F. Leon Howell ’57

F. Leon Howell ’57, an author and essayist who was the last editor of the influential liberal-tilting journal Christianity and Crisis, died Feb. 26 at his home in Silver Spring, Md. He had suffered the past 14 years from a viral spinal infection that was never fully diagnosed.

Howell had contributed to Christianity and Crisis since its peak in the late 1960s, when it was a leading critic of the Vietnam War. He was editor from 1985 until it folded in 1993. He told the New York Times it was the high cost of postage and health insurance more than any theological dispute that prompted the closing of the publication, which theologian Reinhold Niebuhr founded in 1941.

In retirement, Howell helped organize an annual week-long seminar at the Ghost Ranch conference center in New Mexico called “Discerning the Signs of the Times,” named after an anthology of Niebuhr’s sermons. Howell’s books included Freedom City: The Substance of Things Hoped For (1969), about the struggle for black tenant farmers in Mississippi to start their own community, and Asia, Oil Politics and the Energy Crisis (1974), written with Michael Morrow.

Howell was a native of Copperhill, Tenn., and a graduate of Davidson. After Army service in South Korea, where he was an editor for Stars and Stripes newspaper, he returned home after hitchhiking through Asia and the Middle East.

In the 1960s, he graduated from Union Theological Seminary in New York and became the New York-based communications secretary for the University Christian Movement, an effort to create an interdenominational association of campus ministries nationwide.

He spent four years as a freelance reporter in Singapore before settling in the Washington area in 1975. He was a board member and secretary of International Relief and Development, a non-governmental aid organization based in Arlington County, and an elder at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in Washington.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Smith Howell, 1412 Stateside Dr., Silver Spring, MD 20903, whom he married in 1965; two daughters, Marya Lee Howell ’91 (Jeff Kniple) and Leah Ruth Howell ’89 (Josh Moga); a sister; a brother; and three grandchildren.

Thomas McMurtry Brewer ’57

Thomas McMurtry Brewer ’57, of Purcellville, Va., died of kidney cancer Sept. 20. He was a U.S. Navy Air veteran. He was the son of the late Elizabeth Bottom Brewer and John Bowman Brewer of Lebanon, Ky. A retired pilot with American Airlines, he and his family moved to Loudoun County in the mid-1960s. After retirement, he owned and operated Happy Times Farm, a cattle farm in Clarke County. Upon diagnosis, he sold the farm, bought a place out on the northern neck of Virginia, and set up shop there, meeting new people, fishing, planting trees, and having a “big time” on the water. He is survived by his wife, Lillian C. Brewer, 17691 Silcott Springs Rd., Purcellville, VA 20132; daughters, Kate Brewer Fisher ’86 and Nancy Brewer Trollinger; son, Thomas McMurtry Brewer, Jr.; grandchildren, Connor, Campbell, and T. Brewer, Emma, Grace, and Bowman Garrett Trollinger, and Mckillop and Sam Hopper Fisher; brothers, Robert Burton Brewer and Dr. McHenry Shreve Brewer ’44; and sister, Cecil Brewer Fish. He was preceded in death by a brother, Sam Bottom Brewer ’50. On Sept. 28, a boat parade was held in his honor, and he had his ashes spread on the creek in order to “improve the environment.”

James Lewis “J.L.” Barksdale ’57

James Lewis “J.L.” Barksdale ’57, of Waynesboro, Va., died June 5 at his home. He was born June 14, 1936, in Waynesboro, a son of Lewis Oscar and Alma Martin Barksdale. Barksdale was a member of First Presbyterian Church, where he had served as an elder. He served as vice-president of Barksdale Furniture for a number of years, and had retired as city assessor for Waynesboro. He was a veteran of the Navy; was a past member, president, and treasurer of the Rotary Club of Waynesboro; and was a former member of the board of directors of the Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepmother, Emily Kemp Barksdale, and his sister, Virginia Lancaster. Surviving are his wife, Carol M. Barksdale, 806 Maple Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980-2207; three children, Diane Paulsen (Rich), Elizabeth Knicely (Jim), and Kemp Barksdale (Kerry); two brothers, George Barksdale ’48 (Betty) and the Reverend John O. Barksdale (Virginia); six grandchildren, Meredith and Eric Paulsen, Matthew and Carter Knicely, and Benjamin and Erin Barksdale; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Thomas Oscar Mann ’57

Thomas Oscar Mann ’57, of Charlotte, N.C., died peacefully at home Feb. 28 surrounded by loved ones. He was born Nov. 29, 1934, in Neptune Beach, Fla., to the late Charles and Martha Mann. Tom grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., where he attended and graduated from The Bolles School. He then spent two years at Davidson College where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He graduated from Florida State University with a degree in business administration. During his time at FSU he served two years in the U.S. Army in Okinawa, Japan, teaching scuba, swimming, and first aid and fostering a love of the ocean that continued throughout his life. He received his captain’s license and spent several seasons bare-boating throughout the Caribbean and racing sailboats on Lake Norman. After college, Tom began his 26-year career with Aetna in Jacksonville, Fla., where he married Ruth Dale Reynolds in 1961. They moved to Hartford, Conn., where his two daughters were born. The family then moved to Charlotte, N.C. After retiring from Aetna, he joined Cameron Harris Company managing the group benefits department. He was a member of Ducks Unlimited and enjoyed many years of hunting and fishing with friends at Camp Bryan, N.C. Tom was a member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder, was on the Council of Community Ministries, chaired the Community Ministries Committee, and travelled on a mission trip to Brazil. He was an active member on the board of the Emergency Winter Shelter and the board of Crisis Assistance Ministries where he received the Shirley Henry Award for outstanding volunteer service. Tom also chaired the building of a house for Habitat for Humanity, and worked with Loaves and Fishes food pantry. Tom is survived by his two daughters, Tracy Larson (Brad) and Ashley Martin (Michael); stepsons, Dawson Rhoad (Jill) and Matt Rhoad (Christie); grandchildren, Kevin Martin, Davis Martin, Grant Larson, and Gray Larson; four step grandchildren; and a brother, Reverend Charles Mann ’53 (Eleanor). He was preceded in death by his second wife, Virginia Duvall Mann, and infant son, Kirby Russell Mann.

Edwin Samuels Young, Sr. ’57

Edwin Samuels Young, Sr. ’57, of Charlotte, N.C., passed away at his residence at Sharon Towers on Jan. 18. He was born on Feb. 14, 1935, in London, Ky., a son of the late William Bryan and Florence Samuels Young. Ed graduated from Atherton High in Louisville, Ky., in 1953 where he was a member of the first graduating class with male students. He attended and graduated from Davidson College cum laude, where he was head cheerleader, editor of the yearbook, was tapped for ODK, and earned Phi Beta Kappa honors. It was in Davidson that he met and married Carol, his wife and companion of 49 years. In 1958, Ed served in the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Tex., continuing in the U.S. Army Reserve until 1967. He was employed by Louisville Cement Co. until he moved to Charlotte in 1967. In Charlotte, he worked for Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. and remained in the insurance business throughout his professional career. After retirement he continued insurance consultation with a good friend, John Rasberry. Ed was an avid reader, life-long learner, teacher, mentor, and friend to all he met. Ed was a devoted husband and loving father; he never missed any of his children’s baseball, basketball, football, wrestling, tennis, or track events. Ed faced long years fighting a degenerative neurologic disease with strength, good humor, and courage. He is survived by his beloved wife, Carol Sherrill Young, 5100 Sharon Rd., Unit 559 W., Charlotte, N.C. 28210-4777; his sons, Dr. Edwin Samuels Young, Jr. (Pam), Philip Henry Young (Kimberly), and Frank Sherrill Young (Keela); grandchildren, Kaitlyn Hurst and Henry and Sam Young; brothers, William B. Young, Jr. (Analeise), J. Richard Young, and R. Van Young (Libby).