University and Health System Obituaries for 2018

Deaths of university and health system faculty, staff and retirees as reported to Duke Human Resources

Below are Duke University and Duke University Health System employees and retirees who passed away in 2018, as reported to Duke Human Resources through January 2018.


Elizabeth Elizabeth ‘Lib’ Mayhall, passed January 25, 2018 peacefully at her home in Durham. Lib was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up in Covington, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois graduating from the University of Chicago in 1961 with a degree in English Literature. While a young mother, Lib braved three stints of living abroad: two in London, England and one in Kolkata (then Calcutta), India. It was in 1973 that she and her family landed back in the states settling in Durham, North Carolina. She began working with Duke University Health System as a Senior Psych-Diagnostic Technician in the Division of Neurology on August 27, 1973 retiring November 01, 2001 after embracing nearly thirty years of life with Duke. During her retirement, she traveled widely, by bicycle and RV with her beloved husband Gene. On Saturdays, she played bridge with close friends. Lib was a gifted artist and treasured painting sessions with her granddaughter Caitlin, also an artist. Among so many other memorable talents, her family will miss her wry sense of humor, keen intellect and laser focus on her family’s wellbeing. Lib was seventy-nine years young upon her passing.

Janet P. Wilson, passed away on January 24, 2018 at the Randolph Hospice House in Asheboro following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Janet was a graduate of Asheboro High School and received an Associate Degree in Nursing from Guilford Technical College, a BSN from NC Central University and an MHA from Pfeiffer University. She began her career with Duke Medical Center as a Nurse Clinician working in the Breast ONC Clinical Research Division on January 04, 1982.  Janet retired on January 01, 2016 sharing thirty-four years of life with her Duke family.

Titus Adeniyi, passed on January 23, 2018. His career as a Housekeeper Specialist with Duke University Health System began March 21, 2005 retiring October 01, 2015 sharing ten years of life with his Duke family.

Lucious Tilley, eighty-three years young, passed on January 22, 2018. Lucious began working with Duke University Health System on January 01, 1972 retiring November 01, 1999 sharing nearly thirty years with Duke.

Johnny William Etheridge, Jr., formerly a Duke Regional Hospital employee, working as a Clinical Nurse II in the Nurse SVC Unit 6-1 passed on January 20, 2018. He was seventy-one years young.  Johnny’s career began at Duke on June 02, 1997 retiring October 01, 2011. Johnny honorably served his country in the US Army and was a Vietnam War Veteran.  He went on to continue to serve his country and his fellow servicemen as a Registered Nurse working at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Family, friends, and his community will miss him greatly. We thank you for your service.

Carolyn Murray, passed away at the young age of seventy-three. She was a former employee of Duke Regional Hospital, working as a Clinical Nurse II, with the Nurse SVC Unit 6-1. Carolyn began her nursing career with Duke on May 27, 1985, retiring August 01, 2011 embracing nearly thirty years with Duke.

Carl Lynnberg Adams Sr., seventy years young, passed on January 19, 2018. Carl was a diligent, caring and wonderful person who possessed amazing people skills. He was known throughout Duke for being not only a hard worker but also for his extremely pleasant demeanor. He loved his job, but held his greatest love for his family, including his Mother. Carl began his career with Duke on April 01, 1971 as a Maintenance Specialist, working for Duke Medical Center E & O, retiring November 01, 2013 embracing over forty years of life with his Duke family.  After retiring from Duke, Carl went on to become a dispatcher for ACCESS; still serving the community, he held so close to his heart.  

Lucille Johnson Smith, passed away on January 17, 2018 at the age of eighty-one. She was a former employee of Duke Medical Center, working in the Plastic Max & Oral Surgery Department as a Research Technician. Lucille was preceded in death by her parents and siblings Emma, George, Janie, Umphrey Jr. ‘Cool Breeze’, Robert and Clyde. She is survived by her husband John D. Smith; her daughters Regina Smith, Lisa Barnes (James); sons Jay D. Smith (Fredricka), Myron D. Smith (Kathy); grandsons James Corey Wilson (Charity), Jalen Smith, Jordan Smith, Ryan Smith, Chrystian Smith, Xavier Smith; Granddaughters Lyndsay Barnes, Mya Smith, Reischea Smith, Aston Garrison; and Great Grandchildren Carlie and Jessica Wilson. Many will miss her.

Walter Griggs, a former employee with Duke University Health System, working at Duke North in the Environmental Services Department as a Housekeeping Specialist passed on January 13, 2018. Walter began his career on September 01, 1978 retiring March 01, 2017 sharing nearly forty years of life with his Duke family.

James Terry, a former employee with Duke University working in Material Management passed away on January 13, 2018. His career with Duke began on May 01, 1983 retiring April 01, 1991. Both family and friends will miss James, may you rest in peace.

Stephanie ‘Stacy’ Couch Emory, passed away on January 11, 2018 at her home in Durham. She was born and raised in Durham, NC. She attended New Horizon Church and was a graduate of Northern High School. She went on to attend East Carolina University and graduated from Durham Technical Community College as a paralegal.  She had worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield, moving on to work with the Duke University Health System on March 16, 2009 in the Emergency Department as an Ed Tech I. Stephanie fought a courageous two year battle with brain cancer, never once complaining. She was a kind, generous daughter, mother, aunt, niece, cousin, sister and friend, who was loved by all.

Donald Gagnon, of Morehead City, NC died Monday January 8, 2018 at his home. Donald was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. After high school, he joined the Coast Guard. Donald was stationed on a weather cutter out of Boston, which was reassigned to Wilmington, NC. He was transferred to Coast Guard Station Fort Macon in 1967. There he met the love of his life, and eventual wife, Dianne. Don was a gentle soul and a friend on sight. He loved boats and bikes, the water and fishing but more than that, he loved sharing ‘fun’ times with his family and friends. Donald worked for Duke University from May 22, 1978 retiring September 01, 2007 in Beaufort, sharing nearly thirty years of life with Duke. Donald will be remembered by his wife, Dianne, daughter Donna Harrington (Brian) and their children Hannah and Brison; son Sean M. Conner (Jill) and their son Ian; son James C. West (Sarah) and their daughter Heather; daughter Susan Jones (Robert) and their children Daniel, Micah, Andrew, AmyRose and Tristen. May you rest in peace.

Cynthia ‘Cissy’ Ann Vann, passed away at the young age of seventy-two at Hock Family Pavilion on January 7, 2018 after a brief illness. Cissy was born in Dayton, Ohio but raised in Durham, NC. Cissy worked for Duke University Medical Center as a Study Coordinator for the Duke Early Phase Clinical Research Unit until her death. Her career with Duke began on April 03, 2006. Prior to working with Duke she was the Administrator for Petroleum Club of Houston for twenty-five years. She is survived by her sons, Vann and Geoffrey Huff; four grandchildren, Mary, Claire, Sydney, and Emily along with two Great Grandchildren, Vanessa and Elizabeth. Cissy loved family, church, her animals and sports. She was also passionate about cooking for her family and friends, welcoming the more, the merrier always at her table.

James Harrison, a former Duke University employee who worked as an Information Specialist Technician in the Duke Stores Computer Repair, died January 07, 2018. His career at Duke began on December 13, 1982 retiring April 01, 2003 sharing twenty-one years with his Duke family.

Lucy Parker, a former Patient Service Aid working with Duke University Health System in the Unit Support Services Department, died January 04, 2018. She began her career with Duke on July 01, 1967 retiring February 01, 1995 sharing nearly thirty years of life with Duke. Family, friends and community will miss Lucy.

Froilan ‘Allan’ Franza Aquino, working in the DN Sterile Processing Division of Duke University Health System as a Sterile IV Technician, died January 01, 2018, after a short illness. His career with Duke began on March 16, 2009 sharing nearly ten years of his life with Duke. Allan is survived by his wife, Jhoanna, his son, Ian Aquino; his mother, Norma; brother, Nat (Tes), sister, Ella and a host of nephews and one niece. Allan will be remembered for his bright smile and engaging personality. 

2017 obitauries can be found here.