Jeremiah “Jere” Pelletier Starling ’60

Jeremiah (Jere) Pelletier Starling, 85, of Raleigh, North Carolina, passed away on Saturday, January 13, 2024. He was born on August 17, 1938 to Samuel Foscue Starling and Dolly Bruce Pelletier Starling and grew up in Hubert, NC. Jere was well known for his love of family, literature, and music.

Following his undergraduate years at Davidson College, where he earned an A.B. in English Literature in 1960, Jere completed his M.A. in English Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and studied at Edinburgh University as a Rotary International Fellow. He then returned to Chapel Hill to complete his Ph.D. in English Language and Literature at the University of North Carolina in 1968.

Jere began his career teaching in the English Department at the University of Louisville, where he held multiple leadership positions for more than 20 years. A life-long love and deep knowledge of 18th, 19th and 20th century literature led to his involvement with several literary and academic societies and publications, both in Louisville and nationally. Jere served on the Board of Directors of the Keats-Shelley Association and as a Delegate to the Modern Language Association. In 1987, he returned to his home state of North Carolina, where he taught at North Carolina Wesleyan College before joining the faculty at Duke University.

Jere taught Leadership Communication for more than 20 years at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was admired for his work ethic and attention to detail across all departments, from admissions to alumni. In the Management Communication Department, he masterfully navigated multiple duties and made it look easy. Jere’s passion about his subject matter was contagious and sparked his most important legacy: the mutual respect and joy that he shared with his students. Many of them beamed when they talked about him and frequently came back to visit, from all corners of the globe, year after year. Jere’s colleagues and students remember him as a true Southern gentleman with sartorial flare, eloquence in words, and utmost integrity. His light will live on in the thousands of kind, compassionate, and competent leaders across the world whom he influenced and continues to inspire.

A skilled raconteur, Jere loved researching and telling stories about his family’s long history in North Carolina, bringing the many colorful ancestral characters to life. He enjoyed garden design, classic French cooking, playing the harpsichord, and was a voluminous reader. Every Christmas Eve, Jere could be found whipping up his infamous Yorkshire pudding for as many family members as he could fit around the dining room table.

Jere was also deeply committed to the arts, serving on the Boards of the Louisville Orchestra, the Kentucky Opera, the Kentucky Center for the Arts, the Louisville Chamber Music Society, and Macaulay Theater. In addition, he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera National Council.

Jere is survived by his husband and partner of 35 years, John Rudnicki Adams; his former spouse, Marjorie Starling, and their children, Sarah (Elfranko Wessels) and David (April); his treasured granddaughters, Georgia Wessels, Eyler and Stella Starling; his sister-in-law, Mary Starling; his brother-in-law, Earl McIlwean; his nieces and nephew, Zoe Starling, Anna Schweigman, and William McIlwean; and by many devoted and loving cousins. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sister, Jeanette McIlwean; his brother Sampson (Sam) Starling; and his nephew Jere Francis McIlwean.

A service will be held for Jere on Friday, January 19, at 10:30 am at Christ Church, 120 E. Edenton Street, Raleigh. The family will have a private burial at Queen’s Creek in Hubert at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Duke Cancer Institute (Development Office, 300 West Morgan St., Suite 1000, Durham, NC 27701 or; Carolina Ballet (3030 Stony Brook Dr., Raleigh, NC 27604 or; or Saving Grace Animals for Adoption (P.O. Box 1649, Wake Forest, NC 27588 or

Augustus “Gus” Burgdorf ’60

Augustus “Gus” Burgdorf, 85, resident of Stoney Point, husband of Jane Bridgers Burgdorf, passed away Friday, January 12, 2024 at Self Regional Healthcare.

Born September 12, 1938, in Columbia, SC, he was a son of the late Olin Karl and Louise Burgdorf. Gus graduated from Springfield High School and Davidson College. He was a US Army veteran, special forces Captain and Green Beret. He received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and began his banking career with Bank of Lancaster from 1964 to 1970. From 1970 until 1988, Gus was the Executive Vice President of CountyBank and then served as the head of the Piedmont Technical College Foundation until his retirement in 2004. After his official retirement, Gus still remained in a consulting capacity at Piedmont Technical College until 2020.

He was a very active member of Northside Baptist Church as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. He was past president and member of the Greenwood Rotary Club. Gus was also a board member for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Greenwood Christian School, Cambridge Academy, John De La Howe School, and the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. He served as chairman of Greenwood Festival of Flowers in 1972, and at one time was the State Chaplain of The Gideons International. Gus was an avid sportsman, who enjoyed golf and loved to exercise, but his greatest love was the Lord and his family.

Surviving in addition to his wife are one son, Robert Carl Burgdorf of Roswell, GA; brother, Olin Davie Jones Burgdorf (Jan Johnson) of Springfield, SC; three sisters-in-law, Katharine Bonfoey Burgdorf, Hampton, VA, Sandra Lovette Bridgers of Fairmont, NC and Beth Bridgers (Chip) Lewis of Fairmont, NC, and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Gus was preceded in death by one brother, Carl Ferdinand Burgdorf, and one brother-in-law, Robert Evans Bridgers, Jr.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Monday in the main sanctuary of North Side Baptist Church with Dr. Jeff Lethco officiating.

Burial will be private.

The family will receive friends following the service.

Memorials may be made to The Gideons International, P.O. Box 97251, Washington, DC 20090-7251.

Charles D. Roberts III ’60

Charles D. Roberts, III (85), a longtime resident of Concord, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully at CareOne in Concord on December 3, 2023 with family by his side.

Charles, fondly known as Charlie, was born to Charles and Marie Roberts on August 26, 1938, in Raleigh, North Carolina and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, graduating in 1960. Immediately after graduation, he accepted a position with S.D. Warren Company (now Sappi North America) and had a very long and successful career with them until his retirement 23 years ago.

As a child, Charlie spent his summers in the mountains of North Carolina where he built a cabin with his grandfather. As an adult, he and his first wife, the late Nancy A. Roberts, would return to the cabin every summer with their own three kids. Charlie enjoyed sharing his love of the NC mountains with his children, introducing them at an early age to the joys of climbing Grandfather Mountain, canoeing the New River, picking blueberries at Flat Rock, and riding the trains at Tweetsie Railroad.

In the summer of 1987 Charlie married his beloved second wife, the late Maura McLaughlin Roberts. Charlie and Maura took great pleasure in planning large family reunions in the Outer Banks every summer, and these reunions quickly became treasured vacations for all involved. Charlie and Maura enjoyed 25 wonderful years together, splitting their time between Hilton Head, SC and Concord, before Maura’s death in 2012.

Charlie was an avid reader, and in his later years was very interested in genealogy. He was also a huge football fan. But his favorite pastime was taking family and friends out to dinner. His greatest joy came from sharing a meal with those he loved.

Charlie is survived by his children, Stacey Santana of Buford, GA, Marcy Shipe and her husband John of Concord, MA, and Brian Roberts of Westlake, OH, and his step-daughter, Caragh McLaughlin Miller and her husband Mark of Boulder, CO. He leaves behind five grandchildren – Alyssa Santana, Sophie Shipe, Amy Shipe, Ollie Roberts, and Beckett Miller.

The family will hold a small, private service after which Charlie will be laid to rest in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, MA.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to The Maura Roberts Memorial Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle.

Don Randall Killian ’60

Don Randall Killian, Sr. passed away November 4, 2023, at Tore’s home in East Flat Rock, NC.  He was born in the Riverbend Community of Mt Holly, NC on March 22, 1938, to the late Fred Killian and Pauline Killian.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Helen J Killian.  He is survived by his son, Don Jr. (Karolyn) of Hendersonville, NC, and daughter Cynthia (Brett) of Hoschton, GA.  Don was blessed with three granddaughters: Kayla Hirsch (Derek), Jenna Carter, and Sara Jane Killian, and precious twin great-granddaughters, Sunny Rae, and Delaney Ann Hirsch.

Don was an avid sports lover.  He played football, basketball, and baseball all through school.  During high school, he spent his summer months playing baseball (shortstop) for the American Legion (Post 123).  After graduating high school Don attended Davidson College and continued his baseball career while attaining his BA degree.  He continued his education at Appalachian State University (Master’s Degree), the University of Colorado, and the University of Georgia where he worked toward his doctorate.

Don’s career in education began at Ranlo Elementary.  Several years later, he moved to Mt Holly School where he also coached the basketball team and served as the assistant football coach.  When Gaston College opened in Dallas, NC, he went to his teaching home where he taught Sociology and Marriage and Family until his retirement 49 years later.  Retirement did not douse his love of teaching as Don continued to teach part-time at several local colleges and universities:  Gaston College-Lincoln Campus, Belmont Abbey College, and Gardner Webb University.  During this time, he also co-authored multiple articles and books with his close friend, Joseph Hester.

Don was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Mt Holly, NC where he served as Council President and a part of the Shepherd’s Group and Beautification Committee.  Playing the mandolin (post-retirement hobby) with “The B Naturals” was joyful for Don.  The group entertained at worship services, nursing homes, and local spring festivals.

A memorial service will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Don and Helen’s honor on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 1:00 PM followed by a reception in the dining hall until 3:00 PM.  Memorials may be made to the church in lieu of flowers.

Forrest Craig Wilkerson ’60

Forrest Craig Wilkerson, 84, passed away on Thursday, September 14, 2023, at home following a lengthy illness.

The family will have a private graveside service at Laurelwood Cemetery in Rock Hill, SC.

Born in Blackstone, VA, Forrest was the son of the late James Andrew Wilkerson Jr. and the late Ila Mae Hutto Wilkerson.  He was also preceded in death by his brother, James A. Wilkerson, III, and his sister, Jane Wilkerson Covington.

A proud graduate of Winthrop Training School, Davidson College, and the University of South Carolina School of Law, he served on numerous community boards and belonged to several social clubs.  He was a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and basketball coach at the A.R.P. Church.  Forrest was upbeat, positive, quick witted, funny, and loved the practice of law.  Staying active was a necessity, and he participated in many outdoor hobbies including tennis, running and swimming. He easily mastered any game of skill, excelling in ping pong, poker, pool and on some special occasions, magic! He was a fierce competitor and an avid sports fan. He loved to read and travel with his family.

Surviving are his spouse, Lillian “Totty” Brooks Wilkerson; son, Forrest Craig Wilkerson, Jr. of Rock Hill; daughter, Brooks Wilkerson Moore (William) of Jacksonville, FL; two grandsons, Forrest Craig Wilkerson, III of Rock Hill, SC, and Isaac Hayne Wilkerson of Columbia, SC; five granddaughters, Lillian Porcher Wilkerson of Charleston, SC, Brooks Woodcock Moore of Carrboro, NC, Susan Shubrick Wilkerson of Hanoi, Vietnam, Eleanor Mikell Wilkerson of Hanoi, Vietnam, and Katherine Phelps Moore of Charlotte, NC; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Forrest’s name to Hospice & Community Care, PO Box 993, Rock Hill, SC 29731 or to Talking Books Services Library, 1500 Senate St., Columbia, SC 29201.