Robert C. “Bob” Garrison, Jr. ’54

Robert C. “Bob” Garrison, Jr., retired anesthesiologist, passed away peacefully at age 90 in Atlanta, GA on September 11, 2023.

Since retiring from his remarkable 57-year career, Dr. Garrison had been living with his daughter Lynn and her family in Sandy Springs, GA. Dr. Garrison was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Jane Zuber Garrison, in 2014, and by his sister, Kathryn Rhodes Garrison Marin in 1993.

After graduating from Davidson College in 1954, three months later he married his high-school sweetheart, Jane Elizabeth Zuber, who supported the young couple by working in the microbiology lab of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham while Robert pursued his MD at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1958. During medical school, Robert was accepted into the Navy’s physician-drafting program. Following graduation from medical school and an internship at City Memorial Hospital (now Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center) in Winston-Salem, NC, he served as a U.S. Navy Medical Officer, initially as a ship’s doctor, but eventually as an anesthesiologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital. It was during his years in Bethesda that Lt. Commander Garrison was selected to serve as physician to President John F. Kennedy while traveling by ship, as well as anesthesiologist for both Vice-President Hubert Humphrey and President Lyndon B. Johnson. Following his service to the Navy, the Garrison family endured the climate of Rochester, Minnesota while Dr. Garrison practiced at the Mayo Clinic, where he published research on his development of the four-pole electrocardiographic backplate, a device that greatly simplified monitoring a patient’s vital signs during surgery. The technology Dr. Garrison developed at Mayo continues to be utilized in surgical procedures worldwide. In 1970, the family relocated to Anderson, South Carolina, where Dr. Garrison joined the staff of Anderson Memorial Hospital (now AnMed Health Medical Center). Dr. Garrison formed Anderson Anesthesia Associates, eventually bringing in 7 partner anesthesiologists. During his many years at Anderson Memorial/AnMed, Dr. Garrison served as Chief of Anesthesia as well as Chief of Staff. In 2002, Dr. Garrison became Chief of Anesthesia for the Bearwood Ambulatory Surgery clinic, and continued practicing anesthesiology in Anderson until retiring at age 82 in February 2015.

He is survived by daughter Lesley Glenn Garrison of Aiken, SC; son John Osburn Garrison and his wife, Paula, of Seneca, SC; daughter Lynn Garrison Brown and husband Mark of Atlanta, GA; son Paul Carlton Garrison of Birmingham, AL; and son Robert Glenn Garrison and wife, Carolyn, of Atlanta, GA.

Dr. Garrison (Granbob) had ten grandchildren, Caroline “Callie” Rhodes Garrison Inge (Peter), Elizabeth Shields Brown; Ross Carlton Garrison; Robert Carlton Garrison, II; Alexander Pierce Brown; Sarah Glenn Garrison (Camron Pollock); Grant Collier Brown; Jane Ellis Brown; Liam Robert Garrison; and Sean Thomas Garrison; and three great-grandchildren, Milo Julian Pollock, Lila Marie Pollock, and James Montgomery Inge.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Robert’s name to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Dr. Garrison valued and supported the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund in honor of his beloved wife, Jane. There is a link to Jane Z. Garrison in their Memory & Honors tab at https://curealz.org/outreach/in-memory/jane-z-garrison/

A memorial celebration in Dr. Garrison’s honor will be held in Anderson SC at a later date.

Graeme McGregor Keith Sr. ’54

Graeme McGregor Keith was welcomed home on March 31, 2023 with shouts of adulation and triumphant celebrations as he entered the gates of heaven, embraced in the loving arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For those of us left behind, we grieve, but we grieve with hope, knowing that one day we too will be reunited, worshiping Jesus with him.

Graeme was born November 12, 1932, in Greenwood, South Carolina, the son of William Calhoun and Lucille Harvey Keith, and brother to his best friend, the late William “Bill” Harvey Keith.

Graeme entered this world with God-given curiosity, charm and charisma, a drive and a spirit for excellence, the ability to make friends that transcended space and time, and was the ever-enduring epitome of a southern gentleman.

Graeme graduated from Greenwood High School and later attended Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, on a full athletic scholarship. There he displayed his talents both on the golf course and as the captain of the Davidson Wildcats basketball team. Ever the purser of excellence, his eyes met that pinnacle the day he crossed paths with Gloria Ellen Dowd one fateful evening on the campus of Queens College. They were married on December 12, 1954 at Myers Park Methodist Church in Charlotte. Gloria was the crown jewel and love of Graeme’s life for 63 years, and as she herself penned, “their love was set in eternity,” and into eternity they shall reunite. Gloria was called home into the arms of her loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on August 30th, 2017.

Graeme served in the United States Army as 1st Lieutenant from 1954 to 1956 and in May of 1956, Graeme embarked on a career in banking that would eventually position him to become the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of a British bank’s major U.S. subsidiary, BarclaysAmerican. Prior to that, he served faithfully for 17 years with First Union National Bank as City Executive and Regional Executive Vice President in Durham, Greensboro, and Charlotte. Graeme’s experience in the North Carolina market poised him to venture south to expand and grow the Georgia banking market. There, Graeme held the position of President for Georgia Railroad Bank & Trust Company as well as Vice Chairman of First Railroad & Banking Company.

However, it was a fateful day in February 1989 when he and his first-born son, Graeme (Greg) McGregor Keith, Jr. decided to step out in faith and build something together that even their dreams could not comprehend. Their desire was to honor God and glorify Him forever. This manifested itself in the business they founded, The Keith Corporation, a privately-held, full-service commercial real estate firm. Their client portfolio includes a wide range of companies including multinational Fortune 500 corporations, top-rated hospitals, Department of Defense contractors, industry giants, and fast-growth startups. For the past 34 years, Graeme and his team have delivered the highest level of quality, service, commitment and excellence to their clients. What a joy it was for Graeme to know that what started as a step of faith with Greg would be a legacy that would carry on from one generation to the next, now with two of his grandsons as a part of the business.

This same level of excellence and desire to serve carried over to all aspects of Graeme’s life, including his civic endeavors and philanthropic ventures. Graeme was an active member and elder at his church, Myers Park Presbyterian Church. Graeme also served as Board Emeritus for Samaritan’s Purse as well as Board Emeritus for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Graeme later served as Elder of Moments of Hope Church. He was honored to be the Director of The Good Fellows Club and Trustee for the Metropolitan YMCA of Greater Charlotte.

Further investments to his community included Board of Trustees for Southeast Bankcard Association; Civilian Aid to the Secretary of the Army for the State of Georgia; Board of Trustees for Augusta Preparatory School; President for the Augusta Chamber of Commerce; Chairman and Corporate Marketing Committee for American Bankers Association; President’s Advisory Council for the Medical College of Georgia; Chairman for St. Joseph Hospital; Director for First Financial Management Corporation; Treasurer and Member of the Executive Committee for Charlotte Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the YMCA’s many Capital Campaigns; Chairman of Capital Campaigns for both his alma mater, Davidson College, and his beloved wife’s alma mater, Queens University; President of Charlotte City Club; Vice President for University Research Park; Board of Directors for First Union Bank; Board of Trustees for Arts & Science Council; Director for Presbyterian Hospital Foundation; Director for Foundation for the Carolinas; Board of Trustees for The University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Board of Trustees, Chairman, and Head of Development Committee for Davidson College; Chairman of the 1996 Carolinas Billy Graham Crusade; and Board Chairman for Communities in Schools of North Carolina.

Graeme was also a recipient of the John R. Mott Award for YMCA of Greater Charlotte; Davidson College Distinguished Alumni Association Award; Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from Queens University; and the Charlotte Ethics in Business Award for The Keith Corporation.

More than the business affiliations, memberships, honors, and awards, Graeme was first and foremost a family man. His legacy that will last longer than any of the accolades collected over the course of his lifetime are the shining stars in the trophy case of his heart: his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to whom he is more affectionately known as “Pop.” Today, each one carries the light of Graeme that will be passed down for generations. He lived and taught integrity, character, faithfulness, kindness, hard work, chivalry, friendship, love and forgiveness.

Graeme was a great friend. He saw into the heart of everyone he met, making them feel as if they were the only person in the world. He valued people, he valued their time, he valued their talent, and he sought to bring out the best in everyone. Whether picking up his dry cleaning or speaking to the President, Graeme treated everyone with respect and was an image-bearer of God.

Pop lived a full life. He was a blessed man, loved and admired by family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances alike. He now rests in peace having run the race well. No matter what challenges he faced, Pop knew God to be good and sovereign, working all things to the good of those called according to His purposes. So Pop pressed on to that blessed shore. He has been welcomed home safely to harbor in the arms of Jesus, rejoicing and singing with his beloved wife, Glo, and his dear friends who traveled before him. Pop has now heard the words of Jesus sweetly spoken, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Those left behind do not grieve without hope. Pop placed his faith in the one and only Son of God, Jesus Christ, and one day we will once again be reunited with him in heaven. Pop believed that the Holy Bible was the inspired, divine, and inerrant word of God, and he believed what he read in the Bible to be the absolute truth. Pop believed that God created the world, man sinned, and God, in His great love and mercy, has spent the rest of human history pursuing His people, so much so that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die a sacrificial death on a cross, so that we might be restored and redeemed to a right relationship with Him. Pop knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior and he wanted others to know Him as well.

The family appreciates the attentive care given to Graeme by Hospice and Palliative Care of Charlotte Region. We are incredibly grateful for the devotion and countless hours of his caregivers Patti Johnson, Grace Martinez, Cammi Hayes, Jebolisa Ilukwe and Sergio Morales; for Diana Allen for her many years of devoted service as his assistant and friend; and for his friendships at The Cypress that gave him much joy and laughter.

He will be lovingly remembered by his three children: Graeme (Greg) McGregor Keith, Junior and his wife India Early Keith, Russell Dowd Keith, and Carey Ellen Keith Heberton and her husband Scott Ewing Heberton; eight grandchildren: Dowd Simpson and her husband Webb, Graeme Keith III and his wife Jennifer, Barrett Hughes and her husband Brock, Tanner Girdwood and her husband Thomas, Cody Keith, Ryan Keith, Locke Heberton and Ellie Heberton; and eleven great-grandchildren: James, Willow, Winnie, Mercy and Eden Simpson, Graeme McGregor Keith IV, Holmes (aka Lil’ Mack to Pop) and Baines Hughes, Maggie, Mays, and Bella Grace Girdwood.

We will celebrate the life of Graeme at Myers Park Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 11 am. The family will receive friends following the service in Oxford Hall. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like memorial donations in honor of Graeme McGregor Keith sent to any of the following organizations: Samaritan’s Purse: mail to: Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607 or online at https://www.samaritanspurse.org; Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Library: mail to: BGEA Library, One Billy Graham Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28207; The Keith Family YMCA in Charlotte, NC: mail to: YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Attention: Keith Family YMCA, 400 East Morehead St., Charlotte, NC 28202. Condolences may be offered at www.mcewenpinevillechapel.com. As his precious wife penned, “One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.” Graeme McGregor Keith will remain a fond memory in the lives of those he loved for all of eternity.

William Lee Nelson ’54

Born December 18,1932 in Jackson, Louisiana to Mary Lee and William Ozzie Nelson, Bill was predeceased by his parents, his sisters, Mary Nelson Dunlap and Martha Nelson Phifer and his nephew, Mark Alexander McNeill. Bill is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Sue. He is also survived by his daughters, Zan Nelson Davis (John) of Clemmons, NC and Roxanne Nelson King (George) of Spartanburg, SC, his son William Lee Nelson, Jr. (Ginger) of Lewisville, NC and stepson, Jeff Smith (Todd Buckley) of Mocksville, NC. Bill is also survived by six grandchildren: John G. Davis, Jr, Elizabeth M. King, Kimberly R. Davis, Meredith L. Davis (Matt Jackson), William L. Nelson, III and Tanner M. Nelson. Bill is also survived by his nephew, Homer Craig Phifer, III (Lynne) and his niece, Shannon Francisco.

The son of a Presbyterian Minister, Bill was born in Jackson, LA, lived in Henderson, TX, New Orleans, LA, Ellisville, MS, and Robbins, NC. Bill entered Davidson College on a football scholarship, then graduated from Davidson College in 1954. Receiving commission through the ROTC program at Davidson, he served two years as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper team leader. He graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1959, after which he entered the FBI as a Special Agent. In 1962, he began practicing law in Siler City, NC. Bill next moved to Winston-Salem where he enjoyed practicing law for over 50 years. He was an energetic member of the Winston-Salem Jaycees, the Forsyth County Bar Association and NC Bar Association.

Bill was known to be “the life of the party!” He was an extraordinary Chili Chef known for really “hot” chili. In May 1991, Bill realized a lifetime highlight, a hole in one at Tanglewood East Course. Bill bled “Carolina Blue” and was a faithful Tarheel. He was quick-witted and interjected humor often, whether hosting his annual Office Christmas Party, or emceeing bus trips to Chapel Hill.

He was notorious for teasing his neighbors in Brookcliffe, who would remember and revere him for years to come. Bill was the original “Bad News Bears” coach of his son’s little league baseball team. He was his daughters’ biggest fan in their equestrian adventures.

In addition to his affinity for adventure, Bill was the first to welcome you into his home for a UNC game, a round of poker, or a “funny” orange juice. Known as the “Bard of Buena Vista”, one was considered fortunate not to become fodder for his saucy poetry. He also loved traveling with Sue and their friends, attending endless local performances, and entertaining the neighbors with his stories. He was loved and will be missed by all.

In keeping with Bill’s wishes, the family is holding a private memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to a charity of choice.

Robert Sartin Sutton ’54

Robert Sartin Sutton, 90, of Davidson, NC, passed away on December 5, 2022. He was born on July 31, 1932, and grew up in Lexington, NC.

Bob graduated from Davidson College with a Bachelor of Science in history. After serving as a jet pilot in the United States Air Force, he completed postgraduate work in business and accounting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned his CPA license. Bob joined Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, & Co (now KPMG) in Charlotte, NC and was soon promoted to managing partner and tapped to open the Norfolk, VA office which continues to thrive today.

Bob was active in the community, providing leadership and support to both industry and the arts. He served as chairman of the board of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, where he was instrumental in uniting five separate chamber organizations. He served as President of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. After retiring from Peat Marwick in 1986, he returned to Davidson College, his Alma Mater, and served as Vice President for Business and Finance. During this time, Bob was involved in developing The McConnell residential neighborhood. In addition, he served on the board of the senior residential community, The Pines, and was a member of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church.

Bob spent his leisure time sailing, traveling abroad, and reading. After he retired in 1995 from Davidson College, he enjoyed playing golf with his wife Alice on the Harbor Town Golf Course where they resided. He cherished time spent with his children and grandchildren. He also enjoyed getting together with college friends.

Robert Sutton was preceded in death by his parents Euel Sutton and Clarice Sartin Sutton, his former wife Sally Wagner Sutton-Tucker, his sister Jerrell Ann Gibson, and stepson Scott Smith. He is survived by his wife Alice (Burchett Smith) of 27 years, daughter Amy Peters (Steve), son Rob Sutton (Stephanie), stepdaughter Leigh Ann Lemons (Richard), and grandchildren Sam Peters (Katherine), Jessica Peters, Vivian Lemons, and Joshua Lemons.

Bob’s family gathered from multiple states to celebrate his 90th birthday on July 31, 2022, at River Run Country Club in Davidson, NC. Bob reminisced with his family, recounting experiences from his lifetime.

Robert Lewis Beamer ’54

Dr. Robert Lewis Beamer, 89, of Columbia, passed away on Monday, November 28, 2022. He was born on June 9, 1933, in Pulaski, Virginia, to Harold Lee Beamer, Sr. and Mary Overton Smith Beamer.

Dr. Beamer became an Eagle Scout at the age of 16 and graduated from Pulaski High School in 1950. He entered Davidson College in September of 1950, majoring in Chemistry and Biology. After two years, he transferred to the School of Pharmacy at the Medical College of Virginia, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy in 1955 and became a Licensed Registered Pharmacist. He then entered the Graduate School at the Medical College of Virginia and earned a Master’s Degree in 1957, majoring in Chemistry. He obtained his PhD there in 1959, majoring in Organic Pharmaceutical Chemistry and minoring in Biochemistry and Physical Chemistry. His dissertation was on Asymmetric Hydrogenation Using Palladium Catalysts.

Dr. Beamer joined the faculty of the College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina in 1959. He became a full professor in 1967. He officially retired in 1998 as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus, after publishing more than 30 papers and a book. He continued to teach and research until he fully retired in 2006.

He was a dedicated member of Washington Street United Methodist Church, where he served as a Sunday school teacher, church historian, chairman of the administrative board and church council. He was a member of several professional organizations including the American Chemical Society and the American Pharmaceutical Association. He was active in many social and civic organizations, including Meals on Wheels, the Columbia Torch Club and the Columbia Capital Rotary Club.

Dr. Beamer was preceded in death by his loving wife of 63 years, Joan Fanning Beamer; his parents; sister, Elizabeth Beamer; and brother, Harold Beamer Jr. (Mary Frances). He is survived by his daughter, Janelle Elizabeth Beamer. He is also survived by nephews, Danny Fanning (Rhonda), Mark Beamer (Tracy), Hal Beamer (Kerri), Benjamin Beamer, and a host of loving cousins.

A graveside service for Dr. Beamer will be held at 11 o’clock on Saturday, December 3rd at Elmwood Cemetery, 501 Elmwood Avenue, Columbia, SC. The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 o’clock on Friday, December 2nd at Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, 7600 Trenholm Road Ext., Columbia, SC. Memorials can be made to Washington Street United Methodist Church. Memories and condolences may be shared at ShivesFuneralHome.com.