John Shepard Robinson ’57

John Shepard Robinson, 87, died on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. He was born on September 3, 1935 in Charleston, SC to the late Richard Grier Robinson and Ethel Shepard Robinson. John’s father died of typhus fever when John was three years old and his brother, Grier was five. Ethel Robinson raised, supported, and loved both boys as a single parent until her death in 1988.

Affectionately known to many as “Big John,” he was the kindest of souls, a true Southern gentleman, a man of faith, and a man of family. He was a lifelong tennis player, earning the #1 position on the Men’s Varsity Team at Davidson College. John was a member of Charlotte Country Club, where he nurtured many friendships and continued to master his tennis game. As a devoted and longtime member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church, John served as a Deacon, Elder and Stephen Minister. He loved the North Carolina mountains, where he spent summers as a child in Montreat, and during his later years in both Linville and Blowing Rock. John’s beautiful singing voice and talent for playing both the piano and cornet fostered a love of music throughout his life.

In his early years, John was educated in Charleston schools, including Porter-Gaud School, before graduating high school in 1953 from the Darlington School in Rome, GA. He attended Davidson College and graduated in 1957 with a degree in economics. Following his graduation from Davidson, John served as an officer in the United States Army Infantry and was stationed in Fort Benning, GA. He then accepted a job with the Irving Trust Company in New York City, where he worked on Wall Street for two years.

In the summer of 1957, John met Elizabeth Reaves McNair (Beth) in Montreat. They married on July 16, 1960, and settled in Charlotte. Following in both his father’s and brother’s footsteps, John worked for Belk Stores in Charlotte for many years, where he most notably established the Belk Credit Card. He later worked for The National Life Insurance Company until his retirement.

John and Beth were happily married for twenty-eight years until Beth’s death from cancer in 1988. They were blessed with three children, Reaves, Shep and Flora. John was fortunate to marry Martha McDonald on February 24, 1990. John and Martha enjoyed thirty-three years together and had a wonderful marriage. Martha’s three children, Marty, James and Murray were important parts of his life.

John is survived by his wife, Martha McDonald Robinson; children, Reaves Robinson Thompson and her husband, Sandy, John Shepard Robinson, Jr. and his wife, Woodie, and Flora Robinson Warbington; grandchildren, Beth Thompson Taylor and her husband, Paul, Emily Thompson, Alex Thompson and his wife, Anna, Liza Robinson Williams and her husband, Rob, John Robinson III, Carroll Warbington; and great-grandson, Jack Taylor. John was predeceased by his first wife, Beth McNair Robinson and his brother, Richard Grier Robinson, Jr.

John’s family wishes to thank Memory and Movement Charlotte and the Embrace Healthcare staff at Southminster Retirement Community for their unwavering care, support and kindness.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, March 10, 2023, at Myers Park Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends following the service in Oxford Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of John to Myers Park Presbyterian Church, 2501 Oxford Place, Charlotte, NC 28207 ( or to The Ivey, 6030 Park South Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 (

Michael Terrence “Terry” Holland ’64

 Michael Terrence (Terry) Holland, former college basketball player, coach, athletic administrator, champion of student athletes, cerebral forward-thinking sportsman, and cherished “COACH” to so many, passed away in Charlottesville, VA on February 26, 2023 at the age of 80.

Terry was born in Clinton, NC on April 2, 1942 to the late Percy Benson and Alice Gray Holland. Throughout his life, his heart and passion guided him to multiple rewarding careers at Davidson College and the University of Virginia. His last professional venture took him back to Eastern North Carolina at East Carolina University.

A 1964 Davidson College graduate with a BS in Economics, Terry was a three-year starter on the basketball team, serving as Captain of the 1963-64 top ten Davidson team. As a senior, he led the nation in field goal percentage at .631. His Wildcat teammates remained lifelong friends.

Upon graduation, Holland served as Assistant Basketball Coach at Davidson under his Coach and mentor, Charles G. (Lefty) Driesell from 1964-1969. Holland then took over as Head Basketball Coach from 1969 to 1974. He was recognized as Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 1970, 1971 and 1972.

Gene Corrigan, then the Athletics Director at The University of Virginia, took a calculated chance on 31 year old Holland in 1974, hiring him as Head Basketball Coach. Holland was a fierce competitor and dedicated coach at UVA for 16 years. During his coaching tenure, he led the UVA basketball teams to early and unexpected success — winning the school’s first ACC Tournament Championship in 1976. Holland directed Virginia basketball to a national No. 1 ranking in the Top 25 polls numerous times in the 1980s and helped developed the nation’s number 1 recruit, Ralph Sampson, into becoming a three-time National Player of the Year as well as a lifelong friend.

In 1990, Holland retired from coaching at the age of 48 after amassing over 300 wins in 16 years, two Final Four appearances, a NIT Title, an ACC Tournament Championship, 3 ACC regular season titles, and two ACC Coach of the Year awards. Holland was quick to credit the countless players and coaches by his side for his personal achievements and to this day, refers to each of them as his family. Reticent to leave The University that he loved so much, one wonders if he always knew he would come back.

Often referred to as the Gentleman from Virginia, Holland was a North Carolinian who was eager to give back to his Alma Mater, Davidson College. As Athletic Director for the Wildcats from 1990 to 1995, his laser focus on elevating the athletic department for both men and women student athletes resulted in reentry into the Southern Conference, hosting the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championships for three consecutive years, and bringing back the Women’s Basketball program. Holland’s #42 jersey was retired at Davidson College in January of 2022, as he is their only former student athlete to serve as Coach as well as Director of Athletics.

In 1995, the University of Virginia warmly welcomed Holland back, this time to serve as Athletic Director. Under his leadership, several men’s and women’s teams played at the national championship level and the Athletic Department enjoyed its highest Sears Directors Cup rankings to date at that time. Aligning with his greatest passion, student athletes graduated at high rates. Fundraising for scholarships and facilities improvements prospered under Holland, including the expansion of Scott stadium to its present day form and the construction of the Aquatics and Fitness Center. During this time he also accomplished his passion to bring UVA a new basketball facility, John Paul Jones Arena.

In 2004, Holland returned to North Carolina, to serve as Athletic Director at East Carolina University. ECU held special meaning to Holland, and his wife, Ann, as both his mother and mother-in-law were graduates. As AD, Holland’s optimism and enthusiasm revitalized a proud Pirate program and resulted in enhanced facilities, postseason appearances for men’s and women’s teams and an enduring focus on the educational experience of student athletes. The Pirate Nation was always special to Holland.

In 2014, after 55 years of participating in NCAA athletics, Holland officially retired to focus on the passions that fueled him along his journey; his family and the “tug on the line” that he loved so much.

In addition to his collegiate coaching and AD roles, Holland served on the Senior National Team Committee of USA Basketball from 1992 through 1996, and chaired the organization’s Collegiate Committee. A member of the NCAA basketball Committee from 1991 to 1998, Holland served as its Chairman in 1997. He was also elected to the USA Basketball Executive Committee for the 2005-2008 term.

Holland was recognized and inducted into the Davidson College Athletics Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

In 2019, Coach and his wife Ann returned to Charlottesville and the University of Virginia for the last time. The UVA Athletic Department and the Charlottesville community embraced them and cared for him during his final chapter, as if he had never left.

Holland is survived by his lifelong best friend since 8th grade and wife of 57 years, Ann Johnson Holland and their daughters Kate Holland Baynard (husband Steve) and Ann-Michael Holland; grandchildren Holland Baynard, Shark Baynard and Eliza-Grey Burnett; siblings Trent Holland (wife Kathy), Gregg Holland (wife Susan), Kirk Holland (wife Laura), Phil Holland (wife Carlyn) and Linda Holland Royal (husband Jamie).

There will be a memorial service at John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 2:00 pm in Charlottesville, VA following a private family graveside service at the University of Virginia Cemetery.

Coach Holland’s bravery and willingness to share his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and journey was a testament to his passion for helping others. In his name, we strive to raise awareness and prevent further suffering from this disease.

Contributions to raise awareness and find a cure for Alzheimer’s can be made in Coach Holland’s name at the following address: Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Holland family.

Henry Vann Austin ’63

On Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, our family’s biggest Duke Blue Devil fan gained his celestial wings. Henry Vann Austin, M.D., passed away peacefully at his home in Pinehurst.

Born in Clinton, on Feb. 3, 1941, he was a son of the late James Leon and Louise Vann Austin. He graduated from Clinton High School in 1959, and Davidson College 1963. In 1967 he graduated from Duke University School of Medicine; Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, House Staff 1971.

While attending Duke University School of Medical, Vann joined the Blue Devil Club and campaigned throughout the hospital to encourage staff to attend football and basketball games. The Blue Devil Club became The Iron Dukes Athletic Club of which he was a founding lifetime member. He is a lifetime member of Duke Medical Alumni Association. Vann was inducted into The Founders Society of Duke University, where he received the Sower Award statue.

While in Duke residency, Vann met lifetime friend and traveling buddy Joseph Vilseck, MD. Through Vann’s support with his “college chum,” Dr. Vilseck, the initial reception hall was built and dedicated to them. The reception hall was named in their honor: Austin Vilseck Hall – Duke Sports Hall of Fame.

Vann always said he had Duke Blue Blood. He kept track of all the basketball recruits and would enlighten everyone about his fabulous team. He chose his lifetime seat in Cameron Indoor Stadium on the aisle directly across from the team. He loved traveling with the basketball team to many ACC tournaments, NCAA tournament games and several Final Fours.

Drafted in 1971, during the Vietnam War, Maj. Austin, M.D., served two years in the U.S. Army at Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colo. Upon completion of military service, Vann joined the Pinehurst Medical Clinic to support the community in the care of the internal medicine and rheumatology patients. He often said he loved working with PMC and providing care for many types of patients; however, the problem was 24-hour call. In 1995, he left PMC and founded Pinehurst Rheumatology, his medical passion. His patients loved him because he was a “real doctor.” He always had time to sit and talk. If the ladies wore a hat into the office, he had to model it for everyone. His office was decorated with Duke basketball memorabilia and posters. Many thanks to his partner with Pinehurst Rheumatology, Kara Martin, M.D., and office staff Pam, De, Rita, Gwen, Robin, Karen, Suz, Ronnie and others.

Vann was an avid golfer. While in the military, Vann’s dad influenced his decision to join the Country Club of North Carolina. Vann joked that he moved to Pinehurst as a member of CCNC, with his wife and two children, and $100 in the bank. He was a member from 1972 to 2004; and 2010 to current. He played many, many rounds of golf and despised losing. He practiced every evening after work and would play nine holes with anyone who was interested. After nine holes, Lyn never knew how many CCNC assistant pros would be invited to dinner.

Vann would say to say thank you to his lifetime friends Joseph Vilseck, M.D. (Slow Joe), Mike McBrayer (Big Mike), Buddy Mackey (Budman), Barbara Cole (Bobbie), Nell (Lotta Woman) and her husband, the late Jack Hatcher (Hatch-man), John and Helen Hammerschmidt (Hammer and Mz. Helen), Sted Morris, Ed Dalrymple, Raffaele Gironda, Ronnie Durant and many more.

Vann loved his family and friends even more than Duke. He was very proud of his son, “Mr. G, the bumble bee” and daughter, “Ash-Pash.” He loved his granddaughter, Lily “the four-footer.” At the park, he would ride the stationary hobby horse with her so she couldn’t fall off.

The vicious disease, Alzheimer’s, robbed Vann of his memory. While he could not recall names, he always recognized family and friends. Even when he couldn’t express himself verbally, he was always pleasant and loved to sing and dance.

In addition to his parents, Vann was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, Henry Vann Sr. (N.C. State Senator) and Madge Williams Vann; paternal grandparents, Durwood E. Austin and Pauline Gulley Austin; and his sister, Rose Austin.

In 2019, Vann’s wife of 26 years, Lyn Prickett Austin, retired to take care of him. He was her best friend and love of her life. In addition to Lyn, he is survived by his children, Gregory Vann Austin, of Pinehurst, Ashley Austin Kelly (Brendon), of Raleigh; sister, Deborah Austin, of Raleigh; one special granddaughter, Lily Elizabeth Austin, of Pinehurst; and his many fantastic nieces and nephews, Forde Aley (Sherry), Leigh Aley Holmes (Lee), Austin Aley (Christy) Amanda Pulley Penland (Jerrod) and Kelly Austin Kline (Tyler).

Vann & Lyn would like to thank his caregivers for many hours of tender loving care. They would sing to him and dance to make him smile. Lyn could not have survived without these fine people. Many thank-yous to Charles Wall, Alveda Person, Katina Marable, Marsay Smith, Jackie Bloomfield, Evelyn Brewer and Karen McNeill.

A memorial service honoring Vann’s life will be 2 p.m., Saturday, March 4, at Carthage United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Vic Hill presiding.

The family will receive friends at Fry and Prickett Funeral Home, 402 E. Saunders St., in Carthage, on Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m.

Vann requested you to wear Duke Blue if you decide to celebrate his life by attending his funeral. Instead of saying goodbye to everyone, Vann would have wanted to tell each of you, “Have a great Duke Blue Devil Day!” 

In lieu of flowers, make donations to Iron Dukes Athletics, 110 Whitford Drive, Room 367, Box 90542, Durham, NC 27708; or to Carthage Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1481, Carthage, NC 28327.

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 ( in memory of John Williamson).

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

James Daniel Simpson, III ’63

James Daniel Simpson, III, born in Little Rock. Ark., on April 18, 1940, passed away on Feb. 19, 2023. He is preceded in death by his parents, James Daniel Simpson, Jr. and Ellen House Simpson; grandparents, James Daniel Simpson and Ruth Bales Simpson, Joseph Warren House and Julia Clarke House.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia (Ginna); daughters, Jody House Simpson and Clarke Lea Simpson; grandsons, James Russell Thompson, Joseph Townes Delp, and Warren Forbes Delp. J.D. is also survived by his brother, Joseph Warren Simpson (Cindy), their children, Ellen Garrett Simpson Thalheimer (Evans); great-niece, Sloan Elizabeth Thalheimer, Preston Modisette Simpson, and Parker Danielle Pitts, his cousins, Robert Williams Tucker (Diane) and Everett Tucker, III (Becky).

J.D.’s life was defined by the things he was dedicated to: a lifelong passion for duck hunting, his beloved dogs, and spending time with his girls, (but only during the “off-season”). His dedication to duck hunting and preserving the habitat for ducks was limitless. His dedication to his job at Stephens Inc., for which he worked for over 50 years knew no bounds.

J.D. was a man of great empathy. He was a philanthropist that spread the gamut from such organizations ranging from a recovery center to a donkey rescue farm. There is much more that the family could say to the life of J.D., but the family is most aware that he was not a fan of long obituaries. Therefore, we will only say in ending is that there was not anything in life he loved more than his family. If he loved you, you knew it and if he didn’t, you knew that too. We loved him dearly and we will miss him every day. The family is fairly certain that Heaven has never seen anyone like J.D.

Visitation will be held at Ruebel Funeral Home Thursday, February 23, from 3:30-6 p.m. The funeral will be a private graveside ceremony.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, EasterSeals of. Arkansas, Nature Conservancy, Boy’s Club, or PARK. Arrangements are under the direction of