John Shepard Robinson ’57

John Shepard Robinson, 87, died on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. He was born on September 3, 1935 in Charleston, SC to the late Richard Grier Robinson and Ethel Shepard Robinson. John’s father died of typhus fever when John was three years old and his brother, Grier was five. Ethel Robinson raised, supported, and loved both boys as a single parent until her death in 1988.

Affectionately known to many as “Big John,” he was the kindest of souls, a true Southern gentleman, a man of faith, and a man of family. He was a lifelong tennis player, earning the #1 position on the Men’s Varsity Team at Davidson College. John was a member of Charlotte Country Club, where he nurtured many friendships and continued to master his tennis game. As a devoted and longtime member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church, John served as a Deacon, Elder and Stephen Minister. He loved the North Carolina mountains, where he spent summers as a child in Montreat, and during his later years in both Linville and Blowing Rock. John’s beautiful singing voice and talent for playing both the piano and cornet fostered a love of music throughout his life.

In his early years, John was educated in Charleston schools, including Porter-Gaud School, before graduating high school in 1953 from the Darlington School in Rome, GA. He attended Davidson College and graduated in 1957 with a degree in economics. Following his graduation from Davidson, John served as an officer in the United States Army Infantry and was stationed in Fort Benning, GA. He then accepted a job with the Irving Trust Company in New York City, where he worked on Wall Street for two years.

In the summer of 1957, John met Elizabeth Reaves McNair (Beth) in Montreat. They married on July 16, 1960, and settled in Charlotte. Following in both his father’s and brother’s footsteps, John worked for Belk Stores in Charlotte for many years, where he most notably established the Belk Credit Card. He later worked for The National Life Insurance Company until his retirement.

John and Beth were happily married for twenty-eight years until Beth’s death from cancer in 1988. They were blessed with three children, Reaves, Shep and Flora. John was fortunate to marry Martha McDonald on February 24, 1990. John and Martha enjoyed thirty-three years together and had a wonderful marriage. Martha’s three children, Marty, James and Murray were important parts of his life.

John is survived by his wife, Martha McDonald Robinson; children, Reaves Robinson Thompson and her husband, Sandy, John Shepard Robinson, Jr. and his wife, Woodie, and Flora Robinson Warbington; grandchildren, Beth Thompson Taylor and her husband, Paul, Emily Thompson, Alex Thompson and his wife, Anna, Liza Robinson Williams and her husband, Rob, John Robinson III, Carroll Warbington; and great-grandson, Jack Taylor. John was predeceased by his first wife, Beth McNair Robinson and his brother, Richard Grier Robinson, Jr.

John’s family wishes to thank Memory and Movement Charlotte and the Embrace Healthcare staff at Southminster Retirement Community for their unwavering care, support and kindness.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, March 10, 2023, at Myers Park Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends following the service in Oxford Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of John to Myers Park Presbyterian Church, 2501 Oxford Place, Charlotte, NC 28207 ( or to The Ivey, 6030 Park South Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 (

Mallory McSwain ’57

Mallory Logan McSwain died peacefully in the early morning of September 29, 2022 at his Durham N.C. home after a long illness. His beloved wife of sixty-four years, Wanda McSwain, was at his side. Mal’s indelible legacy of love was his love for Christ, his love for Wanda and their family, and his uncanny ability to share Christ’s love with so many people in so many dedicated ways for decades upon decades.
For Mal, out of sight was never out of mind, following his motto to “get to know people as if you are going to know them for the rest of your life.” Not only did this mindset bring genuineness into first encounters with others, hundreds of Mal’s friends can attest to his faithful and unconditional correspondence through years of letters and phone calls. Many of these friends got to know Mal when he was their Young Life leader in high school, leading their weekly Young Life clubs and taking them on memorable camp adventures like his brainchild month-long Western Tour. When many faced hardships and doubts after high school, Mal’s actions of grace and truth demonstrated to them a God who would never let them go. In 2020 a book was written about Mal’s distinctive principles of ministry entitled Friends for Life: Mal McSwain’s Ministry of Accompaniment.
Mal was born in Shelby, NC on July 2, 1935, graduating from Shelby High School in 1953 and Davidson College (where he majored in history and played basketball) in 1957. Mal came to faith in Christ through Young Life in his sophomore year at Shelby High, and in 1951 he met Young Life founder and future mentor Jim Rayburn. At Frontier Ranch in Colorado, under the influence of Rayburn and others like Andrew Delaney over the next six summers, Mal felt the call to attend Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. It was in Colorado at Young Life Institute in 1957 that Mal met Wanda, the love of his life. When the two wed in 1958, a ministry team was forged that would model for over 64 years an inside-out priority of marriage and family over vocation.
For Mal and Wanda, ministry was a lifestyle, so even after leaving their fifty-year career with Young Life in 2008, they never really retired. Some of their richest years of friendship and ministry alongside others in Atlanta, their home since 1967, came in the next decade. Mal and Wanda’s move to North Carolina in 2016 afforded them more time to connect with friends from Charlotte, where Mal started the first Young Life club at Myers Park High while a student at Davidson (1956), and where he and Wanda returned to lead the area ministry after graduating from seminary in 1961.
During his earthly sojourn, Mal was by all accounts an outstanding person. This is reflected in awards such as outstanding senior at Shelby High, one of the “5 Outstanding Young Men of Charlotte” (1965), and one of the “5 Outstanding Young Men of Atlanta” (1970). He held many leadership positions (including Vice President) with Young Life over the years. Seemingly unaffected by accolades or titles, Mal’s disposition was consistently one of humility, generosity and love, always growing in his relationship with Jesus and focusing on Wanda, his family and others.
Mal is survived by his wife Wanda, son Jeff McSwain and daughter-in-law Susan McSwain (Durham), and daughter Melissa Gully (Cedar Springs, MI), along with grandchildren Emily McSwain, Caroline McSwain Ryskiewich and husband Alex, Malissa McSwain, David McSwain, Sam Gully, Emmett Gully, and Olivia Gully. Mal wanted his body donated to science.
A service celebrating Mal’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, October 14th at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, with a reception following. All are welcome; for those who are not able to attend in person, the service will be livestreamed (for details go to In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible memorial gifts in honor of Mal may be made to the new retreat center vision at or mailed to Experience Reality Inc., 309 Northwood Circle, Durham, NC, 27701

David Edward McCaw, Sr. ’57

David Edward McCaw, Sr., passed away on September 28, 2022, in Bellevue, Washington.

David was born in Anderson, South Carolina, on October 20, 1935, to Calvin Edward McCaw and Elizabeth Betts McCaw.  He graduated from Rock Hill High School, where he played baseball, basketball, and football.  At Davidson College, he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order, and he graduated in 1957 with a BA degree in business administration. He received a commission through the ROTC program at Davidson and served in the U.S. Army Security Agency as First Lieutenant after graduation. 

Following his military service, David began a more than 40-year career in the banking industry in North Carolina. He first worked with Wachovia Bank in Winston-Salem and then in Ahoskie, North Carolina, where he met and married his wife, Betty Lou Creech, in 1968. In 1978, David joined United Carolina Bank and moved with his family to Whiteville, North Carolina, where he spent 20 years. He retired as a Senior Vice President with BB&T in 1998. After spending 15 years of their retirement in Winston-Salem, David and Betty ventured to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to their family.  

David was a lifelong Presbyterian. He served as a Sunday school teacher, Deacon, Elder and clerk of the Session for First Presbyterian Church in Whiteville.  He also served as a Deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem and Bellevue Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, Washington. David was a committed Rotarian and also served in volunteer leadership roles with a number of other organizations, including the American Red Cross, Southeastern Community College Foundation, Easterseals of North Carolina (now Easterseals UCP of North Carolina and Virginia), and, after retirement, he volunteered with SCORE. A sports enthusiast, David played tennis for many years and enjoyed golf well into his retirement years. He was an avid Davidson basketball fan and regularly traveled from Winston-Salem to attend home games. He also generously supported Davidson College athletics, WDAV, and the McCaw Family Scholarship Fund at Davidson.

David is survived by his wife, Betty Creech McCaw, his daughter and Davidson alumna, Nell Elizabeth McCaw (Yahn W. Bernier), his son, David Edward McCaw, Jr. (Nat Aryucharoen), and his granddaughter, Sara Cameron Bernier.

A memorial service was held at Bellevue Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, Washington, on November 18, 2022.

James Hendry “Jim” Robinson ’57

James Hendry Robinson, M.D., 87, of Wilmington passed away June 24, 2022. He was born January 19, 1935 in Clinton, North Carolina to the late Albert Grady and Moye Mercer Robinson. He was predeceased by his son, James Hendry “Chip” Robinson, Jr., his brothers, Robert Edmund Robinson and Albert Grady Robinson, Jr., his sister-in-law, Rose McLean Whitesides, and his nephew, Henry Monroe Whitesides, Jr.

Jim was a graduate of Clinton High School, Class of 1953, and Davidson College, Class of 1957, where he was a member of the wrestling team and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. During a college summer, he worked at Montreat, the Presbyterian retreat in the North Carolina mountains, and met and fell in love with a Montreat summer resident, Nancy “Toppy” McLean of Gastonia. They married in 1958, and began their blessed journey together of life, love, family, work and Christian service. Jim then attended the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Class of 1961, while Toppy taught school in Durham before having their first child, Chip. Jim and Toppy then went to Danville, Pennsylvania (where Bert was born) for Jim’s internship at Geisinger Memorial Hospital. Jim served in the U.S. Army, Retired Reserve. Jim and Toppy returned to Chapel Hill for Jim’s residency in anesthesiology, then moved to Wilmington in 1964, where Leslie was born three years later. They were grateful for the warm reception by the community as Jim established the first anesthesiology practice in Wilmington at James Walker Memorial Hospital, where he practiced until 1967, then moved to the newly established New Hanover Memorial Hospital (now Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center) and formed Wilmington Anesthesiologists. Jim practiced anesthesiology for 34 years, retiring in 1998. He enjoyed working with his colleagues, staff and patients, providing care through the years, and becoming a much beloved figure in the medical community and among his patients, who often lovingly recounted that “Dr. Robinson put me to sleep.” He was a member of the American Medical Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, the New Hanover-Pender Medical Society, and numerous other professional associations.

In addition to his professional excellence and leadership, Jim was known for his staunch devotion to his family, his uncomplaining perseverance through early-onset arthritis, his grace, wisdom, humility, dry wit, and his twinkle-eyed, mischievous sense of humor. He had a strong love for and faith in God, and was an active member of First Presbyterian Church. He served multiple terms as an Elder, a Deacon, and committee chairman. Jim served on numerous community boards, including two terms as President of the Board of Directors of Good Shepherd Center, and was instrumental in the establishment of the overnight shelter, the Day Center and the Second Helpings program. Jim and Toppy enjoyed their memberships in the Carolina Yacht Club, Surf Club, and Cape Fear Country Club. They enjoyed attending their children’s school and extracurricular activities, regularly entertaining their friends in their homes in Wilmington and Montreat, and serving in the church and community. Jim especially enjoyed teaching Chip and Bert to hunt and fish as he had been privileged to do while growing up in Clinton, and they partook in an annual hunting trip with friends in the Virginia mountains for many years. Following Jim’s retirement, Jim and Toppy would extend their annual Montreat visits into long summer seasons, graciously hosting family and friends to stay and enjoy Montreat’s holy beauty. Jim delighted in his role as “Pop” to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, and dispensed many words of wisdom and hugs of love and affection through the years.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of nearly 64 years, Nancy “Toppy” McLean Robinson of the home; son, Albert Lynn Robinson (Lucy) of Wilmington; daughter, Leslie Robinson Morris (Joe) of Asheville; daughter-in-law (Chip’s widow), Robin Wicks Robinson of Wilmington; sister, Kathryn Robinson Holder (Tom) of Aiken, South Carolina; and brother, Redmond Mercer Robinson (Doris) of Winterville. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren: Alexandria Robinson Wilson and her children, Grey, Paige, and Charlotte Wilson, all of New Bern; McLean Gardner Robinson of Wilmington; Graham Kent Robinson and Jane Kathryn Robinson of Charlotte; James Hendry Robinson III of Raleigh; Wallace Katherine McLean Robinson of Wilmington; and James Robinson (“Jack”) Morris and Michael Joseph Morris of Asheville. He is also survived by Toppy’s brother, L.L. McLean, Jr. (Suzanne) and his family, and numerous beloved nieces, nephews and friends.

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection and Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29 at First Presbyterian Church. The service will be preceded by a private Committal Service in the Columbarium Memorial Garden at 1:30 p.m.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28 at the home, 1903 Brookhaven Road. Memorials to Dr. Robinson may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 125 S. Third Street, Wilmington, NC 28401, or Montreat Conference Center, P.O. Box 969, Montreat, NC, 28757, or to a charity of one’s choice. Arrangements by Andrews Mortuary. Condolences may be left at

Norman Smith Richards ’57

Norman Smith Richards of Davidson died on June 4, 2022 after a brief illness.

He was born on October 6, 1932 in Lancaster, SC, the son of the late James Prioleau Richards and Katharine Wylie Richards. He graduated from Heath Springs High School in Heath Springs, SC and served two years in Europe with the US Army Airborne. He then entered Davidson College where he graduated in 1957.

He spent his entire career in sales and sales management in the packaging industry, first with Sonoco Products, and finally with JR Cole Industries of Charlotte.

Norman is survived by his wife, Zelime Dickson Richards (Lemie) and their four sons: Joe (Helen), Dick (Garnett), Norman (Lillian), and George (Michelle). Their nine grandchildren were one of the joys of his life. They are John, Genie (Pedro Oliviera), Joe, Henry, Clay, Leemie, Susan, Lilly Carl, and Davis. He also is survived by his sister Jane Richards Elliott, brother-in-law George Dickson (Ann), and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and brother, Rich (Dot).

Norman had a life-long interest in sports, especially Davidson Wildcats, and loved hiking in the mountains. He and Lemie also enjoyed travel. He was a YMCA member for more than fifty years and served several terms on the Lake Norman Board of Managers. He was a member of Davidson College Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder. In the community, Norman was active with Meals on Wheels, Second Harvest, and Loaves and Fishes. He was also an avid gardener and loyal to Davidson College.

Memorials may be sent to Davidson College Presbyterian Church (PO Box 337, Davidson, NC 28036); The Pines Residents Fund (400 Avinger Lane, Davidson, NC 28036) or Davison College (405 North Main St. 28036). A service of thanksgiving for Norman’s life will be held on Friday, June 10 at 3:00 p.m. at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. The family will greet friends following the service in the Congregation House. Online condolences at