Alexander McAlister Worth, Jr. died peacefully on June 17, 2013 at his home in Well Spring community in Greensboro. A celebration of his life will be held Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at 2:00 PM in Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. The family will visit with friends in the Haywood Duke room at the church.
Alex was born in Columbia, SC on May 4, 1918, the son of Alexander McAlister Worth and Martha Walker Worth. His wife and devoted companion of 23 years, Margaret Crowell Worth survives him. Alex was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Anne Fitzsimons Preston Worth. Other members of Alex’s family are his sister, Martha Worth Brown, and a host of sons, daughters-in-law, nieces, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Alex was raised in Durham, NC. He graduated in 1940 from The Citadel, The Military College of SC, in Charleston. As an underclassman there, he met his beloved bride-to-be, Anne, at a dance on the campus. Having distinguished himself as a student of the military disciplines while at the Citadel, including command of the honorific Summerall Guards, Alex took a commission in the U.S. Army. He was quickly promoted to rank of Captain, and led Company F in the First Battalion of Darby’s Rangers through heavy combat in WWII, including beach landings in the invasions of Sicily and Italy, for which he received the Bonze Star and Purple Heart, among other decorations. The Citadel and the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, by William H. Buckley, credits Alex with being the first Citadel cadet to serve in the storied Rangers.
After the war he settled in Greensboro, working in sales in the paper industry. In 1957 he started his own printing firm with generous help of Greensboro’s Cone and Preyer families and the late Charles Gold. Shamrock Corporation early on laid claim to be the largest manufacturer of Christmas wrapping papers in the US. It evolved into a national packaging and distribution business which is still owned and operated by Alex’s sons and grandsons.
An avid golfer and boatman, Alex enjoyed summers at the beach with his family every season beginning 1945. He served actively on the Board of Figure 8 Island Homeowners Assn.
Surviving family includes 3 sons, Alexander Walker Worth and wife, Drena; David McAlister Worth and wife, Lauren; and Robert Preston Worth and wife, Ellen. He is survived also by a stepson, Jeter Stanley Oakley, Jr. and wife, Sara Lynn. Alex’s 7 grandchildren are William André Worth, Thibault A. Worth and wife, Zing Jao, David Alsup Worth and wife, Erica, Martha Worth Whelan and husband, Robbie, Alexander M. Worth III, Jonathan McRae Worth, Marshall Bouldin Worth and wife, Valerie. His great grandchildren are Elsa Anne Worth, Fitzsimons Gooden Worth, Percy McRrae Worth, Carolyn Preston Whelan, and Robert Worth Whelan. Other family members include Alex’s brother in law, Robert Preston, daughter in law, Fabienne André Worth, and nieces Beverly LaLiberté and Marty Brown.
Alex and Margaret were introduced during a visit to his sister near Georgetown, SC. “I’d like to play golf down here” he told her. She saw that he did - herself an accomplished golfer- and they were golf buddies the world over the next 20 years. They were active members of Greensboro Country Club, Cape Fear Country Club, and the DeBordieu Country Club.
Ever the Anglophile, he was a card-carrying member of the Churchill Society. He also studied and produced a volume of the Worth genealogy, which he traced back to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Second to the church to which he belonged, Holy Trinity in Greensboro, perhaps his heart was most given to the support of St. Mary’s Anglican Church in the Devon village of Washfield, England. He maintained many fond friendships there, site of the parish of his forefathers until they migrated to Nantucket in the early 1600’s.The modest foundation he established in 1989 for Washfield Parish – it’s edifice and it’s works – continues still today.
If someone asked him the secret of his steady, fun-loving attitude in the face of hard times and good times alike, he liked to say that after his combat experiences in WWII nothing ever seemed hard again. Still, he was a born leader, a man among men, with whom hundreds of people of all sorts came to feel a special bond, and by God’s grace he apparently filled that role for many.
He was a thinker and a writer who dedicated the last 8 years of his life to refining the thoughts and beliefs essential to his own faith in God. It evolved over those years into a dozen pamphlets he called “The Longtooth Collection”, for the especial attention of his descendants.
For his passion for his country, his family, and their well-being, his entrepreneurial dedication to business excellence and integrity, moreover for his rational faith in God as creator of the universe and its nurturing relationship to humankind, he will be cherished forever.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Well Spring Retirement Community and Hospice of Greensboro for their warm and unfailing care and support, especially during Alex’s final days with us.
Memorials may be made to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 607 N. Greene St., Greensboro, NC 27401, or a charity of choice.
Online condolences may be sent through www.hanes lineberryfuneralhomes.com.