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Carle Ralston ('39) of Statesville, North Carolina, recently retired from William T. Burnett and Company, where he served as a plant manager. He is a widower and has three grown children.
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Leroy Mabe ('53) of Bluefield, West Virginia, received a Life Membership Award from the West Virginia Certified Public Accountant Society for his nearly 40 years of service to the accounting profession. Mabe was recognized for "going above and beyond what is normally expected of those who have made being a CPA their career." After BC, he attended Concord University and served in the U.S. Army, before opening his own CPA business in 1976. He established a scholarship fund at Bluefield College in 2010 to support business students and to honor his late sister, Betty Lou Mabe ('64).
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Lois Susanne Caldwell ('64) of Fincastle, Virginia, married Larry L. Crawford, Sr. on March 19, 2011.
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Brenda Carol Robinson ('70) and her husband, of Asheville, North Carolina, celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary in June 2013. After graduating from BC, Brenda went on to graduate from Mars Hill College, and worked several years in the business field while raising their four children. She later attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville and attained her elementary teaching certification for grades K-6. Brenda retired from teaching in December 2012. She is now spending more time with her husband and enjoying their eight grandchildren.
Sharon Christie Sanford ('70) of Dahlgren, Virginia, recently celebrated 34 years of marriage to her husband, Tom. Sharon, a freelance writer, has tested positive for the BRCA-1 gene and has been diagnosed and treated for three occurrences of cancer believed to have originated from the gene. Tom is a retired government employee who works as a contractor for the government.
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For her work with a new generation of business and community leaders, Tina Brown ('96) of Wytheville, Virginia, recently received the 2013 Young Professionals Group Award from the Wytheville-Wythe-Bland Chamber of Commerce. The Young Professionals Group is a special committee of the chamber designed to develop a new generation of business and community leaders in Wythe and Bland counties. Tina has worked in the parks and recreation field for 15 years. She has also refereed high school sports for 15 years.
Bill Eanes ('96) of Maryville, Tennessee, accepted the position of Director of Business Development for Vision Engineering and Development Services, a civil engineering and surveying firm based out of Maryville. Previously, Bill was the Director of Economic and Workforce Development for the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.
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Kendall Smith Grogan ('01) of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, and her husband celebrated the birth of their second child, Abigail Rose, born January 1, 2013. Kendall is a stay-at-home mom and homeschools her children. Her husband is employed with LifeWay Christian stores and RideMakerz.
Chris Lawson ('01) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and his wife, Merri, celebrated the birth of a son, Zachary Jonathan, born December 16, 2013. Chris is an executive pastor with Reynolda Church in Winston-Salem.
Jodi Groseclose Scarberry ('02) of Bluefield, Virginia, won a 2013 Excellence in Education Award for her work as a third grade teacher at Graham Intermediate School. The awards are presented by the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and Cole Chevrolet to the most outstanding teachers in public school systems in the Daily Telegraph subscription area. Jodi outshined more than 300 other nominees to earn the excellence award.
Kelly Somers ('03) of Bluefield, Virginia, married Caleb Bittler (‘13) in November 2013.
Latisha Smith ('05) of Bowie, Maryland, completed her master’s degree in August 2012 in instructional technology from the University of Maryland.
Jake Gillikin ('06) of Atlanta, Georgia, recently passed the United States Medical Licensing Exam to become an officially licensed doctor. Jake earned his doctor of medicine degree from the Ross University School of Medicine in the Caribbean and a master's degree in public health from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. He will specialize in anesthesiology.
Nancy Butner Moore ('06) of Williamsburg, Virginia, serves as the associate pastor of Williamsburg Baptist Church. In addition to her duties as associate pastor, she is a minister to senior adults.
Brandon Rosser ('06) of Forest, Virginia, has been named the new assistant men's basketball coach at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Brandon will join former Bluefield College basketball coach Steve Hardin, who is now the head coach at Lees-McRae. Coach Rosser, who was also a player at BC, was previously an assistant coach at Louisburg College, North Greenville College, and Bluefield College.
Amy Creasy Canning ('07) of Galax, Virginia, was named the 2013 Teacher of the Year for Grayson County Schools. Amy is a special education teacher.
Faye B. Coates ('07) of Reva, Virginia, earned her sixth professional designation — the certified professional insurance agent (CPIA) distinction. Faye has worked in the insurance industry for 30 years, including the past 13 years with Virginia Farm Bureau in Manassas, Virginia.
Branden Zett ('07) of Los Angeles, California, has accepted the position of Head Golf Professional at Braemar Country Club in Los Angeles. After graduating from Bluefield College, Branden moved to Miami, Florida to play golf on the Gateway Tour and Nike Tour. Before heading to L.A., he fulfilled his playing career and transitioned to the business side of the Professional Golfers' Association, working as a golf professional at Trump National Doral. Branden played both golf and basketball at BC.
Jennifer Brewster ('08) of North Tazewell, Virginia, was named 2013 Teacher of the Year at North Tazewell Elementary School. Jennifer is a second grade teacher at North Tazewell Elementary.
Jeffery P. Dodson, Jr. ('08) of the Culpeper (VA) Police Department was recognized recently by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Sgt. Dodson led all Culpeper officers in DUI enforcement last year. He is currently assigned as a detective in the Criminal Investigation Section, but volunteers to work extra grant-funded DUI patrols. Sgt. Dodson trains recruits in drunken-driving laws and techniques by teaching DUI enforcement at the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy.
Heather Jo Harris Kitts ('08) and husband, Zack, of Tazewell, Virginia, celebrated the birth of their son, Landon Alexander, on June 24, 2013.
Joseph W. Burleson ('09) of Albemarle, North Carolina, accepted a position on June 17, 2013, with the North Carolina Division of Community Corrections Adult Probation and is assigned to Stanly County.
After four years as a student and four additional years as a member of the administrative staff, Bluefield College alumni director Josh Cline (’09) of Bluefield, West Virginia, has bid farewell to his alma mater. Cline, who joined the BC staff in 2009 as an advancement officer before moving into the alumni director’s position in 2010, has accepted the position of economic development director for the City of Bluefield, West Virginia. During his time as alumni director, Cline focused on strengthening the BC Alumni Association in an effort to ultimately strengthen the college as a whole through three primary initiatives: being an advocate, recruiting students, and giving time and resources. Since leaving the staff, he has joined the BC Alumni Board in hopes of continuing to serve the school. “As alumni, we are the best marketing the college could ask for,” Cline said. “We are all success stories, and we can have a hand in creating that success story for another, and another, and another.”
Adam McAllister ('09) of Radford, Virginia, recently performed a role in the Roanoke (VA) Opera. He works with the opera in addition to serving as the adult choir director at Grove United Methodist Church. He also teaches at Ferrum (VA) University.
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Omar “Juice” Reed ('10) of Tazewell, Virginia, a former BC basketball player who now lives in the off-season in Houston, Texas, is playing professional basketball in Japan for the Yokohoma B-Corsairs. A projected starter for the Japanese pro team, Reed is in his fourth year of professional basketball since BC, and is still pursuing his lifelong dream of making an NBA roster. Omar started his pro career in the English Basketball League in Europe with the Medway Park Crusaders. A year later, Reed played for the Austin Toros, an NBA Development League team of the San Antonio Spurs. And, last year Omar played for the Boston Celics' NBA-DL team, the Maine Red Claws, and for the Celtics' summer league squad.
Matt Snodgrass ('10) of Emory, Virginia, is teaching history, government and English in the Teaching Alternative Program for Smyth County (VA) Schools. He is also coaching basketball at Chilhowie (VA) High School and pursuing a master's degree in educational theory and practice.
Former BC men’s basketball player Borgia M’Bala ('12) of Gainesville, Florida, formerly of Paris, France, is continuing his basketball career in Germany as a member of the Aschersleben Tigers of the Regionalliga One League. Bo is a starter for the Tigers, averaging 13 points per game.
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Pattie Burgess Perdue ('37) of Richmond, Virginia, died January 7, 2013. Full of energy and a desire to help others, Pattie was active in the Chester Methodist Church Choir and the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Chesterfield County. She also filled her spare time with gardening, cotillion, real estate, neighborhood Bridge, and ballroom dancing. Pattie’s home was often the gathering place for birthday clubs, Bridge clubs, supper clubs and unforgettable New Year's Eve parties.
Nathanael Bernard Habel ('38) of Lynchburg, Virginia, passed away July 29, 2013 after a long career in ministry, including service as pastor of Victoria Baptist Church, Boykins Baptist Church, and Branchville Baptist Church. In fact, he served more than 70 different churches as a supply, interim, associate or full-time pastor during his career. Nathanael also was a principal at Temperance and James River elementary schools. He was a member of Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church.
Helen Virginia Teague ('38) of Princeton, West Virgina, passed away on April 16, 2005.
James A. Nelson, Sr. ('40) of Bluefield, West Virginia, died June 12, 2013. After BC, he earned a doctor of dental medicine degree from the University of Louisville. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and later for the U.S. Army Reserves. He ran a private practice in Bluefield and was on staff at the Bluefield Sanitarium and Bluefield Regional Medical Center. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Mercer County Board of Heath and actively supported the Mercer County Humane Society and the Mercer County Spay Association.
Calvin Wilson McCall ('47) of Hendersonville, North Carolina, died January 4, 2013.
Fred J. Casimo ('48) of Charlotte, North Carolina, died February 21, 2013. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a side gunner and radio operator. He retired as senior accountant of Kraft Dairy Group after 25 years of service. And, he was a member of Memorial United Methodist Church and a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Jacquelyn “Jacque” Pero Oblinger ('48) died February 14, 2014 in Wytheville, Virginia. Jacque, who lived most her life in Bluefield, Virginia, and Charleston, West Virginia, began her career in broadcast radio in the late 1950s. She later moved to television, and was recognized by the West Virginia Broadcasters Hall of Fame as one of the most influential television personalities in the history of West Virginia. Jacque retired from broadcasting and returned to her alma mater in 1977 to recruit students. In addition, she helped establish a Communications Department at BC, became an instructor within the department, and later secured equipment for the first-ever Bluefield College campus student radio station. She also became BC’s director of career development, served as president of the Faculty/Staff Club, and was a member of the Town and Gown Society. Jacque retired from Bluefield in 1996 after 19 years of service. Outside of her career, she was a community servant. Among her awards for community service: the West Virginia Daughter of the Year Award, the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, and the BC Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Jacque is survived by her husband of 66 years, John ('47), three sons, Mark ('86), Michael ('91), and Phillip; and a host of grandchildren, many of whom also attended BC.
N. Rees Woody, Sr. ('48) died September 1, 2013 of complications from lung cancer and emphysema. A native of Henry County, Virginia, who grew up in Bassett, Virginia, Rees passed on an opportunity to play Minor League Baseball out of high school to serve his country as a Merchant Marine in World War II. After the war, he attended Bluefield College and then the University of Tennessee before becoming a teacher for Patrick County Schools in Virginia. Later, he worked with his father and brother as an executive for W&B Chevrolet, a position he held for 40 years. Rees also was an avid horseman, who showed road ponies throughout the Southeast. He served as president of the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Virginia (ASHAV) and as chair of the organization’s horse show before being inducted into the ASHAV Hall of Fame in 2009. He was a member of the Bluefield College Board of Trustees and endowed a scholarship at BC for students from Patrick and Henry counties.
John Edward Houghton ('49) of Kilmarnock, Virginia, died January 12, 2013 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. With a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and a master’s and doctorate degrees from Union Theological Seminary, he served as a pastor to churches in Culpeper, Fauquier, Dinwiddie and Lancaster counties of Virginia. He retired from full time ministry in 1994 after serving Kilmarnock Baptist Church for 35 years.
Janet Lee Leslie Meadows ('58), 75, of Bluefield, Virginia, passed away January 30, 2014. A lifelong resident of Bluefield and a onetime BC cheerleader and member of the May Day Court, Janet worked as an elementary school teacher for Tazewell County Schools for 37 years. In fact, she was inducted into the BC Educators Hall of Influence and published with her students a book titled, The ABCs of Tazewell County. Janet was also a member of Main Street United Methodist Church in Tazewell, Virginia, the Main Street Lucie Scott Circle, the Retired Teachers Bridge Club, the Garden Club, the Red Hat Society, and the BC Golden Graduates Society.
Massie C. Stinson ('59) of Farmville, Virginia, passed away June 11, 2013. With an associate’s degree from BC, a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Richmond, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, Massie spent his professional career teaching at Brookland and Midlothian junior high schools, Phillips Business College, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of South Carolina, Bluefield State College, and Longwood University.
Betty Whitenack Alexander ('60) of Hendersonville, Tennessee, passed away August 20, 2013. Betty served as director of College-Church relations at Martin Methodist College for 10 years and was a delegate to the United Methodist General and Jurisdictional Conferences and World Methodist Conferences in Brazil and England. Betty also was a member of the Board of Christian Higher Education, Board of Discipleship, and Board of Miriam’s Promise. She served on the Episcopacy Committee of the United Methodist Church and was a member of the Hendersonville First United Methodist Choir and United Methodist Women.
Gustaf Edward Brown Jr. ('63), 70, of Piney Flats, Tennessee, died December 6, 2013. He was a native of Alexandria, Virginia, who worked as an insurance salesman before retiring. Gus greatly enjoyed attending auctions and trade shows and was an avid hunter.
Nora Frances Wright Lockett ('72) of Bluefield, West Virginia, died May 5, 2013. With a master’s degree in library sciences from the University of South Carolina, she served her alma mater, Bluefield College, many years as director of library services. Nora was also an avid Anglophile and loved English history, sewing, crafts and reading.
After nearly three years of battling a rare soft tissue cancer, Bluefield College alumnus and former BC dean of students, Dan Bowman ('94) passed away January 23, 2014. A native of Salem, Virginia, Bowman came to Bluefield College first as a student, earning his undergraduate degree in psychology. During those four years, he participated in many campus organizations and was well known for his generosity and service to others. Dan also met his future wife, Staci Gilley (’94), at BC. He continued his education at Radford (VA) University, earning a master’s degree in counseling and human development, and worked in the guidance department for several area schools before returning to his alma mater in 2001 to become the new dean of students. Affectionately known as “Dean Dan,” Bowman spearheaded three major renovation projects, grew on-campus residential enrollment, and developed a business partnership that brought scholarship money to students, among many other accomplishments. Touching lives and making circumstances a little bit better was Bowman’s mission no matter what road he traveled. After BC, he became an associate dean of students at Radford University, before becoming principal of Craig County (VA) High School in 2008. Following the diagnosis in 2011, Dan continued to coach his daughters, Maddie and Libby, in recreational lacrosse. He also remained a member of the Virginia Tech “chain gang” that worked down markers for Hokies football games. He retired from the school system in the fall of 2012.
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Lisa Carr, wife of former Bluefield College vice president for advancement, Tom Carr, passed away Sunday, January 26 in Searcy, Arkansas, after a long and courageous battle against cancer. A graduate of Harding and Texas Tech University with a degree in secondary education, Lisa home-schooled her four children and was a Sunday school teacher. In an online blog titled “Battle Lines,” she shared her fight against cancer, openly expressing her “heart, fears, victories and faith.” Despite the challenges of her disease, Lisa traveled with Tom, her husband of 36 years, to Africa, Switzerland and France, led Bible studies for college students, and was a sponsor of Harding University’s Pi Theta Phi women’s social club. She also shared motivational lectures at Harding and Pepperdine University, played piano, and was a prolific songwriter, using music to express her faith. In addition to Tom, Lisa leaves behind her sons, Jesse (30) and Jamie (23), and daughters, Betsy (27) and Mary (19).
Betty Corte of Bluefield, Virginia, passed away Saturday, April 20, 2013, from a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, at GlenWood Retirement Village in, Princeton, West Virginia. Corte participated in many community activities. Betty served as the Chairman of the Board for Southwest Virginia Community College and as Chairman of the Board for the Southwest Virginia Community College Educational Foundation. She served on the boards for the Sanders House, Quota, the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Fincastle Country Club, the Bluefield, Virginia Beautification Committee, the Metropolitan Dinner Club, and the Craik-Patton House. Corte was a member of Quota, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames, Bluefield, Virginia Rotary, Bluefield, Virginia Garden Club, the Girls Scouts, the Ohio State President’s Club, and the Sales Executive Club. Betty was a founding member of the Bluefield Area Foundation.
Dr. Roy A. Dobyns, 82, of Dandridge, Tennessee, passed away peacefully at the Jefferson County (TN) Nursing Home on November 12, 2013. Dr. Dobyns served as the seventh president of Bluefield College from 1989 to 1996, during which time he led the school in its most notable era of student growth. A significant part of that growth came through the school’s first-ever adult degree completion program, envisioned and launched by Dr. Dobyns in 1991. Under Dr. Dobyns, the college also launched its largest fundraising effort to date, the 75th Anniversary Campaign, which was designed to fund additional growth on campus in facilities and academic and athletic programs. Before his retirement from BC in 1995, Dr. Dobyns also developed two new academic divisions and an institutional effectiveness program. He also spearheaded the school’s reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1993. A United States Army veteran and a graduate and Distinguished Alumnus of Carson Newman and Vanderbilt’s George Peabody College, Dr. Dobyns was a member of First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, where he served as a deacon, trustee, and member of many committees. He also was a charter member of the Jefferson City Rotary Club and a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award. His wife of 58 years, former BC First Lady Kathryn Dobyns, still resides in Dandridge. He is also survived by his three children and a host of grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Jean Etta Key Olive, the mother of Bluefield College president Dr. David Olive, passed away August 12, 2013 in Maryville, Tennessee, at the age of 83. A native of Carthage, Tennessee, Jean graduated from the George Peabody College for Teachers before beginning a teaching career. Later, she devoted her time to marriage and family, before returning to the classroom later in life to serve as a substitute teacher. Jean also managed the Executive Lodge in Alcoa, Tennessee, and owned and operated The Gathering Christian Bookstore in Maryville. She was a member of Monte Vista Baptist Church in Maryville, where her husband served as pastor for 30 years. There, she led a weekly women’s Bible study, participated in the Woman’s Missionary Union, and sang in the choir. In addition to church ministries, she was a member and past president of the Chilhowee Club, and as a breast cancer survivor, she volunteered with Reach for Recovery at Blount Memorial Hospital to assist and encourage others who suffered from the disease. In addition to her husband, Howard, and Dr. Olive, she is survived by four other children and a host of grandchildren.
Betty Schulz of Princeton, West Virginia – widow to the late Walter Schulz (’47), a member of the 1941 BC football team – died in July of 2013. Betty was a schoolteacher in Giles County, Virginia, before moving to College Point, New York, where she taught at Immanuel Lutheran School from 1961 until her retirement in 1993. She also was a longtime member of the First Reformed Church and the Eastern Star. Her husband, Walter, played football for BC before serving in World War II and then becoming an engineer. Their son, Paul (’73), also attended Bluefield College before building a career and a family in Saginaw, Texas.
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