Richard “Dick” Laurence Dalton ’61

Richard Laurence Dalton (Dick), 84 passed away after a brief stay at Trellis KBR Home. Dick was born in Winston-Salem, NC on November 1, 1938 to Virginia and Laurence Dalton.

He attended R.J. Reynolds High School and Davidson College, where he played soccer and was named to the All South list two years in a row. After college, Dick married his high school sweetheart, Brenda Snow, and entered the military. The couple moved to Germany where they started their family. After returning to NC, Dick moved into an IT career for Hanes Corporation where he worked until retirement.

Dick was passionate about golf and even got a hole in one (of which he was very proud). He was an avid outdoorsman, a trait he shared with his two sons. While at home, gardening was a favorite pastime. Dick would grow heirloom tomatoes from seed and share with friends and family. His lessons of wisdom, kindness, and patience will be remembered and cherished by all.

In addition to his parents, Dick was preceded in death by a sister, Carolyn Dalton Stuart. He is survived by his loving wife, Brenda of 62 years, his two sons, Kenneth (Sandra) & Bradley, three grandchildren, Windsor Dalton (Bennett Cooper), Jordan Embry (Cy Schroeder), and Riley Bolton (Ian), 2 great granddaughters, Chloe & Bridget Bolton, a brother, Dr. Robert Dalton (Katie), and many loving extended family members.

The family would like to thank Dr. Francis O’Brien of Wake Forest Baptist for his extraordinary kindness and guidance during this most difficult time.

A graveside service to celebrate Dick’s life will be held at Salem Moravian Graveyard, 459 S. Church St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 on Saturday, September 16th at 2:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the church parlor.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to Cancer research at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations, PO Box 571021, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, or to Home Moravian Church, 529 S. Church St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Condolences may be made online at

Harry Sykes Cline ’62

Harry Sykes Cline died peacefully September 7, 2023. He was born August 14,1940 in Camden, South Carolina to Joseph Frederick Cline and Catherine Sykes Cline. The family moved to Stony Point, North Carolina in 1949.

Harry earned his Eagle Scout at age 15 and graduated from Stony Point High School in 1958. He attended Davidson College where he was the catcher on Davidson’s baseball team. He was named MVP in 1962 and was selected first team all-conference every year. He remained close to his teammates for the remainder of his life. He received the ROTC Distinguished Military Student Award, was the President of Sigma Chi fraternity and was VP of Davidson’s senior class. While at Davidson, Harry met Janie McMullen from Clearwater, Florida on a blind date. Janie was Davidson’s Sweetheart of Sigma Chi in 1962 and Harry’s fiance in 1965. After graduating from law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harry married Janie on his 25th birthday in 1965. She designed and created his gold wedding band by hand when she was a counselor at Camp Merrie Woode that summer.

The couple moved to Thomasville, North Carolina where Harry practiced law. Daughter Catherine Tweed Cline was born in 1967 before Harry left for Vietnam. Harry was a Captain in the 131st Aviation Company, US Army, and was awarded two bronze stars. After the war, the family lived in Asheville where Harry resumed his law practice and their son Harry Sykes Cline, Jr. (Skip) was born in 1969. They moved to Clearwater in 1971 when Harry joined McMullen, Everett, Logan, Marquardt & Cline where he practiced real estate and estate planning law. The firm merged with Macfarlane Ferguson in 1993 becoming McFarlane Ferguson & McMullen. Harry was a member of the firm for the remainder of his career and served as its Chairman in 2006 and 2007.

Community and charitable involvement were lifelong priorities for Harry. He served on the boards of the Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, The ARC Tampa Bay, Berkeley Preparatory School and the First National Bank of Clearwater. Harry was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension and served on its Vestry. He was a member of the Clearwater Rotary Club, its President 1984-1985 and a Paul Harris Fellow. Harry was involved with the Florida Gulf Coast Art Center and served as President of its board in 1976 and 1986. He was a member of the Belleair Country Club, Carlouel Yacht Club (Commodore 1993), Casado Club, Old Edwards Club, Pelican Golf Club and Privateers.

Harry had a wide range of hobbies including painting with oils and watercolors, carving wooden duck decoys and beekeeping. The bees ’culture and their impact on Janie’s garden fascinated him. He harvested honey and bottled it in jars with labels he drew for Christmas presents. Harry loved the competition and camaraderie of golf and tennis and enjoyed spending time on the water with family and friends. Harry adored his three grandchildren and taught them baseball, golf, painting and hearts. His grandchildren cherished their time together including countless “spend the nights for no reason.”

Harry weathered strokes and the loss of his beloved Janie in 2020 but his courage, love of people and humor endured. He was truly grateful for Joann Dohme, Jesse Hallman, Shay McAuley, Shawnda Meeks, Jackie Richo, Kayla Seib, Shayna Suljic, Darlene Thomas, and Shaneka White. Teresa Kelly and Janica Van Brocklin also played a key role in his health and happiness.

Harry was predeceased by his wife and son, his parents and his brother Rick Cline. He is survived by his daughter Tweed Cline

Eckhard (Rick) and their children Carson, Sykes and Skip; his nieces Cindy Cline Reid, Anne Marie Cline Bergamini and nephew David Cline.

A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m., December 19 at Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 701 Orange Avenue, Clearwater, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Davidson College, the Skip Cline Young Leadership Society at Morton Plant Hospital or the charity of one’s choice.

Joseph James “Jim” Murray ’51

Joseph James “Jim” Murray, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Charlottesville on September 5, 2023. Jim was born on March 13, 1930, in Lexington, Virginia, and he was educated at Davidson College (1947-1951) and Merton College, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar, 1951-1954). He served in the US Army (1955-1956) and then taught for two years at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, before returning to Oxford to earn a D.Phil. in Zoology. In 1962, he joined the Biology faculty of the University of Virginia.

Jim’s main research interests were ecological genetics and the evolution of animal populations. His research on land snails took him to the British Isles, Australia, and on many trips to Polynesia, where he studied the native snails of the genus Partula. At UVA, Jim chaired the Biology Department from 1984 to 1987; served as director of the Mountain Lake Biological Station for thirteen summers between 1964 and 1990; and mentored several generations of graduate students. He was a Fellow and former President of the Virginia Academy of Sciences and a board member of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. He also chaired the University’s Arboretum Committee for over 20 years, often saying that this was his favorite University committee.

Jim was an active mountain climber and lifelong conservationist. He spent many happy days exploring peaks and valleys from the Himalayas to the Alps to the Appalachians of his native Virginia. Throughout his life, he worked tirelessly to preserve wilderness areas on Virginia public lands. A founding member of the Virginia Wilderness Committee, Jim served as its president in 1970 and again from 1997 to 2007. He helped to shepherd the passage of six wilderness bills through the US Congress (1975-2009), which added over 200,000 acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Jim also loved planting and nurturing trees, woodworking, Scottish dancing, and sustainable farming with his family at Bentivar. He was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth H. “Bess” Murray, and is survived by his three children: Joseph J. “Joe” Murray III of Charlottesville, along with his wife Andee and daughters Maggie and Erin; Alison J. “Tiki” Murray Levine of Charlottesville, along with her husband Stephen and daughter Sophia; and William L. “Will” Murray of Long Beach, CA, along with his wife Rhonda. He was proud of his three granddaughters and delighted in their stories and accomplishments.

In lieu of flowers, any gifts in Jim’s memory may be sent to the Virginia Wilderness Committee, PO Box 1235, Lexington, VA 24450, or

Ralph Erskine Blakely, Jr. ’67

Ralph Erskine Blakely, Jr. died of lymphoma on August 31, 2023 in Mount Pleasant, SC. Ralph was born on May 7, 1945, in Rock Hill, SC to Ralph Erskine Blakely and Ollie Mae Freeman Blakely.

Ralph grew up in Rock Hill in a close-knit family. From childhood he was fascinated by the sounds and structure of pipe organs. At nursery school he amazed the staff by building an organ from blocks, which he “played” with panache; at church he refused to leave the sanctuary until the last notes of the postlude had sounded.

He attended Winthrop Training School and graduated from Rock Hill High School. He received the BA from Davidson College, where he majored in Music and Classics. After a brief period of graduate study in organ, he apprenticed himself to an organbuilder in Charlotte, NC. He then founded Blakely Organbuilders on Depot Street in Davidson, which built and maintained pipe organs in the Southeast, from Georgia to Virginia.

Following their retirement, he and his partner, Wilmer Hayden Welsh, the Davidson Chapel organist and professor of music, moved in 1994 to Tradd Street in Charleston. There Ralph became a keen supporter of the Gibbes Museum of Art, where he served on the Board of Directors; he was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Storm Eye Institute and an active supporter of Davidson College. In downtown Charleston he was a familiar figure as he walked his Great Dane. After Bill’s death in 2008, Ralph revived his interest in Greek and translated Homer’s Iliad into English prose as a memorial to him; it was published in 2015 by Forge Press. In 2021, he moved to South Bay in Mount Pleasant, SC and in 2022 to the Shem Creek Health Center at South Bay.

Ralph is survived by his sisters, Mary Blakely Speer (Eugene Speer) of Cranbury, NJ and Jennie Blakely Benton (Douglas Benton) of Church Hill, TN; one nephew, David Benton; a great-niece, Bailee Benton and a great-nephew, Waylon Benton, all of Church Hill. The family is grateful to Paula Singleton for her devoted care of Ralph in these last months. Burial will be private. Memorials may be sent to the Storm Eye Institute of the Medical University of South Carolina ( or to Davidson College ( 

James “Jim” Lee Ensign Jr. ’56

James “Jim” Lee Ensign, Jr., 89, of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, passed away peacefully Monday, August 28th, 2023 at home where he was surrounded by the love of his family.

Jim was born on February 5, 1934 to James Lee and Wilma Eldridge Ensign and was raised in Rossville, GA. He attended Missionary Ridge Elementary School and graduated from The McCallie School in 1952. He was a 1956 graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina. Following graduation from Davidson, he proudly served in the U.S. Army.

After completing his military service, Jim embarked on a career in banking at American National Bank and Trust, Co., today known as Truist, where he spent multiple decades in various positions before retiring.

 In addition to his long banking career, Jim was also very active in the local community. He was involved with the government of the City of Lookout Mountain, GA for over 16 years. During this period, he served as a member of the City Council, Vice Mayor and eventually Mayor of Lookout Mountain. He also held several board positions at the Fairyland Club, including one term as President. Jim served on the board at Chambliss Center for Children and was active with several other charitable organizations after he retired.

Jim was an avid tennis player and could frequently be found on the court with his wife Martha and a group of close friends. His ability to retrieve and return difficult shots was legendary and his opponents affectionately nicknamed him “The Garbageman” for his impressive defensive skills. In addition to tennis, Jim was a talented gardener, who inherited his green thumb from his father, James Ensign, Sr. Together with his wife Martha, Jim loved to travel and took countless trips around the globe. The couple especially enjoyed spending many memorable winters in Anna Maria, Florida.

Jim was a long-time member of the Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain.

Jim was a loving husband, father, and grandfather as well as a loyal brother to Bill, whom he spoke with daily. He is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years Martha Shamhart Ensign, grandson Jack Wright, son-in-law Lee Wright, sister-in-law Connelly Ensign, and multiple nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents James Lee and Wilma Ensign, brother William Eldridge Ensign, and daughter Christie Ensign Wright.

The family will be holding a graveside service on Friday, September 1st at 3pm ET at Forest Hills Cemetery.