Richard L. Morgan ’50

Richard Lyon Morgan, age 93, of Greensburg, Pa., “received the gift of life on March 7, 1929, and the gift of eternal life on March 25, 2022.” 

Dr. Morgan was born in Lexington, KY, the oldest son of Dr. Howard Moody Morgan and Margaret Lyon Morgan.  Morgan was a graduate of Davidson College (AB), Union Presbyterian Seminary (MDiv., ThM.  and Ph.D), and Wake Forest University (MA in Counseling.) 

As a Presbyterian minister, he served churches in Moorefield, WV, Richmond, VA, Sherrill’s Ford, NC, Lenoir, NC, and Morganton, NC.  During his ministries he directed construction of Educational/Fellowship Buildings and a Senior Center.  He served as professor of religion at Peace College, Raleigh, NC, and Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC, and professor of religion/psychology at Mitchell College, Statesville, NC.  He was also director of counseling at Western Piedmont Community College, Morganton, NC. 

Dr. Morgan was the author of 20 books on the Christian life and Spirituality of Aging, most of which were published by Upper Room Books, Nashville, TN.  He also authored a best-selling textbook in psychology.  He was Man of the Year, Lenoir, NC, in 1988 and received the Legacy Award in 2013 from Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry.

After “retiring,” Dr. Morgan devoted his energies to writing and other adult ministry.  He traveled across the country with his wife, Alice Ann, leading seminars on Aging and Spiritual Autobiography.  He was a chaplain in a 120 bed nursing facility, a volunteer chaplain at retirement communities and nursing homes, and supplied pulpits until age 86.  He cared deeply about persons with dementia and their caregivers, and was a co-founder of Clergy Against Alzheimers.

He loved sports and sports writing, walking, writing poetry, local history, and classical music.  His favorite teams were the Philadelphia Phillies, UNC Tar Heels, and his beloved Davidson College Wildcats.

He is survived by his two brothers, Dr. Howard Campbell Morgan of Chicago, IL, and Dr. John C. Morgan of Temple, PA; and four adult children, Rick W. Morgan (Cindy) of High Point, NC, Randy W. Morgan (Deborah) of Yorba Linda, CA, stepson Harding Erwin (Paige) of Houston, TX, and stepdaughter Anna Sever (David) of North Huntingdon, PA. Morgan treasured his ten grandchildren, Dan, Chris, Kaitlyn, Thomas, Savannah, Emma, Patrick, Ben, Brannon, and ReidAnn, and his two great grandsons, Grayson and Noah.  In addition to his parents, Dr. Morgan was preceded in death by his first wife, Marian Stahl Morgan; his second wife, Alice Ann Klostermeyer Erwin Morgan; and two sisters, Patricia McMillan and Mary Ann Morgan.

Morgan was always concerned for the outsiders and marginalized of society.  In keeping with Richard’s loving and generous spirit, it was Richard’s decision to donate life so that others may live.

A Memorial Service at the chapel of Redstone Highlands, Greensburg, will be held at a later date, with Dr. John C. Morgan and chaplain Drew Decrease officiating.  A graveside service will be held for the family at St. Clare Cemetery, Greensburg.  In lieu of flowers, memorials should be given to the Benevolent Care Fund, Redstone Highlands, 126 Matthews St., Greensburg, PA, 15601.

KEPPLE-GRAFT Funeral Home entrusted with the arrangements.  For online condolences and information, please visit www.kepplegraft.com.

Walter Scott McSwain ’50

Mr. Walter S. McSwain, Jr., age 96, of North Wilkesboro, passed away March 24, 2022 at Westwood Hills Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Wilkesboro.

Walter was born on March 27, 1925 in Mecklenburg County to Walter Scott Sr. and Agnes Loflin McSwain. Walter served in the United States Navy during World War II.

After graduating from Derita High School near Charlotte, NC in 1943, Walter served in the United States Navy from 1943-1946, serving as a Radar man, attended Davidson College from 1946-1950 where he was in the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Walter served a two-year internship from 1950-1952 at Charlotte Memorial Hospital, employed at Wilkes General Hospital from 1953-1954, was employed at Carolina Mirror Corporation from 1954-1991 working as a Production Manager, a Member of First United Methodist Church and he sang in the Church Choir from 1953-1983, a founding member of the North Wilkesboro Recreation Commission from 1954 until the present, served as a board member of the Ruby Pardue Blackburn Adult Day Care Center from December 2005 to present, a member of the North Wilkesboro Elks Lodge from 1988 to the present, where he served as an Exalted Ruler for the years of 1990-91-92-93-99, District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler from 1995-96, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the USA, a Life Member of the V.F.W. Post 1142 and a member of the American Legion, and served as a volunteer at Wilkes Regional Medical Center Auxiliary.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by three sisters: Sue McSwain, Betty James and Molly Keesler.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years Mary Cobb McSwain of the home; one daughter Melinda McSwain Warren of North Wilkesboro; one son; Walter Scott McSwain III of North Wilkesboro; one grandson; Ray Warren Jr and wife Heather of North Wilkesboro; six great-grandchildren; Ray Warren III, Chloe Warren, Charlie Warren, Bailey Barnes, Riley Barnes, Chloe Barnes, and one on the way, Walter Max Warren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church of North Wilkesboro, P.O. Box 1145, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, Ruby Pardue Blackburn Adult Day Care, P.O. Box 984, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659 or The Health Foundation, P.O. Box 667, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659.

Online condolences may be made to www.reinssturdivant.com.

James H. Woodrow “Woody” McKay ’51

James Hamilton Woodrow McKay Jr., “Woody”, age 92, passed away peacefully at home in Hoschton, GA, on March 11, 2022. Woody was a Presbyterian minister who served as a campus minister at FSU and GA Tech as well as in local church families. He is survived by his wife Linda McKay and his children Linda Davies, and Michael, Woody, David, Robert and Jonathan McKay, stepchildren Robert Usherwood and Jenny Warren, and 19 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. A Celebration of Life will be held at Buford Presbyterian Church on Saturday, June 18th at 4 PM. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice and/or tell a joke to a random stranger in remembrance of Woody.

Published by Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Mar. 20, 2022.

Daniel Senn “Dan” LaFar ’57

Daniel Senn LaFar, Jr. “Dan” died on Thursday, March 3, 2022. Dan was born June 19, 1935 in Rock Hill, S.C. to the late Daniel Senn LaFar and Francis Marshall LaFar. Most people describe Dan as “always a gentleman”.

Dan’s childhood and early years were spent in Rock Hill and in the Camp Hill area of Pennsylvania during World War II. The family moved to Gastonia, N.C. in 1945 and Dan spent his years delivering the local daily newspaper and in scouting where he became an Eagle Scout and served as a counselor at Piedmont Boy Scout Camp for three summers. He graduated from Gastonia High School where he served as president of the Senior Class. Dan then attended Davidson College where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, elected to Phi Beta Kappa scholastic fraternity, served as President of The Student Body, and became a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1957. Dan then served in the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant and as a General’s Aide. After his military service, Dan entered Harvard Business School where he received his MBA degree.

Dan’s business career centered around the textile industry with a group of six yarn spinning mills each independently owned but operated by the LaFar family (under the name LaFar Industries) He worked closely in the business with his father Dan S. LaFar Sr., his uncle David R. LaFar Jr. (Doc), his 1st cousin David R. LaFar III, and later with his son Daniel S. LaFar III. Dan was active in the industry and became President of The American Yarn Spinners Association, the trade organization for the industry. He retired from the textile business in 2004.

Dan was born into the Presbyterian Church and served it in many areas and ways throughout his life. His deep, enduring Faith was always his driving force. As an active member at First Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, Dan served both as a Deacon and an Elder, and held numerous positions and involvements with many committees. He was recently active in the Hinderlite Bible Class. He was dedicated to the Wee Kirk Presbyterian Church in Linville during his summers. He also served as a member of The Board of Trustees of Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.

Dan was an avid golfer and many of his friendships and adventures revolved around golf. He began playing with his father at a young age and later played on the Davidson College Golf Team. After marrying Joyce in 1962, they played as couples most Sunday afternoons. He played regularly at Gaston Country Club and enjoyed many summer rounds at Linville Golf Club. Over the years, he especially enjoyed taking friends to play Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey, where he was also a member. Golf was something that he also enjoyed with his son Daniel. In addition to golf in Gastonia and Linville, they made many trips to Arizona for golf instruction and fun, as well as experienced many memorable rounds in Scotland and Ireland. Golf to Dan was more about fellowship than it was about the game. He made many friends throughout his life on the golf course. Additionally, some of Dan’s most fond recent memories were playing golf in Linville with his granddaughter Emily and planning another golf adventure to Scotland, this time with both Daniel and his grandson Taylor.

Besides golf, Dan was also an accomplished bridge player. He competed in bridge tournaments regularly both with Joyce and with others. He achieved his “Life Master” bridge certification in 2014.

Dan is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Joyce Taylor LaFar, his son Daniel S. LaFar III (wife Virginia), and his grandchildren Emily and Taylor. Dan is also survived by his brother Marshall (wife Dottie), along with his two nephews Marshall LaFar Jr. and Will LaFar.

A memorial service will be held 2:00 PM on Friday, March 11, 2022 at First Presbyterian Church, 1621 E. Garrison Blvd, in Gastonia, with a reception to follow. Interment will be private.

Memorials may be offered in memory of Dan to First Presbyterian Church of Gastonia, 1621 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28054 or to Crossnore Communities for Children, 100 D A R Dr, Crossnore, NC 28616.

Condolence messages may be shared at www.McLeanFuneral.com.

McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the family of Mr. LaFar.

Posted online on March 07, 2022

Published in Gaston Gazette