F. Mitchell Johnson Jr. ’73

Francis Mitchell Johnson, Jr., died peacefully at his home on October 8, 2023, after a sudden and brief illness with glioblastoma brain cancer. He was the loving husband to Felicia McIntyre Johnson and the son of the late Francis Mitchell Johnson and Margaret Silcox Johnson.

Born May 14, 1951, in Charleston, Mitchell was graduated from Porter-Gaud School in 1969, and then attended Davidson College where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics in 1973. As a result of his academic achievements at Davidson, he was awarded a Morehead Fellowship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned his Masters in Business Administration. He then went on to attend law school at the University of South Carolina, where he earned his Juris Doctorate and was admitted to The Order of the Wig and Robe. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society. He lived its motto, “Love of learning is the guide of life.” Mitchell had a successful 45-year legal career at Sinkler Gibbs & Simons, now known as Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., where he considered his colleagues his second family. His contributions serving as bond and underwriter’s counsel are well known nationally throughout the public finance community. He was a member of Charleston County Bar Association, South Carolina Bar Association, and National Association of Bond Lawyers. His decades of legal work on major financings for student-housing projects, universities, foundations, retirement communities, and health care facilities will continue to provide incredible benefits to young students, elderly residents, community members, and patients for many years to come.

Mitchell loved to tell stories of his childhood and time spent with his sister, Margaret, the Baker clan, and friends and cousins galore on Sullivan’s and Wadmalaw. He was a lover of sports which started early at East Bay Playground, where he formed lifelong friendships playing football and basketball, and honing his ping pong skills that led to two consecutive state championships as a young teenager. Anyone who knew Mitchell then, knew of his mischievous antics and competitive spirit, although he was always a gracious winner. Mitchell’s passion for sports continued throughout his life, and he loved the Colts, the Celtics and the Yankees. Consistently triumphant at any game involving trivia, he also loved a good debate, particularly about politics. His curious and meticulous nature made him knowledgeable on many varied subjects, including the proper use of English grammar, which he claimed was instilled in him by his maternal grandmother, known to his family as “Baba”. While possibly infuriating some, she would be proud. This rare combination of qualities combined with his quick wit made him an interesting and entertaining lunch companion. Mitchell loved his food, but mostly he loved the company it brought. He was known for his tireless and persistent efforts to keep his “lunch crew” active. Back in the day, he was a years-long regular at the old Pinckney Cafe; with his lunch pal, Marshall Huey, where you could find them sitting on the porch and enjoying an “M” sandwich on any weekday ending in “y”. It is also where he had his first date with the love of his life, Felicia, after many months of receiving what he jokingly referred to as “the velvet boot.” But Mitchell was persistent, and it paid off. He liked to say he wore her down. Even in his final days, he continued to profess his love and adoration for her to anyone and everyone who would listen. He claimed that she was his purpose. He continued to work full-time and was thankful for his long term partnerships with both Hugh Tanner of Raymond James and Robert Kim of Hanover Pacific, whose friendships he valued highly. He also loved to travel and take trips with his wife, when possible. Although he was a natural athlete and talented at many sports, he could have been a really great golfer had he devoted more time to it, but he only spent sporadic weekends on the course. Instead, he spent most weekends going on movie dates and attending live music concerts with Felicia, or making improvements to a document for a client. He was a talented and dedicated lawyer, a loving and protective brother and uncle, a devoted husband, and an equally devoted friend. He never gave up on you, even if you went months without saying yes to a lunch invitation. He was dearly loved by many. He could be counted on to provide wise counsel to those who sought it, in particular, the younger lawyers at his firm, and some graciously credit him for much of their success. That counsel will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

Along with his wife of 28 years, he is survived by his sister, Margaret Johnson Davis; two nieces, Margaret Davis (John) Barham and Helen Davis (John) Britton; and many extended family members. We would like to acknowledge the gracious support of all our friends and give special thanks to: Jeremy Cook; Carter and Rebecca Deupree; Charlton deSaussure, Jr.; Clay Grayson; Marshall Huey and Barbara Rivers; Gill Johnson; David and Elizabeth McDowell; Tamme Suggs; and David and Gail Yarborough, who rallied around us to lend their invaluable support in his final months.

We would also like to thank his care providers at Agape Hospice, with special thanks to Bill Glover and Brenda Campbell of Home Instead, who lovingly helped care for him in his final weeks.

Family and friends are invited to attend his funeral service on Friday, October 13, 2023, at Grace Church Cathedral, 98 Wentworth Street, at 2:00 p.m. A reception will follow the service in the church parish hall. A private interment will be at St. Philip’s Church at a later date. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to glioblastomafoundation.org or to the F. Mitchell Johnson Scholarship Fund, The College of Charleston Foundation, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29401. A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com.

Ralph Alexander Peeples ’73

Ralph Alexander Peeples passed away early in the morning of Friday May 12th. He was 71 years old. He had received a diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer in late 2021, and died as a result of complications.

Ralph was best known locally as a faculty member of the School of Law at Wake Forest University, as the president of council of Parkway United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, and as the legal advisor for the SHARE Cooperative, a local non-profit.

Ralph was born October 18, 1951 to Rita and Ralph Sr., in Charleston, S.C. He attended Blessed Sacrament Elementary School, Bishop England High School, Davidson College, and New York University Law School. Ralph was a National Merit Scholar, a Dana scholar at Davidson, and was a recipient of the prestigious Root-Tilden scholarship at NYU. At Davidson, Ralph was elected president of the Student Government Association, and was active in the anti-war movement.

Upon graduation from NYU he worked for the firm of Squire, Sanders, & Dempsey in Cleveland, Ohio. He joined the faculty of Wake Forest in 1979, and retired from teaching in 2018.

His career at Wake Forest was a distinguished one. He was the four-time winner of an Excellence in Teaching award, and served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the law school from 1995 to 2000. He established a reputation as one of a small group of scholars nationwide who used statistical and empirical tools to study and evaluate the outcomes of the legal system. Ralph was a leading advocate for simplifying and reducing the tremendous expense of legal proceedings for average citizens. To that end he was instrumental in establishing mediation practices in the state, a process which allowed numerous North Carolinians to avoid costly and lengthy court procedures.

His friends and students knew Ralph’s keen (and occasionally sardonic) sense of humor as well as his facility with an astonishing repertoire of Dad Jokes. His exam questions often featured plaintiffs and defendants with the unlikely names of Willie Nelson, Pete Townsend, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Bert and Ernie, a particularly litigious pair. (To his knowledge, none ever sued for defamation).

Ralph is survived by his wife, Faith Crosby, and four children. Kate resides in Normal, Illinois, Sam in Black Mountain, N.C., and Emma and Michael, both of Greensboro. He is also survived by five siblings – Michael, Stephen, Julie, Martha, and Scott – as well as seven nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm on Sunday, June 4, 2023, at Parkway United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, NC.

In lieu of flowers, we invite you to donate to one of these organizations using the search tool below, or directly at the following websites:

SHARE Cooperative of Winston Salem: https://www.share-ws.coop

The V Foundation: https://www.v.org

George A. Kaneklides ’73

George Alexander Kaneklides, age 71, of Cane Mill Road slipped into the arms of Jesus Christ on Monday, January 23, 2023 at his home. Mr. Kaneklides was born on November 21, 1951 in Rowan County to the late Constantino George and Linda Arab Kaneklides.

Mr. Kaneklides grew up in Salisbury, NC where he graduated class of 1969 from Boyden High School in Salisbury. Mr. Kaneklides graduated with his undergrad degree from Davidson College where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He went on to attain his law degree from Wake Forest University where he was a member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity where he served as Chief Justice.

Mr. Kaneklides was an attorney most of his life and served under two North Carolina governors, Governor James Holshouser and Governor James Martin. It was during his service under Governor Holshouser that he was awarded the honor of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. He authored the book “The Making of a Governor” about his time with Governor Holshouser. He was also the recipient of The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels Award.

Mr. Kaneklides was a member and past president of the Coats Lions Club. He was a long-time member of the Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Raleigh, NC. He was a loving husband, father, and friend. Surviving include his wife of 42 years, Ann Langdon Kaneklides; daughter, Mary Elizabeth Kaneklides; son, Alexander Langdon Kaneklides; and mother-in-law, Helen Barnes Langdon.

Arrangements: Funeral Services will be held-2:00 PM Friday, January 27, 2023 at Rose and Graham Funeral Home in Coats, NC. Officiating will be Rev. C.H. Lee. Burial will follow in Coats City Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Thursday, January 26, 2023 at Rose and Graham Funeral Home in Coats, NC and other times at the home. Flowers are welcomed; however, donations may be made in his memory to Davidson College at PO Box 7159 Davidson, NC 28035 or to Hampden-Sydney College at PO Box 127 Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943. The family appreciates your thoughts and prayers. 

George Crowell ’73

George Crowell was born in Lexington, NC, on Jan. 5, 1951, to Giles and Jean Crowell.

He graduated from Lexington Senior High School before attending Davidson College and Wake Forest School of Business.

As a life-long learner, George enjoyed astronomy, was a masterful home chef, and learned watchmaking and beekeeping later in life. He was a passionate wine-connoisseur and even owned a restaurant and wine shop.

Professionally, he worked as a CPA for Dimon, Inc., in Danville Va., where he frequently traveled the world and developed life-long global friendships.

George had an incredible sense of humor and was loved by everyone who ever met him, retaining friendships for life.

Most importantly, George was a loving father, grandfather, husband, brother and friend to so many.

He is survived by his wife, Gretchen, his children, Cory (Shannon) Crowell, of Apex, NC, Channing (Marta) Crowell, of New York City, and Madalyn (Christopher) Brown, of Greensboro; and grandchildren, Delos, Payton, Collin and Jude Crowell, and Pierce Annabelle Brown.

He is also survived by brother Frank (Pat) Crowell, of Lewisville; and sister Kathy (Greg) Oliver, of Lexington. He is loved by many nieces, nephews, in-laws and cousins.

He will be deeply missed by many.

Appreciation to his many caregivers and Hospice.

A memorial service was held on Sunday, Jan. 15, at Hanes Lineberry Funeral Home, with Reverend Jeff Johnsen officiating.

Donations may be made to the St. Jude (stjude.org) or Lung Cancer Initiative (https://lungcancerinitiative.org/).

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.haneslineberryfhnorthelm.com for the Crowell family.

William H. “Bill” Humbert ’73

William H. (“Bill”) Humbert grew up in Covington, Virginia, but became a North Carolinian in college and for the remainder of his life. Bill graduated from Davidson College in 1973 and UNC School of Law in 1976. In 1977, Bill and his college and law school classmate, Charlie Davis, moved to Mebane and lived there the rest of his life. He was a founding partner of Davis Humbert Law in Mebane and practiced laws there from April 04, 1977 until his retirement on March 31, 2020. He served on the Board of Directors of First Savings & Loan Association of Mebane. Bill loved his golden retrievers and to travel.

Bill is survived by his two brothers, Cal Humbert and Frank Humbert. While he had a number of friends he treasured sharing time with during his life, he was especially close to Charlie Davis, his best friend, and to Steve Anders and Darrin Kenyon, who were like brothers to him.

A funeral service will be conducted at the Rich & Thompson Chapel in Graham on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. with the family receiving friends following the service.