William “Bill” Godfrey Russell ’53

William “Bill” Godfrey Russell, 92, of Davidson, NC, passed away peacefully on March 23, 2024 with his loving family by his side. He was born on September 20, 1931, in Winston Salem, NC.
Bill attended RJ Reynolds High School in Winston Salem, NC and graduated in 1953 from Davidson College, Davidson, NC in the top 10% of his class with a BS in Business and Economics. He was ROTC Battalion Commander, a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and a recipient of an AK Phiffer Business Scholarship. He earned much of his way through college working construction in his youth.
Bill, a proud veteran, served in the US Army 1st LT for 8 years at Fort Benning and Fort Gordon, GA. After his military service, he pursued a career as an accountant in Lynchburg, Va. He worked for General Electric as manager of accounting in Schenectady, NY and Lancaster, PA. He was the Treasurer and Manager of Finance of GE Broadcasting. His job with GE, Turbine Division, took him to Cairo, Egypt and India in financial management of construction projects. Bill was also CEO of PerAmerica Consulting Firm, a business he founded in Schenectady. Retiring in 1991, he made his home in his college town of Davidson.
Bill was instrumental in helping with the Vietnamese refugee resettlement effort in the Schenectady area in the mid 1970s. He spent many hours volunteering to help give them a new life.
He served on the vestry as senior warden at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Schenectady and at several churches over the years where he was a member.
Bill’s biggest joy was being surrounded by his loving family. He was a wonderful provider, mentor to his family, volunteer, Boy Scout Master, and enjoyed and promoted sports. In his earlier years, he enjoyed taking the family camping, especially to Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks, NC, boating on Lake George, and sailing on Lake Champlain and the Chesapeake Bay. He had a passion for traveling and cruising. In his spare time, Bill enjoyed reading, photography and woodworking.
Bill is preceded in death by his father, William G Russell II, and mother, Anna Cly Russell.
He is survived by his wife Karima Russell, her sons Ashraf El-Rafei, Amr El-Rafei (Mervat), and Ahmed El-Rafei (Amy), his former wife June Russell, Ann Applegate (sister), Helen Caines (sister), children William Russell (Joyce), Michael Russell, Carolyn Morin (Richard), Elizabeth Pratico (Paul), 12 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service to honor Bill’s life will take place on Saturday, May 11th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Schenectady, NY.
His legacy of love and service to others, dedication, and passion for life will be remembered and cherished by all who knew him.

William Hazle Bristow, Jr. ’53

William Hazle Bristow, Jr. of Darlington died on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at the Darlington Presbyterian Church. Immediately following the service, the family will receive friends at the church’s Fellowship Hall, and other times at 305 Cashua Ferry Road in Darlington.

Mr. Bristow was born in Columbia, South Carolina, on July 22, 1931. He was the son of the late William Hazle Bristow, Sr. and Margaret Spratt Bristow.

A lifelong resident of Darlington, he attended St. John’s Elementary and St. John’s High School, graduating in 1949. He was an honor student, president of the key club, and president of the National Honor Society. He also played football and was on the golf team, lettering in both. After graduation he attended Davidson College for three years before transferring to the University of South Carolina, where he received a degree in Business Administration. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and served as President. After graduation, he received his commission as second lieutenant in the United States Air Force during the Korean conflict. He was in the USAF Reserve for 13 years and attained the rank of captain.

Upon his tour of duty, he returned to Darlington where he married the love of his life, Pollie Goodson Bristow. They shared 64 years, and they were blessed with three beautiful daughters. In Darlington, Mr. Bristow joined his father in the family business, W.H. Bristow Oil Company, where he worked until retiring at the age of 65. While associated with the company, he served as President and was a beloved employer to the faithful employees, whom he enjoyed working with for many years.

He served as President of the South Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association in 1986 and served on the Board of Directors for many years. He was on the Government Advisory Council Board of Directors for Gulf Oil Corporation, Board of Directors of Southern Oil Marketers Association, and on the Board of Directors for the National Oil Jobbers Association.

He was President of the Chamber of Commerce and President of the Kiwanis Club, of which he was a member for over sixty-five years. During his term of office, he was instrumental in establishing the United Fund in Darlington. He served as Key Club Advisor and was on the Board of Directors for many years.

Mr. Bristow served on the Darlington County School Board. He was on the Board of Director’s for Citizen’s Bank of Darlington and was on the Advisory Board of Citizens and Southern National Bank.

As a faithful and dedicated member of Darlington Presbyterian Church, he taught Sunday School and served as Deacon and Elder for more than 40 years.

Interested in nature and conservation, he was on the Board of Directors of the Black Creek Land Trust, later joining with the Pee Dee Land Trust. He enjoyed his cabin on Black Creek, where he loved to fish. He was an avid outdoorsman and a member of the Damon Gun Club, which he served as President for many years. He was the “Chef” for the Tuesday night Duck suppers and planned the Saturday noon Deer Drive Dinners. He was also a member of the Cribb’s Fishing Club.

He gave wise counsel to many who sought his advice. He was cherished by his family, his church, and his community. His quiet strength and keen guidance were a blessing to many fortunate family members and friends. He loved the Lord, his family, and his hometown.

Mr. Bristow was predeceased his parents, William Hazle Bristow, Sr. and Margaret Spratt Bristow; his parents-in-law, Thomas Wallace Goodson and Lilian Blackmon Goodson; and his sister-in-law, Margaret Jo Marsella Bristow.

Mr. Bristow is survived by his wife of 64 years, Pollie Goodson Bristow, and three daughters, Susan (Damon) Flowers of Darlington, Elizabeth (Lee, M.D.) Richards and Katherine (Lofton “Mac”) Fanning, both of Columbia. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Damon Steger Flowers, Jr., M.D. (Betsy, DVM), Susanna Flowers Koppernaes (Leif), Mary Palmer Richards Tucker (David), Caroline Richards Heath (Garrett), William Hazle Bristow Richards, Charles Thomas Richards, and Elizabeth Dryden Richards; and two great-grandchildren: Mary Margaret Flowers, and Bailes Lee Tucker. Mr. Bristow also has one brother, Robert Blakley Bristow; one niece, Margaret Bristow Presson (Everett); and one nephew, Dr. Robert Blakley Bristow.

Memorial donations may be made to The Endowment Fund c/o D.P.C. 311 Pearl Street, Darlington, SC 29532, The Lord Cares 201 Grove Street Darlington, SC 29532, The Kid’s Closet c/o D.P.C. 311 Pearl Street Darlington, SC 29532, or the Mercy Medical Free Clinics 203 Grove Street Darlington, SC 29532.

John Rowell Bennett ’53

John Rowell Bennett, a devoted servant of God, family and country, died peacefully Feb. 12, 2024. Born on Lookout Mountain on April 3, 1931, his life was a testimony to the enduring values of being a disciple of Christ.

After graduating from McCallie School in 1949, John continued his education at Davidson College and the University of Chattanooga. He served as a Field Artillery officer in the United States Army, where he not only mastered the art of flying L4 aircraft but also shared his expertise as an instructor. John continued his military career in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

As a career-long salesman in the manufacturing industry, he cultivated meaningful relationships, reflecting his authentic and amiable nature and interest in others.

John’s roots on Lookout Mountain ran deep. He was baptized at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church and gave his life in humble service to the church. He initially volunteered with the youth group, later served as a deacon and elder, facilitated the Fireside Sunday School class for several decades and constantly served in countless quiet ways.

Active in the local community, John was a member of the Fairyland Club, serving on the board and playing tennis with friends well into his late 80s. He will be remembered for his infectious smile, kindness, love of laughter and quick wit.

John leaves behind his beloved wife of 57 years, Laura Smartt Bennett, and is survived by three sons: Bill (Kem) of Birmingham; David (Kingsley) of Lookout Mountain and Jim (Jami) of Birmingham, along with 9 grandchildren (Will (Abby), Betsy Moffett (Cole), Hamilton, Mae Mae, Carter, Hunt, Brooks, Read, Sims) and 1 great-grandchild (Luke). He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Florence Bennett and siblings William, Gigi, Betty and Jim.

A memorial service to celebrate John’s life will be held at 12:00 pm EST (11:00 am CST) on Feb. 24 at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts to LMPC’s Mercy Fund (lmpc.org).

May his memory be a source of comfort and inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Otto Preston Chaney Jr. ’53

Colonel Otto Preston Chaney Jr. was born February 16, 1931 in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

He graduated from Davidson College with the Class of ’53.

He was a colonel in the United States Army and Professor of National Security Studies at the U.S. Army War College and was an author.

He died on December 16, 1993 at the age of 62 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Russell Garrison ’53

Russell Garrison went to be with the Lord on Thursday, January 11, 2024. Born in Charlotte, N.C. on April 15, 1931, he was the son of the late James Herbert and Blanche Bost Garrison, and was also preceded in death by his son, James Garrison; daughter-in-law, Kim Garrison; his daughter, Julie Cervilla; and son-in-law, Jack Cervilla.

He grew up on a farm near Pineville, NC where his father and grandfather raised cotton, corn, and cattle.

Russell graduated from Davidson College in 1953 with a degree in Economics.

After living in Florida to help rebuild the Homestead Air Force Base, Russell moved with Blythe Brothers to Colonial Heights, VA. He helped build the Toll Road (Interstate 95) from Petersburg to Richmond and also was the project manager for the construction of I95 south of Petersburg. Russell became a Project Manager for B.P. Short & Son Paving, where he retired after 40 years. Russell was on the Virginia Road Builders Board and also served as President in 1985. He was appointed to the Contractor- Engineer Joint Co-op Committee in the late 80’s and served as chairman for several years.

Russell became a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Petersburg in 1956 where he served as an Elder, member of multiple committees and taught Sunday School.

Russell was an avid quail hunter and was devoted to restoring the population of Bob White Quail in Virginia. This interest led to an appointment to the Game Commission, part of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He also loved to saltwater fish and was appointed to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and served as the co-chair of the Fin Fish Committee.

He loved his church, his family, his dogs, and his boats. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Eleanor; his daughter, Janet Newcomb and her husband, Glenn Newcomb; grandchildren, Russell Kelley, Jake Cervilla, and Jennifer Newcomb Hess; and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at Second Presbyterian Church, 419 W. Washington Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23803. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Wednesday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. at church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Second Presbyterian Church. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Colonial Heights Chapel of E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes and Crematory, 2033 Boulevard. Online condolences may be registered at ealvinsmall.com