L. Carrington Thompson ’79

Landon Carrington Thompson, 61, of Suffolk, VA, passed away on January 16, 2019.  A committed member of his community as well as a devoted husband and father and true Southern gentleman, Carrington will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Carrington was born on September 3, 1957 in Gastonia, NC, son of James Landon Thompson and Hazel Eleanor Amick Thompson.

He is survived by his wife of over 20 years, Suzanne E. Gillespie-Thompson; daughter, Hayden Elizabeth Thompson; in-laws Ernest Gillespie of Carrollton; Catherine Gillespie and Andre Hakes of Charlottesville and Cara and Craig Bennett of Charleston, SC; two nephews, Mason Hakes and Emerson Bennett and many more family and friends.

As evidenced by his tremendous record, CD and book collections, Carrington’s greatest loves, outside of his family, were music and reading.  Should a question about music arise in conversation, his encyclopedic knowledge was faster and more entertaining than any Google search.  Hard working, good hearted, with a touch of mischievousness and humor for good measure, Carrington was an integral member of every community of which he chose to be a part.

Trained and certified as a lay speaker at Benn’s United Methodist Church in Smithfield, VA, Carrington most recently served as treasurer for their United Methodist Men and adult Sunday school class teacher.

It was at his own graduation party from William and Mary’s MBA program that Carrington met Suzanne for the first time.  There, they began their long journey towards courtship, marriage, parenthood and partnership in life.  He would want it officially recorded that he was, “blessed to be alive and married to Suzanne for eight thousand-three-hundred and seven days!”  They married on April 20, 1996 by the water of Jones Creek on Suzanne’s family farm in Carrollton, VA. 

After a short time in Richmond, VA, they lived briefly in Greenville, SC, then moved on to Charlotte, NC where they lived and worked for many years before returning to Virginia to raise their daughter and be closer to family.

A graduate of Oak Ridge Military Academy in NC, Carrington went on to earn his BA from Davidson College as a student in their ROTC program before completing masters-level coursework in communications at the University of Tennessee.  After faithfully serving our country for four years in the US Army, he pursued a career in radio where he held several director positions at radio stations from North Carolina to West Virginia.   

With a gift for analyzing data and noting trends, Carrington eventually found himself in the world of market research.  While working full time for a market research firm in Williamsburg, VA, he earned an MBA in Strategic Market Analysis and Planning at William and Mary’s Mason School Business. 

After conducting strategic planning for several national homebuilders, Carrington built his own firm, Pinpoint Market Research in NC before returning to Virginia and applying that experience towards a dream of owning his own radio station held since his experience as a DJ in both high school and college. 

President of Hayden Hamilton Media Strategies, Carrington personally managed Bright Radio 105-7 WMXH-FM/1330 WRAA-AM in Luray, VA, which required him to commute during the week several hours away from home and family.  Building connections and community away from home, Carrington joined Luray’s Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club, and quickly joined a small cadre of friends with whom he would walk every morning, getting exercise and exchanging news from around town.  It didn’t take long for Carrington to be known in Luray for his great wit, intelligence and genuine kindness.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 20, 2019 2 p.m. in Benn’s United Methodist Church, Smithfield, VA   The family will receive friends on Saturday from 6 to 7 p.m. at Little’s Funeral Home, Smithfield, VA.  Memorial donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity. Online condolences may be registered at www.littlesfuneralhome.com

Thomas O. Ruby ’79

Thomas Ruby '79Thomas O. Ruby, 60, of Gahanna, Ohio, died Saturday, October 21, 2017 at home from pancreatic cancer. Tom was born in 1957 in Mount Vernon, Ohio to C. Orland Ruby and Corinne Blackburn Ruby.

Tom grew up in Centerburg, New London and Alliance, Ohio, where his dad and mother served United Methodist churches as minister and director of Christian education, respectively. Tom graduated from Alliance High School (1975), Davidson College (1979) and Harvard Law School (1982).

In 1989, he married the love of his life, Mary Jo Geyer. Tom spent his entire professional career at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, first as an associate and then, since 1989, as a partner. His practice concentrated on commercial finance, including loan transactions (representing lenders and corporate borrowers), commercial contracts, other areas of the Uniform Commercial Code, and aircraft acquisitions, sales and financings.

Tom also had significant involvement in the firm’s opinion letter practice and the training of younger lawyers. He was a member of the Columbus, Ohio State, American, and Lawyer-Pilot Bar Associations. In addition to his professional associations, Tom was a member of Broad Street Presbyterian Church and the Athletic Club of Columbus.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents and his parents-in-law, Paul and Marjorie Geyer.

In addition to Mary Jo, he is survived by nieces, Tania Barnett and Christie Stouffer, nephew, Joshua Stouffer, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jim and Elaine Geyer, sister-in-law, Linda Stouffer, many cousins, including, on Mary Jo’s side, Larry and Melanie Ross, Cori Ross and Lauren Ross James, and his Vorys family.

Visitation will be Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Palmer Hall, Broad Street Presbyterian Church, 760 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio. A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25, at Broad Street Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to make a donation in Tom’s memory may do so to Broad Street Presbyterian Church, Davidson College, Class of 1979 Scholarship, PO Box 7170, Davidson, NC 28035-7170 or to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90166-3721.

Tom and Mary Jo would like to thank The James Cancer Center for their compassionate and comprehensive care. Services entrusted to Schoedinger Northeast Chapel. Visit www.schoedinger.com to share memories or extend condolences.

Copyright 2017 The Columbus Dispatch, All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Gregory “Greg” Hankins ’79

Stephen Gregory "Greg" Hankins '79Stephen Gregory “Greg” Hankins, 59, of Mount Gilead, N.C. died Sunday, July 24, 2016.

A service of Remembrance and Celebration will be held on Saturday, August 27, 2016, at 2 p.m., at The Friendly Chapel Church, 1656 Smith Ridge Road, Jewell Ridge, Va. All family and friends are invited to attend for scripture readings and music.

Mr. Hankins died from complications from Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) at his home.

He was a native of Richlands and Jewell Ridge, Va. and was the Valedictorian of the Class of 1975 at Richlands High School. Mr. Hankins attended Davidson College, Davidson, N.C. and graduated Cum Laude in 1979, with BA honors in Religion. He earned a Masters in Divinity degree at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. in 1982.

Mr. Hankins had worked as a consultant for Butterfield Communications in Belmont, Mass. under David Butterfield. In 1986, he and his family moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico and he worked with his father and brother in a start up newspaper venture.

The family moved to Omaha, Nebr. in 1987, where he worked for Pappas Telecasting as the Marketing Director and in Sales Support at Channel 42 KPTM television.

Starting in 1988, Mr. Hankins worked for WTVF Channel 5 Television station in Nashville, Tenn. as the Marketing Director under General Manager, Tom Erwin and eventually for Lemuel E. Lewis of Landmark Communications Inc. He served in this position for seven years.

In 1995, he and his family moved to Mount Gilead, N.C. to pursue his dream career in the newspaper business, in the beginning working with his father and brother for two years at the Montgomery Herald, Troy, N.C. and eventually becoming the editor and publisher of The Seven Lakes Times of Seven Lakes, N.C. He did this for over twenty years with his wife, Marcella (Marcy) Hankins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Guy Hankins; maternal grandparents, Avery and Narcie Smith; and paternal grandparents, Sutherland and Georgia Hankins.

Mr. Hankins is survived by his wife, Marcella Hankins; daughters, Jennifer (Jeni) A. Hankins of Nashville, Tenn., and Sarah E. Hankins of Greensboro, N.C.; his mother, Ann Smith Hankins Shreve of Jewell Ridge, Va.; brother, Thomas G. Hankins, and his wife, Crystal of Candor, N.C.; half-sister, Stephanie Grayson Pierce, and her husband, Joshua of Mooresville, N.C.; his nieces and nephews; and his faithful cat, Olivia.

Copyright 2016, Washington County News, Abingdon, VA

Mary Jo Graybeal Albert ’79

Mary Jo Albert, 59, of Raleigh passed away on Friday, May 13, 2016 at her residence surrounded by her family. Mary Jo was born to Dr. Dawes and Libby Graybeal on December 1, 1956. She was raised in Eagle Springs, NC.

Mary Jo was a 1979 graduate of Davidson College in Davidson, NC, where she majored in music. She taught preschool for 18 years at First School – First Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, NC. Mary Jo was also the organist and choir director at Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, NC for 13 years. As an active member of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Garner, NC, she served on the Social Concerns and Worship & Music committees. Mary Jo dedicated her life to serving the Lord through her local church and loving her family. She will be greatly missed.

Mary Jo is survived by her loving husband of 37 years Harry Lewis Albert Jr.; parents Dr. Dawes and Libby Graybeal; children Melanie Albert Davis (Brian), Matthew Nielsen Albert (Jessica), Andrew Lewis Albert (Katie); grandchildren Caleb and Micah Davis, Nathan and Lincoln Albert, Drew and Grant Albert; brother David Graybeal (Mary); sister Elizabeth Ladd (Kevin); mother-in-law Martha Albert; sister-in-law Robin Welch (Kenny); nephews Patrick Welch, Tyler Welch (Haylie). She was preceded in death by her father-in-law Harry Lewis Albert and her nephew Brandon Forrest Welch.

The service will be held at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 2100 Buffaloe Road, Garner, NC 27529 on Friday, May 20, 2016 at 11:00 am. Visitation will follow in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 2100 Buffaloe Road, Garner, NC 27529