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Beloved Professor Emeritus of Biology Dick Houk has passed away. A U.S. Navy veteran, Houk earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University and spent 30 years as a professor of biology and botany at Winthrop. Houk's life-long passion was his work on endangered species recovery, specifically the Schweinitz's sunflower. Houk was active in the Rock Hill community, serving as president of the Rock Hill Kiwanis Club and working with the local Boys and Girls Club. Iin lieu of flowers to mark his passing, Houk hoped that donations would be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of York County, P.O. Box 226, Rock Hill, S.C., 29731; the Children's Attention Home of Rock Hill, P.O. Box 2912, Rock Hill, S.C., 29732; or the Winthrop University Foundation, 302 Tillman Hall, Rock Hill, S.C., 29733.

Former Winthrop employee Faye Mullis Vails, 87, passed away on Oct. 1.A native of Clover, South Carolina, Vails worked at Winthrop as a key punch operator in Tillman Hall. She retired after 15 years of services. She enjoyed flower gardening, traveling, attending worship events, playing UNO and Bingo and spending time with her family. She is survived by her son, her daughter, her step-daughter, 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Former Winthrop professor Eugene C. Stiff, Jr., passed away on May 22 at the age of 90 years old. The Connecticut native joined the United States Marine Corps at 17 and served in World War II. He married Betty Schuermann, and they were married for 68 years until his death. They share four daughters and several grand- and great-grandchildren.After earning his master's degree in Spanish from Vanderbilt University, Stiff spent the rest of his career teaching Spanish at both Winthrop and Chester High School.

Retired Winthrop faculty member Louise Baughan Murdy, 81, passed away on March 22. She was married to William George Murdy Jr., and the couple was a part of the Winthrop community from 1963-1997.Louise taught art history and English and directed Winthrop's first Writing Center. She was dedicated to her church, the museum, the arts and her family.

John Dille, a long-time former professor of biology at Winthrop, has passed away. He was 76. He retired from Winthrop in 2006 after 34 years of service. He dedicated much of his career to research in the field of plant genetics and editor of the Rice Biotechnology Quarterly. He enjoyed taking classes of his students to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon. In his personal life, he was adventurous: sky-diving, spelunking, snow skiing, kayaking, running and hiking. After retirement, he volunteered as an S.C. State Constable.

Heath, Frederick
Frederick M. Heath, 85, passed away Jan. 25, 2017. He joined the Winthrop community in 1969 and was a professor of history for 30 years and the head of the history department for more than a decade, twice receiving the Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Teaching Award.. He was professor emeritus in 1995. During his career, Heath served on many commissions, including the S.C. Archives Commission, the Board of Review for History Places, and the S.C. Bicentennial Commission. He organized Historic Rock Hill and served as its first chairman.

John Robert Cooper
John Robert Cooper, 82, passed away Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. He was a professor of economics at Winthrop from 1964-97 when he retired with professor emeritus status.    According to his obituary, during his tenure at Winthrop, Cooper he touched the lives of many students. His goal was always to sharpen their minds and help them see the value and wisdom of conservative views while demonstrating the "proper way to dress." He met this challenge with distinction.In addition to his academic career, Cooper was a veteran serving in the U.S. Army from 1955-61.Memorials may be sent to Humane Society of Rock Hill or the charity of one's choice.

Justin Christopher
Justin Christopher, a groundskeeper who worked at The Farm, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 6. Christopher, who was 35 years old, died from a cardiac event at his home.  Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at GreeneFuneral Home Northwest Chapel from 6-7:30 p.m. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Mount Holly United Methodist Church Sanctuary. A private burial will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10. Memorials may be made to Mount Holly United Methodist Church, 1996 Mount Holly Road, Rock Hill, SC 29730. 

Lawrence Darby
Sir Lawrence Darby, a custodian who worked at the Winthrop Coliseum, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 23, from injuries sustained in a car accident. He was 53 years old. Darby, who joined the Winthrop staff in August 2000, was very active with the Samaritan’s Feet project involving Winthrop’s athletics teams and coaches. The project collected shoes for needy children. In his spare time, Darby was a DJ. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 3 p.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum. 

Renae Myles began her duties on Oct. 3 as senior associate athletic director for internal operations, chief operating officer, and senior woman administrator. Myles has over 19 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics. She previously served at the University of Connecticut, University of Pittsburgh, San Jose State, Delaware State, Southwest Baptist University and Alabama A&M University.

Ed Guettler, retired Winthrop professor of mathematics, passed away on July 26. He was 79. Guettler served as a faculty member and department administrator for nearly 30 years at Winthrop. During that time, he won several of the university's prestigious awards, including the 1986 James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1990 Faculty/Student Life Award. He also served as Chief Faculty Marshal and as faculty representative to the Winthrop Board of Trustees. Outside of the classroom, he coached the cross country team for seven years. The Griffin-Guettler Endowed Scholarship was established in the names of the late Dr. Mary Roland Griffin and Dr. Guettler by Kathy and Larry Bigham to honor the two distinguished faculty members.

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