Emmet Randolph Daniel ’58

The Reverend Dr. E. Randolph “Randy” Daniel, devoted husband of Lois “Frankie” Daniel since 1960, died on Friday, February 23, 2024 in Lexington, KY at the age of 88.

A longtime professor of medieval history at the University of Kentucky, he was born in Richmond, VA to Leon S. and Emmette S. Daniel. He attended Davidson College, graduating in 1958. He studied at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA in 1961. He earned his Masters in Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, before transferring to the University of Virginia on an NDEA fellowship. He completed his Ph.D. in 1966, and accepted a position as an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky. He was chairman of the history department for four years during his tenure until his retirement as a full professor in 2000. He enjoyed introducing students to medieval history, published several books and many papers, with a focus on the influential medieval abbot and theologian Joachim of Fiore. Randy was also Kentucky chair for National History Day for many years, organizing the competition within the state of Kentucky.

Randy is survived by his wife of 63 years, Frankie Daniel, his daughter Ellen Randolph Nichols and husband Doyle Nichols, his son Dr Stuart Daniel and his wife Tami Daniel, and six grandchildren: Daniel Nichols (wife Tamara Estes), Molly Nichols Seeman (husband Scott Seeman), Anna Nichols, Amanda Daniel, Jessica Daniel, and Rebecca Daniel. He was preceded in death by his brothers Hugh Daniel and Dr Edwin Daniel, and sister Lillian Stuart Andrews.

A lifelong lover of music, literature and travel, Randy was a former Vice President of the Friends of the Library and an active member of the Lexington Singers and the Lexington Chamber Music Society. He was a devoted father and grandfather, presiding at the wedding ceremonies for both of his children and baptizing all of his grandchildren. He could often be found watching sporting events and concerts involving his children and grandchildren.

The family burial service will be 3pm Friday, March 1, 2024 at the Lexington Cemetery. The memorial service will be on March 2, 2024 at 11am at Hunter Presbyterian Church, 109 Rosemont Garden, Lexington KY, and all are welcome to attend. The family will receive friends at the church prior to the service beginning at 10:15am. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name can be made to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, pda.pcusa.org.

Richard “Buddy” Alan Birgel, Sr. ’58

Richard (Buddy) Alan Birgel, Sr. died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, after a short illness. He was 88 years old.

Buddy was born in Greensboro, NC on December 7, 1935 to Stephen Harrington Birgel and Maude Jones Birgel. He graduated from Greensboro High and then attended Davidson College. Buddy spent two years serving in the Navy before beginning a long and fruitful career in sales and real estate development, part of which was serving as an executive at Triangle Brick Company.

Buddy was known for his vibrant personality, infectious sense of humor, and generous spirit. He frequently went out of his way to help a friend or acquaintance in need. Buddy’s favorite way to connect with people was over a great meal. He was an excellent cook and loved to feed people, often showing up at your door unannounced to drop off a batch of his latest soup. When visiting a new restaurant that really wowed him, Buddy walked into the kitchen clapping and asked to shake hands with the chef. It is no surprise that over the course of his life, he made many friends in the restaurant industry.

Buddy’s love of travel made him friends across the globe. Of all the places he visited, Adelaide, Australia was his most beloved home. Other things that Buddy enjoyed included playing bridge, watching Turner Classic Movies, and singing along to Frank Sinatra. He was a master of the punchline and never lost his sense of humor, even as his health declined in the last few years of his life. Most importantly, Buddy was a devoted father. His seven children and ten grandchildren were his reason for being, and nothing brought him more joy than spending time with them.

Buddy was predeceased by his parents and younger sister Cynthia (Cookie) McAdoo. He is survived by his two sisters, Carolyn McCall and Nancy Vanstory (Neal); his brother-in-law, Halstead McAdoo (Karen); his seven children, Coleman Whittier (Brian), Anne Birgel Cunningham (Greg), Richard Birgel Jr. (Ali), Stephen Birgel (Kate), Mary Dehnert (Rick), Samuel Birgel, and Maggie Larson (Bradley); and his ten grandchildren: Eric, Crispin, and Lili Whittier; Haley, Jeanette, and Silas Cunningham; Anne and Helen Dehnert; and Emmie and Lucy Birgel. He also leaves behind eight nieces and nephews and too many special friends to list by name.

Buddy loved God and his Christian faith was very important to him. Our hearts rest a little easier knowing he will spend eternity with his Father in heaven.

Out of respect for Buddy’s wishes, there will be no formal service at this time. We hope to honor Buddy’s life by continuing to spread the joy that he so freely shared with others during his life. He will be dearly missed.

Duncan Calvin McCormick ’58

Duncan Calvin McCormick passed away on the evening of January 8th, 2024. He was 87 years old.

Duncan was born on November 26, 1936, in St. Pauls, NC to the late Angus and Mary McCormick. He was the last of 6 children. Duncan was salutatorian of his 1954 graduating class at St. Pauls High School where he played football, basketball, and baseball. He received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College in 1958. He was a member of the ROTC at Davidson and served 2 years in the United States Army Signal Corps.

He then went on to receive his master’s degree from NC State University in Biomathematics.

He married Patricia Marie Dillon from Cleveland, NC and had two children, Scott and Susan. Duncan worked for Wake Stone Corporation in Knightdale for 29 years as VP of Finance.

Duncan is survived by his older brother, Malcolm McCormick of Flat Rock, NC, as well as his older sister, Sarah Britt of Lumberton, NC. He is also survived by his son, Scott and family, Missy, Noah and Reese McCormick of Holly Springs, NC, and his daughter, Susan, and son in law Scott Gardner, of Youngsville, NC.

Duncan was an avid NC State fan, Go Pack!

A memorial service will be held on Friday, January 19, 2024, at 11am at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Davidson College would be greatly appreciated. Please send to:

Davidson College Donor Relations, 209 Ridge Road, P.O. Box 5000, Davidson, NC 27035.

Robert Griffith Jones ’58

Robert (Bob) Griffith Jones, 87, a former City Council member and Mayor of Virginia Beach, passed away peacefully on June 3, 2023, surrounded by his family. He was born in State College, Pennsylvania, on March 25, 1936, the son of the Reverend Edward H. Jones, D.D. and Dorothy Griffiths Jones. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Carolyn Hazard Jones, his sons Robert Griffith Jones, Jr., and his wife Phyllis Margaret Rhode Jones, of Virginia Beach, and Chester Hazard Jones of Tampa, Florida; granddaughters, Mary Randell Davatchi and her husband Devin Joel Armon Davatchi of Greenville, South Carolina, Pamela Elliott Jones of Virginia Beach, and his sister, Doreen Jones Owens, of Citrus Heights, California.

Bob graduated from Granby High School in the class of 1954, and from Davidson College, class of 1958, where he was elected to the Omicron Delta Kappa honorary fraternity and named to Who’s Who Among American College and University Students. He went on to graduate from Yale University Divinity School, where he was inspired by the brothers H. Richard Niebuhr and Reinhold Niebuhr, and subsequently earned a Ph.D. degree from Duke University in 1966 in the field of social psychology.

In his career he served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Davidson College, in Davidson, North Carolina and Assistant Dean of Students, Associate Professor and Assistant to the President at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Later he served as a Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

In 1974 he graduated from the University of Virginia Law School and subsequently practiced law in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, where he founded the law firm of Jones, Walker & Lake, P.C. He is listed in Who’s Who Publication for Best Lawyers in America.

In addition to being on City Council and the Mayor of Virginia Beach, he also served as chair of the Virginia Beach Development Authority and chair of the Virginia Beach Beautification Commission.

He was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach where he led an adult Sunday School class for 22 years.

The family would like to thank all the wonderful and caring staff at Bay Lake Retirement and Assisted Living Community for all their help in taking care of Bob and Carolyn the last 16 months.

A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach, 300 36th Street, on June 26th at 1 PM. A family burial will be at Graham Cemetery in Orange, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to The Alzheimer’s Association.

George W. Urwick Jr. ’58

George W. Urwick Jr., age 87, passed away on Monday, March 6, 2023. He was born June 10, 1935, in High Point to George W. and Elizabeth Reitzel Urwick.

George grew up in Gastonia and Charlotte and graduated from Riverside Military Academy. He also graduated from Davidson College, earned his MBA from UNC Chapel Hill, and served in the U.S. Navy.

He first worked in Atlanta as a sales manager for 3M Company. George was later hired by Monsanto as a project manager for their film manufacturing plant in New Jersey. He and his family returned to NC, where he accepted a job as national sales manager for Rex Plastics in Thomasville. He eventually did what he always wanted to do and started his own sales company, becoming a manufacturing representative for many large U.S. corporations, selling film and products for the nursery and greenhouse industry.

George is survived by his wife of 64 years, JoAnne Kendall Urwick; three children, Christopher (Devica) of Winterville, NC; Amy of High Point, NC; Lee (Jill) of Ocean Isle Beach, NC; as well as five grandchildren: Aubrey (Austin) Lartch, Adam, Kendall (Stephanie), Jackson, Emily; and one great grandchild Miles Lartch.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Forest Hills Presbyterian Church in High Point. A private burial will be held.

The family will greet friends following the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

The family is under the care of Sechrest-Davis Funerals and Cremations of Thomasville. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.sechrestdavisthomasville.com – select obituaries.