CLASS Notes 1950s

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1950, Rev. Langston Randolph Harrison
The Rev. LANGSTON RANDOLPH HARRISON '50 died on May 18, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army on the Aleutian Islands and in Alaska before attending Hampden-Sydney, where he was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion for excellence of character. He earned masters degrees from Union Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education and received an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 1976. He devoted his life to ministry, serving as the pastor of churches in in Norfolk, Harrisonburg, Lexington, and Stauton, as well as spending 12 years as a missionary in Brazil. | 2017-05-23 10:52:50

1955, Mr. Thomas Edwin Reese
THOMAS EDWIN REESE '55 died on May 17, 2017. A graduate of Fork Union Military Academy, Thomas served as a 1st Lieutenant with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was member of Wakefield Baptist Church, the Wakefield Ruritans, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Masons. Thomas held various leadership positions as a Mason, including Deputy Grand Master for the 56th Masonic District. | 2017-05-22 14:25:27

1954, Francis Brodnax Robertson III
FRANCIS BRODNAX ROBERTSON III '54 died on April 22, 2017. A U.S. Army veteran and a lifelong resident of Halifax, he taught history and government at Halifax County High School and served as an elementary school principal in the Halifax County school system. | 2017-05-04 16:53:20

1954, H. Benjamin Vincent Sr.
H. BENJAMIN "BENNY" VINCENT, SR. '54 died on April 29, 2017. A member of Theda Chi, Benny played varsity basketball and tennis at Hampden-Sydney as well as numerous intramural sports. After earning his law degree from T.C. Williams School of Law in Richmond, he established a private law practice in Emporia. He was later elected Commonwealth's Attorney; in that role, he argued before both the Supreme Court of Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. He also served as general counsel and board member for many community organizations, including the Greensville County Zoning Board, Greensville County Board of Supervisors, and Citizens National Bank. Benny was an avid golfer and loyal Washington Redskins fan, and was especially proud of founding Emporia's first Little League Football Program. He is survived by his son, H. Benjamin Vincent, Jr. '81. | 2017-05-04 14:16:43

1953, E. Lee LeCompte
E. LEE LeCOMPTE '53 died on April 23, 2017. At Hampden-Sydney he was class president, a Kappa Sigma officer, an ODK member, and captain of the football team. As an intelligence officer in the Coast Guard, he commanded an 83' patrol cutter and served as captain of the port in Norfolk. Lee was elected president of the first graduating class of the Darden School of Business at UVA, then had a successful career in sales. Always competitive, Lee enjoyed playing golf and tennis, as well as racing sailboats up and down the eastern seaboard. He was active with the Rotary Club, Norfolk YMCA, the Marine Science Museum in Virginia Beach, and First Presbyterian Church. | 2017-05-04 13:12:37

1957, George Campbell Bird
GEORGE CAMPBELL BIRD '57 died on April 19, 2017. At Hampden-Sydney, he was co-editor of The Tiger; president of the student body; and a member of Kappa Alpha, ODK, and Phi Beta Kappa. He received both the Outstanding Freshman Award and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Army, then joined the family laboratory supply business as president until a company merger in the late 1960s. He used the merger as an opportunity to change careers, raising Angus cattle and Suffolk sheep at Valley Home Farm in Highland County, which has been in the Bird family since the 1800s. He was active in the Mill Gap Ruritan Club and served on the boards of First & Citizens Bank, the Highland County Economic Development Association, the Highland County Farm Bureau, and Green Hill Methodist Church. He also helped establish the WVLS radio station in Highland and Bath counties. He was predeceased by his grandson, Ray M. "Buck" Paul III '10. | 2017-05-04 11:10:37

1958, George Edward Dobyns
GEORGE EDWARD DOBYNS '58 died on March 26, 2017. After Hampden-Sydney, he attended graduate school at North Carolina State University, then had a career in sales with Cardinal Freight Carriers. He was a member of Hidden Valley Country Club and Central United Methodist Church in Salem. | 2017-04-14 16:03:22

1957, Hugh Burwell Marshall
HUGH BURWELL "CHUCK" MARSHALL '57 died on March 19, 2017. A member of Sigma Chi and UPLS at Hampden-Sydney, he served in both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy Reserve; he then became co-owner of the insurance agency his father founded in 1924. Chuck held a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do and was an active sailor, cruising and racing the Chesapeake Bay and the open seas. | 2017-04-14 15:47:49

1951, David S. Cobbledick
Dr. DAVID S. COBBLEDICK '51 died on July 11, 2016. After earning a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, David worked as a chemist until his retirement at age 70. For 32 years, he ran a research laboratory for GenCorp in Akron, Ohio. He was a history buff, a life-long Cleveland Indians fan, and a nature and animal enthusiast. In his retirement, he took classes at Kent State University and volunteered in the university's chemistry department. | 2017-04-14 15:08:14

1958, Robert Quillin Barker
ROBERT QUILLIN BARKER '58 died on February 27, 2017. A pharmacist by profession, Bob was best known as a fisherman, storyteller, and environmental advocate. He founded the American Bass Association and was a founding member of the Scott County Humane Society. He was also a member of the Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. | 2017-04-14 12:27:57

1958, Richard Douglass Lunsford
RICHARD DOUGLASS LUNSFORD '58 died on February 13, 2017. While working for West Virginia Pulp and Paper, he discovered an affinity for stone and masonry work, becoming a master of the trade in the Northern Virginia and Washington, DC areas. Passionate about studying history and the arts, he also loved riding his Triumph motorcycle and hiking the Appalachian Trail. | 2017-02-24 10:35:32

1951, Edwin Powell Nevin
EDWIN POWELL NEVIN '51 died on January 24, 2017. Valedictorian of his class at the Miller School, Powell enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Japan on the heels of WWII. After his military service, he graduated from Hampden-Sydney and moved to Arizona. His career as an educator spanned almost 40 years and included service as president of the Teachers Association. Powell was an accomplished pianist who also enjoyed photography and traveling the world. | 2017-02-24 10:16:28

1957, Thomas T. Biggs
The Rev. THOMAS T. BIGGS '57 died on February 15, 2017. He received his Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and his Master of Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education; in 1961 he was ordained a minister by the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. Tom served pastorates in South Carolina, Wisconsin, and throughout Virginia, as well as the Villa International Atlanta, an ecumenical community for international doctors and researchers working on public health issues at the Centers for Disease Control. Tom was committed to service and social justice, ensuring that all are treated with fairness and dignity. He was an avid reader who loved politics, history, music, and his family and friends. | 2017-02-24 09:37:25

1957, Benny Bennett Smith
BENNY BENNETT SMITH '57 died on February 5, 2017. Benny was a chemist in the rubber industry for 45 years. The highlight of his career was the patent he received in 2001 for a process he developed to improve the vulcanization of fabric for seat belts, airbags, and similar applications. | 2017-02-13 10:16:48

1953, William Marion Alphin
WILLIAM M. "BILL" ALPHIN '53 died on February 1, 2017. Bill served in the U.S. Army before settling on Rillhurst Farms in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to his work on the family farm, Bill served on the Virginia Farm Bureau Board, running the Farm Bureau office in Culpeper for 20 years. The first president of the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Bill served 40 years on its board of directors; he also served on the Culpeper County School Board and the Culpeper Hospital board. Bill was a member of the Ruritans, a deacon at his church, and a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. | 2017-02-10 17:18:02

1954, Dr. Burness F. Ansell Jr.
Dr. BURNESS F. ANSELL, JR. '54 died on January 27, 2017. Dr. Ansell began his medical career in 1967 at the McGuire Clinic in Richmond; he then practiced hematology and oncology for over 40 years. He also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve, rising to the rank of Captain. A lifelong member of the Boy Scouts of American, he earned numerous adult recognitions, including the God and Service Award and the Silver Beaver Award. | 2017-02-01 15:45:26

1953, Douglas Shelburne Divers Jr.
DOUGLAS S. DIVERS, JR. '53 died on January 15, 2017. A member of the track and field team during his time at Hampden-Sydney, Doug went on to earn a master's degree in education at Virginia Tech, where he also served as head coach of the track team. He concluded his career in the insurance industry as the owner of Diver's & Associates in Richmond. He was a faithful supporter of the College. | 2017-01-25 12:12:13

1955, Francis Regis Etz
FRANCIS REGIS ETZ '55 died on January 8, 2017. A football player at H-SC, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the 796th Military Police Battalion in Vienna, Austria. He then worked for the Virginia Department of Health and coached football at St. Christopher's in Richmond. He was a member of St. Mary's Church, the Knights of Columbus, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. | 2017-01-24 15:29:47

1951, Charles Edward Richardson III
CHARLES EDWARD "ED" RICHARDSON III '51 died on December 28, 2016. A Theta Chi at Hampden-Sydney, he went on to a career at Lawyers Title in Richmond and an active membership in the Rotary Club. | 2017-01-20 16:21:02

1952, Dr. Lloyd Tayloe Griffith
Dr. LLOYD TAYLOE GRIFFITH '52 died on December 18, 2016. A native of the Northern Neck of Virginia, he graduated from Hampden-Sydney and the University of Virginia Medical School before serving in the U.S. Navy as a flight surgeon. He returned to the Northern Neck to practice family medicine with his father at Griffith Clinic in Mount Holly. He also served as an assistant medical examiner for the Commonwealth for 19 years. When Lloyd retired from family practice after 52 years, the clinic, which had served the Northern Neck for 82 years, closed. He was a Charter Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice and an active member of Cople Episcopal Parish, serving as a trustee and vestry member for many years. | 2017-01-20 16:03:10

1953, John Harding Owen
JOHN HARDING OWEN '53 died on December 20, 2016. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hampden-Sydney, then earned his Master of Science from Florida State University. He worked as a chemist for DuPont at the Savanah River Plant in South Carolina. John was a member of St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church. | 2017-01-20 15:23:07

1958, Venable Lane Stern Jr.
VENABLE LANE STERN JR. '58 died on December 4, 2016. A proud member of Kappa Sigma at Hampden-Sydney, after graduation he served two years in the U.S. Marine Corps, then began a career as an auditor in the insurance industry. He was a fan of Redskins football and bluegrass music, but most of all he loved spending time with family and friends. His grandson, Hunter Merritt '19, has followed Venable's footsteps to H-SC. | 2017-01-19 17:52:38

1958, Lt. Col. Michael Grier O'Neill
Lt. Col. MICHAEL GRIER O'NEILL '58 died on December 4, 2016. A member of Chi Phi at Hampden-Sydney, he joined the Marine Corps after graduation and served two tours in Vietnam; he was awarded several medals, including the Bronze Star for valor. He attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and ended his military career as the Commanding Officer of the Weapons Battalion in Paris Island, South Carolina. After his retirement from the Marines, he served as the Beaufort County administrator and the town manager of Hilton Head Island. | 2017-01-19 17:37:04

1950, Phineas Munsell Randall IV
PHINEAS MUNSELL "RANDY" RANDALL IV '50 died on November 25, 2016. Randy was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps and retired from a career with DuPont and the Chemtron Corporation. His many interests included big band music, furniture restoration, woodturning, computer programming, and model building. He also enjoyed ice skating, roller skating, and rollerblading into his 80s. A devoted father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Randy was active with the Boy Scouts of America, youth soccer, local museums, and Spring Hills Baptist Church. | 2017-01-19 13:02:52