Following the service, the family will receive friends at Greensboro Country Club, 410 Sunset Drive.

Robert Milton Allen, Sr. ’48

Robert Milton Allen, Sr. of Charlotte, NC age 101 years old passed away at Novant Medical Center on March 1, 2024. Robert was born in Charlotte, NC to Joseph Edmund Allen and Harriet Evelyn Allen.

Robert was a graduate from Davidson College in Davidson, NC. He served in the US Army during WWII in Italy with the 34th Infantry. He was wounded in combat and was awarded the Purple Heart.

He spent his career employed with Fredrickson Motor Express as Chief Accountant until he retired. His retirement years were spent living at Lake Wylie. He enjoyed fishing, boating and gardening until he moved to Aldersgate Retirement Community. He was a member of Plaza Presbyterian Church where he served as a deacon.

He is survived by his daughter, Andrea Allen Huffman, Son, Edmund Lawrence Allen (Lisa), Daughter, Pamela Allen Taylor, daughter-in-law, Debbie Blythe Allen, 11 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and three step-children.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Rinck Allen, son, Robert M. Allen, Jr. and son-in-law Gary Keith Huffman, Sr.

A celebration of life will be held at Wilson Funeral and Cremation Service on Thursday, March 7th, 5301 Albemarle Rd., Charlotte, NC 28212. Receiving of friends will be at 10:00 am followed by a funeral service at 11:00 am. A private burial will follow after the funeral service.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis Tennessee 38105 or www.stjude.org.

Fitzhugh McMaster Legerton ’47

Fitzhugh McMaster Legerton, Sr, a man of deep integrity and subtle wit, a retired pastor, who cared deeply especially for persons carrying the burdens of society, died Wednesday, February 7. He was 97.
A thinker who loved a good conversation, Fitz was curious about science, philosophy, history, literature, politics, and people. He kept index cards in his pocket to write names and notes on new people he encountered. He listened intently, asking thoughtful questions, providing perspective, and sending clippings and articles from the many books, journals, and newspapers he read daily. Playful with words and ideas, the three books open on the day he died, beside his reading place on his couch give a glimpse into his mind: Muller’s The Loom of History (1958), Lee’s Language Habits and Human Affairs: an introduction to semantics (1941), and Colson Whitehead’s 2020 novel, Nickel Boys.
With a sober demeanor, Fitz also had bright eyes and a winning smile. He was a delightful playmate, with candy and toys in his home, playing musical chairs at a family dinner, chasing little ones around the house, making marble-rolling games that three generations have loved, even allowing the children to play “beauty salon” with his hair. All four generations loved being together in the Montreat, North Carolina, home his grandmother built in 1916.
Fitz was born on June 20, 1926, in Charleston, South Carolina. His parents were Clarence William Legerton, Sr, and Winnie McMaster Legerton; he had two older brothers, Clarence W. Legerton, Jr and Clifford Lewis Legerton. He attended Davidson College, entered the U.S. Navy and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, with a commission in the Chaplain’s Corps. On December 20, 1946, Fitz married Emmy Lou Capps, of Washington DC, whom he knew from Montreat.
He received graduate degrees from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia (B.D.) and from Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M.). At Union Presbyterian Seminary, he served as President of the Senior Class and, at graduation, received the Nellie Payne Drum Fellowship for further graduate study. In 1967, Presbyterian College awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.
An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA), Fitz was called to the pastorate of the Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia in 1950. He served as Pastor of Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church until his retirement in 1992, when he was named Pastor Emeritus. He completed continuing education studies every year of active ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Union Theological Seminary in New York, Furman University, and at Manchester College, Oxford University in England. He arranged pastorate exchanges in Oregon, England, and New Zealand.
During his ministry in Atlanta, Fitz served as Moderator of the Presbytery of Atlanta, on committees in the church, a commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, and was an engaged leader in many educational, civic, nonprofit, justice, and social service organizations throughout his life. On the boards of Pace Academy and Oglethorpe University, Fitz also taught courses at Oglethorpe University and at Columbia Theological Seminary. He co-chaired “Christmas International House” in which local churches hosted international students attending colleges and universities from other areas of the United States.
An award-winning newspaper column Fitz wrote is entitled, “True Religion is Often a Disturbing Force in Life.” That understanding of the gospel is how he lived out his ministry and his life. In the 1950s, he chaired the Race Relations committee of the ecumenical Christian Council in Atlanta, helping to craft the “Atlanta Manifesto” in November 1957 (co-signed by eighty Protestant clergy) and its 1958 version (co-signed by 300 interfaith clergy). This statement identified six principles they deemed essential for promoting racial justice. The Presbyterian Historical Society in Montreat, North Carolina, has in its archives an exhibit on the Atlanta Manifesto and its place in the South’s involvement in the civil rights movement.
In 1994, Fitz and Emmy Lou moved to Montreat, North Carolina (NC), and Fitz became Assistant to the President for Church Relations at Warren Wilson College. He served in this capacity from 1994 until 2005. In their new community, the Legertons participated in Leadership Asheville for Seniors, and Fitz served as precinct chair for the Buncombe County Democratic Party. Fitz and Emmy Lou were Patrons of the Montreat Conference Center for the PCUSA, and they were deeply involved at Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church, in the Verner Center for Early Learning, and Highland Farms Retirement Community, where they moved in 2014. Fitz loved his men’s breakfast group, book clubs (one that lasted for him and Emmy Lou for over forty years) and being closer to family in Montreat. His dear Emmy Lou died on November 23, 2015.
The Rev. Dr. Legerton is survived by his and Emmy Lou Capps Legerton’s three adult children:
Winifred Roper Legerton [Winn] of Black Mountain NC, her daughter, Hannah Legerton Young of Greensboro, NC, and her loved ones with her beloved husband, John J. Young, Sr., who died in 2016: John J. Young, Jr. of Middlebury, VT and Molly Young Maass of Alexandria, VA and their families.
Fitzhugh McMaster Legerton, Jr. [Mac] of Pembroke, NC and his spouse, Donna F. Chavis, their four children-Rhiannon Chavis-Wanson (Derek Wanson) and family, Dakotah Chavis-Legerton, Amanda Chavis-Legerton and family, Priscilla Woods and family.
John Capps Legerton of Asheville, NC and his spouse, Katharine R. Meacham, their two children-Wendy Meacham Legerton (Dave Love), Hannah Meacham Legerton (William High), all of Asheville, and their families.
Fitz Legerton is also survived by his sister-in-law, Mitzi Herrin Legerton and her children, Clarence W. Legerton, III [Chip] and Coleman, Mary Legerton de Luzuriaga and Luis, Gregg McMaster Legerton and Keisha-all of Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, and their families. He and Emmy Lou have generations of nieces and nephews and their families.
A memorial service for Fitz will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 2 PM, at Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church in Swannanoa, North Carolina.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be received with gratitude at any of the three following organizations Fitz supported during his life:
Montreat Conference Center: Office of Development, P.O. Box 969, Montreat, NC 28757 www.montreat.org/memorialgiving (in memory of Fitz and Emmy Lou Legerton)
Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church: 101 Chapel Lane, Swannanoa, NC 28778 (in memory of Fitz and Emmy Lou Legerton)
The Verner Center for Early Learning: 2586 Riceville Road; Asheville, NC 28805
https://vernerearlylearning.networkforgood.com/projects/108426-your-gift-supports-children-and-families-now (in memory of Fitz and Emmy Lou Legerton)
A lean and elegant writer, Fitz crafted not only sermons for almost half a century, but also insightful letters to editors, to friends and family, and to congregants; he wrote columns in the North DeKalb Record for six years, and he contributed to the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. He was as apt to quote Thomas Hardy or William Butler Yeats as he was to quote scripture. In one newspaper column, he reminds the readers that God’s comfort gives strength to bear burdens:
“God does not coddle us when he comforts us. Nor is God’s comfort an anaesthetic that dulls us to pain. It is no spiritual sedative, no paregoric: such would not only dull us to pain, but also to joy. The word “comfort” means “with strength.” God gives us strength to bear the burden or meet the challenge. Life loses its tyrannies-fear, worry, responsibility-and we face it with a quiet comfort.”
Fitz died with a calm expression on his face, lying with composure on his bed, robe neatly tied, socks on, phone, glasses and reading material within reach-the appearance of quiet comfort.

Samuel H. Hay ’45

Long-term Pines resident Sam Hay died shortly before midnight on February 6, 2024, surrounded by two of his sons and daughters-in-law. 

Born September 10, 1924 in Brevard, NC to Presbyterian minister John R. Hay and his wife Sara Craig Hay, Sam Hay grew up in Hickory, graduating from Hickory High School in 1941. He then moved on to Davidson College, graduating in 1944. From there he headed for Chapel Hill where he completed the two-year program for Certificate of Medicine at the UNC Medical School, finishing first in his class. Hay finished his training for his M.D. at Harvard Medical School.

From 1949 to 1953, Sam Hay served his internship, fellowship, and residency at the University of Virginia Hospital, serving concurrently during the years 1950 to 1952 at the US Navy Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Having married Dorothy Churchill in 1949, Hay moved in 1953 to Toccoa, Georgia where he practiced internal medicine at Toccoa Clinic from 1953 until his retirement in 1991. After retirement from full-time practice, Dr. Hay worked for ten years at the Stephens County Health Department Indigent Clinic which he organized. Ever a mainstay at the First Presbyterian Church of Toccoa, he served as church elder, clerk of the session, and Sunday School teacher among other responsibilities. He also served on the boards of Stephens Federal Bank and the Bank of Toccoa and was active in Habitat for Humanity, serving as president after helping to found the local chapter. He and Dot worked regularly with the Stephens County Soup kitchen and supported the Stephens County Symphony and the Georgia Heart Association.

In January of 2002, Sam and Dorothy Hay moved to The Pines. While living at The Pines Dr. Hay volunteered at the free clinic in Huntersville. He and Dorothy were active members of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church. Dot Hay predeceased Sam in June of 2019. Dr. Hay is survived by his four children, Sam Hay Jr. of Stuart, Florida, Dorothy Hay Kurtz of Lexington, Kentucky, Fred Hay of Boone, North Carolina, and Dick Hay of Davidson, as well as six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, February 10, 2024 at The Pines.

Memorials in his name may be made to: The Chattooga Conservancy or The Blue Ridge Conservancy.

William Ward Lasley Sr. ’47

William Ward Lasley, Sr., 96, died February 2, 2024, in the room in which he was born on West Davis Street in Burlington, NC, on October 13, 1927.  His parents, Ralph Kerr Lasley and Jennie (Trix) Howe Ward, were also Burlington natives from 1887 and 1898.  He was valedictorian of the Burlington High School class of 1944, as his father was in 1906.  He attended Davidson College for 3 academic years before 3 days at Fort Bragg for the Army pre-induction physical convinced him the Navy could not be worse.  A member of Beta Theta Pi, he was manager of the Thompson boarding house for a year while playing football and basketball, and sprinting and long jump.  

He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1950, lettering in Track.  He commanded the minehunter USS Bunting, Division 83 of 4 minesweepers, and the USS Belle Grove, LSD-2 in ’68-9, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star for operations in the Mekong Delta.  At the Office of Naval Research, he was an early project manager of deep submersible ALVIN.  

During the Arab-Israeli Six Day War in 1967, the Navy sent his four wooden-hulled, poorly-armed minesweepers to keep a non-provocative eye on the Soviet Mediterranean Fleet in the Aegean Sea.  He reported back, “Have Soviet Fleet surrounded, when do I attack?”   

As Advisor to the CNO for Mine Warfare, he and a civilian PhD performed the initial planning for the successful mining of North Vietnamese harbors in 1972, helping to end our participation in that war.  Retiring as a Captain in 1980, he continued to live in Alexandria, VA, taking his wife’s seat on its Symphony Board, until returning to Burlington in 2013.

His wife, the former Mary Webb Graham of Oxford, NC, a descendant of Gen. Wm. Davidson’s brother, predeceased him in 1984, and his son-in-law Mark Johnson in 2011.  Survivors include daughter Rebecca Graham Lasley of HIgh Point, NC, son W.W. (Bill & Liz) Lasley Jr. and granddaughter Mary of Woodbury, Connecticut, and son Ralph Augustus Lasley ’82 of Burlington.