Sebastien Douzal ’89

It with a heavy heart that I tell you that Sebastien passed away at the end of July, 2021. We celebrated his life on August 3rd in his home town of Sete, France. Our son says he is sure to see his Dad again one day. He will live on through Etienne forever. He was a proud and devoted DAD! This time last year, Sebastien was in the hospital for testing. He felt something wasn’t right. Little did he know that Pancreatic cancer had already got the best of him. He left NY at the beginning of October last year, never to return. But he was blessed to spend his remaining days in his Mother’s home and his family was very close to him at the end. Etienne and I traveled many times to France over these last 9 months and they were able to enjoy each other’s company for sometimes weeks at a time. Virtual learning turned out to be our blessing!!

Those interested in remembering Sebastien and contributing to Etienne’s college fund are invited to make a contribution at

Wayne Williams ’89

Wayne Allen Williams, 56, of Fayetteville, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020.

Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday, January 09, 2020 at 10am at Herring Funeral Care & Cremations Chapel.

He is survived by by brothers, Israel Williams, Jr. of Indianapolis, IN, Dr. Ronald Williams (Faye) of Wilson, Larry Williams (Theresa) of Fayetteville and Steven Williams of Boston, MA. Sister, Marilyn Williams of South Bend, IN.

A viewing will be held at the funeral home on Saturday morning from 9-10am.

Arrangements by Herring Funeral Care & Cremations

Rebecca Gilmer Benefield ’89

Rebecca Gilmer Benefield passed away on May 10, 2020 at the age of 53 after a short and courageous battle with cancer.

A graduate of Davidson College and the University of Georgia School of Law, Becca was a true example of the often over used description of Renaissance woman. Attorney, equestrian, home designer, gardener, chef, skier, world traveler and lover of the very finest literature ever created by humankind.

But far more important than all of those wonders was the extreme kindness and generosity she extended to friends and loved ones. If there was a need, Becca was there to help. She took the biblical admonition to love God and one’s neighbor very seriously and was never distracted from those elemental imperatives.

Becca’s family was her most highly prized possession. She loved and was adored by her husband Harold Benefield. She sacrificed a legal career to care for her son, Hardy Simpson. She was a solid rock for her widowed mother, Doreen Gilmer. She drove her brother, William Gilmer, to distraction but loved him deeply. Her step-children were her children, too: Lawson Benefield (Leslie) and Maggie Galbraith (Andrew). Her granddaughters, Vivian, Allison and Noelle brought her indescribable joy.

Her aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins were not merely extended family, they were as proximate as her own warm heart.

Becca Benefield was vastly adored and will be forever remembered with the greatest of joy.

A service honoring her life will be scheduled at a time when we can safely gather.

Alex Hayden ’89

Aaron Alexander Hayden (Alex), 50, of Seattle, was killed in a hit-and-run bicycle accident on Saturday, July 14, 2018. 

Alex was born and raised in Athens, Ga. He was a graduate of Davidson College, Davidson, N.C., and spent his junior year abroad in Wurzburg, Germany.

After two years teaching English with the JET program in Toyama, Japan, he settled in New York City and began his career as a photographer. After several years in New York, he and his wife Susan decided to make their home in Seattle.

Alex loved his job as a commercial photographer. His career took him all over the country for architectural and interiors photo shoots. He thrived on the creative challenges of photography and the opportunity to work with different collaborators on each project.

Alex enjoyed year-round bicycling, playing and watching soccer and exploring new music (while remaining loyal to The Clash). But most of all, Alex was devoted to his wife Susan and children, Charlie,16, and Clara,14.

In addition to his wife and children, Alex is survived by his mother, Elaine Lawson Kalber, Hickory, N.C.; his stepmother, Ellen Hayden, New York, N.Y.; sisters, Stephanie Hayden Belcher, Winston-Salem, N.C., and Jennifer Hayden Adolph, Virginia Beach, Va.; and multiple extended family members.

He was preceded in death by his father, Neil Steven (Buddy) Hayden.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 25, at 2 p.m. at University Congregational United Church of Christ, 4515 16th Avenue E., Seattle, Washington. A reception at the church will immediately follow the service. 

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Bikeworks ( or Cascade Bicycle Club ( in Alex’s name.

Published on from Aug. 7 to Aug. 8, 2018

Stanley Meriwether Armistead ’89

Stanley Meriwether Armistead ’89, of Johnson City, Tenn., died June 14 at his home after a long illness. Armistead was born on Jan. 3, 1963.

At the age of three he went to Costa Rica with his family, who were to serve in Latin America as Presbyterian missionaries. They then were in Mexico, in Chilpancingo and Ometepec, where he and his siblings were home schooled by his mother. He also attended schools in the U.S., Mexico City, and Quito, Ecuador.

He was active in sports, especially basketball and mountain climbing. Armistead attended King College, and then graduated from Davidson with an art studio major. He enjoyed painting in oils and did graphite drawings. He loved animals, especially dogs; his special friend was Cinnamon.

His interests were philosophy, reading, writing poetry and short stories, photography, and was a student of current issues.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, James N. and Charmie White and William C. and Ann Armistead.

He is survived by his parents, Robert and Estelle Armistead, 423 Lambeth Dr., Johnson City, TN 37601; brothers, Robert, James (Patti), and Daniel ’82 (Mary Elizabeth); sister, Audrey Valencourt (Keith); aunt, Mary Frances White; “Uncle” Fred and “Aunt” Margret White and Uncle William C. and Aunt Nancy Armistead; nephews, Issac, Lewis, and Robert; niece, Anna Marie ’13; and cousins, Ellis, Ellen, David, and Steve.