Louis Garrou ’41

Louis William Garrou, 100, of Morganton, a man of grace, honor, humor and affection, died Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, at his home, in Grace Ridge Senior Community in Morganton.

He is survived by his children, John L. W. Garrou (Linda), Elizabeth G. Furr (James) and Albert L. Garrou (June); grandchildren, Eleanor G. Rubin (Cliff) and Margaret Garrou (John Fitzgibbon); and four great-grandchildren, Charlotte and Griffin Rubin and Liam and Emmett Fitzgibbon.

Louis was born April 6, 1920, in Burke County, a son of Albert F. and Louise Holloway Garrou. One of six children, he and his twin, Leith, were inseparable in their youth, and enjoyed annoying their family and friends with their innocent, and sometimes less than innocent, pranks. Despite their best efforts, their girlfriends (and their mother) could always tell them apart. Louis and his brother graduated from Darlington School in 1937 and attended Davidson College before Louis transferred to Lenoir-Rhyne College to be with his new bride, Betty Bowles, whom he had married in 1939 and who attended the college.

After college and after years of summer employment, Louis was employed full time at Waldensian Hosiery Mills in a career, interrupted by service in World War II, that continued until his retirement as president and chief executive officer in 1974 and as Chairman of the Board of the successor company, Alba-Waldensian, Inc. in 1985. Louis served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945 and was stationed in England and, after the German surrender, in various posts in Germany, where he happily took charge of the restoration of a German brewery, a task that he believed was only slightly less momentous in repairing relations between the U.S. and its former enemy than was the Marshall Plan.

While serving in England, Louis learned of the ultimately fatal illness of his twin, Leith; in a life remarkably free of such tragedy, an event that he was never able to speak of without emotion.

After his discharge, Louis returned to his young family in Valdese, and resumed his career at Waldensian Hosiery Mills, succeeding his father as president in 1962 and as Chairman in 1974. After many years of expansion and prosperity for the business, the latter portion of his career was marked by an unending battle to diversify the company away from its traditional reliance on men’s and women’s hosiery in the face of relentless price competition from imported product.

From the late sixties until his retirement, he focused continually on expanding the company’s product lines in directions such as patented specialty health care products that provided higher margins and rewards for innovation in order to try to weather the competitive forces that were devastating the domestic industry.

Most significantly, he led the company’s development of the world’s first anti-embolism pulsating stocking, which was highly effective in preventing blood clots in hospital patients. Versions of the stocking are still in use and are critically important in the care of bed-bound hospital patients in preventing severe and often fatal embolisms.

Always a man of his word, he was proud of his reputation in the industry that agreements could be based on a handshake and were always to be honored. Louis was devoted to the business, but especially to its employees, and felt keenly the impact on individuals and the community of the inevitable closure of local manufacturing businesses, including some 15 years after his retirement, Alba-Waldensian.

He forgot much in old age, but he never forgot the number of employees at his retirement (1640), so many of whom he knew and admired, and felt with great regret the loss of jobs—thought to have provided lifetime security—by them and thousands of their friends and relatives in the area.

Louis was selected, “Man of the Year” by the Textile School of N.C. State University in 1966, was a director of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers, the North Carolina Textile Foundation, the North Carolina Citizens Association, the Bank of Granite, Valdese General Hospital and was appointed North Carolina Ambassador at Large by Governor James B. Hunt Jr. and accompanied the governor on a trade mission to Japan and China in 1979.

He served as a trustee of Lees-McRae College, Montreat-Anderson College, St. Andrews Presbyterian College, and Western Piedmont Community College Foundation and was instrumental in founding the United Way of Burke County.

He served as a deacon and elder of the Waldensian Presbyterian Church, as president of the Valdese Rotary Club and was a Rotary Harris Fellow. Louis loved his family, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and his undoubtedly unique ancestry—Revolutionary and Civil War veterans on one side and Waldensian immigrants on the other. He pretended to be fluent in the Waldensian patois, but if truth be told, was suspected to be largely faking it.

He was an amateur pilot and aviation buff, spending many happy hours aloft in a sail plane and powered aircraft in his retirement. His home movies usually contained tracking shots of clouds or blue sky containing a tiny speck, which the viewer was assured, contained an unusual or important aircraft.

A lover of classical music, he played violin in his youth and in retirement, he learned piano and took music courses at Lenoir-Rhyne College, Appalachian State and Gaston Community College, where he studied composition and had an orchestral work performed by a student orchestra. His life was joyful, his spirit, playful and his ethic, honorable.

His devotion to his wife of 79 years, Betty, was total and unvarying; yet, after her death In 2018, his grief was tempered by a spirit of contentment and gratitude for her life, his own and that of his family.

Betty and Louis spent many of their last years in their cottage at Grace Ridge. As they aged, they were increasingly and, toward the end of their lives, almost completely reliant on the care and concern of their daughter, Elizabeth, for which they were profoundly grateful.

Age weakened Louis in mind and body, but never in the love of life and those surrounding him. Without complaint and always pleasant and warm to friends, family and strangers, he faced the struggles of age with wit and humor. Happy to see visitors, they were always happy to see him. Now, in the words of his caregiver and friend, Kerry: “he done made it home.”

A family graveside service will be held followed by a memorial service at Waldensian Presbyterian Church to be scheduled in the future.

Memorials to Waldensian Presbyterian Church, Community Assistance Ministry or Food Pantry, 109 Main St. East, Valdese, NC 28690; Baptist Global Response, online or by check to Send Relief, P.O. Box 117246, Atlanta, GA 30368; or Rock School Arts Foundation, P.O. Box 837, Valdese, NC 28690, will be gratefully received.


Published by The News Herald on Dec. 18, 2020.

James Jonathan Mooney ’41

James Jonathan Mooney, son of Robert Daniel Mooney Sr., of Davidson, North Carolina, died Wednesday, June 10 at his home in Los Angeles County, California. Members of his family were able to be with him. He was 101 years old.

James was born February 6, 1919 in Davidson, the youngest of nine children born to Gertrude Minerva Henderson and Robert Daniel Mooney.

He was raised in a two-story house that his father built; a house that he says was moved from a high-rent area to a low rent area. (It was really just around the corner.) He milked the family cow before going to school in the morning, and again before going out at night.

James, or Jim, attended Davidson High School (graduated 1936) and Davidson College and graduated with the class of 1941. He received a teaching credential because all his sisters were teachers. He taught science briefly at Griffith High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, before moving to Washington, D.C., for a summer job that turned into a 9-year position with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Standards, and where he met his future wife, Barbara Jean Grothe.

During World War II, both Jim and Barbara worked in the quartz crystal research laboratory at the Bureau. The crystals they worked with, and materials made from them, were used by the armed services in field radios, radar, and other electronic communication equipment during World War II.

Because he worked the “graveyard” shift, he and Barbara had to meet for breakfast dates. He married Barbara Jean Grothe on January 20, 1945, in Burlington, Iowa, and they were married for over 70 years.

In 1951, James was transferred from Washington D.C. to Corona, California and he and Barbara, with their then three children, moved to Riverside, California where they lived until 1955. In 1955 he began work at Bendix Aviation Corporation, Pacific Division, as Coordinating Engineer, and retired about thirty years later in 1981 as a Financial Manager.

In 1955 he moved his growing family to Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley, California, where he resided for 50-plus years. Although he was raised as a Southern Baptist, James converted to Catholicism to marry Barbara, and he later became a member of the Knights of Columbus, Van Nuys Council 3148.

He regularly attended and put seven children through St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church and Grammar School in Van Nuys, California. All seven children also attended St. Genevieve High School in Panorama City, California.

Jim and Barb were life-long travelers. They traveled extensively in the United States in their three motor homes over the years, visiting family across the country. In addition, they visited Mexico (Baja and mainland), Canada, England, Spain, Portugal, France, and the Baltics. They were known to take a cruise every now and then, travelling to the Caribbean and the Panama Canal Zone.

Jim also loved to play bridge and he was an avid genealogist. Upon retirement, he began research into his family’s roots, eventually tracing the North Carolina Mooney’s back several generations to their origins in Swiss-Germany in the 1600’s.
James was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Jean Grothe, who died in 2018, and his son, Robert Carl Mooney.

He is survived by six children: Marcia Bingham, Carol Coffey (Mark), James Daniel (Mary Ellen), Melissa Mooney, Cathy Dodson Smith (Steve), and Mary Mooney; grandchildren Tyrone Coffey, Jennifer Duggan (Mike), Adam Dodson (Erin), Andrew Dodson (Jessica), Elizabeth Baldridge (Mike), Haylee Smith, Lauren Mooney Tia (Albert), Kristen Mane, Zachary Plocich, and eight great-grandchildren.

James will be buried next to his beloved wife Barbara and son Robert Carl at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills.

Arrangements are by Mission Hills Catholic Mortuary in Mission Hills, California.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Fund for Davidson.

John Wilson Moore ’41

John Wilson Moore, a biophysicist who made important contributions to understanding neurotoxins and was a pioneer in the field of computational neuroscience, died on Saturday, March 30. He was 98.

John was born on November 1, 1920 in Winston-Salem. He graduated from Davidson College in 1941 and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Virginia in 1945. His graduate work was directed toward the war effort: assisting in the effort to enrich uranium by centrifuge, and building a radar-directed gun system for ships.

As a young scientist, John worked at the RCA Laboratories, the Medical College of Virginia, the Naval Medical Research Institute, and the National Institutes of Health, gaining unusual expertise that combined physics, feedback systems, electronics, and biology. He also began a lifelong tradition of summer research at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.

In 1961, John joined the Department of Physiology at Duke, where he made his greatest contributions to the field. He developed a new experimental method of measuring electrical current in neurons. Using this technique, he studied the actions of various neurotoxins with collaborators from around the world. Most notably, he and Toshio Narahashi discovered the method by which tetrodotoxin, the puffer fish venom, blocks nerve signals. John received the Cole Award from the Biophysical Society in 1981 for this and other work.

John also saw the potential for using computers to simulate the electrical signals in neurons. With help from student programmers, and using the recently developed Hodgkin-Huxley equations as a basis, he began in the late 1960s to run computer simulations in parallel with each lab experiment.

This groundbreaking method proved to be highly successful both in predicting the outcomes of experiments and in showing that the equations had wider applicability than previously known. With Michael Hines he developed the neuronal simulation software NEURON which remains one of the most popular tools for computational neuroscience instruction and research.

After his retirement from Duke in 1990, John focused his efforts on education. With his wife, Ann Stuart, a neurobiologist at UNC-Chapel Hill, he developed Neurons in Action, a digital textbook that includes interactive experiments using NEURON. It is now widely employed to teach neurophysiology.

Throughout his life, John struck up friendships wherever he went. He was beloved by family, colleagues, employees of the institutions where he worked, musicians he admired, and his many caregivers during his final year.

John is survived by his wife, Ann Stuart; their son, Jonathan Stuart-Moore (Megan Guiliano); three children from his first marriage, John Reid Moore (Beth), Marjorie Moore Kastrinsky (Howard), and Stephen Wilson Moore (Kathy); eight grandchildren, Jennifer, Josh, Matt, Kimberly, Elizabeth, Michelle, Steve, and Julian; and two great-grandchildren, Henley and Emily.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at 2 PM, at the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Thomas B. and John W. Moore Scholarship Fund at Davidson College or to the The John W. Moore and Ann E. Stuart Endowed Fund at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

Published in The News & Observer on Apr. 7, 2019

John McDowell Moore ’41

John McDowell Moore Jr., 98, passed away peacefully in Huntersville, surrounded by his family, January 17, 2018.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at Davidson College Presbyterian Church in Davidson and the Rev. Larry Lyons officiated.

He was born April 18, 1919 in Laurens, S.C., where he attended the Laurens City Schools. John later attended the Darlington School in Rome, Ga. He attended Davidson College and graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1942, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. John served as a 1st Lt. in the Army Air Corps in the North African Campaign during World War II.

On June 9, 1951, he married Nancy Anderson Moore of Moore, S.C. John and Nancy raised four daughters and lived happily in Lexington. His beloved wife predeceased him in 2006 after 54 years of marriage. While in Lexington, John was vice president of Dacotah Cotton Mills.

An active member of the Lexington community, he served as chairman of the Lexington Memorial Hospital and was a Life Member of the Kiwanis Club in Lexington. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, where he served as Deacon, Elder and Clerk of the Session. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Perpetual Savings and Loan.

For the last nine years of his life, John resided at the Pines at Davidson, where he had wonderful friends, and continued his life-long love of learning and cheered for his beloved Davidson Wildcats.

John was known for his warm, outgoing personality and his ability to connect with people. He enjoyed reading, celebrating his Scottish roots and attending his weekly wine club meeting at the Pines. He and Nancy travelled extensively and his wide range of experiences made John a wonderful storyteller. He will be missed greatly by family and friends alike.

John is survived by daughters, Margaret Moore Robb (David) of Cincinnati, Ohio, Elizabeth Moore Glenn (James) of Spartanburg, S.C., Mary Moore Palmes (Wes) of Statesville, and Nancy Moore Jenkins (Butch) of Biscoe. He is also survived by ten wonderful grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Pines at Davidson, Resident Support Fund, 400 Avinger Lane, Davidson, NC 28036 or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Davidson Funeral Home, Lexington.

Online condolences may be made at www.davidsonfuneralhome.net.