William “Bill” Glenn Boyd ’63

William ‘Bill’ Glenn Boyd, of Lincolnton and Georgetown, SC, passed away peacefully Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Born March 2, 1941, to Daniel Marcus Boyd and Sarah Glenn Boyd, in Hickory, Bill lived the majority of his life in Lincolnton.

After graduation from Davidson College in 1963, where he was a Beta Theta Pi, he then continued his education in Chapel Hill, graduating from UNC in 1966 with a jurisprudence degree in law. He proudly served his country in Vietnam as a Captain in the US Army, where he was awarded the Bronze Star among his many achievements.

Upon returning to Lincolnton, he proved himself to be an astute businessman, involved in ownership and management of several local family businesses, mainly Times Oil Corporation.  An active member of his community, Bill was devoted to his home and family, and he was always there for them. He was a genealogist and a history enthusiast, a lover of animals, as well as an avid collector of pottery, antiques, books and his “Hess” trucks.

He will be missed by his wife, Frankie (Frances) Stutts Boyd; two children, Hunter Hamilton and Robert (Kelly) Hamilton, and grandchildren, Ellen, Sam, and Bea.

He is also survived by his sister, Mary Love (Dave) Hornbaker and brother, Mark (Dianne) Boyd, as well as his nieces and nephews and his many lifelong friends.

Bill spent many happy hours at his family farm in Maiden, where a private family tribute will be held.

Henry Vann Austin ’63

On Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, our family’s biggest Duke Blue Devil fan gained his celestial wings. Henry Vann Austin, M.D., passed away peacefully at his home in Pinehurst.

Born in Clinton, on Feb. 3, 1941, he was a son of the late James Leon and Louise Vann Austin. He graduated from Clinton High School in 1959, and Davidson College 1963. In 1967 he graduated from Duke University School of Medicine; Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, House Staff 1971.

While attending Duke University School of Medical, Vann joined the Blue Devil Club and campaigned throughout the hospital to encourage staff to attend football and basketball games. The Blue Devil Club became The Iron Dukes Athletic Club of which he was a founding lifetime member. He is a lifetime member of Duke Medical Alumni Association. Vann was inducted into The Founders Society of Duke University, where he received the Sower Award statue.

While in Duke residency, Vann met lifetime friend and traveling buddy Joseph Vilseck, MD. Through Vann’s support with his “college chum,” Dr. Vilseck, the initial reception hall was built and dedicated to them. The reception hall was named in their honor: Austin Vilseck Hall – Duke Sports Hall of Fame.

Vann always said he had Duke Blue Blood. He kept track of all the basketball recruits and would enlighten everyone about his fabulous team. He chose his lifetime seat in Cameron Indoor Stadium on the aisle directly across from the team. He loved traveling with the basketball team to many ACC tournaments, NCAA tournament games and several Final Fours.

Drafted in 1971, during the Vietnam War, Maj. Austin, M.D., served two years in the U.S. Army at Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colo. Upon completion of military service, Vann joined the Pinehurst Medical Clinic to support the community in the care of the internal medicine and rheumatology patients. He often said he loved working with PMC and providing care for many types of patients; however, the problem was 24-hour call. In 1995, he left PMC and founded Pinehurst Rheumatology, his medical passion. His patients loved him because he was a “real doctor.” He always had time to sit and talk. If the ladies wore a hat into the office, he had to model it for everyone. His office was decorated with Duke basketball memorabilia and posters. Many thanks to his partner with Pinehurst Rheumatology, Kara Martin, M.D., and office staff Pam, De, Rita, Gwen, Robin, Karen, Suz, Ronnie and others.

Vann was an avid golfer. While in the military, Vann’s dad influenced his decision to join the Country Club of North Carolina. Vann joked that he moved to Pinehurst as a member of CCNC, with his wife and two children, and $100 in the bank. He was a member from 1972 to 2004; and 2010 to current. He played many, many rounds of golf and despised losing. He practiced every evening after work and would play nine holes with anyone who was interested. After nine holes, Lyn never knew how many CCNC assistant pros would be invited to dinner.

Vann would say to say thank you to his lifetime friends Joseph Vilseck, M.D. (Slow Joe), Mike McBrayer (Big Mike), Buddy Mackey (Budman), Barbara Cole (Bobbie), Nell (Lotta Woman) and her husband, the late Jack Hatcher (Hatch-man), John and Helen Hammerschmidt (Hammer and Mz. Helen), Sted Morris, Ed Dalrymple, Raffaele Gironda, Ronnie Durant and many more.

Vann loved his family and friends even more than Duke. He was very proud of his son, “Mr. G, the bumble bee” and daughter, “Ash-Pash.” He loved his granddaughter, Lily “the four-footer.” At the park, he would ride the stationary hobby horse with her so she couldn’t fall off.

The vicious disease, Alzheimer’s, robbed Vann of his memory. While he could not recall names, he always recognized family and friends. Even when he couldn’t express himself verbally, he was always pleasant and loved to sing and dance.

In addition to his parents, Vann was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, Henry Vann Sr. (N.C. State Senator) and Madge Williams Vann; paternal grandparents, Durwood E. Austin and Pauline Gulley Austin; and his sister, Rose Austin.

In 2019, Vann’s wife of 26 years, Lyn Prickett Austin, retired to take care of him. He was her best friend and love of her life. In addition to Lyn, he is survived by his children, Gregory Vann Austin, of Pinehurst, Ashley Austin Kelly (Brendon), of Raleigh; sister, Deborah Austin, of Raleigh; one special granddaughter, Lily Elizabeth Austin, of Pinehurst; and his many fantastic nieces and nephews, Forde Aley (Sherry), Leigh Aley Holmes (Lee), Austin Aley (Christy) Amanda Pulley Penland (Jerrod) and Kelly Austin Kline (Tyler).

Vann & Lyn would like to thank his caregivers for many hours of tender loving care. They would sing to him and dance to make him smile. Lyn could not have survived without these fine people. Many thank-yous to Charles Wall, Alveda Person, Katina Marable, Marsay Smith, Jackie Bloomfield, Evelyn Brewer and Karen McNeill.

A memorial service honoring Vann’s life will be 2 p.m., Saturday, March 4, at Carthage United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Vic Hill presiding.

The family will receive friends at Fry and Prickett Funeral Home, 402 E. Saunders St., in Carthage, on Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m.

Vann requested you to wear Duke Blue if you decide to celebrate his life by attending his funeral. Instead of saying goodbye to everyone, Vann would have wanted to tell each of you, “Have a great Duke Blue Devil Day!” 

In lieu of flowers, make donations to Iron Dukes Athletics, 110 Whitford Drive, Room 367, Box 90542, Durham, NC 27708; or to Carthage Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1481, Carthage, NC 28327.

James Daniel Simpson, III ’63

James Daniel Simpson, III, born in Little Rock. Ark., on April 18, 1940, passed away on Feb. 19, 2023. He is preceded in death by his parents, James Daniel Simpson, Jr. and Ellen House Simpson; grandparents, James Daniel Simpson and Ruth Bales Simpson, Joseph Warren House and Julia Clarke House.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia (Ginna); daughters, Jody House Simpson and Clarke Lea Simpson; grandsons, James Russell Thompson, Joseph Townes Delp, and Warren Forbes Delp. J.D. is also survived by his brother, Joseph Warren Simpson (Cindy), their children, Ellen Garrett Simpson Thalheimer (Evans); great-niece, Sloan Elizabeth Thalheimer, Preston Modisette Simpson, and Parker Danielle Pitts, his cousins, Robert Williams Tucker (Diane) and Everett Tucker, III (Becky).

J.D.’s life was defined by the things he was dedicated to: a lifelong passion for duck hunting, his beloved dogs, and spending time with his girls, (but only during the “off-season”). His dedication to duck hunting and preserving the habitat for ducks was limitless. His dedication to his job at Stephens Inc., for which he worked for over 50 years knew no bounds.

J.D. was a man of great empathy. He was a philanthropist that spread the gamut from such organizations ranging from a recovery center to a donkey rescue farm. There is much more that the family could say to the life of J.D., but the family is most aware that he was not a fan of long obituaries. Therefore, we will only say in ending is that there was not anything in life he loved more than his family. If he loved you, you knew it and if he didn’t, you knew that too. We loved him dearly and we will miss him every day. The family is fairly certain that Heaven has never seen anyone like J.D.

Visitation will be held at Ruebel Funeral Home Thursday, February 23, from 3:30-6 p.m. The funeral will be a private graveside ceremony.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, EasterSeals of. Arkansas, Nature Conservancy, Boy’s Club, or PARK. Arrangements are under the direction of RuebelFuneralHome.com

William Milton Blakely, Jr. ’63

William Milton Blakely, Jr., of Flat Rock, North Carolina, passed Monday, January 16, 2023. Born June 15, 1941, to the late William Milton Blakely, Sr., and Sarah Maslin Wells Blakely in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bill was eighty-one years old.

Bill earned his Bachelor’s in History from Davidson College and a Master’s in Counseling from Ball State University. Bill served his country in the United States Army in wartime and peace, in Korea, Vietnam, Okinawa, West Germany, and many stateside postings. After his military career, he continued protecting our troops and their families in the civil service as Safety Manager of Ft. Benning’s Martin Army Hospital near Columbus, Georgia, where he served with great distinction and once personally extinguished a fire that threatened the facility and its patients.

Bill was involved with Boy Scouts of America as a young man, attending jamborees across the world and achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He was a crack shot on the rifle team at Davidson, where his marksmanship earned him the nickname “Bullet.” He met his wife Juliette on a blind date in college and only left her side afterward when his country called. He was a member, Elder, and Deacon of Edgewood Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Georgia, and a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Though his service years moved him and his family around the world, Bill remained a North Carolinian at heart, and he was thrilled to retire to his parent’s home in 2005 at Bonclarken Presbyterian Conference Center. Bill greatly loved western North Carolina, especially Hendersonville and Flat Rock.

Bill was a voracious reader of every kind of science fiction and history and was a Biblical history scholar. He was a strong defender of civil liberties, regardless of race, origin, gender, orientation, or creed, and he was a patriot. He was a proud Preacher’s Kid and Army Brat. He force-marched his three boys throughout Europe for the best childhoods they could imagine. Bill was a truly good man: gentle, kind, caring, patient, empathetic, and loving. The world is a better place because he walked in it.

Bill was a very devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Surviving him is his wife of fifty-eight years, Juliette Brown Blakely; sons, William Wells Blakely (and wife, Beth) and Robert Brown Blakely (and wife, Leigh) of Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Charles Jones Blakely (and wife, Linda) of Superior, Colorado; sister, Sally Shook (and husband, Gary) of Topeka, Kansas; grandchildren, William Evan Blakely, John Kevin Blakely, Kjersten Alise Gray and Katelynn Amanda Gray of Lawrenceville, Georgia, Matthew William Blakely and Sara Elizabeth Blakely of Lawrenceville, Georgia, Jack Coleman Blakely and Samantha Marie Blakely of Superior, Colorado; sister-in-law, Anne Cason Brown, of Greenwood, South Carolina; and nephew, Joseph Cason Brown, of Columbia, South Carolina, and nieces Lara Shook Murphy (and husband, Steve) of Topeka, Kansas, and Tara Shook of Kansas City, Missouri.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church (900 Blythe Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina 28791).

Thomas “Tommy” Alva Slane ’63

Thomas “Tommy” Alva Slane, 81, of Statesville, passed away Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the Gordon Hospice House.

Tommy was born Feb. 27, 1941, in Statesville, to the late Fred T. Slane Jr. and Edith Sherrill Slane. He graduated from Statesville Senior High School and Davidson College.

Tommy proudly served in the U.S. Army and was the president of O.W. Slane Glass Co.

Tommy served his community through various boards and committees throughout his life.

Those left to cherish Tommy’s memory include his wife of 59 years, Mary Anne West Slane; children, Tracy Slane Turner, Thomas Clayton Slane (Ellen); grandsons, Thomas Campbell Turner (Jennifer) and Logan Thomas Slane. Also surviving are his sisters, Patsy Slane Ebert, Barbara Slane West (Roy); nieces, Slane Holland Lightbourne (Chris), Kelly Davis; and nephews, R.B. Holland (Julie) and Web Mitchell (Kristy).

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 6, at Oakwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gordon Hospice House, 2341 Simonton Rd., Statesville, NC 28625 or First Presbyterian Church, 125 N Meeting St., Statesville, NC 28677.