James “Jim” Bowsher ’80

Dr. James (“Jim”) E. Bowsher, PhD, 64, of Durham, NC, passed away suddenly and peacefully on December 3, 2022 in Kunshan, China. Jim grew up in Augusta, GA and graduated from Evans High School in 1976. He completed his under graduate degree at Davidson College and obtained his doctorate degree in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His extensive career with Duke Medical University spanned more than thirty years with a focus in medical physics, research and academia.

At the time of his passing, Jim was an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Medical Physics program at Duke Kunshan University located in Kunshan, Jiangsu, China. He was one of the longest serving faculty members and was highly respected by his students from across the world, his colleagues, friends, and family. Jim was extremely instrumental in the development and success of the graduate program and because of his deep commitment to the program, his students and the teaching profession, he received honors at Duke Kunshan University and beyond, including the university’s Teaching of Excellence award and the Foreign Scholar Award from the Jiangsu Provincial Government.

Outside of work, Jim enjoyed a love of music, playing guitar, spending time with friends and family, hiking and supporting environmental conservation. He was incredibly kind with a great sense of humor, optimistic view of life and zeal for helping others. He will be dearly missed.

Jim is survived by his loving father and stepmother, Dr. H. Fred Bowsher, Jr. (Linda), two adoring sisters, Jennifer Baden (Joe), Janet B. Howser (Onley), six nieces and nephews, and his partner, Linda Anderson. He was preceded in death by his beloved mother, Dr. Juanita Bowsher.

In celebration of Jim’s life, a memorial service will be held in Augusta, GA at Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Road on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 3:00pm. Visitation with the family will take place one hour preceding and one hour following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy.

Gary Allen Sims Jr. ’82

Gary Allen Sims Jr., 62, of Salisbury, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center.

Born Sept. 17, 1960, in Cabarrus County, he was the son of Ada Fink Sims and the late Gary Allen Sims Sr. Gary graduated from Concord High School’s Class of 1978, where he played football and baseball and from Davidson College’s Class of 1982. He played football at Davidson and was proud to be a Wildcat. He began his career as a teacher at Concord Middle School and serving a few other schools. He later worked for the NCDMV as a driver education specialist and retired as supervisor.

Following his retirement, he worked in the TMU Unit at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and was an on-campus transportation driver at UNC Charlotte.

Gary loved his family, watching his nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews play sports. He loved watching sports on TV and playing golf. Gary also loved going to the beach with Lisa for special getaways. He was an Eagle Scout and taught himself to play the bass guitar and serve on the Praise Band at Salem Lutheran Church.

Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 39 years, Lisa Vanderford Sims; mother, Ada Fink Sims; sister, Donna Sims; cousin, Jeff Bowling; mother-in-law, JoAnn V. Alessandrini; two sisters-in-law, Judy (Kenny) Jones and Linda (Brian) Corcoran; nieces and nephews, Natalie Morgan, Wesley (Meredith) Jones, Anna (Zeb) Winslow; Brianna Corocran and Erin Corcoran, and Chrissy (Marshall) Braden, Katie (Vince) Ewell; and 10 great-nieces and -nephews.

The family will receive friends Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., at He’s Alive Church, 1310 N Cannon Blvd. in Kannapolis. The celebration of life service will begin at 11 a.m., in the church sanctuary, with Pastor Bill Coleman and Pastor Doug Hardin officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741 or the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231.

Scot W. Myers ’85

Scot W. Myers (Dec 4, 1962 – Nov 14, 2022) passed away in Oviedo, Florida after a long battle with kidney disease.

He was an English major at Davidson College who grew up in Trenton, NJ. He graduated in 1986 but he always considered the class of ’85 his cohort. He frequently wrote for The Davidsonian and the college literary journal Hobart Park. He also did extensive work with the Theater department. He was widely recognized in school for his writing and his favorite author was Edgar Allan Poe.

He did all of his writing on a Kaypro II computer with only two floppy drives and a dot-matrix printer. He taught himself computer programming and used a 300 baud modem to connect to the Delphi dial-up network long before the Internet was born.

After Davidson, he went on to have a successful career as a writer for TV and film and now he has left behind innumerable friends whose lives he enriched with his generosity and his humanity. 

Jerry W. May ’85

Jerry W. May, 59, loving husband and father passed away July 26, 2022.

Jerry was born on April 24, 1963 in Sandersville, Georgia. Jerry and Jan moved to Lakeland in 1993 where they made a home and raised their children, Olivia and Walker. For 20 years Jerry was a dedicated coach and teacher at George Jenkins High School. He loved coaching the George Jenkins Softball and Football teams throughout those years. Working with kids was his passion.

Jerry enjoyed his many Lakeland friends who became family. Weekly, Jerry could be found sharing his knowledge with his trivia team “Wayne’s World.” Jerry loved golfing and especially cheering on his Georgia Bulldogs, who after 41 years of waiting let him celebrate another National Championship. Jerry loved his two church families, Grace City Church and First United Methodist Church. Jerry loved working with Young Life Ministry, seeing young people come to know Jesus. Jerry was passionate about mentoring young boys and guiding them to become men. His impact on the lives of the youth runs deep and wide.

Jerry graduated from Davidson College where he played football and was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He loved his family and friends deeply and fiercely. He took immense pride in taking care of, providing for, and protecting those he loved most.

Jerry is loved by his wife Jan, children Olivia and Walker, his mother Shirley May, sister Cindy Corbett (Steve), and brothers Tommy (Tammy) and Neil (Penny), nieces and nephews. His father Willard May preceded him in death.

The service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 72 Lake Morton Drive, at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 29th. For those unable to attend, the service can be viewed on line at the following link: https://livestream.com/fumclakeland/events/10565391

Matthew David Auker ’80

Matthew David Auker, of Altamonte Springs, FL, passed away unexpectedly on July 14, 2022, at the age of 64. He was born on April 8, 1958, in Flint, Michigan, and was adopted by William and Delores Auker at 5 months old. He was raised in Lynden, MI and was a thoughtful and loving son who was always loved in the community. Together with his younger sister, Amy, and his parents, the family made a move to South Florida in 1972. He graduated from Atlantic High School in 1976 and was voted “Most Outstanding” by his peers. He received a football scholarship to Davidson College where he played 4 years and graduated with a degree in Economics in 1980. Following graduation, Matt began a career at Porter Paints in South Florida. In 1983, he met Nina Lamanno and the two wed in 1985. Matt and Nina raised a daughter, Amanda (Mandy), and a son, Tyler, who both still reside in Florida.

In 1998, Matt was relocated with the family up to Louisville, Kentucky. After a few years in Louisville, Matt decided to make the move back to Orlando and bought a Comfort Keepers franchise together with Nina. Comfort Keepers is a senior in-home care company that Matt had owned and operated very successfully since 2001.

Following his wife Nina’s passing in 2013, Matt was fortunate enough to have both of his children live with him for an extended period of time after their graduations from college before meeting Allison (Allie) Forst. Matt and Allie wed in 2016 and had been happily married since. Tyler and Mandy as well as Allison’s two children, Madeline (Maddie) and Ian, and all of their spouses were one large melting pot who loved celebrating the holidays and big life events at their Altamonte Springs home.

His faith was extremely important to him, and he always gave his time and talent to St. Mary Magdalen Church and School. Matt was recently elected as the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus which was a great honor to him. He was always loyal to his Alma mater, Davidson University and was an avid sports fan supporting Mandy & Tyler’s schools, UCF and UF, as well as attending Bishop Moore sporting events every chance he got.

Matt was a good man and with a kind soul. He had a passion for reading, woodworking, and traveling. He was the most thoughtful, loving, and likable person around. Matt was well known for his friendliness and never hesitated to let people know that he loved them. People gravitated towards him and always bellied up to his bar where he had a passion for making Dirty Martinis and 7&7’s. Matt’s professional and personal networks intertwined because regardless of how you knew him, you couldn’t help but consider him a friend. He was a loving son, husband, father, uncle, brother-in-law and friend. His truest passion was hanging out with his family and friends.

Matt was a natural caregiver as he showed to all of us by the love and devotion he gave to his late wife Nina and his children Mandy and Tyler. He was so very proud of Mandy’s & Tyler’s strength, courage and accomplishments. Being a grandpa also came naturally to Matt. He had three beautiful grandchildren: Bennett James, Evelyn Nina, and Brooks Shayne that he adored and loved with all of his heart & soul. He never hesitated to comfort a fussy baby or get on the floor and army crawl with them. He was a kid at heart and his children adored him along with all the other children of his close friends.

The connection that brought Matt and Allie together was divine in nature and their large, blended family was a gift to each of them. Combined, their four children, Mandy, Tyler, Maddie and Ian held Matt in the highest esteem and loved him with all their hearts.

He always gave you a smile and had something nice to say to make your day! It was often said that Matt never met a stranger. He will be missed deeply for his big heart, his laugh, his empathy & compassion, his faith and his loyalty.

Matt’s Visitation will be held at DeGusipe Funeral Home & Crematory, 9001 N. Orlando Ave,
Maitland, FL. 32751 on July 28, 2022, from 6-8pm. Matt’s Celebration of Life Mass will take
place at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 861 Maitland Ave, Altamonte Springs, FL. 32701 on July 29, 2022 at 10am.