GAMMON ’ 44
DOWD III ’ 45
Blair C. Gammon ’ 44
Blair Cochran Gammon, of Charlottesville, Virginia, died November 4, 2019.
Blair Gammon entered Woodberry as a secondformer and spent the next five years excelling atboth academics and sports. He served as seniorprefect and was awarded both the Archer ChristianMemorial Medal and the Scholar-Athlete Medal atgraduation, the first time in the school’s historythat a student achieved both. He also received themedal for highest standing in his form all five yearsof his attendance. A member of the W Club, Mr.Gammon lettered in football, basketball, baseball,and track, and was captain of the football andbaseball teams his senior year. He was also theassociate editor of The Oracle, the president of thebook club, the senior warden of the chapel council,and a member of The Fir Tree staff.
Mr. Gammon graduated Phi Beta Kappa fromthe University of North Carolina, where he was amember of the ROTC and the Navy V- 12 program.He spent time in the Pacific and achieved the rankof lieutenant (j.g.) before being discharged.
After graduating from UNC, Mr. Gammonreturned to Woodberry to teach and coach forfour years. He began working for CrawfordManufacturing in Richmond and then KlopmanMills, a division of Burlington, in New York. Hebecame head of Klopman International in Romeand was knighted by the Italian governmentin 1974 for his role in business growth in thecountry. He finished his career as a businessconsultant for BCG Enterprises.
An avid golfer, Mr. Gammon also took up tennisat age fifty and became a top-ten ranked doublesplayer for ages sixty-five and older. Duringthe 1980s he served on the board of trustees atLawrence Country Day School in Hewlett, NewYork, and was president of Rockaway HuntingClub in Lawrence, New York. Mr. Gammon wasa Woodberry class agent and a fixture on campus— a lunchtime visit shortly after his ninetiethbirthday included a birthday serenade from thestudents.
One of Mr. Gammon’s favorite stories was from
The Game in November 1950 when he was an
assistant coach of the Woodberry football team.
A good Woodberry team was being outplayed by
Episcopal, and the players were hanging their heads
as they entered the locker room at halftime trailing
13–0. Mr. Gammon had designed a trick play, and
team captain Ned Hardison ’ 51 successfully urged
Mr. Gammon to convince legendary head coach
Leonard Dick to run the play to start the second half.
The play resulted in a touchdown, turning the game
around completely. At a dinner for Mr. Gammon in
Charlotte in 2008, members of the 1950 Woodberry
team reenacted the play. His former students also
established a scholarship in his honor.
Mr. Gammon is survived by a daughter and twograndchildren. His nephew is Charles G. Lindsey’70. He was predeceased by his wife, Lisa.
W. Frank Dowd III ’ 45
Willis Frank Dowd III, of Charlotte, NorthCarolina, died November 1, 2019.
Frank Dowd participated in all aspects of
Woodberry life, making his mark in the areas of
leadership, athletics, and the arts. Known for his
“intriguing personality” and smile, he was an
effective member of the monitor board and the
circulation manager for The Oracle. Mr. Dowd was
the manager of the football team, and participated
in varsity track, golf, and tennis. He was also a
member of the German club, music club, and choir.
His class voted him as “most likely to succeed.”
Following Woodberry, Mr. Dowd went on to
Davidson College before earning a bachelor’s
in business from Princeton. He became a radio
technician in the US Naval Reserves before being
discharged with the rank of sergeant first class.
Mr. Dowd then began working at Charlotte Pipeand Foundry, the business his grandfather started,and eventually became president. During hiscareer, he worked closely with his brother, Roddey’ 50, and Ned Hardison ’ 51, and was instrumental inexpanding the company into plastics.
Mr. Dowd was very generous with his time,serving on the boards of many local organizations— often holding a leadership position. Thoseincluded the Charlotte City School Board(becoming the youngest member in 1959), CentralPiedmont Community College, North CarolinaBoard of Transportation, North Carolina NationalBank (later Bank of America), Charlotte CountryDay School, Lance, Inc., Dowd Foundation,Charlotte City Club, and Charlotte YMCA. He wasalso a member of the Good Fellows Club, CharlotteCountry Club, Providence Country Club, andMyers Park Baptist Church, where he served asdeacon and chairman of the board.
In addition to his civic activities, Mr. Dowd heldmany interests and hobbies throughout his life. Hewas a ham radio operator and became a member ofthe DX Century Club by making two-way contactwith at least one hundred countries. He earnedhis pilot’s license at eighteen, cultivating a love oftransportation that also included model airplanes,model railroads, restoring military trucks, andrestoring classic railroad cars. His athleticpursuits included skiing, tennis, volleyball, andgolf, and when he slowed down he enjoyed readingand listening to music. Most of all, he enjoyed the Member of the Walker Society