Elizabeth “Lib” Averill Harkey – BOV

Elizabeth "Lib" Averill Harkey - BOVElizabeth Averill Harkey (“Lib”) passed away on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Lib was born in Raleigh on September 21, 1919 as the only child of Louise Currie Averill and Frederick Leland Averill. She was a graduate of Peace College and Duke University.

She attended the University of North Carolina School of Social Work at Chapel Hill. Peace College awarded her an Honorary Alumni Award in 1973, the William Peace Medallion in 2007 and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities in 2011.

Lib endowed a scholarship at Peace College. In 2014, the University of North Carolina School of Social Work recognized her for a Lifetime of Outstanding Social Work, Practice and Achievement.

While attending UNC, she met Henry Lee Harkey, a Davidson College graduate and a UNC Law School student who was a commissioned officer in the US Army. They married on December 13, 1941, just six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Henry Lee had orders to report for active duty immediately following their wedding. During the reception, Lib convinced her new husband’s commanding officer to allow them a brief honeymoon. Lib could be most persuasive.

Lib was predeceased by her son, Frederick Henry Harkey, on February 9, 1944, and her husband, Henry Lee Harkey on January 6, 1989. Lib is survived by her son Henry A. Harkey and his wife Catherine Harkey, her son Averill C. Harkey and his wife Johanna Harkey, her grandson, Jon H. Harkey, his wife Jill Harkey and their daughter, Brooke Elizabeth Harkey, her grandson, Chris H. Harkey and granddaughter, Lauren A. Harkey.

She is also survived by many wonderful friends who carry on Lib’s legacy of fulfilling her faithful commitment to the giving and providing of service to others.

Lib moved to Charlotte in 1947. She was employed as a Case Work Supervisor with the Department of Social Services and in the same year served as the Co-Chair of the Charlotte-based White House Conference Committee for Child Welfare.

She has served as the State Director of the NC Junior Women’s Clubs, a Cub Scout Den Mother, President of the Eastover Elementary PTA, President of the Mecklenburg County Legal Auxiliary, President of the Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte, Chairman of the Board of Sharon Towers and a Board of Directors member of Habitat for Humanity and the Presbyterian Samaritan Counseling Center. Lib and longtime friend Sarah Bryant were the co-founding members of Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte.

Lib began serving on the Board for Florence Crittenton Services in 1953. She served two terms as the Board President and remained on the Board of Advisors until her death. She received Florence Crittenton Services’ Lucille P. Giles Award in 1998.

She served several terms on the Board of Directors of the YWCA of Central Carolinas and as President of the YWCA from 1977-1979. She was honored with the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award in 2006.

She served on the Board of Visitors of Davidson College and the Church Relation Council of Warren Wilson College, where an honorary scholarship has been endowed in her honor.

Lib and Henry joined Myers Park Presbyterian Church in 1947. She served her beloved church as President of the Women of the Church, Superintendent of the Primary Department, co-founder of the Peacemaking Council and as Co-Chair of the Linking God’s Children Campaign with the late Bill Lee. Lib and her dear friend Danny Verner were the first women elected as Ruling Elders.

Lib served the Mecklenburg (now Charlotte) Presbytery on the Haiti Development Commission, the New Church Development Committee and the Nominating Committee. She has served the National PCUSA and its predecessor on the Board of Women’s Work, The Synod of NC, the Task Force on World Hunger, the General Assembly Mission Board and the General Executive Board.

Lib loved her grandchildren Jon, Chris and Lauren. They affectionately called her “HiMommy.” Lib provided them with an enviable model of how to live with an open mind and love with an open heart. She adored her “daughters” Johanna and Catherine and would do everything she could to share her special love with her great granddaughter, Brooke.

Lib never met a stranger. It made no difference if you were a bank president, a young pregnant woman in need of a home or a Haitian refugee. She respected everyone and never saw differences, only commonalities. Lib believed that all people have gifts that could be shared. It was her gift to be able to nurture those relationships, just like she tended to her roses, which allowed her to lovingly share them with others.

Lib recently stated, “in today’s world I see the value of relationships diminishing and that really concerns me, we take so much for granted – including each other, and that is one of the worst things we can do. Each one of us is responsible for nurturing our relationships with our neighbors, our families and friends. The opportunity to serve humanity has led me to a better understanding of the value and purpose of life…”

Her family would like to express its sincere appreciation for the loving care provided by the staff of Sharon Towers, and also to Lin Watkins for the loving companionship provided in Lib’s later years.

A service to “Celebrate the Life of Lib Harkey” will be held at Myers Park Presbyterian Church on Friday, June 9, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. with the Rev. Dr. Joseph J. Clifford officiating. A reception “for the nurturing of relationships” will be held immediately following the service in Oxford Hall. Interment will be private.

The family would like to ask anyone wishing to share a gift or memorial to do so with the Myers Park Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund or the charity of your choice .

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Services, 1321 Berkeley Ave Charlotte NC 28204. Online condolences at www.kennethpoeservices.com Phone: 704 641-7606


Published in Charlotte Observer on June 7, 2017

Betty Wolfe Boyd – BOV Member

Betty Wolfe Boyd - BOV MemberMrs. Elizabeth (“Betty”) Wolfe Boyd, 89, of Charlotte, N.C., died Wednesday, March 30, 2017, at the Stewart Health Center at the Cypress of Charlotte.

A native of Charlotte, Betty graduated from Old Central High School in 1945 and received her undergraduate degree in education from Salem College in 1950.

Betty married her childhood sweetheart, Dr. Basil Manly Boyd, Jr., on August 8, 1950, and spent the next 45 years supporting him in his career as a well-known orthopedic surgeon in Charlotte.

While Basil was in medical school and completing his residency and training, Betty taught second grade. After returning to Charlotte where Basil began his career, Betty raised five children while serving as a tireless volunteer in her community.

She was staunchly devoted to her church, Covenant Presbyterian, where she served in numerous roles, including President of the Women of the Church, Circle leader, and Elder Emeritus. She also placed a high value on education and served on the Board of Visitors for Salem College and Davidson College and on the Board for Charlotte Country Day School.

In addition to countless other volunteer jobs, she also served as the President of the Charlotte Women’s Medical Auxiliary and the PTA at Charlotte Latin School. Betty also loved spending time with her family at their home in DeBordieu Colony, South Carolina.

Betty is survived by her children and their spouses: Brandon Boyd, Hunter and Johnny Murphy, Blythe and Andy Hughes, Gingie and Kurt Peterson, and Manly and Kim Boyd; her grandchildren: Matt and Jenny Chapman, Elizabeth and Brett Owen, Will and Meredith Chapman, Virginia and Mark Stormer, Chris and Celeste Chapman, Hope Peterson, Sarah Hughes, Alie Peterson, Jared Hughes, Annie B. Boyd, Basil Peterson and Basil Boyd; and her great-grandchildren: Trey, Cooper, Ellie Rose, Ashby Lee, Cullen, Callan, and Emmie. She is also survived by her brother, Harry Flynn Wolfe, Jr., and her sister-in-law Mrs. Corrine Boyd Hunter of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

The family would like to extend a special thank-you to Teresa Anderson, Betty’s companion, care-taker and partner-in-crime, as well as the rest of the caring staff at the Stewart Health Center.

Betty is reunited with her husband, best friend and soul-mate, Dr. Basil Manly Boyd, Jr., who has been patiently waiting for her for 22 years and two days. He is ready with a cold rum and tonic in hand and a window with a view of their children, grand-children and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Monday, April 3, 2017, at Myers Park Presbyterian Church at 11:00 am, following a private interment. The family will receive friends in Oxford Hall following the memorial service.

Memorials may be made in Betty’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association or to Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service is assisting the family of Mrs. Boyd.

Published in Charlotte Observer on Apr. 1, 2017.

Martha Daniel Newell

Martha Daniel NewellMartha Daniel Newell, died peacefully on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1921, she had celebrated her 95th birthday on August 26 with family and friends. She enjoyed excellent health for all of her life and was active and involved with others until the end.

Martha was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Zack Fort Daniel; and the sister of Zack F. Daniel Jr. She was a graduate of Georgia College and State University, where in her senior year she was president of the student body and a member of “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.” She was named by “Look” Magazine as one of the most beautiful college girls of 1942.

She was the widow of Samuel W. Newell, a much beloved Presbyterian minister first in Davidson, N.C. and then, in Richmond. Martha and Sam’s marriage was a true partnership and they shared many interests: music, books, sailing and travel. They were never happier than when they were at Drum Point, their river place on the Corrotoman River.

She is survived by three daughters and “the three best sons-in-law in Richmond”: Pattie and Mason Williams M.D., Scottie and Tom Slater, and Meg and John Gottwald; nine grandchildren, Carrington Williams III, Taylor Williams, Mary Mason Williams Foukal, Molly Brent Revere, Mason Brent, Sam Gottwald, James Gottwald, Chase Gottwald and Addie Gottwald; and 11 great-grandchildren, Maddie Williams, Grace Williams, Faye Williams, Eloise Revere, Teddy Revere, Mary McKee Williams, Kate Williams, Sam Williams, Jack Brent, Carrington Foukal and Elisabeth Gottwald.

Martha considered herself “just a piano player,” and not a musician. She had the rare talent of playing by ear any melody she heard, and she spent a lifetime filling her home with music and giving enjoyment to a host of people at fashion shows, receptions and holiday events.

Dismissed by her piano teacher when she was seven years old, she believed even at that age that she could make her music sound better than original compositions of the great composers (and she could!). Two of her grandsons, Mason Brent and Carrington Williams, made recordings of her personalized and improvised music, which are still enjoyed by her family and friends.

She was a prolific letter writer, penned with her beautiful and distinctive handwriting. She stayed in touch with friends through her newsy and entertaining letters. Martha was a member of Second Presbyterian Church, The Tuckahoe Woman’s Club and The Country Club of Virginia.

The highlight of her last few years was designing and sewing many beautiful outfits for her great-granddaughters’ American Girl dolls. She had two exhibitions at Cedarfield showcasing these couture creations. The Richmond Times-Dispatch did a feature article on this interesting hobby in 2015.

She often talked of what a blessed life she had lived and quoted from the Book of Proverbs: “my lines have fallen in pleasant places.”

She had a beautiful smile and a radiant, positive attitude, sharing joy, encouraging her family, and expressing appreciation wherever she went and making her world a better place for everyone.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 24, at 11 a.m., at River Road Presbyterian Church. A graveside service will follow at a later date at Christ Church in Irvington, where she will join her beloved husband.

Memorial contributions may be made to Second Presbyterian Church, 5 North 5th St., Richmond, Virginia 23219 or to Union Presbyterian Seminary, 3407 Brook Rd., Richmond, Virginia 23227.


Claudia Watkins Belk

Claudia Watkins Belk

Claudia Erwin Watkins Belk, retired district court judge and wife of the late Charlotte Mayor and business leader John M. Belk, died February 8, 2017 at Sharon Towers in Charlotte.

Claudia was a loving and devoted daughter, wife, aunt, mother and grandmother with a strong and caring spirit who made a positive difference in her family and community through her many extraordinary endeavors and achievements. She enjoyed life to the fullest and brought much happiness to her family and wide circle of friends.

Claudia was born on July 10, 1937 in Durham, NC, daughter of the late Claudia Powe Watkins and Warren Byers Watkins, who was a tobacco wholesaler. Following graduation from Durham High School, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from Hollins College (now Hollins University) in Roanoke, VA, and was one of only two women to receive her Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1963.

Claudia moved to Charlotte immediately after law school and became a trailblazer for women in the legal profession. She established her own private law practice and served for three years as assistant clerk of Mecklenburg County Superior Court before her election in 1968 to a four-year term as district court judge for the 26th Judicial District.

Claudia’s life was changed forever when she met John Belk in 1968 at a reception hosted by the Democratic Women in Charlotte, just before John began his first campaign to become Mayor of Charlotte. The two fell in love (John often referred to her as his “Sweet ole girl”) and the two “hizzoners” were married February 20, 1971 at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church in Durham, NC. The headline of a tongue-in-cheek local newspaper article read, “John Belk Gets Life Sentence” with a summons from his wife-to-be “committing him to the institution of matrimony for the rest of his natural life.”

In the years ahead, Claudia and John became one of Charlotte’s most respected and influential couples, and Claudia was dedicated to supporting John in his role as Mayor and as top executive of the Belk department store organization, which he led for more than 50 years and which became the nation’s largest privately owned department store companies, and one of the most successful of its type.

Claudia was also dedicated to her home and family, nurturing their daughter Mary Claudia “MC” Belk Pilon through her formative years, and enjoying hobbies that included needlepoint, cooking and growing roses. She was also committed to making her community a better place.

Claudia served on the board of directors of the John M. Belk Endowment, the Novant Health Foundation Presbyterian Medical Center, the NC Zoo Society, The Belk Foundation and on the boards of trustees of Hollins University, Queens University and Charlotte Country Day School.

In 2007, Hollins University established the Claudia Watkins Belk International Scholars Endowment in her honor and through her efforts the John M. Belk Educational Endowment made a major donation to the school’s “Campaign for Women Who Are Going Places” fundraising campaign. In 2014, the John M. Belk family gave a gift to Novant Health Foundation Presbyterian Medical Center to support the construction of the John M. and Claudia W. Belk Heart and Vascular Institute.

Claudia also provided support and leadership to numerous other charitable and community organizations, including the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation, the Alexander Children’s Center, the North Carolina Nature Conservancy, the Duke Mansion, the Arts and Writing Foundation, United Family Services and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

In 2000, Central Piedmont Community College dedicated its public safety division building in Huntersville as the “Claudia Watkins Belk Center for Justice.” Early in her law career, she was honored as one of Charlotte’s Outstanding Career Women in the field of law and government and as one of the nation’s Outstanding Young Career Women.

She is survived by a daughter, Mary Claudia “MC” Belk Pilon, and her husband Jeffrey Neal Pilon; three grandchildren, James Montgomery Pilon, John Michael Pilon and Katherine Belk Pilon; sisters-in-law, Mary Helen Watkins, Sarah Belk Gambrell and Katherine Belk Cook; brother-in-law, Irwin Belk; Watkins nieces and nephews, Mary Elfreth Watkins, Susan Watkins and F.H. Ahlborn, Suzy and Warren Watkins, III and Palmer Shelburne Watkins; and Belk nieces and nephews, Katie and Walker Morris, Sarah and Tim Belk, Nina and McKay Belk, Kim and Johnny Belk, Sally Belk Gambrell, Donna and Tommy Belk, Cecelia and Paul Belk, Connie Belk, Pam and Jay Belk, Mary Belk and John Melton, Margaret and Paul Tierney, Georgia and Bill Belk, Irene and Dean Miltimore, Marilyn and Edward Wallis, Beth and Carl Belk, and Diane and Henry Belk.

Claudia was predeceased by her husband, John M. Belk; her parents; and two brothers, Warren Byers Watkins, Jr. and Edward Powe Watkins.

Claudia was a devoted member and elder at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, 2501 Oxford Place in Charlotte, where a funeral service and celebration of her life will be held Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 10 a.m. The family will greet friends following in Oxford Hall. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the HopeWay Foundation, 1717 Sharon Road West, Charlotte, NC 28210. The funeral arrangements are being handled by Harry & Bryant.

Published in Charlotte Observer from Feb. 9 to Feb. 11, 2017




Carl William Knobloch, Jr.

Carl William Knobloch, Jr.Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. of Wilson, Wyoming and Atlanta, Georgia died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on November 22nd.

Born April 16, 1930 to Lily Louise Smith and Carl William Knobloch, Sr., he grew up on a farm in Stamford, Connecticut where he learned the value of hard work and to adore the great outdoors.

Carl graduated from the Hill School, Yale College and the Harvard Business School where he was a George Fisher Baker Scholar. At Yale, he captained the fencing team, was the Intercollegiate Sabre Champion and an All-American.

From fencing, he learned “extreme focus, control and precision. These skills make for both a meaningful athletic career and a productive life.” He was always grateful for his Coach “Papa” Grasson.

He was devoted to business, the great outdoors and his family. Carl loved adventure and was guided by an entrepreneurial spirit. He initiated his first business ventures on the farm.

After graduating from Harvard Business School, he started Central Africa’s first drive-in movie theater and Rhodesia Chemical Corporation in present-day Zimbabwe.

Carl sold those businesses and returned to New York where he worked as an investment banker with Lehman Brothers and then Kidder Peabody. He had the greatest admiration for his boss, the late Albert Gordon, Chairman of Kidder Peabody.

In 1957, Carl met and married Emily Champion, his beloved partner in life. Initially, these two Connecticut Yankees settled in New York City.

In 1961, Carl went to run a bankrupt company building small rural homes in the South that he and his friends had invested in based out of Jacksonville, Florida. He had found his calling in work, investing and turning around businesses.

He then led companies in finance, real estate and oilfield services and production including US Finance, GAMI and Production Operators and was Chairman of Automated Logic and Rhodes Furniture.

In all these businesses, he always believed that employees should be equity owners so all prospered together. He was a Director of numerous companies including General Instrument Corporation.

Carl loved the outdoors, initially on the farm, then hunting and fishing as a child in New England and as an adult all over the world. He learned taxidermy, preserving butterflies and birds, mentored by a friend who worked at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. His love of fly-fishing led him to start tying his own flies, many of which were sold to Abercrombie & Fitch.

His family thought he would someday become a curator of a natural history museum. Hard work in the yard most weekends was a favorite way to be outdoors later in life as well as taking his three girls on outdoor adventures.

He has given back in so many ways including as Director and Treasurer of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, Shepherd Spinal Center, Georgia Girl Scouts Council and the National Council of Better Business Bureaus; Chairman of the Republican Party of Georgia, Reagan’s election committee in Georgia, and Director of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole.

He was grateful for all that God had given him and he formed a foundation dedicated solely to preserving land and wild spaces for animals and to valuing our natural resources.

At the American Museum of Natural History, where he spent many happy hours as a boy, Theodore Roosevelt’s words inspired him and summarized well his mission with the Knobloch Family Foundation, “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets, which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired, in value.”

He is survived by his devoted wife of 59 years Emily, dear barking Knobby, brother Bill Knobloch (Audrey) and sister Sylvia Brown, his three daughters Carla Knobloch, Emily Knobloch (Robert Berlin) and Eleanor Knobloch Ratchford (Tom) and his two devoted grandsons Joseph Thomas Ratchford III and James William Ratchford.

He is also survived by Stevens Sharkey, a nephew who was a son to him, as well as eight nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, if you wish, please give to a charity of your choice.

A memorial service and celebration of Carl’s life will be held on Monday, November 28th at 11am at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. A private burial at Putnam Cemetery in Greenwich, Connecticut will be held at a later date.