Rush Stuart Dickson ’51

Rush Stuart Dickson of Charlotte, NC passed away quietly on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Born August 18, 1929, he was the son of Rush Smith Dickson and Lake Simpson Dickson.

Stuart attended public schools in Charlotte as well as Charlotte Country Day then Culver Military Academy where he graduated in 1947 with a JROTC commission in the United States Army. He matriculated at Davidson College in the class of 1951.

Stuart married the late Joanne Shoemaker Dickson on October 14, 1951, and they moved to New York City where he began his career in investment banking with Goldman Sachs. He returned to Charlotte when his Army unit was called to active duty during the Korean conflict. Stuart and Joanne began a family which quickly grew to include four children. At that time, he went to work at RS Dickson Company where he became president in 1958. Along with his brother Alan, he formed and took public from the investment holdings of RS Dickson Company the RUDDICK Corporation, founded in 1968 – the parent company of Harris Teeter, American & Efird Mills, Jordan Graphics, Ruddick Investment Company and Heritage Capital Corporation, among other interests. Stuart served on the Board of Directors at Textron Inc, First Union, PCA, Pick and Pay and DIMON. His far-flung business interests took him around the world multiple times.

Stuart lived life to the fullest and with a great sense of adventure. He thrived on being engaged with people and touched the lives of many. He was a man of deep and quiet faith. The number of people whom he helped and supported is inestimable.

Stuart was an enthusiastic outdoorsman who had a love for both the mountains and the ocean. He loved duck hunting, quail hunting, snow skiing, boating and bonefishing on the saltwater flats in the Abacos.

An avid golfer; he played on his Davidson College golf team and was a member of Charlotte Country Club, Quail Hollow Club, Linville Golf Club, Augusta National, Country Club of North Carolina, Wacchesaw Plantation Club, Grandfather Golf & Country Club, Bald Head Island Club and DeBordieu Club.

His community activities included United Community Services Fund, The Piedmont Club of Charlotte, The Newcomen Society and the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry.

According to Stuart, his most rewarding accomplishment was the forty years of service as Commissioner, including twenty-five years as Chairman, of Charlotte Mecklenburg Hospital Authority (Carolinas Healthcare System – now Atrium Health). Under Stuart’s leadership, the former Charlotte Memorial Hospital merged with Mercy Hospital, leading to the foundation for a multi-facility, state and regional growth strategy that continues today. With the additions of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Advocate Aurora Health it is the fifth largest health system in the US.

He served as Chairman of The Dickson Foundation, Trustee of Davidson College, UNCC, Wake Forest University and Johnson C. Smith University. In addition, he was elected to the NC Business Hall of Fame. Stuart was a lifelong member of, as well as a Life Deacon at Myers Park Baptist Church.

Stuart is survived by his wife, Kathy; his children, Rush S. Dickson III and his wife, Kristin, Thomas Walter Dickson, John Alexander Dickson and his wife, Nancy and Laura Lake Watkins and her husband, Carlton; his eight grandchildren, Sarah Dickson Bourgeois (John), Rebecca Dickson Callis (David), William Thomas Dickson (Christina), Michael Alan Dickson (Mary Stuart), Rush Alexander (Jamie Lee), Ashlyn Sherwood Dickson, Carlton Gunter Watkins III, John Walter Watkins (Sarah) and twelve great-grandchildren. Also surviving is his sister, Jane Williamson. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joanne; brother, Alan Dickson; sister, Barbara Scott and his daughter-in-law, Cecelia.

The family wishes to extend a special thanks to each and all of the caring staff at Carolinas CARE Acute Care Hospital and the Levine Dickson Hospice House at Southminster.

A memorial service will be held 2:00 PM on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC. The family will receive friends following the service in Heaton Hall. The service will be livestreamed at: for those unable to attend in person. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of Stuart to the charity of your choice.

E. Marvin Thompson, Jr. ’51

E. Marvin Thompson, Jr.,94, died January 5, 2024. He was the son of the late Glendale S. and E. Marvin Thompson of Norwood, NC.

He was educated in the Norwood schools and graduated from Davidson College. He served in US Army Intelligence as a First Lieutenant and was stationed in the Eighth Army Headquarters in Korea for over a year. After his military service he attended UNC-Chapel Hill earning his MBA degree. Marvin married Ann McKay Lefler of Norwood, NC in 1954. He worked with Dun & Bradstreet in Charlotte and Richmond. In 1962 he joined North Carolina National Bank in Raleigh which later became Bank of America. He worked there for 35 years as a Vice President and Trust Officer until retiring in 2001. He was active in the Wake County Estate Planning Council and the American Society of CLU and ChFC.

Marvin was a longtime member of White Memorial Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder and Deacon. He served on many committees, including WTR, and enjoyed the fellowship at Men’s Breakfast. He was an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Raleigh joining in 1978. During retirement he volunteered at Wake Relief, Habitat for Humanity, Shepherd’s Table and other organizations. Marvin loved spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, gardening, tennis, photography, and trips to Sunset Beach, his favorite vacation spot.

He is survived by his beloved wife Ann, of 69 years; daughter Kay Coleman (Eddie), grandson Win Coleman (Jessica), granddaughter Sally Collins (Clayton) and great grandchildren Annie Collins, Alice Collins, and Roe Coleman. He was predeceased by sister Virginia Foy Thomson and daughter Nancy Thompson Petro.

The family is most grateful for the care provided by Dr. Jeffrey Huang, caregivers Nafsa and Adelina, and Transitions LifeCare.

A Memorial Service will be held at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1704 Oberlin Rd., Raleigh NC on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at 2:00 pm. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the Jane Bell Gathering Space. The service will be livestreamed at

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to White Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Thomas Craven Jr. ’51

Dr. Thomas Craven Jr. died peacefully surrounded by family on December 19, 2023. He was born on July 30, 1929, in Huntersville, North Carolina, the son of Dr. Thomas Craven Sr. and Mildred Smith Craven. Growing up in Huntersville and the family farm in the Long Creek area, he attended Huntersville High School and was active in scouting, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He was a graduate of Oak Ridge Military Academy and Davidson College (Class of 1951).

After graduation, he served in the Korean War as a First Lieutenant where he was awarded a Bronze Star. After his return, he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who were both physicians and graduated from the University of North Carolina Medical School in 1958.

Before heading out to the first of several medical internships, he married Joan Marie Thompson of Danville, VA. They were thrilled to come to Wilmington where Tom joined the Wilmington Orthopedic Group as an orthopedic surgeon in 1963.

Tom and Joan were long-time members of Saint Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church where he faithfully served as an Elder, Stephens Minister and lead many bible study series. After Joan’s death he married Evelyn Wright, and they enjoyed attending St. James Episcopal Church.

Tom loved running, biking, and kayaking. He participated in numerous races, triathlons and marathons, including several Grandfather Mountain and Boston Marathons. Tom always loved music, playing many instruments, but especially found much joy playing his fiddle.

Tom loved his family dearly and is survived by his son Tom Craven and daughter Sarah Craven Anderson and her husband, Kent Anderson. He is also survived by grandchildren Webb Craven, Rebecca Craven Dronet (Matt), Joe Craven, Sam Anderson, and great granddaughter Scarlett Dronet.

A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held on Thursday, January 11th at 2pm at St. Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church, Wilmington NC. The family will receive guests in the chapel immediately following the service. There will be a private burial at Oleander Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made in Tom’s name to St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church.

William N. Mebane III ’51

Pediatrician and family physician Dr. William “Bill” Mebane III, who practiced for years at Chestnut Hill Hospital and was a long-time resident of Chestnut Hill and Wyndmoor, died Oct. 1 while visiting relatives in Salida, Colorado. He was 94.

In addition to being affiliated with the local hospital, now named Temple Health Chestnut Hill, Mebane held faculty positions at Jefferson Medical College and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He was also an elder of the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, where he had a special commitment to community service.

In a prepared statement, his family members said that in the last week of his life, Mebane “biked 2.4 miles for fried okra, bounced his newest great-grandchild on his knee and celebrated his 94th birthday on a jeep tour through Aspen foliage at Camp Hale at 9,000 feet.”

They also said that “Bill’s life taught us all to enthusiastically seize the day, embrace every opportunity to learn new things and always extend a caring hand and a listening ear to dear ones and strangers alike.”

In his professional capacity, Mebane helped to establish the CHH Family Practice Residency program and was one of the initial Program Directors.

“Chestnut Hill Hospital has lost a giant,” said Dr. John Scanlon, chief medical officer at Temple Health/CHH. “Dr. Mebane was a consummate leader, clinician and teacher, and his caring and compassionate nature is what set him apart from his peers. His contributions to CHH are limitless and will continue to be felt into perpetuity.”

As a practicing and busy physician, Mebane also took seriously the role of helping to mentor scores of students and residents. 

“On a personal level, Bill was extremely supportive of me as I rose through various leadership roles at the hospital, and I will miss the sage advice he often gave me,” Scanlon added. “He is one of the role models on whose shoulders I stand.”

Marc W. McKenna, a family medicine physician at CHH who succeeded Mebane as program director of the Family Medicine program in 1994 and worked directly with him for many years, described him as “the epitome of an old-time primary care doctor.” 

“He always had a twinkle in his eye, a word of encouragement and a nice thing to say to everyone,” McKenna said. “And, in addition to directly caring for so many members of our community, he also helped train and mentor the next generation of family physicians.”

A native of North Carolina, Mebane graduated from Davidson College and moved to Philadelphia in 1950 to attend the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After receiving his M.D. in 1954, he interned at Philadelphia General Hospital. It was then that he charmed wife-to-be Marianne with his dance moves, executed with a cast on his leg from a ski accident on Mount Washington. 

The two were married in 1955 and went on a honeymoon to Fort Benning in Georgia, where Bill served in the U.S. Army as a battalion surgeon. It was there that he discovered surgery was not his niche. (He once told the Local that he learned that after suturing the colonel’s dog with a running stitch.) 

He returned to Philadelphia in 1957 for a residency in pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. In 1959, he joined the Chestnut Hill Pediatric Group and the staff of Chestnut Hill Hospital. 

He also became an integral part of his local community. 

In his work with the church, Mebane tutored Philadelphia public school children in reading. He also actively participated in building homes with Habitat for Humanity and other projects, and he and his wife volunteered with school groups at Morris Arboretum. 

On more than one occasion, he was scolded for teaching the students to roll down the grassy hills.

The Rev. Russell Sullivan, minister of visitation at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, said “Bill was one of the finest persons ever to serve” at the church, citing his work in the community and also as a volunteer in Haiti. 

“His faith shaped him to be a person of compassion, kindness and mercy, which he embodied also as a physician,” Sullivan said. “Bill was the kind of doctor we still need in the world.”

Mebane enjoyed both golf and tennis and especially enjoyed the golfing fellowship of the Wayfair Club and his friends at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, where he scored a hole-in-one on the 10th hole at the age of 75. As his sight diminished, he continued this passion, thanks to the Middle Atlantic Blind Golf Association.

Mebane was predeceased by his wife and partner of 66 years, Marianne (Wehner). Bill is survived by his son William, of Falmouth, Massachusetts; daughters Jane Luceno of Yorktown Heights, New York, and Anne Gibbons, of Wenatchee, Washington, as well as seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. 

“Until the very end, he asked himself and others what we could collectively do to ‘bring a little peace and justice to this old world of ours,’ a favorite saying of his before a meal,” the family said in their statement. “Even during his last days, Bill never complained about his physical limitations imposed by ‘too many Birthdays.’ Instead, he reflected with compassion on the unjust pain millions of people are confronted with daily.” 

A memorial service will be held at Foulkeways in Gwynedd at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to and the Foundation for Health Equity, 10 East Springfield Ave., Phila., Pa., 19118 (

Joseph James “Jim” Murray ’51

Joseph James “Jim” Murray, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Charlottesville on September 5, 2023. Jim was born on March 13, 1930, in Lexington, Virginia, and he was educated at Davidson College (1947-1951) and Merton College, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar, 1951-1954). He served in the US Army (1955-1956) and then taught for two years at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, before returning to Oxford to earn a D.Phil. in Zoology. In 1962, he joined the Biology faculty of the University of Virginia.

Jim’s main research interests were ecological genetics and the evolution of animal populations. His research on land snails took him to the British Isles, Australia, and on many trips to Polynesia, where he studied the native snails of the genus Partula. At UVA, Jim chaired the Biology Department from 1984 to 1987; served as director of the Mountain Lake Biological Station for thirteen summers between 1964 and 1990; and mentored several generations of graduate students. He was a Fellow and former President of the Virginia Academy of Sciences and a board member of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. He also chaired the University’s Arboretum Committee for over 20 years, often saying that this was his favorite University committee.

Jim was an active mountain climber and lifelong conservationist. He spent many happy days exploring peaks and valleys from the Himalayas to the Alps to the Appalachians of his native Virginia. Throughout his life, he worked tirelessly to preserve wilderness areas on Virginia public lands. A founding member of the Virginia Wilderness Committee, Jim served as its president in 1970 and again from 1997 to 2007. He helped to shepherd the passage of six wilderness bills through the US Congress (1975-2009), which added over 200,000 acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Jim also loved planting and nurturing trees, woodworking, Scottish dancing, and sustainable farming with his family at Bentivar. He was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth H. “Bess” Murray, and is survived by his three children: Joseph J. “Joe” Murray III of Charlottesville, along with his wife Andee and daughters Maggie and Erin; Alison J. “Tiki” Murray Levine of Charlottesville, along with her husband Stephen and daughter Sophia; and William L. “Will” Murray of Long Beach, CA, along with his wife Rhonda. He was proud of his three granddaughters and delighted in their stories and accomplishments.

In lieu of flowers, any gifts in Jim’s memory may be sent to the Virginia Wilderness Committee, PO Box 1235, Lexington, VA 24450, or