Randall Rich Kincaid Jr.

Randall Rich Kincaid, Jr, of Davidson, NC, died on his 83rd birthday, Saturday, March 11, 2023, of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Mac Kincaid, who was steadfast by his side through the difficult progression of the disease; his sons, John and Ted, who loved him dearly; his sisters Sarah Kincaid Smith and Rosemary Kincaid Padrick; and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Kay Fletcher Kincaid, who died in 2007, and his parents, Dr. Randall Rich Kincaid and Sallie Ange Kincaid, of Quincy, Florida.

Randall was deeply loved by his grandchildren—Ellie, Ava, Henry, Halle, and Julia – and he was very proud of them. While they were young, he devoted endless amounts of time to all of them, once commenting that he had to spend as much time as possible with his “grands” before they got too old to want to be with their grandaddy. That time never came: he was present and important in their lives to the end, and they sought out and enjoyed his company and friendship even in his final days. He will be missed fiercely and never forgotten by all of the children lucky enough to have felt his love.

Randall was born and reared in Quincy, Florida. After graduating first in his class from Quincy High School, he attended Wofford College, coming home to marry Kay in Quincy in 1962. Kay brought joy to Randy’s life as he pursued his PhD in economics at Duke University, then as they moved to Davidson in 1967 where they stayed for the rest of their lives. They raised two sons—John, now an attorney in Durham, married to Mary Mulhern Kincaid, and Ted, a surgeon in Winston-Salem, married to Shiva Jarrahi Kincaid. After Kay’s death from ovarian cancer, Randall married Mary Mac Owens Hall, formerly of Quincy, and they enjoyed retirement together, living in Davidson with friends new and old. Upon his marriage to Mary Mac, Randall was thrilled to find himself with five new grandchildren —Tyler, Anna, Ellie (Ellie number 2), Owen, and Evan—children of Mary Mac’s children, Laura and Cody. He was blessed to have them in his life, and he loved them all.

Randall’s ranging interests led some to label him a renaissance man, but despite his many talents, his heart was always in government. He taught economics at Davidson College and Queens University and was instrumental in the launch of the Queens Executive MBA program. He also worked for Kay at Farm House Gardeners, the plant nursery they founded in Statesville with their friends, Bob and Jane Avinger. He worked for two years for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington. For eighteen years, he was an elected commissioner of the Town of Davidson. From 1997 until his retirement in 2007, he was mayor of the Town, spearheading initiatives on affordable housing and smart growth. Randall maintained that being mayor was his most important work; his reward was spending his life in a beautiful town and strong community.

The same love of people that led him to local government made him a familiar face all across town. One of the founders of the local Habitat for Humanity, he oversaw the construction of sixteen homes, working closely with his best friend, Ken Wood. He enjoyed the theatre and participated both on-stage and back-stage in several Davidson Community Players productions. He sang in the choir and chaired the property committee at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. He loved playing the piano and singing, an ode to his parents, and he cherished his years playing the tuba in the North Mecklenburg Moravian band.

On his retirement as Mayor, the Town and College showered him with recognition, but his most treasured honor came when his governmental colleagues named the town greenway, “The Randall R. Kincaid Trail.”

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Davidson College Presbyterian Church or the Davidson Lands Conservancy.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11:00AM on Friday, March 31, at Davidson College Presbyterian Church.

John H. Williamson

Dr. John Hybert Williamson, 84, of Davidson, NC passed away on February 22, 2023. John (Hybert to hometown friends and family) was born in Clarkton, NC, on April 28, 1938 to Mary Elizabeth Ballentine and Robert Bennett Williamson. He attended Clarkton Elementary and High Schools, graduating in 1956. He married Marcia Ann Van Dusen from Lockport, NY on May 11, 1963, who preceded him in death after 46 years of marriage in 2009. After Marcia’s death, John moved to The Pines at Davidson, where he lived surrounded by a large circle of friends.

John pursued a rich and honored career in genetics. He attended the North Carolina State College (now NC State University) in the Talent for Service scholarship program. He graduated with honors in 1960 and subsequently earned degrees from Cornell University (M.S. 1963) and the University of Georgia (Ph.D. 1966). After a post-doctoral fellowship at University of California at Riverside, he became a professor in the Biology Department at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada from 1969-1981, where he taught biology, conducted research in genetics, and served as Head of the Department. The opportunity to return home to North Carolina arose and John became the Chair of the Biology Department at Davidson College in 1981 and was the Herman Brown Professor until his retirement in 2000. His hard work and dedication resulted in over 100 publications. He made the world a better place by challenging thousands of students to think critically, see the world of biology with passion, and gain a sound education through hard work and perseverance.

John enjoyed gardening, genealogy, playing bridge (becoming a Life Master), travelling, reading, canning jams and preserves, music and above all, family. He was admired and inspired by all who knew him. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his siblings Shirley Williamson Wooten, Charles Bennett Williamson and Phillip Henderson Williamson. John is survived by his sisters-in-law Jan Williamson Leppanen and Binky Aikman, children Dhelia (Glen Satten), Robert (Kelly) and Dean Williamson and grandchildren Jessica (Mitch Colston), Gentry, Sadie, Victoria and Iva, as well as many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his life will be held March 25, 2023 at Erwin Lodge, 1345 Grey Road Davidson, NC from 1-5 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the John and Marcia Williamson Endowment at Central Carolina Community Foundation at 1105 Kelly Drive, Sanford, NC 27330 (https://www.cccc.edu/foundation/give-now in memory of John Williamson).

James Funeral Home, of Huntersville, is serving the family and obituary lovingly written by the family.

Edward Leo Palmer

Dr. Edward Leo Palmer, 84, of Davidson NC, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 16, 2022 at the Inpatient Hospice House in Greenville, NC. Ed was born in Hagerstown, Maryland on August 11, 1938 to Ralph Leon Palmer and Eva Irene Brandenburg Palmer. He was preceded in death by his sister, Dorotha, and his brother, William.

Ed graduated from Hagerstown High School, then attending Gettysburg College and later Ohio University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology. Ed joined the Psychology department at Davidson College in 1970, serving as a professor for 41 years and as department chair for 16 years. Ed’s research focused on the influence of televisual media on children. As department chair, he facilitated the construction of the Watson Life Sciences building and he instilled an enduring culture of collegiality and excellence. Ed retired in 2011 as the Wayne M. and Carolyn A. Watson Professor of Psychology and Chair Emeritus.

Ed touched countless lives throughout his 84 years. He was a gifted writer, often gracing others with his poetic and musical talents. He enjoyed recording his compositions and lending his vocal talents to local choral groups, including The Four Coursemen at Davidson College and the choir at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Mooresville. As a nature lover, Ed was an avid birdwatcher and hiker. He is survived by his son Ed, and grandchildren Boomer (15) and Shay (11) of Savannah, GA; his daughter Jennifer (Mark) Bowler, and grandsons Mason (14), Mitchell (12), and Marshall (9) of Greenville, NC; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service to honor Ed’s life will be held at Davidson College Presbyterian Church on February 25th at 1:30 p.m. with a reception to follow at the Congregation House. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Oakwood School (https://www.theoakwoodschool.org), where three of his grandchildren attend, or to the American Bird Conservancy (https://abcbirds.org). Please see more at https://www.wintervillefuneralcare.com/obituaries/Dr.-Edward-Leo-Palmer?obId=27177138#/celebrationWall

Lynn M. Poland

December 13, 1949 ~ July 11, 2022

Lynn Margaret Poland, age 72, of Hamden, died peacefully at home of complications from a stroke, on July 11, 2022. Formerly of Huntersville, NC, Lynn was predeceased by her parents, Clark and Harriet Poland, and her beloved partner, Greg Preston.

Lynn graduated from New Canaan High School, Bates College in Lewiston, ME and earned her PhD. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Dr. Poland taught Religious Studies at various institutions of higher education including Indiana University, NC State, University of Chicago Divinity School, her alma mater Bates College, and ultimately at Davidson College in North Carolina, from which she retired in 2018 after 28 years.

Lynn loved life on her farm in Huntersville, her own little Eden. She believed every girl should have a tractor! She loved her horses, the things she grew, and the people who worked on the farm with her. Lynn opened her heart and home to many rescue greyhounds. Always an artist, in her retirement Lynn discovered her passion and talent for pottery making.

Lynn is survived by her beloved sister and brother, Nancy Samela (Joseph) and George Poland (Lisa), and her cherished nieces and nephews, Joseph and Christina Samela, Katharine, Elizabeth, and John Poland. She also leaves behind many dear cousins and a legacy of lifelong friends and colleagues. All loved and will miss Lynn dearly.

A private service will be held at the family summer cottage on Lake Quaboag in East Brookfield, MA. Donations in Lynn’s memory may be made to Greyhound Friends in Hopkinton, MA (www.greyhound.org).

Robert David Kaylor

Robert David Kaylor, retired Davidson College professor, Presbyterian Minister, and resident of Highland Farms in Black Mountain, NC died surrounded by his family on April 20, 2022.

Born on October 1, 1933 in New Market, Alabama to Reverend Lemuel Jefferson and Johnnie Hanson Kaylor, he grew up the youngest of eleven children. Faith, family, and community anchored his youth, inspiring a lifetime of scholarship, ministry and social action.

Kaylor dedicated himself to teaching religion, becoming the James Sprunt Professor of Religion at Davidson College where he taught for 35 years. He earned an A.B. from Southwestern at Memphis and a Bachelor of Divinity from Louisville Seminary, then served as a pastor in Montevallo, Alabama. He joined the faculty of Davidson College after completing a Ph.D. at Duke University in1964.

A fearless and vocal activist, Kaylor worked to right the economic and political wrongs of society. As a young pastor in Alabama David allied himself with the Civil Rights Movement, beginning a lifetime of social engagement. From anti-Vietnam War protests to nuclear arms opposition, to human right activism he pursued peace and justice worldwide. He encouraged others to speak truth to power, championing the rights of minorities and women. Locally, David co-founded Davidson’s Habitat for Humanity chapter. As he put it to his family, revolution is often destructive; he preferred to build a better world one home at a time.

As a teacher and scholar, Kaylor inspired students to engage the world. He moved beyond standard interpretations of scripture, responding to Jesus’s and the Apostle Paul’s calls to challenge injustice and advocate for the poor. He stressed the crucial role that faith plays in motivating political and social change. He viewed Jesus as a provocateur of justice, a balm to the downtrodden and questioner of worldly powers. His books focused on Christ’s hopeful message of a better world grounded in loving community.

Kaylor led his personal life focused on family, friends and home. Never one to sit still, he took joy in sports and physical labor. He completed his family’s home, raised a vegetable garden, played lots of tennis, and crafted wooden furniture and vessels. David played games, made ridiculous puns and to his last breath, had twinkle in his eye.

Kaylor was preceded in death in 2018 by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy Marion (née Henning) Kaylor. The two are survived by their five children and eight grandchildren: Marilyn Kaylor (Steve Hale) , of Black Mountain, NC; Cathryn Harbor (David) of Lexington, VA, and their children Erin, Kaia, and Thomas; David William Kaylor (Jennifer), of Asheville, NC, and their sons Asa and Hanson; Charles Kaylor (Laura Johnson) of Garrett Park, MD and their children Haven Kaylor and Erin Hurst; and Marion Owen (Judd) of Decatur, GA, and their children, Dorothy and Issac.

A memorial service for David Kaylor will take place on Saturday, August 20, 1 p.m. at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, David requested that donations be made to Asheville Habitat for Humanity.

Penland Family Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the Kaylor family with arrangements.

Published by Charlotte Observer on April 25, 2022.