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 https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/katieo.early.  A special email address has also been created to collect memories, stories and photos of Katie.  Please send those to ourblithespirit@gmail.com.

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 (https://www.braintumornetwork.org) or Glioblastoma Research Organization (https://www.gbmresearch.org).

John McDermott Monaghan, Jr. ’74

John McDermott Monaghan, Jr., 70, passed away November 12, 2022, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease. John was born May 14, 1952, in Fayetteville, N.C. to his loving parents Sara Weatherly Monaghan and John McDermott Monaghan, Sr. John dearly loved his hometown, where his father’s family lived for 150 years.

John was a proud graduate of Terry Sanford High School, Davidson College (Go Wildcats!), and earned a MPA from NCSU.

Beyond John’s academic and corporate successes, he was a loving husband to Cathy Constant Monaghan for 43 years. John was Dad to Katherine Monaghan Nisbet (husband Thomas), and Ann Clark Monaghan, and he was an outstanding “Daddy J” to Thomas Gluyas Nisbet IV (Ford) and John McDermott Nisbet (Mac), all of Raleigh.

John was a hands-on guy – a Mr. Fix It, and he was always there with his tools ready to work. He was a happy, dedicated family man, eager to lend a hand. His quiet, compassionate, witty persona helped John make and keep friends for a lifetime.

John’s professional career was long and varied with unique duties ranging from city government to downtown revitalization, and then the natural gas industry. He worked for the City of Fayetteville as Assistant City Manager, Downtown Revitalization Director, and as President of Fayetteville Progress. A career change took John to North Carolina Natural Gas, Carolina Power and Light, Progress Energy, and finally Piedmont Natural Gas, where he worked in governmental affairs until retirement.

He was passionate about figuring out how to make things in the world work better. This was true throughout his life − from restructuring how to best manage garbage pickup, to routing natural gas through a maze of pipelines from the Gulf of Mexico during a rare deep-south blizzard so that his beloved Tar Heel State’s residents could heat their homes and industries didn’t have to shut down.

John was a genuinely smart guy who loved a challenge. He was equally comfortable fishing with friends off the N.C. coast or on a drilling rig in the Gulf as he was giving a presentation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington D.C. Upon John’s early retirement from Piedmont Natural Gas, he was awarded membership in the Order of the Longleaf Pine, a high honor for North Carolinians.

Although he received numerous awards in his career, John was most proud to be called Dad and Daddy J. Daddy J enjoyed digging in the dirt and playing with trucks with his grand boys, paying homage to his own childhood passion. He was thrilled to spend time at the coast, in pursuit of his favorite seafood, or in the N.C. mountains with friends or family. From classical to New Orleans jazz to classic rock, John loved all music and never argued about the cost of concert tickets. He enjoyed travel, but anywhere in the Tar Heel State was always a top destination. John claimed to have played “the worst rounds of golf on the best courses” in the country. His dry wit and sense of humor got John through many sticky situations and endeared him to friends and coworkers alike.

Church was also an important element of John’s life. He was a spiritual man who loved sharing his faith. From leading youth group camping trips to his time serving the church vestry at St. Johns in Fayetteville, John was an ever-present source of strength and wisdom. When his career took him to Raleigh, the Monaghan’s found their home at Christ Church, where he again lent a hand whenever needed.

Our family wishes to thank the staff at The Cardinal at North Hills, for the love, patience, and daily care shown to John for the past 14 months of his residence there. They are truly angels without wings.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at Christ Church, 120 East Edenton St., Raleigh, on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 2 p.m., with a reception following in the parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to one of John’s favorite organizations in his memory: Christ Episcopal Church, 120 E. Edenton St., Raleigh, NC 27601 (https://ccral.org/give/memorial-honorarium/); Cumberland County Foundation, 308 Green St., Fayetteville, NC 28301 (https://www.cumberlandcf.org/give/give-now.html); St. John’s Episcopal Church, 302 Green St., Fayetteville, NC 28301 (https://www.stjohnsnc.org); or St. Saviour’s Center, 616 Tucker St., Raleigh, NC 27603 (https://www.saintsaviourcenter.org/donate/).

John Hines ’74

John Hines was born on November 28, 1952, at Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, and entered into eternal rest on September 21, 2022. John was pre-deceased by his parents, Samuel M. Hines and Rachel Carroll Hines. He is survived by his brother, Samuel M. Hines, Jr. and his sister-in-law, Laura H. Hines; his niece, Catherine Hines-McCormack and her husband, Albert McCormack; and his grand-nephew, Samuel A. McCormack.

John was raised at 3309 Alabama Avenue in Alexandria, VA, and although he moved to Charleston, SC, in 2007 following his father’s death, he remained involved with the lives of his dear friends on Alabama Avenue, all of whom fondly referred to him as the Mayor of Alabama Avenue.

He was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria for over fifty years. He attended George Mason Elementary and T.C. Williams High School, graduating there in 1970. He then went to Davidson College and received his AB degree in French in 1974. He returned to Alabama Avenue in 1974 and lived with his parents while he began his career. John worked for the National Academy of Sciences where he was the Supervisor of Documents for the Survey of Earned Doctorates. He was with the National Academy for twenty-three years before retiring.

John was loved by so many family members and friends. He was a gentle, gregarious, social, and deeply caring person who made friends instantly. He was known by his friends by the attention he gave to their lives by calling, emailing, and sending greeting cards on all occasions. He was Hallmark Cards best customer! John kept in touch with so many people and he also helped them connect with one another. He will forever be remembered by his family and friends for his sly wit, great sense of humor and unwavering loyalty. He was our family historian and was the font of all memories for us. We will forever miss his special phrases and questions he would always say to us when we visited or talked on the phone: “Start from the beginning. Tell me the news.”

Visitation will be held at the J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., West Ashley Chapel, 3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway, Charleston, SC 29414 on Monday, September 26 from 5-7 pm. Burial services will be in Wilmington, NC, at Oakdale Cemetery. There will be a Visitation at Andrews Mortuary, 1617 Market Street, Wilmington, NC, on Saturday, October 1, from 2-3 prior to his burial. Visit our guestbook at legacy.com/obituaries/charleston