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 March 2018.


March 2018

Vernon “Bro” Powell, a Duke University employee working with MS Supply Room Warehouse Operations, as a Supply Chain Associate, passed March 31, 2018 at sixty years young.  He began his career with Duke on April 14, 1980 and remained active until his death. Vernon shared nearly forty years of his life with Duke. He will be remembered as a fabulous storyteller and a great man with a wonderful spirit who selflessly brought smiles and laugher to family, friends and coworkers alike.

Jorge Raimundo Rios-Marti, a member of the Duke University family, working with Central Administration, as a Senior Manager in the IT Card Office Auxiliary Department, passed on March 31, 2018 at forty- four years young. Jorge began his career with Duke on May 01, 2005 and was active until his death. He proudly embraced thirteen years of life with Duke University. Jorge kicked the field goal to win the state football title for South View High School in Hope Mills, near Fayetteville, back in 1991, going on to become  a successful kicker for the UNC football team. He was a true Duke Blue Devil, as long as Duke was not playing against Carolina, for that game only, the light blue shone through his dark blue shirt. He was a 1998 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He will be remembered and missed greatly by family, friends, coworkers and community.

Gloria A. Thorpe, a former Registered Nurse, employed by Duke University Health System, working with Medical Unit 7100, passed on March 29, 2018 peacefully in her home, at seventy-four years young.  She was the daughter of the late Robert Gwynn and Hallie Turner Gwynn of Caswell County. She is survived by her husband, Reverend Ned Thorpe; two daughters, Robin Michele Thorpe of Hillsborough and Kimberly Thorpe Kirtpatrick of Greensboro; two sister, Linda G. Mims of Reidsville and Bessie G. Thomas of Greensboro; three brothers, James Gwynn of Pelham, Curtis Gwynn of Greensboro and Tyrone Gwynn of Danville, VA; and four grandchildren. Gloria began her career with Duke on November 30, 1981 retiring May 01, 2009 after twenty-eight years of selfless service. Her gentle demeanor and giving spirit will be remembered by all those she knew and by those, she so graciously aided during her career.

Mable Shellie, a former Housekeeping Specialist working with Duke University Housekeeping Operations, passed at ninety-two years young on March 27, 2018. Mable began her career with Duke on September 07, 1954 retiring October 01, 1993 after sharing nearly forty years of life with her Duke family. She will be remembered by many for her gentle graciousness and warm personable smiles.

Jeanne Keller Kaufman-Fox, a Duke University Coordinating Editor for Duke Math Journal, passed on March 23, 2018 at sixty-one years young.  Jeanne began her career with Duke on May 19, 2010 and was an active employee until her death. She will be remembered fondly and missed greatly by family, friends, coworkers and by members of her beloved community.

Onie Cozart Williams, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Luther and Lillie Cozart, passed on Friday, March 23, 2018 at her home in Durham, NC.  She was seventy-three years young. Onie attended Durham Public Schools and Hillside High School.  In 1978, she graduated from Durham Technical Institute.  Following graduation, she was offered and accepted a job at Duke University’s Perkins Library.  Soon thereafter, Onie was promoted to the Stacks Supervisor position.  In addition to being stellar in her work life, Onie was also stellar in ‘life’ in general. She made time to be involved in many library and campus activities. She was the first chairperson of the Staff Recognition team and she served on Dulsa Support Staff committee assessment, delivery transition team, among many other worthy activities.  She retired from working at Perkins Library thirty-one years later, after receiving numerous accolades and awards.  Onie was also a member of the Thrifty Savings Club for many, many years. She loved shopping for clothes, trinkets, gadgets, for ‘what-evers’ and ‘what-nots’. She loved traveling, reading, and playing Candy Crush.  She loved her family unapologetically.  What she meant is what she said and what she said is what she meant. Her expression was kind, her voice pleasant but she was a wonderful no nonsense type of person.  Onie was preceded in death by her daughter, Detrease Williams. Left to cherish her precious memories are four sons, Victor Cozart (Georgia), Thomas Williams, Jr. (Statesville, NC), Walter Williams (Durham) and Lamont Williams (Virginia); Three sisters, Mary Short (George), Sandra Kelly, Carol Melvin (Samuel); one brother: Clarence Cozart.  Daughters-in-laws, Cynthia Williams (Walter), Crystal Melvin (Detrease), Kenyatta Williams (Lamont), Louis Edward Cozart (Eldest uncle) and wife Betty Edwards.  Five Grandchildren; Elijah Williams, Karima Cozart, Shunda Williams, Langston and Karis Williams; Two Great Grandsons; Malichi Redford and Zhyiere Williams; and a host of loving nieces, nephews along with a multitude of other loving relatives and friends.

Lise Gindy, a former employee with Duke University Health System working with the Apheresis Laboratory, passed March 11, 2018, peacefully in her home. Lise career with Duke began on February 01, 1985 retiring November 01, 1992.  Recently she celebrated her 90th birthday in Denmark with family. She was daughter of Henry Holst, renowned Danish violinist and Else Werner whose father, Sigvart Werner is known for photographing all of Denmark. Lise's life was filled with the very best classical music and art. She was born in Berlin, Germany on October 31, 1927 while her father was concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Her family moved to Manchester, England and during WW II, her father remained in England working while the rest of her family stayed in Copenhagen under German Occupation with her grandparents. After the war, the family was reunited in England traveling on a B17 Flying Fortress. Lise attended secretarial college and joined the Danish foreign service. Looking to go someplace warm she asked for a post in Egypt or India. She was soon on her way to Cairo, Egypt. Following her five years in Cairo, she came to the United States with her husband, Kamal Gindy. They moved to Salt Lake City and then to Duluth, Minnesota where she lived from 1966-1985. Lise lived in Duluth longer than in any other city. Cross-country skiing, bird watching, hiking, camping, singing in the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Chorus, attending concerts and having dinner parties with UMD faculty and friends were some of her favorite activities while in Duluth. In 1985, Lise moved south to North Carolina, this beginning her ties with Duke. In 2000, she uprooted at age seventy-three and moved to Uppsala, Sweden. Her last ten years have been in Potomac, Maryland close to her granddaughter, Linnea. When asked what her secret to a long life was, she would answer, "laughter and a sense of humor." Her family and friends will miss her love of life, kindness and sparkle. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Kerim and Karen Gindy, her daughter and son-in-law, Naira and Robert Darius and her granddaughter, Linnea Darius.

Jaime V. Cruz, passed Friday, March 09, 2018 at Durham VA Medical Center Hospital. He had been a former employee of Duke Medical Center working in the Transportation Department. Jaime’s career with Duke began on October 20, 1993 and retired September 01, 2009 sharing sixteen years of life with his Duke family.

Myron “Skeet” Martin, a former employee of Duke University, working with Facilities Management, in the Maintenance Overhead Division as a Maintenance Mechanic, passed at eighty-two years young on March 09, 2018. “Skeet” began his career on October 23, 1978 retiring March 01, 2001 sharing twenty-three years of life with his Duke family.  He proudly served in the United States Air Force from 1953 to 1956 and we gratefully thank him for his selfless service. Myron “Skeet” Martin is survived by his wife, Betty Jean Martin; daughter, Cynthia Lee Casey and husband Lee; son, John Harrison Martin; sister, Inez West and husband Dennis Sr.; two brothers, Robert Martin and wife Ann, Owen Martin and wife Patricia; grandchildren, Jordan Riley and wife Maggie, Daniele Carpenter and husband Jason; and eight great-grandchildren.

John R. McLaurin, a former employee of Duke University Health System working as a Security Lieutenant with Duke Regional Hospital, passed on March 09, 2018. John began his career on August 10, 1998, retiring November 01, 2013 sharing fifteen years of life with his Duke family. “Mac” was a hardworking man, a man who set examples. He was considered a trusted and loyal friend, a family man who possessed a heart of gold. He will be missed, by not forgotten.

Emery Craig Parker, sixty-two years young, departed this life on March 05, 2018, while in his home, surrounded by loving family. Craig was an employee of Duke University at the time of his passing, working in the Procurement Services, Customer Relations Division, Moving & Storage. He had been with Duke since November 12, 1990 sharing twenty-eight years of life with his work family. Family was first and foremost in his life. Always thinking of others before himself. He possessed a grand sense of humor, was extremely well versed on a wide variety of subjects, was expressive and a huge fan of the Carolina Tarheels. He coordinated large family events to ensure the distant family would all keep in touch, provided support for all his family members, was a good friend, respected and trusted by all who knew him. Life was better and brighter when in the company of Craig. He was a native of Durham, NC and a graduate of Durham High School, Tampa Florida University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received the Presidents Award for Service and the Joseph G. Pietrantoni Outstanding Employee Award for Duke Surplus. Craig was the longtime former treasurer of the Triangle Buckeyes Ohio State Alumni Club where they named a service award for him, the Craig Parker Service Award. He was the type of person that you went to when you needed good advice about most anything, as he was always there for you. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, John Furman Parker and Andrew Mark Parker. Craig is survived by his partner of 17 years, Jeff Cousins, one brother, Roger K. Parker (Phyllis) of Mebane, NC and one sister, Susan Parker Naylor (George) of Timberlake, NC, one aunt, Peggy Parker of Durham, NC and sister-in-law, Edith Parker of Lowell, NC. Craig has a host of nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and many cousins who all loved him dearly.

Carla H. Thompson, a Program Coordinator, working in the Surgery Chairman Office of GM, with Duke Medical Center, passed at Duke University Hospital in Durham, on March 05, 2018 at the young age of fifty-five. She began working with Duke on August 15, 2011 and was an active member of the Duke work force until her death. Carla will be greatly missed by family, friends and coworkers alike.

Ann B. Wilson, was a former Duke University employee working with the Brodhead Center Auxiliary, in the SECS-Administration Offices, coordinating University Center-Events. Ann passed at the young age of seventy-five on Saturday, March 03, 2018. She was a life-long resident of Durham, born to Dorothy Britt and the late Clee Foster Britt. Ann was a long time survivor of lung cancer.  Left to cherish the memory of Ann are her children; sons, Allan Tilley and fiancé Jeannie Montgomery, Scott Tilley (Tara); daughter, Tonia DeAnn Teasley (Rodney); brothers, Ronnie Britt (Bonnie), Donald Britt (Lupe), Wayne Britt; grandchildren, Brittany Tilley and fiancé Ryan Morley, Blake Tilley, Justin Bobal, Tori Bobal, Kennedy Teasley, Colton Tilley, Hunter Tilley, Ryan Montgomery; and great-grandchildren, Avery Morley, Mackenzie Morley. Ann began her career April 24, 1978 retiring January 01, 2006  after sharing twenty-eight years of life with her Duke family.

Wanda F. Wiley, a former Plant Engineer working with the Engineering & Operations Administration of Duke Medical Center, passed on March 02, 2018. She was fifty-five years young. Wanda had a keen sense of humor, wonderful laughter and a gentle presence. She will be greatly missed by family and friends and by her beloved community. Her career with Duke began on January 23, 1984 reaching retirement on November 01, 2016. Wanda embraced thirty-two years of life with her work family at Duke.


February 2018

Nathan A. Vinson Sr., a former employee of Duke Regional Hospital, working as an Anesthesiology Technician, passed on February 22, 2018. Nathan was a trusted friend, an excellent employee, and a deeply invested family man. His family was the center of his universe. Nathan was always smiling and was more than willing to share that warm smile with all he encountered. His career began on July 15, 1969 retiring February 01, 2010 sharing forty-one years of life with his Duke family.

Deborah Holder Rollins, died February 19, 2018 at sixty-four years young. Her former colleagues recognized Deborah as an inspirational, compassionate, caring woman. Deborah was a former Medical Licensed Practical Nurse working for Duke University Health System in Medical Unit 8300. She began her career with Duke November 26, 1973 retiring July 01, 2013, sharing forty years of life with her Duke family. Her family, friends, colleagues and beloved community will genuinely miss Deborah.

Margaret Pollard, a former Laboratory Supervisor for Central Laboratory Support Collection with Duke University Health System Clinical Laboratory, died February 17, 2018. Margaret’s career with Duke Health System began June 01, 1966 retiring May 01, 1987. She was living in Little River, South Carolina at the time of her passing. Margaret was ninety-two years young.

Linda ‘Diane’ Carver, former Patient Advocate working with Duke University Health System in the Operating Room–Infrastructure, passed February 16, 2018. She was seventy years young. Diane was a member of Grace United Methodist Church. She is survived by daughter, Lori-Ann Holder (Jeremy); two grandchildren; Haleigh Grace and Addison Holder, three sisters; Nancy Clayton (Mike), Donna Elliot (Donald), and Bonnie Elliott (Robin); special Aunt Evelyn Wilson, Sister-in-Law, Carolyn Carver Stevens, and loving nieces and nephews. Diane’s career began February 28, 1975 retiring August 01, 2006 embracing thirty-one years with her Duke family.

Lola “Myrl” Pope Keene, a former Senior Library Assistant, working with Library Acquisitions, in the Serials Department of Duke University’s Perkins Library, passed on February 16, 2018 at ninety-three years young.  “Myrl’ began her career on April 19, 1954 eventually retiring on December 31, 2000 sharing forty-six years of life with her Duke family. She was also involved in the Bessie Porter Library Sunday School Class, with the West Durham Pentecostal Holiness Church. A host of loving nieces and nephews, along with special friends, the Pleasant family, survive, “Myrl”. She will be missed by many and loved by all who knew her.

Jennifer Alice Goldman, forty-nine years young, of Burlington, North Carolina passed away February 13, 2018 at Duke University Medical Center after a short battle with lung cancer. She was born in Portsmouth, Virginia but North Carolina was Jennifer’s home from 1969. She was employed by Duke University Health System since January 08, 1991 embracing twenty-seven years of life working in Duke Orthopaedics Access Center as an Appointment Coordinator. Jennifer’s co-workers became her second family. They knew her to be a very loyal and hard-working colleague. She particularly enjoyed welcoming new colleagues into the Duke family teaching them the fine art of working the schedule to help as many patients as possible and as quickly as possible. Jennifer loved all of God's creatures but was most fond of her two cats, China Rose and GusGus, and her dog Jazzy.  Art and music were Jennifer’s favorite passions. She love listening to music and was a very creative sketcher. Jennifer was also a masterful shopper who loved antique furniture. Everyone who met Jennifer knew within minutes that they had met one of “the sweetest”, “kindest” persons on Earth.  She cared deeply for her family, animals, friends, colleagues and community.  Jennifer will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Left to hold Jennifer’s precious memory dear, are her parents, Jeanne & Wayne Murray of Conowingo, Maryland and Jack & Penny Goldman of West Jordan, Utah; brother, David Goldman & wife Jennifer of Franklinton. Brittany Goldman niece and Tyler Goldman nephew. Pat and Ross Harwood and their children Mark, Lisa, and Amy were also a major part of her extended family.

Shannah Marlene Calvert, a Sleep Technician working for Duke University Health System in Children’s Pediatrics, passed February 12, 2018 at the young age of forty. She began her career with Duke on August 26, 2013.

Dorothy ‘Dottie’ Lewis Simpson, a community leader, scientist, civic leader, adventurer and women's rights supporter died Monday, February 12, 2018 peacefully in her home at the young age of ninety-three and Dottie was a very young ninety-three. She knew no bounds, timeless and ageless. She was nineteen when she obtained her pilots license intending to join the armed services as a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilot) in World War II, however the war ended just before she had the opportunity to serve. Still having a strong desire to fly, but unable to apply for a pilot’s job, (during that time, being a pilot was not an option for women) Dottie instead became an Airline Stewardess for Pan American Airways. She met her true love, Hunter Simpson, during that same era of life, and married him in 1951, but not before first travelling the Yukon River in an 18’ (foot) riverboat, and completing a trip around the world, (accompanied by a co-worker and dear friend, also a Pan American Airways Stewardess). Dottie attended Duke University serving as Junior and Senior Class President of The Woman’s College, graduating in 1946 with a major in mathematics. After much adventure, and life, she decided to go back to school receiving her MBA in the 1980s. At seventy-six years of age; Dottie would ride in a Russian MiG 25 to 80,000' at Mach 2.4 and at eighty years of age, was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest woman to have experienced weightlessness. Dottie was active in promoting the passage of ‘Title IX’, which reads: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” paving the way for girls and women to play sports on fields and courts across America. She was an original owner of Seattle Reign, the city’s first professional women’s basketball team; she was also a passionate supporter of women’s crew at the University of Washington as well as Duke University. Dottie instilled the values of community service, education and opportunity in her close-knit family, who will strive to carry on her legacy of goodwill. The University of Washington and Duke University, both benefited from her active involvement and guidance, (often at the executive level), of these programs, Seattle Junior Programs, Seattle Repertory Theater, MOHAI, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Flight, The ARCS Foundation to name a few. Dottie will be remembered for never taking “no” for an answer when campaigning for an organization or cause in which she truly believed in.  She served two terms on Duke's board of trustees (1982-1995), where she chaired the Student Affairs Committee, and was a member of the search committee that recommended the hiring of President Nannerl O. Keohane. She served on Duke's Council on Women's Studies. In 1999, Dottie was honored with the Duke University Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Duke Alumni Association. "In her lifetime of service," wrote Duke trustee Susan Bennett King '62, "Dottie represents the best of a generation of women who have contributed so much time, energy, and intelligence in volunteer work, often unheralded but just as often the moving force behind major programs and projects. Her quiet but persuasive leadership has galvanized both people and funding sources for years. It is this kind of commitment ...that has successfully translated vision into reality." She is survived by son, Brooks Simpson (Kathy), daughters, Anne Simpson (Charlie Conner) and Chris Brent (Bruce) and grandchildren, Hailey Simpson (Mike), Blake Simpson, Eric Hagfors, Kristen Millar (Dave), Leisa Brent and Wyatt Brent. Her wish to be a pilot has been realized by a daughter, who flies for Northwest Airlines. There is no doubt, that Dottie’s wise council, zest for life, and graceful heart, adventurer before her time, will be missed by, family, friends and community.

Valinda Lou Gornto, a former employee with Duke University Administration, working as a Benefits Manager with Rewards & Recognition, passed February 11, 2018 after a long decline of health. Valinda was eighty years of age. She was a life-long resident of Hillsborough, North Carolina. Valinda retired from Duke University after over forty years in the Benefits & Records Department. She was known for her sense of humor (never a dull moment when she was in the midst) and love of cats.  She is survived by her brother Morris Wrenn (Jean), niece Sharon Wrenn Wilson (Bill), niece Crystal Wrenn Babson (Robert).  Also surviving are two great nephews, Drew Babson (Brittany), William Wilson and fiancé Lauren Wolfe, and great niece Allison Babson Ross (Justin).  Hunter Warren and Trista Warren survive as great-great nephew and great-great niece. She was predeceased by her husband, former Hillsborough Deputy Bruce Gornto, father Oscar Wrenn/Strum and mother Lizzie Wrenn/Strum. Valinda was a very special person to all her family members, listening to their ‘wants, needs, hopes and wishes’ then (whenever possible) provided those special moments and lifelong memories. When Valinda was at Duke Medical Center, she was a tremendous advocate for family members who needed her aid. She loved Gospel Music, and singing. The world benefits from people like Valinda who bring so much joy to others, just by being themselves. Valinda began her career with Duke on May 01, 1957 retiring July 01, 1998 sharing forty-one years of life with her Duke family

Verlene Suggs Beasley, a former Medical Technologist working in the Microbiology Laboratory with Duke University Health System Clinical Laboratory, died February 11, 2018.  Verlene was eighty years of age. Her career with Duke began November 01, 1961 retiring July 01, 1995 sharing thirty-four years of life with her Duke Health System family.

Susan Spell Butler, former Laboratory Supervisor with Duke Medical Center working with Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, passed February 5, 2018 while living in ‘The Forest at Duke Retirement Community”. She was ninety-four years of age. Susan was preceded in death by her childhood sweetheart and husband of sixty-two years, James M Butler. She is survived by her two children, Kitty Butler Cobb (Parks) of Seven Lakes and Bill Butler (Laura) of Burlington NC. Susan was also blessed with two grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She loved her family first and foremost, music and Duke Choir. Many will miss Susan. Her career with Duke began on September 20, 1954 retiring July 01, 1987 sharing thirty-three years of life with her Duke family.

Eunice Delois Talley Godette, a former Housekeeping Specialist working with Duke University at Nicholas School of the Environment--Marine Laboratory, in Beaufort, NC, passed February 4, 2018.   Eunice was eighty years young. She was a native of Palmer Springs, Virginia and resided in Craven County for over fifty years. Eunice attended St Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, VA and graduated from Durham Business College in Durham, NC. She began working with Duke Marine Laboratory on June 21, 1976, retiring January 01, 2000. Upon retiring from her Duke career, she worked briefly for Fox Hill Private School as a teacher’s aide. In 2005, she received the Teacher’s Aide of the Year Award. She was a person who possessed the type of smile that virtually lit up a room, quiet, gentle, kind, a very caring and sharing person. In 1959, Eunice married Franklin D. R. Godette. Together they had four children. A son, Shaughnessy M. Godette preceded her in death, as did her beloved husband, Franklin. Eunice adored her family; her children were her pride and joy.  She taught her children that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Humility, empathy, and generosity were qualities that were engrained in their character. She was a role model to her children, showcasing the importance of being kind to others, emphasizing how important it is to live a respectful, Godly life Three loving children, Flondezi (Diane) Godette, Arturo Godette, and Felicia Godette; two loving grandchildren, Autumn and Marcus Godette; a sister, Rebecca Howard, a devoted brother, Calvin Talley; a sister-in-law, Verdelle Newby (Bernard), and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends will forever cherish her memory.

Patsy Gray, a former Clinical Service Coordinator working with Duke University Health System in the General Surgical Clinic died, February 2, 2018 peacefully in her Durham home, she was eighty-four years of age. Patsy was a member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Ed Shoe's Sunday School Class and the Joy Club. She was also a member of the Duke Medical Center Retirement Group. She was born in Bahama, the daughter of the late Earl Justin Hill and Lillie Mae Tippet Hill. She was preceded in death by her son, Paul Lee Gray; sister, Mary Ella Andrews; and brothers, Billy T. Hill and Edgar Hill. Left to hold Patsy’s memory dear, are her husband of sixty-six years, Arthur Daniel Gray, Sr.; daughter, Tammy Cohn (Ken); son, Arthur Daniel Gray, Jr.; and sister, Mildred Doby. Patsy began her career at Duke on September 01, 1966 retiring January 01, 1995.


January 2018

David Wise, a former Housekeeping Specialist working with the Duke University Health System at Duke North, died January 31, 2018. David was fifty-six years young. He was a resident of Durham, North Carolina at the time of his passing. David joined the work force at Duke on June 07, 1992 retiring from his career on July 01, 2012 sharing twenty years of life with his work family.

Rosa Elizabeth Pollard McLamb, a former employee of Duke University Printing Services, died January 29, 2018. He career began June 01, 1974 retiring August 01, 1991 sharing seventeen years of life with her Duke family.

P. Aarne Vesilind, seventy-eight years young, passed, surrounded by his loving family on January 28, 2018, from complications of cancer. He obtained his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Lehigh University and his PH.D. in environmental engineering from the University of North Carolina. He spent his post-doctoral year with the Norwegian Institute for Water Research in Oslo where he developed a laboratory test for estimating the performance of dewatering centrifuges, then a year as a research engineer with Bird Machine Company. In 1970, he went on to join the faculty at Duke University as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering. In 1999, P. Aarne was appointed to the R.L. Rooke Chair of the Historical and Societal Context of Engineering at Bucknell University. There, he served to his capacity until retiring in 2006. Along with numerous accolades, accomplishments and prestigious awards, P. Aarne was most proud of his teaching awards. He was presented the E.I. Brown Award from the students of the Department of Civil Engineering, Duke University, for teaching excellence (four times), the Tau Beta Pi Teaching Award from the students of the School of Engineering, Duke University (1999), the 2005 Award for Achievement in Environmental Engineering Education, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, 1998 and 2005. One of his students recalls a favorite memory. ‘For homework, there was a question on nerve gas concentrations. He asked a straightforward question about determining air concentrations for nerve gas and roughly how much you would need to achieve a lethal concentration over ‘X’ area. After everyone turned in their answers, he chastised the ones who answered the question.’ "Just because you can answer a question, doesn't mean you should." ‘The lesson was knowledge is powerful, and we have to use our engineering knowledge ethically. That lesson was never forgotten.’ While at Duke, P. Aarne headed the Program in Science, Technology and Human Values for many satisfying years, (an undergraduate enrichment program that sought to build bridges between the humanities and engineering departments). In 1987, he married his high school sweetheart, Libby McTaggart, settling in Chapel Hill, NC. Together they acquired a summer camp on a small lake in Bath, NH. Calling it “The Birdbath” which became a sanctuary for bird watching, a little ‘skinny dipping’, a time for thoughtful reflection and happy relaxation. The camp was surrounded by birch trees that reminded him of his early childhood home on the Pirita River in Tallinn, Estonia. P. Aarne started a small publishing house, Lakeshore Press, as a forum for academic texts, musical arrangements, and memoirs about Estonians before, during and after Soviet occupation. It was after a thirty-year tenure at Duke University that Aarne and Libby moved to Lewisburg, PA. When actually retiring, in 2006, P. Aarne and Libby moved to New London, NH, it was there he fulfilled a lifelong dream by becoming music director and conductor for the Kearsarge Community Band. Above all his worldly accomplishments, Aarne’s most endearing quality was his gratefulness. He kept his friends close, acknowledged good fortune, and appreciated small wonders, like the sound of a canoe, gliding over lily pads. P. Aarne began his career at Duke University on September 01, 1970 retiring July 01, 2001.

Dixie Elizabeth Howard, a former employee of Duke Medical Center, working as a Medical Records Clerk II with the Ophthalmology Department, passed on January 28, 2018. Dixie was seventy-four years young. Her career with Duke began on December 30, 1991 retiring October 01, 2008 sharing nearly twenty years of life with the Medical Center.

Marjorie McKnight Pollard, daughter of the late James I. and Sarah McKnight was born on August 6, 1913 in Franklinton, N.C. Marjorie passed away peacefully, at Pettigrew Assisted Living Facility, on January 28, 2018, at the grand age of 104 years young. Marjorie attended Franklinton schools moving on to attend Kittrell College. Her husband, Marvin Pollard; three brothers, Francis, James and Arthur, and one sister, Negolia, predecease her. Survivors include Evelyn, her daughter, Adriane Saunders,  Deborah Cole, Michael Gallop, and a host of nieces and nephews, cousins and friends who will dearly miss Marjorie. Her career at Duke University began November 10, 1967 retiring May 01, 1979.

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. Janet was an avid Tarheel fan and enjoyed traveling with her husband (Rick) to Canada and to Arizona to visit close friends. Janet was preceded in death by her husband, Rick Wilson; her sisters, Johnsie Pierce Brantley and Gail Pierce Connor. Survivors left to carry her loving memory include her sister, Sharon Pierce of Asheboro; nieces, Erin Connor and Jami Brantley; nephew, Rob Brantley; great nephew, Zeke Brantley; and many friends who helped her through this time.

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. She will be lovingly remembered by many.

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.

Verble Ardinia William Dollar, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina passed January 12, 2018. She was a former Administrative Assistant with Duke Medical Center working with the Medicine Endocrinology & Metabolism Department. Her career with Duke began March 01, 1988 retiring later that year. Verble was a young ninety-three years of age, born April 23, 1924.  She was born in Pitt County, NC to the late William Isaac Williams and Sadie Vainwright Williams. She is also preceded in death by her first husband H. Donald Roberts and second husband Clayton Dollar. Verble is survived by her son Douglas Roberts of Chapel Hill, daughter Brenda Roberts of Richmond, VA; five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild who will miss their loved one greatly.

William Ray Edwards, a former employee of Duke University working as an Assistant Equipment Manager with the Locker & Towel Service, passed on January 12, 2018. William was born on June 6, 1933, allowing him eighty-five years of gracious living. At the time of his passing, William was a resident of Hillsborough, North Carolina. His career at Duke began August 25, 1958 retiring July 01, 1995 embracing nearly forty years of life with his Duke family. Proudly, he honored his country by serving with the military as a member of the U.S. Army. William served from May 1953 to April 1955 where he served honorably in Stuttgart, Germany.

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 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.

Mae Frances Lewis, a former employee of Duke University Health System working with Laundry Services in Laundry Processing, passed January 11, 2018. She was eighty-seven years of age. Mae was the daughter of the late Dorsey Williams, Sr. and Lillie Mae Hill Williams. Left to carry her loving memory are her two sons, Davis Lee Lewis and James Edward Lewis both of Henderson; three daughters, Brenda M. Blalock, Polly Ann Lewis and Emma Marie Williams all of Henderson; one sister, Shirley Ann Plack of Oxford; six brothers, Dorsey Williams, Leslie Williams, Waverly Williams and Douglas Williams all of Oxford, Lonnie Williams of Durham and John Richard Williams of Orangeburg, SC. Mae will be missed by her ten grandchildren who she held precious in her heart; and by her ten great grandchildren, her greatest pride and joy. She began her career with Duke on June 13, 1980 retiring January 01, 1998.

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.

Martha Jane Hackney, a former Accounting Supervisor, with Duke University Medical Center, passed January 06, 2018, at WakeMed Hospital in Cary, NC. Martha was seventy-five years young.  She began her career at Duke on October 02, 1972 retiring February 01, 2006, sharing a warm smile, a great sense of humor, loyalty and a fierce commitment to her job and workmates for thirty-four years. She was born in Durham, the daughter of the late Oscar Allen and Hazel Horne Allen. In addition to her parents, she was also predeceased by son, Richard Alan Hackney. Martha is survived by her daughters, Angela Whipple, Cynthia Smith, Dawn Wirth; grandchildren, MaKenna Kendall Marti, Brenner Richard Whipple, Jason Kyle Hackney, Christopher Brian Wright, Jennifer Smith Long, Devon Castillon; three great-grandchildren; and sisters, Virginia Lee, Fay Ray. Martha will be missed by family, friends, community and past coworkers, the world will be a little less bright without her presence.

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 obituaries can be found here.