Thornton H. “Moo” Yancey ’46

Thornton Halliburton Yancey, 96, died peacefully at Granville Hospital on March 31, 2022.

“Moo” as everyone knew him, was born on August 16, 1925, to William Thornton and Laura Clement Yancey in Oxford, North Carolina. He graduated from Oxford High School in 1942 and attended Davidson College until he served his country during World War II in the US Coast Guard starting in August of 1943 as a radio technician. He returned from the war and enrolled at UNC Chapel Hill and graduated with a BA degree in English.

After college, he returned home to work in the family automotive business with his father and brother. While living in Oxford, he met Ruth Harover of Manchester, OH and they were happily married for 53 years until her death on December 26, 2006.

Moo was most fortunate in his life to have not only one great love but two. In May of 2009, he married Lynn Corbett Nelson of Clarksville, Virginia. They both had a passion for travel and took many trips together to Europe, South America, and the Middle East. In fact, Moo was able to travel to six of the seven continents, which was something that brought him a lot of joy.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Ruth, his brother Lindsay Clement Yancey and his wife Beth, and his half-brother William Thornton Yancey, Jr. and his wife Blanche.

Moo was a successful businessman and leader in his community. He was a member of the Oxford Baptist Church for more than 65 years and served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons, Trustee, and he also served as a Sunday School teacher. However, for the last 20 years, he attended the Oxford Presbyterian Church. Moo was Secretary and Treasurer of Yancey Chevrolet Buick and Co, Inc., for over 40 years. Moo and his brother Clement later opened Yancey Properties where he was fortunate to work side by side with his two sons, Gray and William.

Moo was President of both Oxford Kiwanis Club and Oxford Future Industries, which was proactive in bringing companies and jobs to the community. Moo was Vice President and Director of Central Orphanage, and Director of the Richard H. Thornton Library. He was past Chairman of the Board of Union National Bank as well as the Granville Savings and Loan. He was a Corporate Director of Southern National Bank and State Director for Branch Banking and Trust Co.

For more than 50 years, Moo enjoyed playing tennis with family and friends, and participated in tennis tournaments around the state of North Carolina. In 1982, he and son Gray won the State father-son doubles championship. His other interests included golf, building and renovating homes, jazz music and traveling the world. One of Moo’s many special gifts was his expert storytelling ability. He had an amazing arsenal of stories that were applicable to any situation, and he delivered them with just the right amount of humor.

Moo is survived by his wife Lynn Nelson Yancey, his three children Thornton Gray Yancey and wife Cynthia of Oxford, William Halliburton Yancey of Oxford, Laura Yancey Miralia and husband Tom of Charlotte, and their children Lillian Claire Miralia and John Thomas Miralia. He is also survived by his nephew Lindsay Clement Yancey, Jr. and wife Debbie of Winston Salem, and their two children.

A graveside service will be held on Monday, April 4, at 1:00pm at Elmwood Cemetery in Oxford.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Oxford Presbyterian Church, PO Box 652, Oxford, North Carolina 27565.

Arrangements are by Sossamon Funeral Home of Henderson. Online condolences may be made at

Published by The News & Observer on April 3, 2022.

Graham B. Knight ’46

Graham Butler Knight, July 8, 1925 – January 17, 2020.

Graham B. Knight '46

Graham Butler Knight was born on July 8, 1925 in New York, New York. He was the only son of Major Butler Lewis Knight and Agnes Graham Knight.

After briefly attending the Sidwell-Friends school in Washington, D.C., Graham graduated from the San Antonio Academy and Texas Military Institute. He attended Davidson College for a year before enlisting in the Army Air Force in 1943. As a navigator he flew in the European theater. After World War II, Graham graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering which he used to help build refineries for E.B. Badger and Sons of Boston, MA. In the 1950s, Graham moved back to San Antonio where he ran Clare Candles, Inc. for many years. He was an avid rancher and pecan grower and enjoyed playing the organ and learning German in his later years.

Graham is preceded in death by his parents, and his loving wife of 55 years, Anne Earle Knight.

Honoring his memory are his daughter and son-in-law, Ellenore and Kirk Baker, his grandchildren Graham and Catharine Baker and his nieces and nephew.

The family would like to thank Franklin Park Alamo Heights, his wonderful Encompass Hospice nurse, Susie Sanchez and the staff of Caring Solutions which provided such lovely helpers in his last years. Special thanks go to Rosemary Gonzales and Eva Cantu.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT or Planned Parenthood of South Texas.


Joe Elwood Weatherly, Jr. ’46

Mr. Joe Elwood Weatherly, Jr., 94, died Saturday, August 31, 2019, at his home in Thomasville, NC. 

He was born on August 6, 1925, to Joe Elwood Weatherly, Sr. and Christine Walker Weatherly in Elizabeth City, NC. Graduating valedictorian from Elizabeth City High School, he attended Davidson College, Duke University, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy. 

He served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S. Leyte CV-32 during the Korean War, receiving a Bronze Star. He served as Ex. Officer of P.T. boat squadron 1 and as a Midshipman Company Officer at the Naval Academy. 

He entered private business serving with several subsidiaries of Sovran National Bank, retiring from Sovran Capital. After retirement, he taught continuing education classes in computer programming at Forsyth Tech and GTCC. 

Joe was an avid golfer, bridge player, and reader. He also grew beautiful roses and lilies. Wherever he resided, he was an active member of his church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School and serving in various other offices. He tutored third graders in English and delivered Meals on Wheels for years. 

He was preceded in death by his grandson, J.B. Cordell, III. 

He is survived by his wife of almost 34 years, Eleanor Gray Weatherly of the home; his daughters, Christine Cordell (Joe) of Cashiers, NC and Betsey James (John) of Richmond, VA; his son, Joe Weatherly, III (Mitzie) of Greensboro; five grandchildren, Elizabeth Rice (Sean), Jack James, Sarah James, Ellie Weatherly, Maggie Weatherly; great-grandson, Walker Rice; and step-sons, Michael and Patrick Rutherford. 

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 5, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Pine Woods UMC with Rev. Sidney Lanier officiating. Inurnment will follow in Holly Hill Memorial Park Columbarium with military honors provided by the Randolph County Honor Guard. The family will receive friends at the church on Thursday one hour prior to the service from 1-2 p.m. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Hospice of Davidson County, 200 Hospice Way, Lexington, NC 27292 or to Pine Woods UMC, 200 Pine Woods Church Rd. Thomasville, NC 27360.

Online condolences may be sent to 

Copyright (c) 2019 High Point Enterprise

Thomas Poindexter Speas ’46

Thomas P. Speas, 94, passed away at Salemtowne in Winston-Salem, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m. in Amos Room/Babcock Health Center, Salemtowne.

Mr. Speas graduated from Reynolds High School in 1942. He attended Davidson College and graduated from University of Virginia in 1944. He received his master’s degree from Drexel Institute of Technology in 1963.

Mr. Speas was in the United States Army Signal Corps from 1943-1946. He was employed with Western Electric and retired from RCA in 1987.

Surviving are his wife of 70 years, Ruth L. Speas; children: P. Lynne S. Messenger (William) and Thomas P. Speas, Jr. (Suzan); grandchildren: Bert Haifley (Jeanette), Justin Haifley, Brad Messenger (Mary Charles); Sara Messenger, and Laura Messenger (Amber); and great-grandchildren: Maya Haifley, Maverick Haifley and Eli Messenger.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. William P. Speas and mother Nora E. Dixon; brothers: Frederick W. Speas, Dr. W. P. Speas, Jr., Charles A. Speas and Richard D. Speas.

In lieu of flowers, memorial may be made to Parkinson’s Association of the Carolinas, 2101 Sardis Road North, Suite 102, Charlotte, NC 28227 or the Boy Scouts of America, Old Hickory Council, 5058, 6600 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

Online condolences may be sent to

Edwin Allen Meeks, Sr. ’46

Edwin Meeks '46Edwin Allen Meeks, Sr. MD died on March 17, 2018. Dr. Meeks was born in Columbia, SC on September 16, 1925.

He began the practice of Pediatrics in Johnson City as a partner with Dr. Robert Bosman and Dr. Robert Piston at the Bowman Clinic in 1958. Dr. Meeks and Dr. James M. Pearson were founding partners of Pediatric Associates in 1979. Dr. Mark Donavan and Dr. Paul Bischoff joined the group later.

Following Dr. Meeks’ retirement in 1990 the group became First Choice Pediatrics. Dr. Meeks began his under graduate education at Davidson College and received the B.S. Degree from Union College, Schenectady, NY in 1946. Prior to entering Medical School he was employed as a chemist by Whitehall Pharmaceutical Co. in Knoxville. He received his MD from Vanderbilt School of Medicine in 1950. Dr. Meeks served his internship and residency at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC.

He served in the Navy during WW II. Dr. Meeks was a hospital corpsman at St. Albans Naval Hospital on Long Island, NY, which received casualties from the D Day invasion. He was commissioned an Ensign upon completion of the Naval V-12 program at Union College.

After receiving his MD, he entered the Army Medical Corps. While an intern at Walter Reed, he was involved in the care of soldiers injured in the Korean War. Dr. Meeks was Assistant Chief of Pediatrics at Brook Army Hospital in San Antonio, TX and Chief of Pediatrics at the 11th Field Hospital in Augsburg Germany. He was promoted to Major in 1956.

Dr. Meeks was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at ETSU Medical School. Dr. Meeks was a member of the Medical Staff of the Memorial Hospital and the Johnson City Medical Center Hospital.

He held membership in the Washington, Carter and Unicoi County Medical Society, the Tennessee Medical Association, The Tennessee Pediatric Society, the Southern Medical Association, and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics designated Dr. Meeks as the Senior Pediatrician of the year in 1995.

Dr. Meeks served as a deacon, and Elder and Sunday school teacher at the First Presbyterian Church in Johnson City and at the time of his death was an Elder Emeritus at Midway Presbyterian Church in Jonesborough. He was a member of the Board of the Presbyterian Journal.

Dr. Meeks was preceded in death by his father, the Rev. Benjamin A. Meeks, and mother, Miranda Taylor Meeks, his wife of 52 years, Ann Russell Meeks, brother and two sisters. One sister Marjorie M. Webb, Cabot AR, and brother-in-law Gene Pierce, Prattville, AL, survive him.

He is survived by two sons, Edwin Allen Meeks Jr. and wife Mary, Johnson City and Matthew Taylor Meeks and wife Katie, Jonesborough, five daughters, Elizabeth M. Lueck and husband Michael, Wilmington, OH, Lynda M. Carter and husband Bill, Jonesborough, Julia M. Slemp, Jonesborough, Margaret “Rita” Teeters, and husband Randy, Alliance, OH, Sarah M. Roberson and husband Shawn, Elizabethton, 14 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren, 6 nieces and 5 nephews.

Graveside services will be in the Pleasant Forest Cemetery Concord Road, Farragut, TN on Tuesday, March 20th at 12:00 p.m.

A Memorial service will be on Saturday, March 24 at Midway Presbyterian Church, Jonesborough. Family will greet friends from 12:00 PM til 2:00 PM. Memorial service to follow at 2:00 PM.

Donations may be made to Samaritan’s Purse or Gideons International in lieu of flowers.

Memories and condolences can be shared by visiting

Appalachian Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 800 East Watauga Ave., Johnson City, TN is serving the Meeks family. 423-928-6111


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