E. Jeffery “Jeff” Couch ’62

E. Jeffery Couch of River Landing, died peacefully on April 1, 2022, surrounded by his three adoring daughters Laura, Sarah and Abbey.

Jeff was born May 5, 1940 to the late Everett Goodrich Couch and Emily Moore Couch. From early childhood, he lived in Ohio, graduating from Portsmouth High School and attracting classmates who became lifelong friends. In 1958, Jeff moved to Davidson, NC where he earned his dream come true, a degree in Economics from Davidson College, again fostering friendships that lasted his lifetime.

After Davidson, Jeff began a career in financial management, first at C&S Bank and Nations Bank in Atlanta, and later joining NCNB in Charlotte. There he honed his economic and leadership skills and was promoted to higher levels of responsibility including taking Bank of America to international prominence. A gifted leader, Jeff retired as Senior Vice President from Bank of America.

To hold dear his memory, Jeff is survived by his wife, Darla Clark Couch and dearly beloved daughters Laura Boling of Alpharetta, GA; Sarah Davis of Loganville, GA; and Abigail Giordano of Fairfax, VA. He was blessed with eight grandchildren: Jake, Kelly and Sadie Boling; Maren Piland and Harper Davis; Bobby and Ellis Giordano; and one great-granddaughter, Jessica Black. Jeff is also survived by sister, Sarah Haft and nephew, David Haft of Washington, DC.

In keeping with Jeff’s passion for learning and discovery, his body has been entrusted to Wake Forest University School of Medicine. A memorial date has not been set.

Published by Charlotte Observer on April 24, 2022.

Danny Austin McRight ’62

Danny Austin McRight, 81, of Davidson, NC died on October 19, 2021. Dan was born to the late Rev. Daniel Austin and Lillian Lorene McRight in Sheffield, AL. on June 26, 1940. Dan graduated from Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, VA. in 1958, and Davidson College in 1962. He did graduate studies at The University of Glasgow (Scotland), Vanderbilt University, Emory University, and Columbia Theological Seminary where his received a M. Div., in 1972.

While at Davidson he was a Dana and a Belk scholar and served as President of the Westminster Fellowship. In 1966 Dan was ordained for ministry by Mecklenburg Presbytery then served in several Presbyterian Churches in the South. His career focus was that of training hospital chaplains through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Dan served in Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, and Nashville. This training was provided to pastors and students of many faith groups. In addition, he was active in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Dan is survived by his wife, Dr. Rebecca R. Fewell of Davidson, NC., his sons, William A. McRight of Los Angeles, CA., and Robert A.O. McRight, of Orlando, FL., stepsons, S. Mark DuBose of Pensacola, FL., and Philip A. DuBose, of Spring Hill, TN., and step-grandsons, Brooks A. DuBose of Cleveland, TN., and Brennan E. DuBose of Memphis, TN.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Chaplaincy Fund at The Pines at Davidson, 400 Avinger La, Davidson, NC 28036, or to Davidson College, 405 N. Main St., Davidson, NC 28035. A Celebration of Dan’s life of service will be held at Davidson College Presbyterian Church at a later date.

Robert “Bob” Ward Porter ’62

Robert “Bob” Ward Porter, age 81, passed away on Monday, September 13, 2021, at his home in Winston-Salem, NC after a long battle with Cancer. Bob was born in Galax, Virginia to Robert T. Porter and Rubye Ward Porter on January 31, 1940. He grew up and attended Galax High School before attending Davidson College where he graduated with a BA in Business in 1962. Following college, Bob attended Wake Forest Law School and graduated Juris Doctor in the class of 1965.

Before beginning his professional life, Bob served as a Captain in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Shafter in Honolulu, HI. Following his service to our country, Bob became a well-respected attorney and enjoyed a long career in the field of Real Estate and Title. Bob was licensed through both the North Carolina and Virginia Bars.

Known for driving around town in his yellow convertible 1969 Buick Wildcat, singing along to his beloved oldies music. Bob spent his college years playing sax as part of the Dimensions, a FIJI fraternity band. He also loved the game of golf and especially enjoyed time on the course with his golf buddies. Bob was loved and revered by all who met him. Always there to help friends and colleagues, Bob was quick to make light of any situation with a funny story or joke to raise everyone’s spirits.

He met his wife, Diane Porter, in 1965 in Virginia Beach, VA, where he worked as a motorcycle police officer during his law school summers. Bob and Diane were married in 1966.

Bob is survived by his wife of 52 years, Diane Jackson Porter, who resides in Winston-Salem, NC, and his sons Robert “Bobby” Ward Porter, Jr. and his wife Joy of Raleigh, NC, and John Michael Porter and his wife Amy of Austin, TX, and his six grandchildren (Alexandra Porter, Cameron Porter, Morgan Baker, Penny Baker, Jackson Porter and Ashton Porter).

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at Centenary United Methodist Church officiated by the Reverend Craig Ford.

Condolences may be made at https://www.salemfh.com/.

Salem Funeral & Cremation Service

120 S. Main St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Published by Winston-Salem Journal from Sep. 15 to Sep. 16, 2021.

Philip Bertram Smith, Jr. ’62

Philip Bertram Smith, Jr., age 81, departed us to be united with his Heavenly Father and Savior on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.

Phil was born the 18th of July, 1940 to Philip B. Smith and Cornelia Pearce Smith.

Phil was born and raised in Houston, Texas where he graduated from Lamar High School in 1958. Phil’s most treasured memories, while growing up in Houston, were spending time with his beloved grandparents.

He attended Davidson College where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and ROTC. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He spent several college summers working as a ranch hand in Montana which sparked a lifelong love of the outdoors and tending to animals. After graduating from Davidson College, Phil joined the Army and served as a tank commander stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. He achieved the rank of Captain and later served in the 36th Infantry of the Texas Army National Guard until 1969.

In 1963, Phil married Patricia Ann Haas and relocated back to Houston, Texas where he began his family. Phil and Pat had three children together, Philip, Stephen and Renee Clark.

After graduating from South Texas College of Law, he joined the law firm of Vinson & Elkins as an associate in its oil/gas/real estate section. In 1976, Phil and his family relocated to Dallas where he continued his legal career as a partner with Locke, Purnell, Boren, Laney and Neely.

In 1980, Phil and his family moved to rural Waxahachie, Texas. He spent his days practicing law in Dallas, and his evenings and weekends enjoying the peace of the country and tending his horses. He truly enjoyed maintaining his country property, mending fences, cutting hay and taking care of his animals with a special love for American Paint Horses. Such hobbies were a necessary respite to maintain his active law practice. While in Waxahachie, he saw his three children graduate from high school and begin their respective lives.

In 1992, Phil married Maria “Jo”. In 1994, he recommitted his life to Christ and was baptized at Fielder Road Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. Phil and Jo moved to Paris, Texas in 1997, where he continued his law practice at the Moore Law Firm, eventually going into private practice with an office at 1700 Place, Paris, until his death.

During their 28 years of marriage they enjoyed traveling, visiting Israel, Washington, D.C., California, Yosemite, Montana, Colorado and Tennessee.

While living in Paris, Texas, he was a member of Rotary, Gideons and East Paris Baptist Church, where he served on the Finance Committee. Living in close proximity with Jo’s family he became an integral part of their lives, becoming dearly loved and highly regarded as a step-dad and grandfather.

Phil is survived by his wife, Jo; his sister, Ann Blankenship, of Dallas, Texas; his son, Philip B. Smith III, of Hillsboro, Texas; son, Stephen T. Smith and his wife, Inga, of Houston, Texas; and his daughter, Renee D. Clark, of Keller, Texas.

He leaves behind the following grandchildren, Philip B. Smith IV, of New Orleans, Louisiana, Preston L. Smith, Parker T. Smith and Patrick H. Smith, of Houston, Texas, Corinne B. Clark and Campbell W. Clark, of Keller, Texas; and his niece, Dawn Hennessey, of Dallas, Texas.

He is also survived by step-children, Russ and Carolyn Ferguson, of Paris, Texas, Jan and John Moon, of Paris, Texas, LeeAnn and Shane Rost, of Venus, Texas, Dena and Eli Rivera, of Grand Prairie, Texas; and 16 step-grandchildren; and a host of step-great-grandchildren.

Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4 at Bright-Holland Funeral Home, with Dr. Danny Moody and John Moon officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.

Graveside services are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.

To leave a message or tribute for the family please visit brighthollandfuneralhome.com.

Copyright, 2021, The Paris News

Walter DeForest Clark ’62

Rev. Walter DeForest Clark passed away peacefully with his son Christopher Stausz-Clark and his daughter Karen Sporn by his side on April 21st after a brief illness in Seattle, WA. He was 83.

Walter was the son of the late Edwin DeForest Clark and Margaret Davis Clark. He was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA on April 16, 1938. His family lived in Rochester, NY, Wilmington, NC and Greenville, SC. He graduated from Greenville High School, Davidson College and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Walter married Judy Strausz of Yakima, WA and they moved to Charlotte, NC.

Walter was a Community Worker in Charlotte and worked with under privileged children and families. He was sponsored by Myers Park Presbyterian Church and Third Presbyterian Church. He founded an Auto Mechanic Garage and taught mechanical skills to boys who needed to learn a trade. He also formed a basketball team in the area.

The family moved to Minneapolis and Walter became a Pastor at the Presbyterian House of Faith and was there for 27 years. He and his Congregation worked with the community in Minneapolis and housed several agencies that offered food, clothing and counseling at House of Faith. He also reached out to the community through summer neighborhood, Vacation Bible Schools.

His two children Christopher and Karen attended the House of Faith Church Nursery School. He started “Familia De Fe”, a Latino Congregation in 1990. They worshipped at House of Faith and continued on after he retired. Walter loved music. He was an oboist and singer. He loved sports, hiking, camping and traveling. He was a poet and a writer and loved reading.

He is survived by his son Christopher Strausz-Clark (Jaime) and their two children Katie and Hannah and by his daughter Karen Sporn (Matt) and their two sons Calan and Ashton who live in Seattle, WA.

He is also survived by his three sisters, Louise Sadler of Charlotte, NC, Margaret Jones (Pete) of Chapel Hill, NC and Mary Tyler (A.C.) of Wilmington, NC and 9 nieces and nephews Kathy Call, Michael Reville, Steve Reville, Beth Blackwelder, Nathan Sadler, Alison Jones, David Jones, Mark Jones, Margaret Tyler. He is predeceased by one niece Margaret Reville of Birmingham.

There will be a Celebration of Life at a later date.

The family wishes to thank Abe Go and his staff at the Family Home Magnolia Domicile, for their loving care of Walter while he was there.

Walter was a servant of the Lord.

At the end of his poem about the birth of Christ he states:

“But in this quiet stall I feel no fear,

Some rustling straw the only sound I hear,

No walls, no spears, no taxing Government,

No thrones, no fitting monument,

Force my allegiance to this Deity,

For nothing stands between my Lord and me.”

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