John M. Graham ’54

John McKay Graham, husband of Virginia Brown Graham, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 28, 2022.

Born October 15, 1932, in Sumter, South Carolina, John was the son of the late Martha Wilson Graham. He graduated from Edmunds High School in Sumter in 1950. He attended Davidson College, transferred to the University of South Carolina and was drafted into the Army in 1953 during the Korean War. After completion of his military service, he returned to USC and graduated in 1956. He then began his career in banking and savings and loan.

He married his wife, Virginia Martha Brown, on June 14, 1958, making their home in Sumter for the next 40 years.

After John received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he became an active member of his church where he worshipped regularly. He served faithfully in leadership roles of elder and deacon and was active in men’s ministry, global missions and audiovisual ministry.

He and Virginia were known for their hospitality, often opening their home for family and friends. John loved his family and treasured time with Virginia, their children and their families. Family gatherings would often include his engaging retelling of his life experiences.

As a young man, he achieved and was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, tennis and photography.

His career in banking and savings and loan extended for almost 40 years, beginning as a loan officer with First Federal Savings and Loan of Sumter, and retiring as a Senior Vice President and Business Development Officer with BB&T. His tenure was marked by character, integrity, fairness and generosity. He served on and chaired numerous boards including Sumter Area Technical College, Sumter Kiwanis Club, American Legion Post 15, and Shaw AFB/Sumter commission. He was a loyal supporter of law enforcement as an assistant to the Sheriff, a special SLED agent, and a lifelong SC state constable.

After retirement, John and Virginia moved to Hendersonville, NC, and then Mount Pleasant, SC, where, for the past 17 years, they have been active in their church and community. John enjoyed staying in touch with his many friends from over the years, and meeting and making new friends, encouraging them through photos, letters, and phone calls.

In addition to his wife, John is survived by his children, Dr. John McKay Graham, Jr. (Tamara), Mount Pleasant, SC, Virginia Graham Caswell (Braxton), Johns Creek, GA, Elizabeth Graham Faulkner (Larry), Mount Pleasant, SC and Benjamin Brown Graham (Tracy), Hendersonville, NC; grandchildren, Caroline Elizabeth Graham, Marshall Anne Caswell Busbee (Daniel), Virginia Britton Caswell, Margaret Graham Caswell, Mary Elizabeth Faulkner Kimble (Seth), Sarah Louise Faulkner McCurry (Marion), John Lawrence Faulkner, Benjamin Brown Graham Jr., James Frierson Graham, Kruesi Graham, Natasha Townsend and Julia Townsend; great-grandchildren, James McKay Busbee and Hannah Grace Kimble, and many extended family. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert E. Graham; his sisters, Elizabeth G. Gallagher, Georgianna G. Thomas, Margaret G. Love, Sadie G. Randall, and Helen G. Stoddard.

Special thank you to the nurses and staff at the Keil Health Center at Franke at Seaside in Mount Pleasant.

Celebration of life service will be at East Cooper Baptist Church, Mount Pleasant, SC, on Saturday, July 2, at 11 AM. The family will receive friends at the church from 10 AM until the hour of service. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., Mount Pleasant Chapel. Burial will be at the Sumter Cemetery in Sumter, SC, on Saturday, July 2, at 4 PM. Arrangements by Elmore Hill McCreight, Sumter, SC.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to East Cooper Baptist Church Global Missions Fund, 361 Egypt Rd., Mount Pleasant, SC 29464, or Samaritan’s Purse, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607,

A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at

Charles C. “Charlie” Hull ’54

Charles Crews “Charlie” Hull, 88, passed on to be with his Lord Jesus Christ on February 13, 2022.

He was born in Athens, Georgia in 1933 to Helen Crews Hull and William Deloney Hull. He grew up in Decatur, Georgia and loved sports and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Decatur Boys High School and then attended Davidson College, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order and lettered on the swimming team as a diver.

After college, he served in the U.S. Infantry as a 1st Lieutenant. Upon discharge he joined the Atlanta advertising agency Liller, Neal, & Battle, where he became a vice president and handled major accounts.

In 1970, he changed careers, joining Adams Cates Real Estate. In 1972, he and two partners founded what is today Wilson, Hull, & Neal Real Estate. During his real estate career, he was awarded the Silver Phoenix Award for 25 years in the Million Dollar Club.

He was privileged to serve on the Atlanta Advisory Board of the Salvation Army for more than 25 years, offering pro bono counsel and involvement on real estate matters. He was a long-time member of Northwest Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder, Sunday School superintendent, and various other positions. He was a 40-year Life Member of the Capital City Club and loved golf, spending time at the family cabin on Lake Lanier, and playing his guitar, mandolin, and banjo.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Louise, his daughter Dr. Helen Hull, and his three sons and their wives—Charlie, Jr. (Kris), Alec (Emily) and Billy (Anne) and eight grandchildren Taylor, Calley, William, McLaurin, Katie, Ellie, Anna Clare, and Harley.

A celebration of his life will be held at Northwest Presbyterian Church, 4300 Northside Dr., Atlanta, GA 30327 on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 2 PM; the family will receive guests after the service. Abiding by the city’s current mask ordinance, masks will be required in the sanctuary. The service will be live-streamed via Northwest Presbyterian Church’s YouTube channel, ( In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Northwest Presbyterian Church; the Salvation Army; or Thornwell Home for Children (302 S. Broad St., Clinton, SC 29325).

Jere W. Witherspoon ’54

 Jere Warthen Witherspoon of Matthews, NC, died at his home in Matthews Glen on February 3, 2022 due to cancer. He was born in Shepherdstown, WV on June 24, 1932, to The Rev. Dr. James Whitted Witherspoon and Ethel Warthen Witherspoon, and was the youngest of three sons.

Jere is survived by his wife, Ellen, son Jay (Karen), daughter Jean, son Jim (Joy), four grandchildren, Katie (David Kellogg), John, Katherine and Caroline, sisters-in-law Carolyn Witherspoon and Alice Day, and brother-in-law Frank Wheby. His brothers, Lt. James W. Witherspoon, Jr., USAF, and John Witherspoon, as well as his parents, predeceased him.

During his 53-year membership at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, he served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons, an Elder, Sunday School Teacher, member of the Endowment Council, Co-Chair of the Senior Adult Fellowship, and treasurer of the Rhodes, Johnston, Boyce Bible Class.

Jere graduated from Davidson College in 1954, then served for five years as an F-86 pilot in the USAF. After receiving a Master of Health Administration degree from Washington University in 1961, he was employed in hospital management in WV and NC. He held various staff positions with The Duke Endowment for 27 years, retiring as Executive Director in 1996.

Jere’s career included participation in many national and local health care and philanthropic organizations. One of his most rewarding volunteer activities began in 1980 when he was chosen to serve as Chairman of the Board of Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte when the new service had only three employees and three patients.

Following retirement, Jere served on the advisory board of the Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation, volunteered for Friendship Trays, Habitat for Humanity, AARP Tax-Aide counseling and Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselor for the Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte and as a Charlotte Tutor volunteer.

The family wishes to thank Hospice, Myers Park Presbyterian Church, and friends for their unwavering support during Jere’s illness.

A memorial service will be held for the family. Memories and condolences may be posted online at

For those wishing to make a memorial gift, please consider Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 7845 Little Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28226, and Myers Park Presbyterian Church, 2501 Oxford Place, Charlotte, NC 28207.

Wayne Hoppers Petrea ’54

Wayne Petrea, 89, of Kannapolis, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022.

He was born Oct. 16, 1932, in Cabarrus County, son of the late C. McNeil Petrea and Forrest Hoppers Petrea.

Wayne retired from First Bank in Kannapolis in 1997, after spending over 40 years in the banking industry where he was a commercial loan officer and vice president. He began his banking career at Security Bank in 1954 and later joined Cabarrus Bank and Trust Company in 1961.

Wayne was an active member of Bethpage Presbyterian Church in Kannapolis, where he faithfully served as a deacon, elder, Sunday school teacher and church member. He met his wife Berlene Tucker Petrea as a teenager at Bethpage. They were married at the church in 1951, and celebrated 56 years together before Berlene’s death in 2008.

Wayne graduated from J.W. Cannon High School in 1950, attended Davidson College, and received certifications from several banking programs.

Wayne contributed to his community as a member of the Kannapolis Rotary Club and the Allen Graham Masonic Lodge.

His family fondly remembers him as a devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and great-grandfather. He enjoyed traveling, fishing, gardening, and spending time with family and friends. Wayne loved to talk and never met a stranger.

In addition to his wife Berlene, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Anita Riggsbee, Mary Goolsby McKnight and Betty Kornowski; and his brother, C. McNeil (Macky) Petrea Jr.

Surviving are his sister, Patty Lee; three daughters, Deborah Nesbitt and husband, Terry, Beverly Bates and husband, Tony, and Kathy Smart and husband, Gregg; one son, Michael W. Petrea; eight grandchildren, Sarah, Jake, Caroline, Will, Emily, Alexandra, Michael and Olivia; and one great-grandchild, Hannah. Wayne is also survived by many wonderful nieces, nephews, and his dear friend, Nancy Cline, who brought much joy to the later years of his life.

The family wishes to thank the staff and administration of Best of Care Assisted Living for their care and kindness and the hospice staff for their support and guidance. The family will be forever thankful to his caretaker, Kristen, for the loving care she provided to him at his home in Kannapolis.

A visitation will be held Sunday, Jan. 30, from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., in the Fellowship Hall at Bethpage Presbyterian Church, 6020 Mooresville Rd., in Kannapolis. A service of remembrance will follow at 12 p.m., in the sanctuary, officiated by the Rev. Valerie Hicks. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Bethpage Presbyterian Church, 6020 Mooresville Rd., Kannapolis, NC 28081.

Whitley’s Funeral Home
Published by Concord & Kannapolis Independent Tribune on Jan. 28, 2022.

Norman McClure Johnson ’54

Norman McClure Johnson of Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC died at the age of 90 on January 7, 2022.

The son of Reverend Norman and Mary McClure Johnson, he was born in Blacksburg, VA on February 28, 1931. Reared in Rocky Mount, NC, Norman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College in 1954. After serving as a U.S. Army officer in El Paso, TX, he went on to study at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Munich, the University of Freiburg, and UNC Chapel Hill, where he received his PhD. Norman taught European history at Davidson College and Salisbury University until his retirement.

He enjoyed sailing, international travel, and riding his bike to campus. Norman will be remembered by his family and friends for his dry wit, quest for historical irony, vast knowledge of international and domestic affairs, appreciation of music, and gift as a raconteur.

Norman is survived by Nancy Revelle Johnson, his wife and sounding board of 57 years, daughter Claire Johnson-Hurry (Doug), who fondly called him “Vats,” and grandson Wallace McClure Hurry. He was predeceased by his brother, James Wallace Johnson (Roseann Nagle), who shared his brother’s passion for sailing.

Please visit to express condolences to the family. Donations in Norman’s memory can be made to NC WARN to support energy & climate justice (NC WARN, P.O. Box 61051, Durham, NC 27715,