A. Wells Black ’94

Archibald Wells Black, Jr. “Wells” passed away peacefully on May 10, 2022, after a long and courageous battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Wells Black (Archie and Carol) also of Greenville and the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. B. T. Gault of Greer and Mr. and Mrs. Hoke B. Black of Greenville.

Wells grew up in Greenville where he spent summers participating in SAIL, Greenville’s summer swim league, and where he played Pelham Road Mustang football each fall, continuing through his years at Eastside High School and Christ School in Arden, NC. While at Christ School, he was a Prefect, a captain of the football team, and selected to the All-Western NC Football Team. He participated in other sports such as basketball and track, and he graduated Christ School as salutatorian. Wells went on to his beloved Davidson College, where he played football his freshman year until an injury ended his playing career. Davidson always held a special place in his heart and it was the place where he began what would become lifelong friendships.

He taught History and Spanish and coached at a private school in St. Petersburg, Florida before going on to receive his law degree from the USC School of Law. He practiced law in Greenville from 1998 until his declining health forced him to retire in 2015.

In his spare time, Wells enjoyed boating and chasing fish on the lake, in saltwater creeks, or out in the open ocean. He loved music (especially Foo Fighters, Metallica, and Van Halen), playing guitar, and writing music.

In addition to his parents, Wells is survived by his fiancée and Davidson classmate, Alex Faulk, his children whom he loved dearly, Archibald Wells Black III and Cely Anne Black, both of Greenville, his sister, Catherine Black Koysza (David), and nieces, Caroline and Sadie Koysza, of Mt. Pleasant, SC.

He is also survived by an aunt, Sharon Gault Benston (Gerry), his uncle, Hoke B. Black, Jr., and cousins, Bill Benston (Janna), Beth Benston Elmore (Gay), and Laura Benston Brockman (Steve) and their children.

Wells’ faithful yellow lab, Curry, named for Davidson alum, Steph Curry, was with him during the courageous last years of his life.

His family wishes to thank all his caregivers, especially Wahid Dennis, and those who prayed for him.

Donations may be made in his memory, earmarked for research, to the South Carolina ALS Association, 130 Gardners Circle, PMB 622, Johns Island, South Carolina 29455.

A memorial service will be held on Monday May 16,2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church Sanctuary with visitation to follow until 4:00 p.m. in the Parlor.

Family and friends who are unable to attend the service can view the Live Stream by visiting www.buncombestreetumc.org.

Thomas Ross “Tom” Tolbert ’90

Thomas Ross Tolbert, M.D., 54, of Franklin, North Carolina, died peacefully on December 31, 2021, after a five year struggle with melanoma.

Tom was born on October 3, 1967, in Atlanta, Georgia to Julian Hudson Tolbert and Helen Ross Tolbert. He attended Sarah Smith Elementary School and Sutton Middle School. He entered The Westminster Schools in ninth grade where he excelled academically and finished as a National Merit Scholar. He also participated in various extra-curricular activities including the varsity soccer team, musicals, and the Westminster Chorale. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1985. After graduating from Westminster in 1986, he went on to study at Davidson College where he majored in math as well as completing the pre-med requirements, helped reinstate the Kappa Sigma chapter on campus, sang in the Davidson Chorale, and was a North Carolina Fellow. He graduated Cum Laude in 1990 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

After spending a gap year delivering for Domino’s and working at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta, Tom attended the Medical College of Georgia graduating with honors in 1994. He did his internal medicine residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, serving for an additional year as Chief Medical Resident.

In 1999, he began working as a primary care physician at the Lexington, Kentucky VA Medical Center. While there, he trained medical students and residents as well as serving in various capacities with informatics programming.

In February 2014, he began working at the Franklin, North Carolina Community Based Outpatient Clinic of the Charles George VA in Asheville where he remained a physician until his passing.

On December 27, 1993, he married Laurie Frances Crawford at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. They were blessed with five children born between 1997 and 2009. Dedicated to his family, Tom worked with his wife Laurie to homeschool their children.

Tom loved activities with his family including singing, gardening, cooking, volunteering with course decoration for both the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and the World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park, raising livestock, building small construction projects, and hiking. He also had a lifelong love of road trips, first with his college friends and later with his family.

Tom grew up at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta where he was active in the choir and youth group and participated in a number of mission trips. He and Laurie were members of Second Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and for years Tom led family worship in the home. In 2015, he and the family began worshiping at Mountain Grove Baptist Church in Franklin, North Carolina where he led Bible studies and participated in worship.

Tom is preceded in death by his father and is survived by his mother, Helen Ross Tolbert, of Atlanta his wife of 28 years, Laurie Crawford Tolbert, and their children Griffin Ross Tolbert, Thomas Jackson Tolbert, Rachel Hilsman Tolbert, Benjamin Llewellyn Tolbert, and Bonnie Frances Tolbert, all of Franklin, North Carolina. He is also survived his brother Julian Hudson Tolbert (Jolene) of York, Pennsylvania, his aunt Susan Ross Sawyer of Atlanta, his cousins Cindy Sawyer Mollard (Roland) and Cathy Sawyer Rice (Scott), his mother-in-law Mabel Griffin Kichline, and numerous nieces and nephews.

There will be a private family graveside service at Arlington Memorial Park on Friday, January 7, 2022, followed by a memorial service at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta, at three o’clock. Masks will be required and social distancing is encouraged. There will also be a Celebration of Live scheduled for a later date in Franklin, NC.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Mountain Grove Baptist Church, P. O. Box 1772, Franklin, NC 28744; Water Mission, watermission.org; YMEN, ymenchicago.com; or Answers in Genesis, answersingenesis.org.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve Dr. Tolbert’s family.

Paul Mebane Pritchett ’92

Paul Mebane Pritchett died unexpectedly on September 9, 2021.

Paul was the son of Mebane Moore Pritchett and Elizabeth Bost Pritchett. He graduated from Davidson College and enjoyed a career in debt financing with Wachovia Bank (later Wells Fargo). He was a member of the Piedmont Driving Club and enjoyed playing golf with his friends.

Paul is survived by his mother, Betsy Pritchett, who is incapacitated with dementia.

A private interment at All Saint’s Episcopal Church will be held at a later date.

Peter Victor Sulkowski ’95

Peter Victor Sulkowski, 48, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on August 1, 2021. Peter was a beloved father, son, and uncle. Peter attended True Grace Church and was grateful for their outreach program. His loss leaves an immeasurable void in the hearts of his family and friends.

Peter grew up in Kingsport, TN. He attended St. Paul’s Preparatory School in Concord, NH, Davidson College, East Tennessee State University, and Oglethorpe University where he graduated with a B.S. in Psychology. He enlisted in the Army Reserves while in college and participated in an ROTC program. He was first stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC with the 82nd Airborne Division.

He was deployed to South Korea for 3 years, did a tour in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom and was stationed in Kuwait for a year planning the drawdown in Iraq. Peter returned stateside to work at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, GA for several years and finally settled in Lacey, WA where he worked at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He rose to the rank of Major.

He was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and Parachutist Badge. He left military service in 2014, and he has since been a student and a devoted father.

Peter was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, Sidney and Nelle Scarborough; his paternal grandparents, Alfred and Ingeborg Sulkowski; and his uncle, Hubertus Sulkowski.

Peter is survived by his son, Kyle Lazatin-Sulkowski, who was his everything and the light of his life, and Kyle’s coparents, Anna Lazatin, and husband, Travis Ahlquist, Tacoma, WA; his mother, Lynn Scarborough, Johnson City, TN; his father, Viktor Sulkowski and wife, Linda Sulkowski, Jonesborough, TN; his sister, Elizabeth Wright and husband, William Wright, Kingsport, TN; his nephew, Samuel Wright and his niece, Lily Wright; his Aunt, Diane Lawrence and husband, Tom Lawrence, Ballwin, MO; and many cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be donated to Disabled American Veterans or the Fisher House Foundation.

A family service will be held at a later date.

Mary Bernhardt Busko ’91

Mary Bernhardt Busko '91

Mary Bernhardt Busko passed away July 24th due to complications from a stroke.  She was 52 years old.

Mary was born in Lenoir, North Carolina to Alex and Anne Bernhardt.  She was raised by her loving parents in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with her brother Alex and sister Lillian, along with the warm nurturing of close family friend, Gladys Ferguson, and their extended family.  Mary’s childhood was centered around family and church, and it was punctuated by many family camping trips and the sounds of bluegrass music.

Her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit were evident at an early age when she ran the “Neighborhood News”, a local newsletter which informed neighbors of all the good gossip along with some recipe ideas; Mary also cofounded The Three Little Caterers which delivered homemade meals to neighbors.  Her love of the outdoors continued to blossom, and as a teenager, Mary completed Outward Bound and National Outdoor Leadership School expeditions.

Mary graduated from Davidson College with a degree in Art History.  A talented writer, painter and illustrator, Mary was a self-described bookworm and loved Davidson and its academic rigor.  At Davidson, Mary’s ability to connect with people became obvious, and she developed many deep and life-long friendships with fellow students and professors alike.

Always eager to spend time outdoors, after college Mary spent a number of impressionable months working at R Lazy S Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – a place where decades later Mary would proudly revisit with her family.  Mary worked in Charlotte, North Carolina in media sales for five years before pursuing her MBA at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.  While earning her degree, Mary met her classmate, and future husband, Eric.

A more perfect match has never been made. During their wedding ceremony the minister, rather than announce the couple as Mary and Eric Busko, mistakenly announced them as Meric Busko, and that nickname appropriately stuck.  Together Meric shared many passions including travel, music, the outdoors, hiking, reading, the Pittsburgh Steelers and their Faith.  Undoubtedly, their biggest shared joy was raising, and taking pride in, their two daughters.

They lived in Atlanta, where Mary worked for the Coca-Cola Company as a Marketing Manager for 10 years.  Mary’s creativity and ability to genuinely connect with people helped her excel at her job.

Mary left her job to raise her two wonderful daughters, Mae and Harper, who inherited many of Mary’s tremendous qualities.  They were also given the gift of Mary’s beautifully blue eyes.  Mary raised her girls with her typical gusto and put everything she had into helping shape them into the lovely young ladies they have become.

Mary also selflessly volunteered her time and talents: she worked at Meals on Wheels Atlanta, held multiple volunteer roles at Holy Innocents Episcopal School, and worked with Purposeful Pecans.  Mary was an Elder at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta and was extremely involved in many aspects of the life of the church including teaching children’s Sunday School with her husband for years, leading a Stewardship Campaign, working in several areas of the church’s community ministries and pastoral care programs, teaching Vacation Bible School, and actively participating in Adult Sunday School.

Mary will be remembered for being loving, smart, charismatic, funny, interesting, interested, creative, kind and gracious.   She was well known for sending notably thoughtful and witty handwritten thank you notes. Mary enjoyed hostessing with a flair for creativity and humor.  Mary had deep love for family and friends, and for making the world a better place.  She was a giver and focused on doing for others rather than herself.  In her short 52 years on earth, Mary touched and enhanced many, many people.  If you knew Mary Busko, you loved Mary Busko.

Mary was a beautiful person inside and out.  She was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.  Mary will be profoundly missed.

Mary is survived by her parents, George Alexander Bernhardt, Sr. and Anne Harper Bernhardt, her husband of 22 years, Eric Kendall Busko, her daughters, Mae McPherson Busko and Harper Layne Busko, her brother, George Alexander Bernhardt, Jr. (Tavia) and children Annabella Jean Bernhardt, Elizabeth Banks Bernhardt and George Alexander Bernhardt III, her sister Lillian Bernhardt Sutcliffe (Nick) and children Corinna Bernhardt Sutcliffe and Charles Nicholas Sutcliffe, her mother-in-law, Marjorie Smith Busko, her sister-in-law Lisa Busko Johnson (Mike), and her brother-in-law William Devin Busko II (Morgan) and children Elsa Smith Busko and Sophie Anderson Busko.  Mary is predeceased by her father-in-law William Devin Busko.

A funeral service will be held on July 29th at 4PM at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta.  A reception will follow at the family’s home at 435 Cochran Drive, NW, Atlanta.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Mary Bernhardt Busko to: Meals on Wheels Atlanta, 1705 Commerce Drive NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30318; First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, Community Ministries programs, 1328 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 303039; or The Happy Valley Fiddler’s Convention’s Mary Bernhardt Busko Fund, PO Box 186, Patterson, North Carolina 28661.