In Memoriam: Deacs Who Passed in 2016
Jan. 1, 2017
Jan. 15: Bruce Fraser '73: Bruce was a member of the men's tennis team who would go on to earn a law degree from Wake Forest and practice law in Winston-Salem for many years.
Jan. 27: Homer Brookshire '68: A former football player for the Demon Deacons, Homer became a valued member of the Deacon Club. After graduation from Wake Forest University in 1968, he was inducted into the United States Marine Corps where he rose to the rank of Captain. He served in Vietnam as a Rifle Platoon and Company Commander in 1968 and 1969. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with a Combat V, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism, and the Navy Achievement Medal. After leaving the military in 1975, he worked in the poultry industry.
Feb. 1: Al Black '51: A track and cross country athlete at Wake Forest following his service in the Pacific during World War II. After graduating from Wake Forest, he returned to his native Hartnett County where he coached at Boone Trail High and won over 20 conference championships. He was inducted into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
Feb. 4: Charlie Horn '59: A member of the Wake Forest football team, Charlie returned home to Shelby, NC where he became a premier trial attorney and eventually served as a district court judge.
Feb. 23: John Poe, a member of the cross country and track and field teams in 1974-75, passed away due to a heart attack. John served as a volunteer in Roanoke, Va. and was named the state Volunteer of the Year by the governor of Virginia for his work at Catawba Hospital. John also worked with the Roanoke League of Older Americans, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Brandon Oakes Retirement Community.
Feb. 26: Sam Reese `60, was a letterman on the 1959 Wake Forest football team. He would become a cornerstone at East Henderson High School. He was the first head football coach from 1961-68 and started the wrestling program in 1966.
May 30: Ray Harris '50, golf. Ray entered the US Navy to fight in World War II at the age of 17 after altering his birth certificate. Following his graduation from Wake Forest, he joined the FBI and later had careers in hardware, real estate and politics with the Republican National Committee.
May 31: Ken Glover '61. After participating in track and cross country at Wake Forest, his career began in the ministry but his listening skills led to a second career as a family and marriage counselor. In April, 2016, Ken was named the Ashe County Senior Volunteer of the Year.
June 6: Al Conover '61. Al was a left tackle for the Deacons who lettered from 1958-60. He became a football coach, first at Florida State and then as the offensive coordinator at Rice. He spent four years as Rice's head coach from 1972-75.
June 9: Frank McRae '56. A member of Wake Forest's 1955 College World Series championship team, Frank went five for five in the title game victory over Western Michigan. He drove in three runs and made a diving game-saving catch late in the game to preserve the 7-6 win over the Broncos. McRae also played basketball for the Demon Deacons. In 1956, Frank hit .419 to lead the ACC in batting average and earned first team All-ACC honors. He led the ACC in RBIs in 1955. For more information on Frank McRae: click here
June 16: Dr. Jack Lewis `53, a football letterman from 1950-52, was a Cum Laude graduate of Wake Forest in 1953. Lewis led the Deacons in scoring in 1951 when he caught five touchdown passes. Following his senior year, he played in the Senior Bowl. After earning a medical degree from Medical College of Alabama in 1957, he was a practicing physician in Charlotte for 44 years.
June 27: Thomas Duffee '68. Tom was a standout athlete at Richmond's Hermitage High and played football at Wake Forest. A veteran of the United States Army, Tom retired from Patient First in Richmond, Va. after 28 years of service.
July 25: Joe Warren, a member of Wake Forest's 1955 College World Series championship team, passed away in Raleigh. A 1956 graduate of Wake Forest, Joe also played on Wake Forest's 1954 baseball team. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War and spent 31 years as the financial controller of Plastic Tubing.
Aug. 9: Bill Dooley, Wake Forest's head coach from 1987-92. Coach Dooley led the Demon Deacons for six seasons, posting a record of 29-36-2 overall and 14-29 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He took Wake Forest to the 1992 Independence Bowl and a 39-35 win over Oregon. Dooley was the ACC Coach of the Year for Wake Forest in 1987 and in 1992. For more information on Coach Dooley: click here.
Sept. 13: Graham Phillips '55. Graham lettered on the Wake Forest basketball team in 1954-55. He graduated from Wake Forest Law in '58 and practiced in Wallace, NC for 55 years.
Sept. 25: Arnold Palmer, who became the first international golf superstar after starring in college at Wake Forest, died at the age of 87. Palmer died in Pittsburgh, Pa. near his home in Latrobe, Pa. As a professional, Palmer won seven Major championships and claimed 62 titles on the PGA Tour. He was the Tour Player of the Year in 1960 and 1962. His first professional championship was the 1955 Canadian Open and his final PGA Tour title came in the 1973 Bob Hope Desert Classic. While at Wake Forest, Palmer became the No. 1 man on the golf team and one of the leading collegiate players of that time. Palmer was the medalist at the Southern Conference golf championships in 1948 and 1949. He won the 1948 tournament with a 36-hole score of 145 at Pinehurst No. 2. Palmer repeated in 1949 by firing a 136 at Winston-Salem's Old Town Club. Palmer took top individual honors at the NCAA Championships in 1949 and 1950. After a three-year break, he returned to campus and was the very first ACC golf champion in 1954. For more information on Arnold Palmer, visit click here
Sept. 27: John Forrest Watson, Jr. '51. A native of Thomson, Ga., Watson played briefly for the Deacon football team before going on to serve tours in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He joined the Air Force in 1951 and retired as a Major in 1971. In 1968 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for piloting aircraft through extremely dangerous missions.
Sept. 28: John Coles '53: John was an offensive lineman for the Deacons from 1951-53. Following his graduation, he served in the Army in Korea and worked as a tool-and-die maker in Dunellen, NJ for many years.
Oct. 4: Gair Allie. The Statesville native attended Wake Forest in 1950-51 and was a star on the freshman basketball and baseball teams. He then accepted a $20,000 signing bonus with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was the starting second baseman for the Pirates in 1954. After his playing career, he served a stint in the military and settled in San Antonio. He was a vice president of the Falstaff and Lone Star beer distributors and opened a restaurant, Raffles, that he operated from 1987 until 2015.
Oct. 7: Jeff Underwood, '66: A quarterback on the 1963 Demon Deacon football team, Jeff graduated from Wake Forest in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He served as an Army officer from 1967-1969, stationed in Korea. He joined Alcoa and held various sales and marketing positions within the company and Alcoa Conductor Products Company. In 1993 he was named Chairman and CEO of United States Alumoweld Company, an Alcoa wire and cable manufacturer. After 31 years of service to Alcoa he retired and became a co-owner of the Bill Voorhees Company, a distributor of heating and cooling equipment and supplies in Nashville, TN, from 2002 to 2010 before moving to Myrtle Beach, SC.
Oct. 24: Michael Ogborne, a member of the 1959 Deacon football team, passed away on Oct. 24. A native of Freehold, NJ, Ogborne graduated from the Ohio State School of Dentistry and was a dentist for 46 years, his last stop being in Greenville, South Carolina.
Nov.1: David Kiser '67: David was a member of the golf team in 1964-65 and 1965-66. David maintained a lifelong love of golf and was a club champion and won the Charlotte City Amateur in 1977. He played competitive golf for 7 decades and was an avid sportsman.
Nov. 5: Dr. Ernest Brock, Jr.: Brock was a member of the Wake Forest football team following his service in World War II for which he won a Distinguished Service Cross. After graduating from Bowman Gray School of Medicine, he went on to serve as Alabama's team doctor for many years.
Nov. 17: Marvin "Skip" Crater, 91, was Wake Forest's head baseball coach for 12 seasons starting in 1976. He guided the Deacons to the 1977 ACC baseball championship and compiled a career coaching record of 272-209-3 and was the ACC Coach of the Year in 1982. A graduate of R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, he played in the New York Yankees farm system and was at one point a roommate with Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. His baseball career was interrupted by World War II where he served as a PFC Medical Adman but also played baseball for the 10th Replacement Depot at Litchfield, near Birmingham, England, a team that clinched championships in 1944 and 1945. Skip wound up playing nine seasons in the Yankee system and became a manager before returning to Winston-Salem as a member of the police department. He served the community for 26 years before retiring as Sergeant Crater. Coach Crater was honored with the Winston-Salem/Bill Slack Community Service Award in 1999 and inducted into the R. J. Reynolds High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Nov. 22: Maurice Howard George '55. A basketball letterman at Wake Forest in the early `50s, he was a member of the Deacons' 1953 Southern Conference champion basketball team in 1953. Mr. George was a veteran of the US Army and a longtime member of the Deacon Club.
Nov. 22: Dr. Kent Rogers '51. A member of four Wake Forest baseball teams from 1948-51, Dr. Rogers helped the Deacons to a runner-up finish in the 1949 College World Series. He was a member of the 1951 Wake Forest baseball team that represented the United States and won a silver medal in the inaugural Pan-Am games in Buenos Aires. After graduating from Northwestern School of Dentistry in 1956, he served four years in the Air Force before opening up a practice in East Asheville, NC. Dr. Rogers practiced dentistry for 44 years before retiring in 2006.
Nov. 23: George Kennedy, the founder of the Wake Forest men's soccer team, passed on Nov. 23. Kennedy founded the soccer program at Wake Forest in 1980 and coached the Demon Deacons for six seasons. He was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 1981 after leading the Deacons to an 11-7-4 record in only their second season of play. After leaving Wake Forest, Kennedy continued to stay involved in the North Carolina soccer scene, coaching the boys' and girls' soccer teams at Western Guilford High School for 25 years before becoming the girls' soccer coach at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Kernersville.
Dec. 19: Ralph Pellechia, a football letterman as a center on the 1955 Demon Deacon squad. He was an Agency Manager for AXA Equitable, Clark, NJ. During his distinguished 60 year career with AXA Equitable, he served as President of the Old Guard, Hall of Fame member and received more than 87 awards.
Dec. 30: Herbert Howell '54. A member of the basketball team in 1952-53, Howell came to Wake Forest after playing at Mars Hill. Following graduation, he was a sales rep for MacMillan Publishing and a high successful college textbook representative.
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