William Octavius McCoy
William O. McCoy, 89, died peacefully on Christmas Day, December 25, 2022, after a progressive illness. His closest family was by his side at home at The Cedars in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His wife, Sara, died December 18, last year on their 66th wedding anniversary.
Mr. McCoy, a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, had two successful careers. In 1955 he joined Southern Bell in Charlotte; by the time he retired in 1994, he was president of BellSouth Enterprises in Atlanta — the unregulated arm of BellSouth Corporation, the first entrepreneurial endeavor after the divestiture of AT&T. Under Mr. McCoy’s leadership, BellSouth acquired cellular licenses across the globe long before the ubiquitous use of the cell phone. It was a risky and revolutionary decision that proved extremely profitable for the corporation. He also served as vice chairman of the board of BellSouth Corporation, the parent company of BellSouth Enterprises and BellSouth Telecommunications. Corporate and community-wide, Mr. McCoy was known for his fastidious attention to detail and an ethical compass that was beyond reproach.
Throughout his telecommunications career, Mr. McCoy was a devoted and generous supporter of his alma mater. It was a natural transition for him to begin a second career, putting his business skills and acumen to work for the 16-campus University of North Carolina system. As the vice chairman of finance his leadership was credited with raising the bar for management, productivity, and efficiency.
He was later named Interim Chancellor of the University of Chapel Hill, during a critical juncture for the University. But there was nothing temporary—or retiring— about the way he applied himself to the difficult tasks ahead. An outsider to academia, he regularly sought input from students, professors, and staff. With his steady hand on the helm of University-wide issues—from staffing, salaries, and strategizing to sports and a new campus plan—he earned respect in all sectors. Two signature issues launched on his watch are the Robertson Scholars Program and the Carolina Center for Public Service. Though in a lofty position, he was a visible and friendly sight around campus and was warmly greeted by the parking lot attendant as well as his granddaughter/student who would call out, “Hi, Grandpa” when she spotted him. As one boyhood friend and UNC alum said, “It’s really a fairy tale story about one of the world’s nicest guys, a guy who was dedicated to life and succeeding.”
Despite the fact that he often faced difficult and unpopular decisions, Mr. McCoy was respected for being fair, for prioritizing the University’s needs, and putting them in perspective. He was confident when taking a University budget to the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh and getting it passed. When necessary, he was able to cross the aisles and mend fences among the members with diplomacy and grace.
Many of those skills and values began to take root in his growing-up years on a farm. William Octavius McCoy was born on October 26, 1933, the fourth of six children of Kathleen Shirley McCoy and Marcus Cicero McCoy, a tobacco farmer in rural Arba, about an hour east of Raleigh. This was a working farm with Kathleen’s strong oversight of the garden and some of the workers—including the children who arose early to feed chickens and milk cows. Young Bill, who was never allowed in public in denim, attended a one-room schoolhouse and then graduated from the nearby Snow Hill High School. He was the senior class president and an adept athlete in baseball, basketball, and football. He was a good student and a lifelong stickler for grammar and spelling. For example, when he discovered that his middle name, Octavius, was misspelled on his birth certificate, of course he had it corrected.
Mr. McCoy put himself through college with a scholarship and by working in the library, as a residence hall manager, and running the laundry delivery service for his dorm. Though he was a walk-on member of the football team, he was already wise in setting priorities and realized he simply didn’t have the time—and he needed to work. He was a member of the Naval ROTC and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BS in Business Administration. In 1968 he earned a master’s degree in management as a Sloan Fellow from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
After graduating from Chapel Hill, he was commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corp at Quantico, Virginia and met Sara Hart, a student at nearby Mary Washington College. They married six months later and immediately moved to Pensacola, Florida for his training as a helicopter pilot. From there he was stationed at Camp Lejeune before serving on several aircraft carriers in Lebanon, Venezuela and Cuba.
Determining another priority, Mr. McCoy left the military rather than be separated from his wife and young family. Once he started with the telephone company, he rose through a variety of executive positions that took the family from Charlotte to Greensboro and Wilmington, North Carolina, to New Orleans, Nashville, Birmingham and, last stop, Atlanta.
It was soon after that retirement that he and Sara returned to Chapel Hill to begin a new chapter with the University. In 1995, Mr. McCoy was awarded the Board of Trustees’ highest honor, the William Richardson Davie Award. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece in 2000. In 2004, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. While Sara actively supported his work, she forged her own commitments to the school and was also recognized for her devotion.
Mr. McCoy was devoted to his wife and daughters. He and Sara had a second home in Highlands, North Carolina. They also enjoyed business and personal travel all over Europe, Asia and the United Kingdom. As the family grew, he took a great interest in the grandchildren’s studies and school activities, always setting a high bar for performance. He maintained friendships with a core group of colleagues from his telephone days who called each other on their birthdays.
Mr. McCoy was a valued board member, spending happy hours at his desk reading documents, digesting the inner workings of many organizations. Among those boards he served are: Progress Energy Corp. of Raleigh; Duke Reality Corp., Liberty Corp. of Greenville, South Carolina; Fidelity Investments of Boston; the North Carolina Management Trust, and First American Corp. in Nashville. He was a member of the board of the Research Triangle Foundation, the UNC Health Care System, and the developer of the Research Triangle Park in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area. He was also a partner of Franklin Street Partners, a Chapel Hill investment management company. In Atlanta, he was active on boards of the Atlanta Symphony, High Museum of Art, and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. McCoy is survived by his daughters—Laurie McCoy Foster (Tim) of Jupiter, Florida and Kathleen McCoy Skutch (David) of Montclair, New Jersey—and his sister Sylvia McCoy Mewborn (Ancel) of Chapel Hill. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Jessica Carroll (Darren) of Austin, Texas; Michelle Foster (Alex Crumbley) of Brooklyn; Bryan Foster and Evan Foster of Los Angeles; Sara Skutch Kinlaw (Gantt) of Alexandria, and Charlotte Skutch of Brooklyn. Four great-grandchildren also survive him: Hannah Crumbley and Caroline Crumbley of Brooklyn; and Jackson Carroll and William Carroll of Austin. He was predeceased by his wife, Sara Hart McCoy, and four of his five siblings: Gerald McCoy, James McCoy, Anna Fay McCoy (who died as a toddler), and Keiter McCoy.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 14 at the University United Methodist Church, 150 East Franklin Street. A reception at the church will follow. Mr. McCoy will be buried at the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the University which can be made through https://give.unc.edu/ which offers options for which area of the University to benefit. Donations to UNC may also be mailed to P.O. Box 309, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0309.
Julie Magenheim died at 78 with her children by her side on September 25 in Sarasota, Florida. She is survived by daughter Hannah Searing, son Adam Searing, and three grandchildren, Ava, Skylar and Cameron. Julie lived in Chapel Hill for 20 years where she earned her MSW from UNC-CH. After moving to Florida, she earned her MBA and worked as a non-profit executive. Julie loved to sing, play piano, cook French food, travel with her long-term partner, Bob Garvin (d), and care for Emma, her fluffy Lhasa Apso. A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
Haruko (Francia) Chisaki Hommersand, 96, passed away at her home on May 17, 2022. Her husband Max Hommersand and their son Eric were at her side.
Fran was born of first-generation immigrant parents and grew up in California's Imperial Valley along with her five siblings. In 1942, because of their Japanese heritage, they were all uprooted and interned at Poston Camp I in the Arizona Desert. While interned at the relocation camp, as a teenager, Fran served as a nurse for the elderly. After her graduation from the Poston high school, Fran was invited to attend Earlham College, a Quaker college in Indiana, and was thus permitted to leave the camp early. After the war the family returned to California and Fran completed her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Botany at the University of California, Berkeley.
Fran and Max met in Berkeley in the summer of 1960. Max had completed his Ph.D. in Botany at UC Berkeley, and that summer returned there after his first year teaching in the University of North Carolina's Botany Department. At that time Fran was working in UC Berkeley's Herbarium. In August of 1960 Fran and Max were married and moved to Chapel Hill, which became their home for 61 years.
Although, due to nepotism laws, Fran could not have a job at UNC, she helped Max with his growing collection of algae and many requests for cuttings from specimens in his collection. Fran and Eric accompanied Max on collecting trips to both North American coasts, to Izu, Japan, for six months, and to New Zealand for a year. Max and Fran also spent half a year at Rhodes College in South Africa working with colleagues, and later traveled to Madagascar to study the flora and fauna there. While in Europe, they worked for a summer in Northern Ireland and spent time in Italy and other coastal countries. One of the last of their many trips was to work with a colleague on the Kamchatka peninsula in the far east of Russia.
Fran was an avid birder and joined in the annual Audubon count as well as keeping a tally of her own sightings at home and abroad. While on a boat ride off Kamchatka she was thrilled to see one of the world's largest and rarest eagles, a Steller's sea eagle. She hiked and searched for plants wherever she was, and loved the Chapel Hill botanical garden. The Phycodrys franiae was named in her honor. Opera was another great love as was reading, and she enjoyed meeting a group of friends for coffee to talk about and exchange books.
In addition to Max and Eric, Fran is survived by her sisters Kaz and Hide and her brothers Jim and Roy all of California, her sister-in-law Helen Hommersand Hopper and brother-in-law Paul Hopper of Pittsburgh PA, and many nephews and nieces. Fran's older brother Jake died a few years earlier.
Condolences may be shared online at www.CremationSocietyNC.com
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the UNC botanical gardens and Herbarium. https://ncbg.unc.edu/support/donate
Ann Marie Nader, née Knops, 64, left this world from home on May 7, 2022, surrounded by and held in the arms of her husband, son, daughter and siblings to be with the Lord. She was born to parents Fred and Anna Knops in Mt. Holly, NJ on October 2, 1957.
Ann Marie is survived by her beloved husband of 43 years, Joe, her two children and their spouses, her mother, brother and sister, four grandchildren, six in-laws and their spouses, and eight nieces and nine nephews. Children: John Nader (Eliza Nader) and Jacqueline Kumar (Sachin Kumar), Mother: Anna Knops, Sister: Lisa Burkhardt, Brother: Fred Knops (Jane Knops), Grandchildren: Josephine Juliana, Adeline Ruth (a tribute to Ann Marie’s legal hero, RBG), Noelle Elise, and Samaya Annamarie, Goddaughter: Hayden DeMarici, In-Laws Tina Nader (Walter Brownridge), Tim Nader (Anastasia Borichevsky), Paul Nader (Sue Lintelman), Jeanne Nader (Pat Lynch), and Beth Nader (Lou Gerics).
In 1975, the first year in which Morehead Scholarships were accessible to women, Ann Marie was one of the inaugural twelve selected at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with a BS with Honors in Business, 1979, studying as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany in 1980, and serving as an editor of Law Review and graduating with a Juris Doctorate from Duke Law School, 1989.
In her professional career, Ann Marie was a corporate attorney and a partner at the law firm Moore & Van Allen in Raleigh, N.C., and served as Chair of the N.C. Bar Association’s International Law section. Earlier, she worked in market research at Gilmore Research Group and then as a program manager with the Weyerhaeuser Foundation in Seattle (1980 – 1983).
Growing up as the eldest daughter of an Air Force pilot, Ann Marie’s family moved almost annually over her first 13 years of life, including three years in Germany, such that she learned to readily make friends.
Given her travels, and her German and Austrian grandparents and parents, she became fluent in German, and cherished her family's heritage and traditions. It also sparked her love of literature and books, which were always at her side.
As a daughter, wife, mother and grandmother, Ann Marie showered unconditional love on her family, always putting them before all else – and, when necessary, seamlessly balancing that support with professional career demands.
Ann Marie had an enormous heart and believed fully in God and his/her love. As such, whether it be a dear friend, an acquaintance, or someone she just met for the first time, her nature was to engage with people with grace and kindness, provide support and empathy, or simply offer a compliment to make their day brighter.
In her free time, she especially loved to travel, read, bake, sketch, paint, garden and simply relax and admire the beauty of nature (which resonated with her as an example of God’s presence in our lives). Ann Marie’s family would like to express their admiration and gratitude to UNC Hospital professionals (Dr. Hyman Muss, Nurse Amy Depue, Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead), UNC Home Health Physical Therapist Jeanne Guilliams and Transitions Life Care for their tremendous medical guidance and care, as well as equally important emotional support during Ann Marie’s illness.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 12 pm Saturday, May 14, 2022 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 2811 Poole Rd, Raleigh, NC 27610. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to either the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Dr. Julius Rowan Raper passed away peacefully on January 1, 2022 in Chapel Hill, NC. He was born to Julius and Emma Raper in 1938. After graduating from the UNC, Duke and Northwestern with honors and a PhD in literature, he taught as a professor at UNC and abroad.
A memorial service will be held online in March 2022.
For more information or to express condolences, please contact his daughter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the C.G. Jung Society of the Triangle or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill English Department Gift Fund.
Caroline Nicholson Brown, died Sunday morning, November 14th, 2021 at the age of 74.
She was born June 2, 1947, daughter of the late Donnell and Marjorie Nicholson. Caroline is survived by her five children, Hannah Veltri, Matt Bruckel, Nick Brown, Carrie Casello, and Miriam Brown; six grandchildren; and her brothers, Donnell Nicholson, Timothy Nicholson, and Michael Nicholson.
Funeral service will be 2:00 p.m. Monday, November 15th at Temple Emanuel in Greensboro followed by interment at Hebrew Cemetery.
Advantage Funeral Services of Greensboro is assisting the family.
Boyd George Brogden Jr passed away May 13th at Brian Center in Clayton NC.
Born October 22, 1931 and a graduate of Hope Valley High, he attended Mars Hill College and UNC Chapel Hill. He was Manager of Motor Bearings and Parts in Carrboro from the 60s through 90s, known there as “Junior”. He enjoyed being around people, had a wide-ranging taste in music, and loved his Tar Heels.
He is survived by his wife Betty Jane, his sons Rick(y), Ken(ny) and Tim(othy), his daughter Karen (Mitchell), 8 grandkids, 2 great-grandkids, his brother Bill and sister Lou.
Memorial services will be held at a later date.
Evelyn Hope Daniel, 86, of Carrboro, NC, passed away at her home on Sunday, November 24, 2019. A native of Whitefield, Maine she was the daughter of George Cunningham and Evelyn Cole Cunningham.
Evelyn was well known as Dean and Professor Emerita with the UNC School of Information and Library Science at Chapel Hill.
Evelyn arrived in Chapel Hill in June of 1985, where she continued her research and teaching. Evelyn thoroughly enjoyed working with her students. She was always a keen supporter of public libraries and served for many years on the Board of Trustees for the Chapel Hill Library. She also supported and served on several community committees.
Survivors include three children: Nancy Snyder and her husband, William, of Old Town, Maine; George Daniel and his wife, Hannah, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Dawn Carver and her husband, Bulo, of Graham, North Carolina; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by a son, Jeffrey Martin Daniel, and her long-time canine companion, Margarita.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, at the Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Road, Chapel Hill, NC from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Orange County Public Library, Orange County SPCA, Orange County Library or NC Botanical Gardens.
Walker’s Funeral Home of Chapel Hill is assisting the family. www.walkersfuneralservice.com
“As long as you are spreading love you are doing the right thing”.
Laszlo Kehoe has and will always embody what it means to be a free spirit. His wisdom finds itself far beyond his years as he preaches the importance of love, peace, and positive energy to all of those he meets.
Laszlo was born in Akron, Ohio on September 6th, 2005 and passed away November 19th, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. From the beginning, he has been a special gift whom none of us could ever completely understand - except himself. Everything Laszlo did was with such grace as he created music, danced, laughed, sang, and spoke all the while being unapologetically true to himself.
Laszlo now shares his universal energy with his parents Scott Kehoe, Juliana Szalontai and Allan Cooper.
His light moves with that of his beloved Aunt Beth and Grandpa Laszlo Szalontai. His flow of positive vibrations surrounds his siblings Morrison Szalontai Cooper, Violet Kehoe, Kamyia Kehoe, Justin Rogers-Cooper and Alyssa Rogers-Cooper in addition to his grandparents, Kathleen Monegan and Phyllis Kehoe, his loving
cousins, his nieces and nephews, and his aunts and uncles. No matter where Lasz went he made friends and loved them all dearly. He was the most genuine, kind, and caring young man and never failed to show it to those he met. The dude uplifted us everyday with his never failing ability to make us laugh in the most creative ways. Today we thank him for everything he has taught us in his short time. Thank you Laszlo for truly being out of this world in the past, now and always, we appreciate you for teaching us how to accept and love everyone and all unconditionally. We love you and you are forever in our hearts. Stay wild and free, child. See you later, Alligator.
Thomas Brittain “Britt” Hudson, 84, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at the John F. Keever, Jr. Hospice Center. October 13 would have been his 45Th wedding anniversary with his loving wife, Beverly.
Britt was born in Hickory, North Carolina to Bruce Allen and Fannie Belle Brittain Hudson on June 11, 1934. Britt entered the United States Army in 1955, serving two years of duty. He attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, graduating in 1959 with a Bachelor Degree in English; Britt forever remained an avid UNC fan. Following graduation Britt began his 38 year career with William H. Rorer as a pharmaceutical representative and was the first inductee of the William H. Rorer Hall of Fame. Britt was a volunteer baseball coach for Little League in Asheville for 24 years, a zealous golfer, and a competitive tennis player in the USTA League. Britt was a member of the Asheville Civitan Club for 10 years, serving in various capacities, including a college scholarship committee.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one infant sister and three infant brothers. Also preceding in death are siblings Donnie Hudson Hayes, Edna Hudson Gragg, Lucy Hudson Robbins, Bruce Hudson, Truman Hudson, Glenn Hudson, and wife Patricia Ann Broyhill Hudson, mother of his children Brad Hudson and Laura Hudson Welch.
Survivors include his wife of forty–four years, Beverly Chambers Hudson, sister Dorothy “Dot” Hudson Meadows of Hickory, North Carolina, children Brad Hudson of Asheville, Laura Hudson Welch and husband Jim, of Beaumont, California, April James of Asheville, Rodney James, and wife Andrea of Asheville, grandchildren Nicole Welch Parrish, husband Corey, of Beaumont, California, Brittain Welch, wife Ebony, of Highland, California, Patrick James of Durham, North Carolina, and Delaney James of Atlanta, Georgia. Great grandchildren are Tristan and Noah Parrish, Journie, Elah, and Brinley Welch. Special family friend Luke Thompson, and pet family member Barney, his beloved Cocker Spaniel.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Skyland Fire Department, PO Box 640, Skyland, 28776 and/or WNC Rescue Mission, 225 Patton Avenue, Asheville, 28801. A “come as you are” memorial service was held at Morris Funeral Home in Asheville, North Carolina on Sunday, October 7. The UNC alma mater and fight song was played during the service in honor of Britt's love for Carolina.