Henry A. Bizzell Jr. T’49, D’52 died Feb. 21, 2011, in Newton Grove, N.C. He was a faithful pastor for more than 40 years, serving churches of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, and a longtime lover and singer of Sacred Harp music. He is survived by a daughter and other family members.
James R. “Jimmie” Crook Jr. T’50, D’54 died June 11, 2011, in Asheville, N.C. He served United Methodist parishes across the Florida Conference for 43 years before retiring to Waynesville, N.C., where for the next nine years he was resident staff minister for the Foundation for Evangelism. Jimmie was a past president of the Divinity School Alumni Association. He is survived by his wife, Jean Crook, two sons, three daughters, and 10 grandchildren.
Harold F. Leatherman D’52 died March 1, 2011, in Lincolnton, N.C. A Navy veteran of World War II, he served in parish ministry for 60 years, beginning in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. He was a dedicated Rotarian. Two daughters, a son, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren survive him.
Joseph M.G. Warner D’52 died Oct. 7, 2010, in Irmo, S.C. He served United Methodist churches across the Western North Carolina Conference for 40 years. His wife, Carolyn Pope Warner, a son, a daughter, and seven grandchildren survive him.
Samuel J. Womack D’57, G’61 died Feb. 2, 2011, in Fayetteville, N.C. A decorated U.S. Army veteran from World War II and the Korean conflict, he was ordained in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and served in many key faculty and administrative roles at Methodist College from its opening in 1960 until his retirement in 1984. He is survived by a daughter, a son, and two granddaughters.
H. Randolph Kidd Jr. D’63 died July 5, 2010, in Huntington, W.Va. He served churches across the West Virginia United Methodist Conference over several decades. He is survived by his wife, Mary “Katie” Kidd, two sons, and a grandson.
Thomas Joon Hwa Ahn D’66 died Jan. 24, 2011, in Brookeville, Md. He was a United Methodist pastor who served Korean churches across the Baltimore-Washington Conference. His wife, Young “Sally” Ahn, two children, and four grandchildren survive him.
Sylvester L. Shannon D’66, D’93 died June 7, 2011, in Alexandria, Va. He served with the U.S. Army Chaplain Service from 1966 to 1981, retiring with the rank of colonel. As the first African-American chaplain to graduate from the Command and General Staff College and the first to serve as senior pastor of the Pentagon pulpit, he conducted preaching missions all over the world and received the U.S. Army Legion of Merit Award for service in South Vietnam. After retiring from the army, Syl served Presbyterian Church (USA) pastorates in North Carolina, Virginia, Kansas, New York, and Washington, D.C. A former president of the Divinity School Alumni Association, Syl was also the recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award. His wife, Doris, two sons, a daughter, and five grandchildren survive him.
Benjamin F. Davis D’69 died April 27, 2011, in Lawndale, N.C. He had a long career in teaching and counseling and retired as director of counseling services and adjunct professor from Gardner-Webb University. An Air Force veteran and a Mason, Ben was also an avid Appalachian Trail hiker. His wife, Patsy Bridges Davis, and other family members survive him.
John W. Wilson G’76 died Jan. 22, 2011, in Berwick, Australia. He was a retired bishop of the southern region of the Anglican diocese of Melbourne, a vice president of the Christian Missionary Society, author, and a founder in 1979 of Acorn Press Ltd. Australia. He served as a parish priest in North Carolina, Tanzania, and Australia before his episcopal tenure. He is survived by two daughters.
George F. Blanchard D’77 died March 16, 2011, in Fayetteville, N.C. A U.S. Army paratrooper veteran, he served from Korea to Vietnam, and then over 36 years as a United Methodist minister in rural parishes. His wife of 59 years, Lillian Davis Blanchard, three sons, one daughter, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren survive him.
Susan P. Felder Osterberg D’95 died May 30, 2011, in Yadkinville, N.C. She was a Christian educator and a loving wife and parent. Surviving Susan are her husband, Scott A. Osterberg D’96, three children, and other family, including her father, Charles B. “Bert” Felder D’66.
Cynthia Ann Burris D’01 died Feb. 27, 2011, in Indio, Calif. She was a professor of theology at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind. She is survived by her parents and siblings.
Reta Dover Steck D’05 died Dec. 7, 2010, in Concord, N.C. Her first career was in human resources, and she served as the human resources director for MedCath Corporation in Charlotte, N.C., over 10 years starting in 1995 as the company grew from 90 employees to more than 3,000. Following Divinity School she was ordained as an elder, and she served as associate pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Concord. She is survived by her husband, Todd Steck, and other family members.