Lewis McKinnie Steele Jr. ’61

Age 84, Lewis McKinnie Steele, Jr., died peacefully at home on March 21, 2024 surrounded by his loving wife and soul mate of 59 years, Ann Labounsky Steele, his eldest daughter Elizabeth Ann Steele Connolly (Michael) and his youngest daughter Claire Steele LeBeau (Herb).  Lewis always said that he was born “lucky” in 1939 in Nashville, Tennessee and is preceded in death by his father Lewis McKinnie Steele, Sr., and his mother Annie Macdonald Steele, his younger brother, Donald Macdonald Steele, and his beloved son, Alexander Lewis Steele.  Cherished Pop Pop to four grandsons, Patrick, Jack, and Ian Connolly and Logan LeBeau, and uncle to Davidson Steele, Lewis was also a loving fortress of strength for his extended family of cousins as the eldest of his generation.  With his eldest daughter, he was a devoted business partner in their accounting firm who provided trusted guidance and counsel for his legion of clients and friends.  In his beloved First Lutheran Church community, Lewis was a lector, choir director, and confirmation class teacher.  For many years with Ann, he taught a Hymnody class at Duquesne University.  As the Valedictorian of his High School and a History and Philosophy Major at Davidson College, he drew deeply from the classics to form and shape his advocacy and advice for all who needed to weight and trust the wisdom of his direction. 

Lewis was best known for his bass baritone voice which was the first siren song of love for Ann and the unmatched invitation to joy through his booming and explosive laughter for everyone and anyone in earshot.  He held a passion for maps and music (especially symphony and opera), with an encyclopedic knowledge of the first lines of songs from his era.  His natural philia was for all things Latin and when he could get it, Greek.  He was strident in his views and forthcoming with his opinions, as he often half-jokingly declared, “I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.”  As a friend, he offered outrage for our misfortunes, understanding and solidarity for our struggles, and wisdom for our transcendence.  Lewis will long be remembered and greatly missed as a veracious champion of social and ethical consciousness and a true optimist for our human potential and possibilities.

Memorials and tributes can be made here: https:/www.kunsakfh.com
Donations in Lewis’ name can be made to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, https:/pittsburghsymphony.org/, and to the Pittsburgh Opera,

Visitation will be Tuesday, March 26th 12:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home, Inc., 3552 California Avenue at Davis Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA   15212.

The Funeral Service will be held in person (and on livestream) Wednesday, March 27th at 10:30 am EST at First Lutheran Church, 615 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 https:/flcpittsburgh.org/   EVERYONE PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH.

William Tyree “Ty” Finch ’61

William Tyree (“Ty”) Finch died peacefully on February 20th at the age of 84. He was the son of the late Lucy Bedinger Finch and William Carrington Finch.

Ty had the big heart and cowboy spirit of a Texan, but was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. When he was a toddler, his parents relocated to Georgetown, Texas, and he spent many happy years in this small town, often playing on the campus of Southwestern, the university where his father served as president. Ty attended Davidson College in North Carolina, where he played as a lineman on the football team, and he went on to receive his medical degree from Tulane University. He then enlisted in the Navy, and during that time, he served for a year as a young physician in Vietnam during the war. Following his naval service, he completed his residencies in both general surgery and cardiac surgery at Vanderbilt University, and married his first wife Lois McAndrews in 1973. Together they traveled to Paris, where Ty completed a fellowship training year with a top kidney transplant specialist and learned to speak French with a slight Texas drawl. Returning to the states, he and Lois moved to Springfield, Illinois and started a family. All four of Ty’s children were born in Springfield, where Ty worked as a transplant surgeon and taught in the school of medicine at Southern Illinois University.

In 1984, Ty and his family moved back to Nashville to be closer to family. He went into practice as a vascular-thoracic surgeon at Baptist Hospital, eventually opening a practice with Dr. Pat Meacham and serving as Chief of Surgery. In his years as a surgeon, Ty worked tirelessly to build genuine connections with his patients. He believed in making sure they knew his care for them extended well beyond the operating room. The homemade gifts from his patients that adorned his office were a testament to their deep appreciation for his dedicated care.

Ty retired from medicine in 1998, but that really was just the start of his second career. As a devout lover of all things football, Ty dreamed of becoming a football coach. To pursue this goal, he went back to school to obtain his teaching certificate from Tennessee State University, and he began teaching at Hillsboro High School. He taught high school biology and served on the coaching staff for Hillsboro’s football team. The team went on to win the Tennessee State Championship in 2003, and Ty wore that championship ring with great pride. More importantly, he formed friendships with the Hillsboro coaches and players that would last a lifetime.

Ty always appreciated the beauty and wonder of the natural world. His children and grandchildren were extraordinarily lucky to be included on his amazing adventures, which included hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, summiting Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, and Kings Peak, hiking through the Scottish Highlands, and white water rafting down the Salmon and Snake rivers. Ty even hiked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro at age 65!

In his retirement, Ty discovered a passion for painting. He was a long-time student and friend of the artist Charles Brindley, and he met his second wife Anita Woodcock Schmid in an adult art class at USN. Anita shared Ty’s interest in art, his passion for travel, his deep love for nature, and a genuine warmth of spirit that makes others feel immediately at ease. Ty and Anita married in 2014 and spent a remarkable decade together traveling, including trips to Italy, France, The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier and Badlands National Parks. Their days were filled with painting, birdwatching, gardening, sporting events, walking at Radnor Lake, and spending time with family and friends.

Ty is survived by his wife Anita Schmid, his brother Richard Finch and wife Janie, and his children and stepchildren, Julia Finch McCaffrey (A.J.), Susan Elizabeth Finch (Nathan Keith), Carolyn Finch Loveless (James), Adam Tyree Finch (Sandie), Katie Schmid (Brian Crow), and Mary Schmid. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Gavin Keith, Callum McCaffrey, Dominic McCaffrey, Desmond Cox, Charlie Loveless, Lois Loveless, Julia Finch, Madeline Crow, Simone Crow, and Mina Keith. His grandchildren knew him as their beloved “Tex.”

Ty was a friend to every person he ever met. When you spoke with him, he had an amazing way of making you feel noticed and valued for your unique gifts. Ty invited others into his life with warm greetings, memorable nicknames, and powerful hugs. He was an exceptional father, a loving husband, and outstanding friend. He will be deeply missed by all that knew and loved him.

Services will be held on March 2nd at 2 pm at West End United Methodist Church (2200 West End Avenue) with visitation beginning at noon. Ty can be honored with donations to West End United Methodist Church for Creation Care or Friends of Radnor Lake.

Ed Garrett ’61

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Ed Garrett, a beloved figure who touched the lives of many. He passed away Jan. 29, 2024, surrounded by the love of his family.

Born in Winston-Salem in 1938, he spent his life making lasting connections and leaving an indelible mark on the communities he called home.

Ed grew up in the picturesque town of Brevard attending Christ School in Asheville and later graduating from Brevard High School in 1957. Following his passion for education, he pursued higher studies at Davidson College and East Tennessee State University.

During the Cuban missile crisis, he bravely served his country in the United States Air Force demonstrating a commitment to duty that would become a hallmark of his character. Post-military service, he entered the professional world in Charlotte and found his niche in sales working for Squibb Pharmaceuticals, where he called on drug stores across the region.

In 1972, the opening of the Connestee Falls community provided him the opportunity to return to his beloved Brevard. From that point forward, he dedicated his career to sales and land development in various communities. His work in real estate development took him from Brevard, to Sapphire Valley, to Lake Lure, to Pawleys Island, to Lake Toxaway and finally to Gatlinburg. His work ethic and passion for connecting with people made him a respected and admired professional in these locales.

He had a zest for life that extended beyond his professional pursuits. He maintained lifelong friendships with individuals from Christ School, Brevard, Lake Lure and Gatlinburg. Known for his love of risk, he enjoyed gambling, playing craps, betting on sports and engaging in a round of golf whenever the opportunity arose. He was affectionately known as “Mugger” to all the Glen Cannon golf dogfighters, who bestowed this nickname upon him because of his uncanny ability to always take his opponent’s money on the golf course.

Above all, he cherished his role as a father and grandfather. He leaves behind a legacy of love and devotion, survived by his brother, Jim Garrett (Toni), of Brevard; children, Scott Garrett (Emily), of Columbia, Matt Garrett (Tammy), of Charlotte, Anna Garrison (Johnnie), of Sevierville and Katie Garrett, of Nashville; and his grandchildren, Sawyer Garrison, Tucker Garrison, River Garrison, Sarah Garrett, Andrew Garrett, Nick Garrett and Leyton Garrett.

He was preceded in death by his sister Ann Ayers.

His love for his family was boundless, and his impact on their lives will be a source of inspiration for generations to come.

He will be remembered not only for his professional accomplishments but for the warmth, humor and love he shared with family and friends. His spirit will live on in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know him.

A celebration of Ed Garrett’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 10, 2024 at Dugan’s Pub in Brevard. May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.

John Malcolm Murchison, Jr. ’61

John Malcolm Murchison, Jr., 84, died peacefully surrounded by loved ones at his longtime residence in Charlotte, NC on Monday, December 18, 2023.

John was the son of the Rev. Dr. J. Malcolm Murchison, and Clara Christian Murchison, a Presbyterian minister from central Louisiana and a housewife from Charles City Co., VA. He grew up in Crowley, Louisiana; Clarksville, TN and Concord, NC, graduating from Concord High School in 1957. He enjoyed returning to Concord monthly for hot dogs and good cheer among his former classmates. John was a graduate of Davidson College (like his father) in the class of 1961 and was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. His enduring Wildcat legacy includes his daughter, son, and a grandson.

After service in the United States Army as a broadcaster for AFKW military TV in Korea, John returned to North Carolina, and began a career in TV broadcasting. He had two adored children from his first marriage to Mary Hartman Murchison. John was a reporter and later news director of WGHP in High Point. In 1967 he decided to change careers and attended UNC law school where he obtained a JD with Honors. He was a member of the Board of Editors and business manager of the NC Law Review, and a member of the Order of the Coif. John began his practice of law with the NYC firm Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, and Alexander, and subsequently came back to North Carolina where he was an associate attorney, and later partner for more than twenty years at Kennedy, Covington, Lobdell, and Hickman, retiring from its successor, K&L Gates. John enjoyed his anti-trust practice in North Carolina and the many jovial times made possible in the company of his esteemed partners and colleagues. He was active in the work of the North Carolina Bar Association and its then named anti-trust and trade regulation section. John also supported international trade in North Carolina and served as president of the Charlotte chapter of the NC World Trade Association and the state board of such organization.

John loved spending time with his wife Gail, often traveling to the mountains, or with occasional adventures to NYC or abroad, as well as with many contented quieter hours at home. For many decades he enjoyed memorable multi-generational gatherings at Christian family reunions in Yorktown, VA that were attended by the many descendants of his maternal grandmother and grandfather.

His retirement allowed a fun transition to kid Uber chauffeur, and special time spent with his grandchildren. He enjoyed running and tennis, along with camping, hiking, and other mountain adventures including the Highland Games, donning his kilt with pride to join his brother Jim in representing The St. Andrew Society of Carolina at the festivities at Grandfather Mountain. He was an active member of First Presbyterian Church where he served for many years as an usher, taught adult Sunday School, and helped with local mission activities.

John served for nine years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, underscoring his greatest lifelong love: music. During high school he played in a band and hosted a daily radio program on local station WEGO. He loved the piano and guitar and always encouraged entertaining sing-alongs made jubilant with his deep voice caroling the tune, and his stomping foot keeping time. His repertoire spanned gospel hymns to Kinky Freedman to Tom Leher; from devout to heartbreaking to hilarious. While family and friends were in grateful awe of his abilities, he modestly joked that his Yamaha baby grand piano was like having a $10 saddle for a $2 horse, a statement with which no one who had ever heard him play or sing would agree. His captivating performances inspired his mentor and friend William Covington to pen a poem that became a family favorite; it concludes, “The antidote to all of this/The recipe for perfect bliss/Is music, which as you can see/ Turns me on and sets me free.”

He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Gail McGary Murchison; his children, Bess Murchison Kercher and her husband, Kent and John Hartman Murchison and his wife, Meredith; grandchildren, Will Kercher, Dillon Kercher, Clara Murchison, Lilly Murchison, and Garrett Murchison. Also surviving are his siblings, Kathleen Smith, Betty Brown, Martha Strickland and her husband, Jerry, James Murchison and his wife, Dawn; and many nieces and a nephew. He was predeceased by his brothers-in-law, Sherwood Smith and Dan Brown.

The family would like to thank Drs. Todd Griffith, William Downey, and Peter Justice for their caring and complex care.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 AM on Friday, December 22, 2023, at First Presbyterian Church, 200 West Trade Street, Charlotte, NC. The family will receive friends following the service at the church. The service will be livestreamed at: https://firstpres-charlotte.org/watch/ for those unable to attend in person.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of John to VIA Health Partners (formerly Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region), 7845 Little Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28226 or Dilworth Soup Kitchen and Pantry, 1200 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203.

Thomas Mangus Hudgins ’61

Thomas Mangus Hudgins of Myrtle Beach, SC passed away peacefully on September 19, 2023 at the age of 83. 

Tom is survived by his wife, Sue, his children, Rives and her husband Matt, Tommy and his wife Tracey, and Chris and his wife Amy, as well as his six grandchildren, Samantha, Alex, Abigail, Ryan, Kate, and Claire.  In addition to his immediate family, Tom is survived by his sister Katy and brother Ted and their families as well as stepchildren Chuck, Karen and Jim and their families.

Tom was born November 8,1939 in Hartford, CT but spent his early years in Indianapolis, IN and his high school years in Greensboro, NC.  Upon graduating high school, Tom attended Davidson College in North Carolina and then went on to earn his Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.  He subsequently moved to New York to begin his career at Arthur Young & Co. accounting Firm.  He was the youngest ever to be named Partner at the firm, and rose to become the Managing Director of the New York office at Ernst and Young after Arthur Young merged with Ernst and Whinney.

While he loved his career, it was the many opportunities that his job afforded him to develop close friendships, and a passion for travel and experiencing new cultures that he truly loved.  He and Sue traveled the globe throughout their marriage, and visited all seven continents of the world.  His experiences helped him to recognize the importance of looking beyond the day-to-day, and he shared this perspective with his family by taking them on a “trip of a lifetime” to Africa.  His generosity in sharing his experiences will never be forgotten. 

Tom loved his family deeply but the true extent of his love was never felt or shown more than with his grandchildren; he truly found a freedom of expression and comfort in living in the moment with each of them.  Whether it was playing fantasy football, talking about sports, or learning their newest lingo, he loved  being a part of it all with them.  They will forever remember his laugh, the bartending skills he fostered, and his love for the beach.

If you knew Tom, you knew he loved cocktail hour each day to muse about topics of the day while also enjoying a bourbon (almost exclusively Wild Turkey 101).   He was the consummate host and delighted in opportunities to cook and further his bartending skills.  Other hobbies included his daily sudoku, working on puzzles, and collecting stamps. 

Tom‘s love of Sue’s alma mater, Cedar Crest College, and its mission to transform the lives of students at all stages of life and experience, led Tom to  establish the Thomas M. Hudgins and Susan Everitt Hudgins ’64 Endowed Scholarship for Adult Learners.

In lieu of flowers and in memory of Tom, donations to this scholarship may be made online at www.cedarcrest.edu/give or  mailed directly to; 

Cedar Crest College

Office of Institutional Advancement

100 College Drive

Allentown, PA 18104

(Please note in the memo section of the check, Hudgins Adult Learner Scholarship)

A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on September 29, 2023, at 2:00 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach, 3810 Robert M. Grissom Parkway, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.