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

David Hagan Pfaff ’54

David Hagen Pfaff, 90, of Winston-Salem, died Saturday, October 29, 2022 at Salemtowne Retirement Community. He was born on October 28, 1932 in Forsyth County to the late Fred Wilson and Elizabeth Hagen Pfaff.

David graduated from Reynolds High School and later Davidson College. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and the Army Reserve, where he earned the rank of full bird colonel. During his time in the service, David lived at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, but in 1958, he moved back to Winston-Salem and started working at Pfaffs Glass. In 1963 he started Pfaffs Auto Glass, where he worked for 57 years, until he retired in 2020. He loved golf and spending time at his Beech Mountain home. David played the trumpet in the Easter band for over 75 years, was a member of the Kiwanis and the Salem Band.

He is survived by his children: Douglas Bryon Pfaff and Deborah Pfaff Faircloth, both of Winston-Salem, and Fredrick Wilson Pfaff (Shannon) of Canyon Lake, TX; grandchildren, Mary Kathleen Lanier (Joshua), Laura Ann Pfaff, Alanna Frances Pfaff (Christopher Tolley), William Hagen Faircloth (Shannon), Marilyn Jeanette Bell (Philip), Ashley Pfaff Winters (Daulton) and David Hagen Pfaff; great-grandchildren, Kennedy, Braely, Lawson, Ella, Avery, and Emma. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Jane Pfaff Dewees (John).

The funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at Home Moravian Church with burial to follow in the Salem Moravian Graveyard. A reception will follow the burial in the Parlor at the Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Home Moravian Church, 529, S. Church St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101, the Moravian Music Foundation, 457 S. Church St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101, or the Alzheimer’s Association, Western Chapter, 4600 Park Rd., # 250, Charlotte, NC 28209. Condolences may be made online at

Homer C. Phifer Jr. ’54

Rev. Dr. Homer Craig Phifer, Jr. died on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022.

He was born in Hamlet, on Sept. 12, 1932, to the late Homer C. Phifer, Sr. and Elizabeth Dale Crowell Phifer. He grew up in Jacksonville, Fla. He graduated from Davidson College in 1954. Receiving a commission through the ROTC program at Davidson he served two years in the U.S. Army following graduation. After this service, he attended and graduated from Union Theological Seminary (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) in Richmond, Va., with a Masters of Divinity degree.

He was ordained in the Montpelier Presbyterian Church in Wagram, in 1959, by the former Fayetteville Presbytery. In addition to Montpelier, he served the Old Town Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, the First Presbyterian Church in Thomasville, and the Arlington Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Fla. While in Thomasville he earned his Doctorate of Ministry degree from Union Seminary.

In 1985 he became the executive presbyter and stated clerk of Shenandoah Presbytery with an office in Harrisonburg, Va. Upon his retirement in 1997, the Presbytery made him Executive Emeritus. That same year he and his wife Martha moved to Pinehurst.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Martha Nelson Phifer.

He is survived by his son Craig and his wife, Lynne, of Pinehurst; grandson, Nathan (wife Samantha); and great-grandsons, Watson and William; and grandson, Scott (wife Alexis); and great-granddaughters, Sophia and Farah.

A memorial service for the Rev. Phifer will be held on Friday, Oct. 28, at 2 p.m., at Community Presbyterian Church, in Pinehurst, with Rev. Rod Stone officiating.

The family is very grateful to the staff of Pinehurst Medical Clinic and Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, especially Dr. David Hipp and Dr. Joshua Sesek and their staff for the excellent care provided. Finally, to the staff at Aegis Family Care Home in Southern Pines and the many members and friends of Community Presbyterian Church who made Homer’s life so full and meaningful, eternal thanks for your care, concern and compassion.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made in memory of Rev. Phifer to Community Presbyterian Church, Montreat Youth Fund, P.O. Box 1449, Pinehurst, NC 28370.

Condolences may be made at

Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.

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,

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