Martin Luther Brackett ’69

Martin Luther Brackett Jr. passed away on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, after a short illness. He was without pain and in peace surrounded by his loved ones.

Martin was a native of Charlotte, NC, where he was raised by Martin Luther “Luke” Brackett Sr. and Helen Smith Brackett, the middle of three sons (with brothers Doug and Charlie Brackett as bookends). He was born in February 1947 itching for a fight, and channeled that energy into scouting and sports, earning his Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow, and a football scholarship to Davidson College.

Martin attended East Mecklenburg High School, Class of ’64. He graduated from Davidson in 1969 (although he really considered himself part of the Class of ’68), where he was a member of the football team and President of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Martin attended law school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Class of ’72. He was full of stories from his school days, and some of them were even true.

Martin received his honorable discharge from the United States Army in 1969 and was subsequently commissioned as an officer in the United States Army Reserves from which he was honorably discharged as a Captain.

Martin was an esteemed and proud member of the North Carolina State Bar, with a career as a litigator that touched six decades and countless lives. For most of that career he was a partner with Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, which was a professional home but also the home for many of his most important and enduring friendships. Among the numerous honors and accolades bestowed upon him professionally, he was proudest of his membership as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

He also had the honor to serve on the Board of Trustees of UNC-Charlotte (2011-2015), North Carolina Railroad Company’s Board of Directors (2017-present), a Permanent Member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Outward Bound School (1987-1995), and as a member and Chairman of the Charlotte Auditorium-Coliseum-Convention Center Authority (1981-1987).

Martin was recognized throughout his career for his pro bono service. He was also recognized throughout his career by peers, adversaries, clients and judges alike as a man to be reckoned with, but who was fair, honest and good to his word.

Martin’s appreciation for his professional accomplishments paled in comparison to his pride as a father to four children, grandfather to three grandsons and husband to a loving wife. The only joy in life that ever approached the joy he derived from his family was hiking in the high mountains of the American West and rolling hills of Western North Carolina, whether with good friends, a loyal dog or just his thoughts. If you need to imagine him now, imagine him there, walking stick in hand, hat on his head and pack on his back, ready to strike off on adventure.

Martin is survived by his wife, Lisa Kay Brackett; his children, Amelia Brackett, Lauren Brackett and her fiancé, George Docherty of Charlotte, NC, Hunter Brackett and his wife, Kristye and their son, McKay (11) of Raleigh, NC and Alex Brackett and his wife, Callie and their sons, Jones (18) and Ben (16) of Richmond, VA. He is also survived by his older brother, Doug Brackett and his wife, Sara Gwynn and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service for Martin will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, February 17, 2022 at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. The family will receive friends following the service in Oxford Hall. The service will be livestreamed at: https://myersparkpres.org/live/special/ for those unable to attend in person.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of Martin to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, 717 S. Marshall Street, Suite 105B, Winston Salem, NC 27101 (https://www.brpfoundation.org/donate) or the North Carolina Outward Bound School, 2852 Riceville Road, Asheville, NC 28805 (https://www.ncobs.org/donate/).

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

Ernie Doe ’69

This obituary is somewhat different from most, as it is written from the perspective of Ernie’s best friend of 56 years, Doug Crisp ’69. Ernie passed away on  September 15, 2021, after a four-year battle with amyloidosis. He was a resident of Orange County, California, for over 50 years, having spent a number of years with Union Bank and in the hospitality industry.

 Ernie was born on March 20, 1947, the oldest of four sons of Frank and Nellie Doe. He grew up around McLean, Virginia, where he participated in water sports and football from a young age, but weightlifting was to become his passion.

Three days every week for the four years we were in college together, Ernie lifted weights, often alone. To my knowledge, he never missed a day, having some of the highest dedication and discipline I have ever witnessed. He asked me early on to come to the weight room to “spot” for him, and when I asked what was I supposed to do if he became trapped under a 400 pound barbell, he looked at me as a parent would to a small child and told me he wanted me to go get help, of course.

Ernie’s dedication paid off in 1972, when he won the AAU Senior National Powerlifting Championship in the 242 pound class, with lifts that still astound me to this day: 525 lbs. bench press, 630 lbs. squat, and 740 lbs. deadlift, totaling an amazing 1895 lbs. and winning by 80 pounds over the next competitor.

Ernie’s strength and imposing physique belied a gentle soul and a kind heart. Although he had no children of his own, he treated his nieces and nephews and my children, as well, as if they were his own. He was generous of spirit and of worldly goods, both to his family and to institutions he admired. He was also generous of his time, a wonderful listener, and quick with a smile. Regardless of the circumstances, he was always upbeat and optimistic, even during his final months of his illness.

Ernie was completely loyal and trustworthy. He provided sage advice to me as long as we knew each other, and brought joy to everyone he touched. I trusted him like no other, and regret that very, very few people will have the kind of bond we enjoyed for so long.

He was extremely intelligent, having graduated from Davidson College in 1969 with a double major in Economics and Math.  He did his graduate work at UCLA, where he met Gail, his wife of 51 years, in the grad school dorm.  They were married as soon as they could get blood tests.

Ernie had a passion for golf, and in spite of being a superb athlete, remained a solid 19 handicap for most of his playing days. At some point, he may have been over the 14 club limit, as he was a former member of Desert Mountain, Palm Desert CC, Loch Lomond in Scotland, PGA West, Forest Highlands, Seven Canyons, Virginia Country Club, and Santa Ana Country Club in Newport Beach—no trophies, but lots of friends.

Ernie and Gail retired in their early 40’s and spent the next 30 years traveling the world, visiting every continent, diving the great reefs, and playing golf.  He made an annual pilgrimage to the Carolinas to join me and our Kappa Sig buddies for golf and good Scotch.  Ernie remained a great supporter of Davidson, where the weight room is fittingly named after him.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Gail, his three brothers, Frank, Tom, and Randall, his niece, Katie, and his nephews Jimmy, Brian, James, and T.J. (Tom, Jr.)

We all love and miss you, Ol’ Bud.  YGBDC

William (Bill) Thomas Williams, Jr. ’69

William (Bill) Thomas Williams, Jr. M.D., 73, of Davidson, North Carolina passed away on March 15, 2021. He was born in Toccoa, Georgia on March 16, 1947 to the late William T. and Beth Lane Williams, and reared in Savannah, Georgia.

He graduated from H. V. Jenkins High School in 1965 and from Davidson College in 1969, and then went on to receive his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Bill met Marguerite (Margo) Oldham, of Houston, Texas, while attending medical school, and they married on March 25, 1974.

After Bill completed his residency in Pediatrics at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, Bill and Margo moved to Davidson in 1977, where they reared two sons and Bill continued with a residency in Internal Medicine at Charlotte Memorial Hospital.

Bill founded the Davidson Clinic in 1978 and served as a primary care physician to many of Davidson’s families, before going to work at Charlotte Area Health Education Center, Carolinas Medical Center (now Atrium) as its Chief Medical Officer, and serve on, and chair, the National Board of Medical Examiners.

During this time, he had the opportunity to work with medical schools and medical professionals all over the United States and around the world, including in Panama and the United Arab Emirates. He founded a medical consulting company, the Williams Group, prior to completing his career as a physician for Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region.

Bill’s life was devoted to his family and friends, his community and coworkers, his patients, public health, and medical education. Beyond this, he loved birds, the weather, flowers, astronomy, geography, science fiction, Caswell Beach, watching Jeopardy! with Margo, his dogs, and seeing the world.

When the boys were growing up, he took the family on what he called “the baseball tours of America.” In this way, he made sure they saw the country, experienced the culture of each different city and place, had fun, and, of course, saw baseball. Bill’s father had tickets to the Masters, and he shared the tickets with Bill, who, in turn, shared it with family. He would walk along the various holes and expound on which great player he saw on which hole, sinking which putt. All who were with him would listen intently, mostly mesmerized by his prodigious memory and his love of the place.

Bill also wanted his family to discover and experience the beach and to develop their own love for the restorative powers of the sea and sand. The beach house was filled with great food, lively conversations, crossword puzzles, and games of all kinds. Quiet walks along the ocean’s edge revealed his companions’ innermost thoughts with openness and ease, and Bill knew that these natural moments would bring the family he loved even closer together.

Bill was devoted to the practice of medicine. In his own words, he said, “I approach medicine through the sciences. I believe in Koch’s postulates, which means that, in general, I am a slave to the concept of cause and effect. It is what I use in teaching students about medicine, and it is the basis for my explanations to patients about their diseases and treatments.”

A lifelong learner, Bill had a constantly curious mind, and he said this to his students about their chosen profession, “It is called the Practice of Medicine for a reason, and it involves the opportunity to learn something new during every encounter with everyone and everything that make up the health care system, especially from the nurses and your patients. And if you continue to read and watch and listen, you should be a better physician each day than you were the day before.”

Bill is survived by Marguerite Williams, his wife of almost 49 years; their children, Ben Williams and Sun K Park, Daniel Williams and Brittany Williams; his sister- and brother-in-law, Harriet and Steve Kessler; his niece and her family, Kristi, Jerry, and Robyn Walters; his nephew and his family, Michael Kessler, Rosie Molinary, Abe Kessler, and Roberto Molinary; as well as their friends, and loved ones, especially close cousins.

The family wishes to express its gratitude to Davidson College Presbyterian Church and its wonderful ministers, especially Robert Alexander, who gave the family such tender support; for the professionalism and excellent care provided by Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Area; for the kind attention given to the family by Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home; and for the amazing love expressed by friends, both far and near.

A memorial service will be held when COVID-19 vaccines have been fully distributed and it is safe to gather after the pandemic. He will be interred in the columbarium at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, where his mother-in-law, the late Robyn M. Oldham, is also interred. In lieu of flowers, his family asks, if you are so moved, that you please send donations to:

Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 7845 Little Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28226

Davidson Housing Coalition, P.O. Box 854, Davidson, NC 28036

or Davidson College Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 337, Davidson, NC 28036

Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.kepnerfh.com.

Kenneth D. Fuller ’69

Kenneth D. Fuller, 74, of Pottstown, PA, passed away suddenly on February 23, 2021, at Pottstown Hospital – Tower Health. He was the husband of Lorraine (Marks) Donnelly, for not nearly long enough.

Born in New Britain, CT, on December 1, 1946, Ken was the son of the late Kenneth and Eleanor (Seeds) Fuller. Ken was the pastor of St. John United Church of Christ, Riegelsville, PA.

A graduate of Davidson College and Harvard Divinity School, Ken served churches in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, DC. Nothing gave him greater joy than preaching the Word of God.

Ken followed in his father’s footsteps and became a Freemason when he lived in Washington, DC. He treasured the Brotherhood he found with his fellow Masons, as well as the opportunity to wear tuxedos on a regular basis, and was very honored to have served as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in 2016.

A fluent French speaker, he studied as a college student in Montpellier, France, and returned to the country as often as he could. On a recent trip, he took great joy in showing Lorraine where he lived as a young student. Travel was a favorite of Ken’s, and he often returned time and time again to places that were special to him, such as France, and Ring Lake Ranch, a retreat center in Dubois, Wyoming. At the Ranch, he was able to hike, ride horses, and engage in one of his favorite hobbies, fly fishing. He was a past member of Ranch’s Board, and was most proud of the Board’s decision to waive registration fees for youth so that more families could participate. Ken was so pleased that two more generations of his family have also found it to be a place of rest and renewal.

Ken enjoyed reading and studying Civil War history. He also loved having his Silver Sneakers gym membership, where he practiced yoga regularly, always following his workout with a nice cup of black coffee.

In addition to his wife, Ken is lovingly remembered by his daughter, Martha Stahl, Billings, MT; his son, Jonathan Fuller, husband of Janet Mocarsky, Portsmouth, RI; his stepdaughter, Candice Donnelly-Knox, wife of Ryan, Chatsworth, NJ; his brother, the Reverend Curt Fuller, husband of Louise, Chicago, IL; and his grandchildren, Eva Stahl, Waylon Stahl, Charlotte Knox, Liam Knox, and Wyatt Knox.

Donations may be made in Ken’s memory to: Ring Lake Ranch, PO Box 806, Dubois, WY 82513. Houck & Gofus Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 955 N. Charlotte St., Pottstown, PA 19464, will be handling the arrangements.

Online condolences may be made to the family at www.houckgofusfuneralhome.com.

J. Charles Cameron ’69

John Charles Cameron V (Age 73) passed away peacefully on January 28, 2021, Charles is survived by his wife of 44 years, Ann Cameron, and one brother: Paul Cameron (Sydni Roberson) of Glen Ellen, CA. Charles leaves behind a daughter, Kelli (Jason) Cox of Atlanta, GA and son, John (Elizabeth) of Memphis. He was known as Da, because it was the first syllable out of his first grandaughter’s mouth, by his seven grandchildren: Abigail Cox, Madelyn Cox, Sarah Ann Cameron, Naomi Cox, Thomas Cameron, Michael Cameron, and Anabelle Cox.

Charles was a graduate of White Station High School (1965), Davidson College, Boston University, and the University of Memphis and was a US Army Veteran. He worked as an accountant for several companies before changing careers, teaching for many years at Wooddale HIgh School. He coached several sports, including softball, track, baseball and golf.

Charles never let a volunteer opportunity go unfilled. He coached his children’s basketball, baseball, and softball teams. Referees ejected him from more than one game.

He taught Sunday School at First and Trinity Baptist Churches. He served at Cubmaster for Pack 241 at Christ United Methodist Church. He drove the van to pick up elderly ladies for Sunday School. He served as a Deacon and went on many youth group trips, even when he didn’t like the music.

He never met a stranger, with language being no obstacle. He never missed an opportunity to teach, retiring only reluctantly before extending his classroom to Gibson’s Donuts and Mattei’s Garage. He would have told you that the Red Sox were his favorite baseball team, though he never missed a Cardinals game. He loved the Tigers and the Grizzlies, but couldn’t keep from rooting for Steph Curry.

Charles loved music and met many up and coming musicians as the Student Union director at Davidson College. He sang in the church choir as long as he could. He would have loved singing high tenor in a gospel quartet, but might have settled for being the Fifth Top. His grandchildren are still making good use of his record collection.

He loved deeply and unconditionally.

His funeral will be Thursday, February 4, 10:00 a.m. at Trinity Baptist Church, 8899 Trinity Road, followed by a graveside service at noon.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be sent to Trinity Baptist Church, Cordova

Published in The Commercial Appeal from Feb. 3 to Feb. 4, 2021.