Benjamin Culver Hedrick ’76

Benjamin Culver Hedrick, 69, of Matthews passed away August 5th, 2023.

Born November 4th, 1953, Ben was the son of the late Bruce and Waunetta Hedrick of Asheboro. He grew up in Asheboro, graduating as a Blue Comet, Class of 1972. Blessed with a natural athletic talent, Ben played football, earning a scholarship which he used to attend Davidson College, where he continued to play football while learning just enough to earn his degree in Psychology. Ben moved to the Charlotte/Matthews area where he had been a resident for over 40 years.

In addition to being blessed with athletic talent, Ben was blessed with an uncanny sense of humor and the ability to relate to people. Using these skills, he became a successful salesman in industrial equipment, working for Pande Controls, Mechanical Supply Company and Eastern. When not working, he enjoyed beach music, shagging, motorcycle cruising and enhancing his connoisseur skills of hot dog appreciation (of which Green’s was the premier outlet of this fine cuisine). Most of all, Ben was a people person who enjoyed the time spent with family and friends. Whether bellyflopping off the lifeguard stand at the local pool or just spending time at the pool with his kids, time with others was always enjoyed and will forever be remembered.

Ben prided himself on being the cool uncle to his nieces and nephew. He was an incredible friend who cherished every relationship he had no matter how long he may have known you; some that date back to high school. He carried on lessons from his adoring parents, and created a beautiful life. He will be missed by so many. The world is a little dimmer, heaven is a little brighter, and barbecue will never taste quite the same.

Ben is survived by a daughter Hayley Hedrick; son Maxwell Hedrick; and the mother of his children, Molly Hedrick. Their love for him knows no bounds. In addition, he is survived by his brother and best friend, Bart (wife Kathy) Hedrick, who will miss him dearly; as well as numerous other relatives and friends, including nieces and a nephew who saw him as a cool uncle. Ben was preceded in death by his parents.

Ben’s family has given the family of Lowe-Neddo Funeral Home the privilege of caring for him and for them.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home, 4715 Margaret Wallace Road, Matthews, from 10 am until 11 am on Saturday, August 12. At 11 am, services will be held in the funeral home chapel. A reception will follow with location to be provided.

Services will be livestreamed, please return to funeral home website Saturday morning for the link.

A private interment at Randolph Memorial Park will take place at a later date.

David Cormak ’76

David Cormak, 69, dear son of the late Robert and Lenore Cormak, beloved husband to Twyla Cormak, and loving father to Katelyn Cormak Taylor (Zach) and Regan Cormak, passed away on July 27, 2023.

David was born on July 7, 1954 in Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, to Robert and Lenore Cormak. He was the only child of two only children, making him the only grandchild to his grandparents. He was loved and doted on by his family growing up, and his nickname became “Darling David.” Despite all that concentrated attention, he grew up thoughtful and kind. In 1967, when Dave was in middle school, the Cormak family relocated to Chesterfield, Missouri. Dave attended Parkway Central Middle and High Schools and then Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina where he majored in Psychology. He had a great love for the humanities and studied abroad throughout Europe for a deeper dive into those subjects. After he graduated from Davidson, he moved to Dallas, Texas to pursue his graduate degree at Southern Methodist University where he got his MBA.

After graduate school, Dave worked as a staffing recruiter for a few years, before taking a job in Human Resources at RepublicBank Dallas, where he met Twyla. Dave and Twyla married in 1986. They had two daughters; Katelyn in 1989 and Regan in 1993. In 1997, they relocated for Dave’s job change within the bank and moved to Chesterfield, Missouri. Dave continued to work for the bank, which eventually became Bank of America, for 37 years. He worked in Compliance and then Risk Management before his retirement in 2019. Dave loved his work, mainly for the many amazing people he worked shoulder-to-shoulder with. Dave’s job required him to travel around the country and even several trips to China, allowing him to develop delightful relationships with people throughout the bank. Many of his employees, colleagues and bosses have remarked on what a mentor, cheerleader and encourager he was to them. He left a great legacy there through the many people he impacted.

Dave was always active in sports. In high school he wrestled, was on the track team, and played football. He loved playing racquetball in college and throughout his twenties and thirties. He also loved to ski, and the family took several fun ski trips together. Throughout the years, tennis and golf were two of his favorite activities, mostly because of the fun he had with his friends on and off the court/green. In retirement, he was playing tennis four to five times a week and golfing once a week. One of his tennis buddies said Dave always knew the right thing to say to people to make them feel good about themselves.

Travel was a deep love of Dave’s. Vacations took months to plan, and were enjoyed to the fullest. When the girls were younger, the family took a vacation to Disney World, and afterwards Dave always enticed the girls with other, new locations so he didn’t have to go back. As the girls were growing up, the family visited Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Las Vegas; beaches in the Carolinas, the Riviera Maya in Mexico and the Dominican Republic; England; Hawaii; New York City; Italy; San Francisco and Santa Fe. When Twyla had a year-long international work assignment in Canada, Dave would visit, and they enjoyed spending time in Toronto and seeing Niagara Falls and Montreal.

As empty nesters, Dave and Twyla went on some amazing trips together where they met so many interesting people. They went on cruises on the Danube and Douro Rivers, plus small boat cruises to Venice and the Dalmatian coast and Nice and the Amalfi coast. They toured the Grand, Bryce, and Zion Canyons. They took driving trips across the country, including visits to their daughters and friends. Last year, Dave traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio with a tennis friend for the Western and Southern tennis tournament and was able to see some of his favorite professional tennis players play. Dave and Twyla’s last trip together was in May, and they had a wonderful time traveling throughout Portugal and Spain.

Dave and Twyla have attended Chesterfield Presbyterian Church since 2004. Dave was involved with the men’s discipleship program, and it became a wonderful way for him to further develop his personal relationship with our amazing Savior, Jesus. He was blessed to share that journey and develop deep friendships with the men in his group. Through that program they discussed their spiritual gifts, and Dave shared that he wanted “To use my spiritual gifts of enthusiasm and energy to serve the Lord by encouraging, coaching and motivating others to see God’s hand in their lives as they accomplish their goals and aspirations.” We were all blessed by the expression of Dave’s spiritual gifts in his devotion to others, and he will be deeply missed.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, August 4, 2023, at 11:00 a.m.
Chesterfield Presbyterian Church
15037 Clayton Road
Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
If you are unable to attend in person, a livestream link for the service will be available on the Chesterfield Presbyterian Church website (

Katie Oliver Early ’74

Katie Oliver Early spent her last days much as she spent her whole life—making puns, cracking jokes, bopping to the music, and expressing love and appreciation to those around her. She took her last, peaceful breath July 26 at her home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, surrounded by family and friends. Katie’s transition leaves an enormous hole in the lives of those who were fortunate to know and love her, who will cherish many fond memories of love and laughter. 

Family and friends were always at the center of Katie’s life. She was an exceptionally loving, supportive and encouraging mother to her children, Christopher and Meghan, and stepson, Cully; a delighted, doting grandmother to Isabel and Olivia; and a loyal, loving wife to Andy Little, her husband of 24 years. She welcomed her children’s stepmother, Carol McLaurin, and spouses—Deven Crock, Daniel Rodriguez, and Zack Coles—into the family with extraordinary warmth. 

Katie could always be counted on to bring the silly to family gatherings, such as staging family Christmas photos with ridiculous costumes, supplying gag gifts, and organizing games that soon had everyone laughing. She treasured her sibling trips with Peggy and Gene and regular family get-togethers at the Brownie House in Montreat, including participating in the annual July 4th parade. 

Katie made friends easily, forging an immediate heart connection with everyone she met and generously going out of her way to be sure everyone felt appreciated and included. She had an especially close bond with her beloved Bad Girls, with whom she shared many trips to the beach, mountains and elsewhere, and many happy times, fueled by good food, mediocre wine, and boisterous laughter. They will continue to hold her close, to play the word games she loved, and to heartily celebrate the love that binds them together with Katie forever. 

Katie was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 24, 1952, the youngest child of Ladye Margaret and Gene Early. From Katie’s early childhood, her mother called her by the treasured nickname ‘blithe spirit’ for her bubbly, irrepressible personality. She maintained that infectious exuberance and enthusiasm throughout her life. 

Katie always loved horses. She was an avid rider as a youth and seized every opportunity to be on horseback throughout her life, in places as diverse as Puerto Rico, New Zealand and Scotland.

From her earliest days, Katie was endlessly curious about the world and its people, and always up for adventure. She began exploring the world in earnest while attending Davidson College, where she majored in African Studies and Political Science. She was an exchange student in Ghana and later, with her first husband, Tim McLaurin, lived and worked in Tunisia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She recalled that these life-changing opportunities broadened her horizons immeasurably, giving her a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of humanity. 

Katie spent four decades in the nonprofit sector, both internationally and domestically. She led the global nonprofit Ipas at a critical time in its development, significantly advancing attention to the neglected, preventable tragedy of unsafe abortion. Katie was well known within her field for inspiring, out-of-the-box thinking focused on improving the lives of women and families. With her close friend and colleague Ann Hogan Leonard, she created a workplace culture at Ipas that was warm and caring, while focused on excellence, and that spawned deep, long-lasting friendships across the globe. In 2014, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina bestowed its highest honor on Katie with the Margaret Sanger Award for lifetime achievement in the reproductive health and rights movement.

Katie’s career also included helping entrepreneurs in North Carolina learn the basics of business start-up. She volunteered extensively in her community in support of public education and the wellbeing of critically ill patients and their families. While president of the SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals, she oversaw completion of a 40-room home away from home for families of patients receiving critical care at UNC hospitals. 

In recent years, Katie enthusiastically explored photography and other forms of visual expression. She took great pleasure in improving her skills and sharing her vision, including as an active member of the Chapel Hill Camera Club. Ever an entrepreneur herself, she created a line of notecards, prints, calendars, and fabric design featuring her images. To her last days, she had many plans for building her artistic practice, as a way to share beauty and joy with others. 

Katie was preceded in death by her parents, Ladye Margaret Craddock Early Arnold and Eugene Early, and her stepfather, Dr. Van M. Arnold. She is survived by her husband, Andy Little; daughter, Meghan McLaurin Rodriguez and spouse Daniel; son, Christopher McLaurin and spouse Deven Crock; stepson, Cully Little and spouse Zack Coles; sister, Peggy Williamson and spouse Jim; brother, Gene Early and spouse Benedicte; stepbrothers, Bill Arnold and spouse Margaret Anne Fohl and Van M. Arnold and spouse Ellen; grandchildren, Isabel and Olivia Rodriguez; and countless other relatives and friends.

Katie’s family is deeply grateful to the UNC Hospitals surgical, radiation, and medical oncology teams for their care over the last year, as well as the wonderful support at home provided by Arosa and Amedisys Hospice. Katie asked that those inspired to make a memorial gift consider donating to Ipas, PORCH Hillsborough, the Chapel Hill Camera Club, or a charity of their choice. Condolences may be offered online at  A special email address has also been created to collect memories, stories and photos of Katie.  Please send those to

Katie was loving and playful to the end. As her journey continues, her blithe spirit will always live in the hearts of those who love her. 

James “Jimmy” Hankinson ’74

James “Jimmy” Hankinson, of Tallahassee, Florida, departed this life on July 6, 2023, following a hard-fought battle against Glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer.

Jimmy is survived by his wife of 48 years, Allison Burns Hankinson; children, Clay (Jess) Hankinson, Marnie (Byron) Watson, and Jenny (Brad) Slocum; seven grandchildren, Avery, Perry, Cole, Turner, Henry, Charlie and Brooks; sisters, Mary (Russel) Dingman, Margaret Spontak, and sister-in-law, Gail Hankinson. Jimmy was predeceased by parents, John Henry and Shirley Hankinson; brother, Johnny Hankinson; and brother-in-law, Vincent Spontak.

Jimmy was born on July 8, 1952, in Ocala, Florida where he grew up spending summers fishing on Lake Tomahawk in the Ocala National Forest. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina, where he played center on the Davidson Wildcats football team. Following college graduation in 1974, Jimmy married his wife and partner for life, Allison. He taught School in North Carolina before moving to Tallahassee to attend FSU Law School. He graduated with honors in 1978 and remained an avid Seminole fan.

Following law school, Jimmy began his legal career as a prosecutor in Milton, Florida, and returned to Tallahassee in 1981 working for the 2nd Judicial Circuit. In 1991, Jimmy continued his prosecutorial career with the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida. Jimmy was awarded the Director’s award by the US Department of Justice, one of its highest recognitions. In 2002 Jimmy was appointed a circuit judge for the 2nd Judicial Circuit where he presided for the remainder of his legal career.

He loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting, and “working” on his farm, Sycamore. Jimmy implemented the Therapy Dog in the Courtroom Program, volunteered for the FSU Mock Trial competitions, and belonged to the Kiwanis Club. He was an active member and eucharistic minister for Good Shepherd Catholic Church. Despite his demanding career and many activities, he always put family first; coaching, attending countless games, and organizing the next family gathering.

A memorial service will be held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 4665 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, on Thursday, July 13th at 2 pm. A reception for family and friends will immediately follow the service at the Church Community Center. A family burial will be held at Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jimmy’s name to Brain Tumor Network ( or Glioblastoma Research Organization (

James Hula Hudson III ’71

James Hula Hudson, III, 74 of West Point, Virginia passed from this life to the next on Monday, July 3, 2023. Jim was born on February 20, 1949. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, James Hula Hudson, Jr. and Irma Anderson Hudson. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Godsey Hudson; son, Anderson James Hudson (Heather) of Quinton, Virginia; daughter, Kathleen Hudson Ohlhausen (Neil) of Falls Church, Virginia; and granddaughters, Audrey and Olivia Hudson and Hannah Ohlhausen.

Jim grew up in Halifax County, Virginia. He graduated from Davidson College in 1971 and later graduated from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond in 1976. Jim came to West Point to practice law on October 1, 1976.

Jim was a devoted public servant to the Town of West Point. Jim served as town attorney from 1984 to 1998 then served as a Town Council member from 1998 to 2006. Jim was first elected mayor in 2006, and served as such for 16 years. Recently, Jim was honored and humbled to be presented with House Joint Resolution No. 600 from the Virginia General Assembly, which recognized his time as a public servant to the Town of West Point.

Professionally, Jim enjoyed practicing law, and was proud of his thriving law practice. He was a member of the Virginia State Bar. Jim was on the Board of Directors for C&F Bank.

During his time in West Point, Jim was a faithful member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he served on the Vestry and as a lay reader, lector and chalice bearer. Jim had a steadfast faith in the Lord.

Jim was a loving son, husband, father, and grandfather. He valued his family, work, community, and faith above all. He was loved dearly, and will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Visitation will be on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 from 4 to 7 PM at Vincent Funeral Home in West Point, Virginia. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 at 11 AM at St. John’s Episcopal Church in West Point, Virginia. All who would like to remember and honor Jim’s life are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the West Point Rescue Squad, P.O. Box X, West Point, VA 23181.