Bruce Nofsinger ’89

Roger “Bruce” Nofsinger, Jr. died peacefully at daybreak on Sunday, June 4, 2023, with his wife of 26 years, Julie, and their son Duncan by his side. He was 56.

The son of Winnie Duncan Nofsinger and Roger Nofsinger, Bruce was born in Lexington, Kentucky and grew up in Maitland, Florida. His summer experiences as a camper and a counselor at Eagle’s Nest Camp, in the North Carolina mountains, were fundamental to the extraordinary man Bruce became – instilling in him a love of the outdoors, friendships that broke boundaries and an endless enthusiasm to share his love of life and learning with others. Bruce was a creative, a giver, a teacher, and a leader. He was camp counselor to his core!

Recruited to play soccer at Davidson College, Bruce’s innate athleticism was supercharged by his instinct as a team player. He played left back, but could be relied upon to adapt and apply his skills where they were needed most, even in the locker room where he was self-appointed team DJ. Bruce’s selfless versatility was a recurring theme in his professional and personal life.

On and off the pitch, Bruce maintained lifelong friendships from Winter Park High School to Davidson and beyond. New pursuits strengthened his zeal for others–– with time, no matter where he was, he only got closer to childhood neighbors, fellow Eagle’s Nest-ers, soccer teammates, or college roommates, one of whom would introduce him to Julie, the love of his life. Together, Bruce and Julie built a life full of friendship, music, massive full-body hugs and community service. Bruce took great pleasure in his work at Topics Education, a consulting firm he founded that began as a youth news magazine and developed into a company that helped clients inject education and learning into their corporate identities. In addition to this work, Bruce’s wide array of community service projects included serving on the Charlotte Advisory Board of the NC Outward Bound School, Theater Charlotte, North Carolina Council on Economic Education, and of course, assisting Julie in her creation of the thriving Dilworth Community Garden. If there was something Bruce could do to help, he took it on and gave it his all.

True to his nature, Bruce lived fearlessly once diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and for more than 2 years he shared his experience, self-reflections, and inspiring perspective with family, friends, and even complete strangers on his Caring Bridge site. Music was his therapy. Sharing music and experiencing music with others (live or through one of his signature playlists) was his love. Bruce used one of these playlists to document and share his cancer journey, adding a song for each day, where the title of the song tells his story in that moment. Until the day he died, Bruce continued to find new, creative ways to inspire those around him, whether that be propelling small businesses in Charlotte, or turning friends on to his favorite añejo tequila.

Bruce loved, and he was loved. Along with countless dear friends, Bruce is survived by his wife, Julie, his son Duncan, his parents Winnie, and Roger Nofsinger (Leigh) and brothers Kevin (Heather) and Stuart (Sara).

The family would like to thank Bruce’s life-extending care team, especially Dr. Kunal Kadakia at Levine Cancer Institute, for his endless kindness and dedication, and Dr. Chris Crane at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The memorial service for Bruce is on Saturday, June 17, at 2:00 pm in the Lilly Family Gallery inside the Chambers Building on the Davidson College campus. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the NC Outward Bound School in memory of Bruce at

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