Linny Marshall Baker ’56

On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, Linny Marshall Baker of Concord, NC passed away at the age of 88 following a brief illness. Born March 11, 1934, in Ashe County, Linny was the youngest of five children born to Linny McKinley Baker and Bertha Phillips Baker. Linny was preceded in death by his father, who passed away unexpectedly in late 1933, prior to Linny’s birth. He initially grew up in Wilkes County before moving with his family to Kannapolis, NC, in 1942.

Linny graduated from A.L. Brown High School in 1952 as valedictorian and co-captain of the Wonder’s state championship basketball team. He was also one of the student representatives from A.L. Brown who joined their counterparts from Concord High School to acquire the “victory bell” from Southern Railway in 1950. After graduating as salutatorian and Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College in 1956, Linny graduated at the top of his class from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1960 and attained the highest score in North Carolina on his state board examination. Following medical school, he pursued a residency in Pediatrics at Duke University Hospital where he was selected as Chief Resident in 1962 and was named a Wyeth Fellow, which recognized him as one of the top pediatric residents in the United States.

In 1956, Linny married the love of his life, the former Joyce Carroll Holshouser. In 1963, Linny and Joyce moved back to Cabarrus County and made their home in Concord. He joined the Cabarrus Pediatric Clinic and embarked on a lifelong mission of caring for many local children as well as serving his community through involvement in various organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Rotary, and the Jaycees. He also served as chief of the medical staff at Cabarrus Memorial Hospital, Captain and physician in the US Army National Guard, Chairman of the Cabarrus County Board of Health, and Chairman of the Northeast Foundation Board. Linny was an active member of St. James Lutheran Church where he spent over 40 years teaching Sunday School and frequently serving in various leadership positions within the church.

In 1999, Linny retired from the Cabarrus Pediatric Clinic and began working as a pediatrician for the Cabarrus Health Alliance. After more than 50 years of practicing medicine, Linny treated his last patient in 2015 at the age of 81 and permanently retired his stethoscope. The Health Alliance honored him by naming their children’s clinic the “Linny M. Baker Pediatric Clinic.” In 2016, the Governor of North Carolina awarded Linny with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor in the state.

In his spare time, Linny was a devoted family man and spent many years supporting his children’s and grandchildren’s various endeavors. He also enjoyed playing golf, snow skiing, and pulling for the Duke Blue Devils. Being an A.L. Brown and Duke graduate, he was often reminded by his three children, all of whom attended Concord High School and UNC, that he was on the wrong side of these big rivalries.

Linny was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce, mother, Bertha, father, Linny, and three siblings, Herbert Baker, Ruby Lynch, and Eunice Bradshaw. He is survived by his sister, Lois Wetter, as well as his three children, including daughter, Deedee Gilbert, and husband, Jeff Gilbert; son, Dr. Scott Baker, and wife, Dr. Kristin Baker; and son, Brad Baker; all of Concord. Additionally, he is survived by six adoring grandchildren, Leah Baker, Kelli Baker, Michael Baker, Marshall Cromer, Thomas Baker, and Emerson Baker. Linny is also survived by his close friend and companion, Patricia (Pat) O’Neal, who continued to remain by his side during his final days.

The family will receive friends at Wilkinson Funeral Home in Concord on Friday, July 1, from 4 to 7 pm. A service to honor Linny’s life will be held at St. James Lutheran Church in Concord on Saturday, July 2, at 2 pm. A graveside burial will be at Carolina Memorial Park in Kannapolis immediately following the service. The family would like to thank the staff at the Gardens of Taylor Glenn for their kind and compassionate care for our father.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. James Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 684, Concord, NC 28026-0684, or the Boys and Girls Club of Cabarrus County, P.O. Box 1405, Concord, NC 28026-1405.

Laymon Luther “Buddy” Echols ’56

Laymon Luther “Buddy” Echols, 88, husband of the late of Billie Rainey Echols died Friday, June 17, 2022, at his home surrounded by his family.

Born in Greenville, he was the son of the late Laymon Luther and Martha Posey Echols. Buddy was a lifelong member of Buncombe Street United Methodist Church and a faithful member of the Round Table Sunday School class. He was a graduate of Greenville High School Class of 1952, and Davidson College Class of 1956 where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

Buddy served as a first lieutenant in the United States Army; he was assigned to the Army Intelligence Agency and stationed in Nationalist China. President of Echols Oil Company and Haulers, Inc. from 1958 until 1997, he also served as President of the South Carolina Oil Jobbers Association in 1966.

Buddy is survived by two daughters, Martha Echols Waddell (Dan), and Mary Hamilton Echols (Wesley); two grandchildren, Robert Fredrick Fowler, IV and Laura Rainey Fowler; and a step-grandchild, Virginia Waddell.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, from 10:30 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church. Due to the pandemic, the family was not able to properly say goodbye to Billie, and so, just as in life, they will be celebrated together with a memorial service at 12:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. A private burial will be held in Springwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Buncombe Street United Methodist Church Round Table Sunday School Class, 200 Buncombe St., Greenville, SC 29601.

Condolences and your favorite memories may be shared with the family by clicking the “Leave a Message, Share a Memory” button on the main obituary page.  

Charles Wilson “Charlie” Robinson ’56

Charles “Charlie” Wilson Robinson Jr. passed into the loving arms of his Savior surrounded by his loved ones on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas. Charlie was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 17, 1935 to parents Charles Wilson Robinson and Mildred Randolph Gane. Growing up in Charlotte, he excelled at academics, track, and outdoorsmanship. At 16 he skipped 12th grade to attend Davidson College pre-med and run the high hurdles for varsity track.

Next, was medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where Charlie graduated AOA. While in medical school he met and married Joan Atkinson and welcomed daughter, Ashley and son, Charles. Upon completion of his residency in Clinical Pathology, the Army brought Charlie to Fort Sam Houston to serve as Chief of Special Hematology at Brook General Hospital. He quickly, in no particular order, fell in love with tacos, San Antonio, First Presbyterian Church, and the medical community of South Texas, and never moved back to his native North Carolina.

His distinguished professional career included serving as a founding member of Severance and Associates Pathology Group. Severance provided pathology services to many area hospitals. Charlie, as Vice-President of Hospital Services, helped many of these hospitals design their clinical laboratories. He also personally trained the hospital physicians on how to utilize their new laboratories. Charlie served as Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at U.T. Health Science Center, as Trustee and Secretary of the Bexar County Medical Foundation, and Director of the Alamo Health Care Plan, Inc. His training in hematology and blood banking led Charlie to co-found and serve as director of what today is known as South Texas Blood and Tissue Center. He understood the need for consolidating all the various hospital blood banks into a centralized source for the benefit of hospitals throughout San Antonio and South Texas. For many years, he served as a consultant to a large number of hospitals. Every Thursday for a little over a decade, saw Charlie leaving town at the crack of dawn to visit various hospitals across the Hill Country and South Texas: Comfort, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Luling, Pearsall, Johnson City, San Marcos, Lockhart, Del Rio.

Charlie’s interests were many and varied. In addition to his love of medicine he was a self-taught, highly educated investor in the stock and commodities markets. When he wasn’t engaged in lab work, investments, or outdoor activities, Charlie exercised his green thumb, including the propagation of orchids, tomatoes, and other vegetables.

In the early 1970’s, Charlie purchased a house on Lake LBJ–a refuge from his busy professional life where he taught all his children to water ski, sail and drive boats. Many Saturday mornings, would find Charlie, aka the Mad Chopper, pruning shrubs at the lake, leaving the cuttings lying on the ground for his children to drag to the top of the hill, while he would go look for “pinholes in his eyelids.” (take a nap).

Charlie met Cynthia Cartall in April of 1980 and they married four months later. His blended family was a joy to him, and he and Cynthia had so much fun together. They traveled the world, from Tahiti to Israel, to Europe to the Baltic, but Charlie’s favorite trips were their five photo safaris to Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. They preferred bush camps to lodges, and they learned to cope with “unexpected eventualities.” While these may have been a little nerve-wracking, they were certainly interesting!

An avid outdoorsman, Charlie loved to hunt and fish. As a boy, Charlie, toting his grandfather’s shotgun, and his younger brother, Bill, would ride the city bus to the family farm for the weekend. The bus stop was a solid two mile walk from the farm. As they walked up the road, Charlie would hunt for their supper. A longtime member of Blue Wing Club, Charlie shared his love of fishing with his children and grandchildren. In later years Charlie hunted elk in Colorado and Wyoming with his son Hunter and dear friend Ron Hall and fished for salmon and halibut in Alaska both with his son, Charles, and his wife Cynthia.

Charlie was a dedicated member of Dr. Louis Zbinden’s Tuesday morning doctors’ Bible Study at Northeast Baptist Hospital. In retirement, he joined the men’s Thursday morning Bible study at First Presbyterian Church.

Family was especially important to Charlie, he spent many weekends grilling and hosting various friends and family at both the lake and in San Antonio. A member of the Petroleum Club and the Friday Singers, Charlie’s infectious smile and wonderful laugh will be treasured always.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Mildred Robinson and his brother, William Robinson (Bill). Charlie is survived by his wife Cynthia Cartall Robinson, children: Ashley Robinson Dike, Charles Wilson Robinson III (Amy) and Hunter Cartall Peyton (Kari), grandchildren: Peyton Ray Dike, Stuart Rex Dike, Ramsey Campbell Robinson, Charles Wilson Robinson, Hayes Cartall Peyton, Bennett Elaine Peyton, and sister, Louise Robinson Singleton and brother Stephen Robinson (Virginia), as well as many nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

The Memorial Service will be held Thursday, June 23, 2022, 2:00pm at First Presbyterian Church.

Rev. Dr. Bob Fuller will officiate. Honorary Pallbearers: Clay Cartall, Milt McFarland, Bill Young, George Case, and Ron Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic, First Presbyterian Church, South Texas Blood & Tissue, or a charity of your choice.

You are invited to sign the Guestbook

Walter G. Craven ’56

Walter Gluyas Craven died peacefully on April 21, 2022.  He was born June 26, 1934, in Huntersville, North Carolina, the son of Dr. Thomas Craven and Mildred Smith Craven.

Walter was a graduate of Oakridge Military Academy and Davidson College.  After graduation, he attended Officers Candidate School at the Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island.  He served on the USS Ingraham as a Gunnery Officer.  After his military service Walter attended Duke University and received his master’s degree in Hospital Administration.  It was during this time that he met his wife, Anne.  They were married at Duke Chapel, and moved to Wilmington, NC in 1961.

Walter was the Hospital Administrator at Babies Hospital.   He and Anne fell in love with Wilmington and decided this was where they wanted to live permanently.  He changed careers and bought Jacobi Hardware and worked there until his retirement. 

He continued his love of the ocean through sailing.  He and Anne spent countless hours ocean racing as well as cruising the coast of North Carolina and the Bahamas.  Walter was a member of North State Game Club in Council, NC.  He treasured his many friends with whom he spent time sailing, hunting and golfing.

He loved his family dearly and is survived by his daughter, Mary Anne Craven Moldenhauer and her husband, Brian James Moldenhauer of Charlotte, and son Walter Bennett Craven and wife Pam Simmons Craven of Wilmington, four grandsons, Henry and John Moldenhauer of Charlotte, and Nolan and Tom Craven of Wilmington.  He is also survived by his brother Dr. Tom Craven and wife Evelyn, brother-in-law Henry Jordan and wife Dyeann, Tom Jordan and wife Lillian, sister-in-law Nancy Jordan and many nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held Sunday, April 24th at 2pm at First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, NC.  Family will receive in the Gathering Room immediately following the service. There will be a private burial at Oakdale Cemetery.

Memorials may be made in Walter’s name to First Presbyterian Church, 125 S. 3rd Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 or Lower Cape Fear Life Care, 1406 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC  28401.

Alvin Harley Smith ’56

Alvin Harley Smith '56

Dr. A. Harley Smith, Sr. passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side, on January 31, 2022.

He was born in Pensacola, Florida, January 27, 1933, to Richmond and Sadie Smith. He grew up with his younger twin sisters Flora Su and Margret Lu. He attended Walton High School, graduated from Davidson College and then completed four years at the Emory School of Dentistry.

He served as a Captain in the Dental Corp, at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana for 2 years. Harley taught one year at the Emory School of Dentistry before entering a 2-year program in Orthodontics at Emory. In 1965, he opened his practice and retired after 45 years.

He served as President of the Georgia Association of Orthodontists. He was also a member of the following organizations: The Georgia Dental Association, American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Southern Society of Orthodontists, Georgia Association of Orthodontists and the DeKalb Study Club. He was a Life Member and Honorable Fellow of the GDA, and a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club.

Harley loved being involved in his children’s activities and his work with the Lost Boys of Sudan, The Methodist Children’s home, The Nicholas House and as a member of the Decatur Presbyterian Church were also very important to him.

Harley is survived by his wife of 65 years, Angeline McCaskill Smith, his son, A. Harley Smith Jr., (Christa) and his two daughters, Julie Smith (fiancé, Eric), Laura Smith Cooney (Jack). Grandchildren, Kennedy Smith, A. Harley Smith, III (Jazlyn), Jack Cooney IV, Taylor Smith, one Great-Grandchild, Andy Smith and Harley’s sister, Margaret Lu Wood (Dave) and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Flora Smith Neff and brother-in-law, Bob.

A family memorial service will be held at 11 AM, on April 23, 2022, at the Decatur Presbyterian Church Memory Garden.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Decatur Presbyterian Church, 205 Sycamore Street, Decatur, Georgia 30030 or the Alzheimer’s Association, online, would be appreciated.