David Jordan Whichard, II, 88, passed away peacefully on August 9, 2015 at his home in Grimesland, NC, after a courageous battle against cancer. A memorial service will be conducted on Wednesday, August 12 at 2 p.m. in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 E. Fourth Street, Greenville NC by the Rev. Bob Hudak.
Dave was born on March 20, 1927 in Greenville, North Carolina, where he lived his entire life. The son of the late Virginia Young Suther and David Julian Whichard, Dave was the former president and co-publisher of The Daily Reflector in Greenville, and led 11 non-daily newspapers serving smaller communities throughout eastern North Carolina. Dave lived a full life, and was happiest when hunting, boating, fishing or relaxing at the beach with family and friends.
Dave attended public schools in Greenville. After enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he completed officer training school for the U.S. Navy at the University of Mississippi prior to the end of World War II. In 1948, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UNC-CH with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. At UNC, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, the varsity swimming team, the German Club and The Daily Tar Heel staff.
Dave returned to Greenville and became a reporter at The Daily Reflector, the local newspaper founded by his grandfather, David Jordan Whichard, in 1882 and purchased by his father in 1919. He was named editor in 1954 and president of the company in 1965. While most consider becoming a reporter as the beginning of his newspaper career, Dave was quick to proclaim his career began as a young newspaper carrier.
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Dave served the newspaper industry as president of the North Carolina Associated Press Club, the North Carolina Press Association, and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association; as chairman of the SNPA Foundation; and as a director of the UNC-CH School of Journalism Foundation. He was a member of the Board of Directors of The Associated Press from 1990-1996.
In addition to his commitment to his profession, Dave valued his community, North Carolina, the state’s public higher education system, and his church, and served them tirelessly.
He was a past president of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce/Merchants Association, Pitt County United Fund, Greenville Jaycees and the Greenville Rotary Club. He was a board member of the Brody Foundation, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Pitt County Economic Committee of 100 and the Pitt County Educational Foundation.
Dave was a member of the boards of directors of the Wachovia Corporation of North Carolina and Wachovia Bank of North Carolina, the Global TransPark Foundation, and the North Carolina Public Television Foundation. He was also a member of the Futures Commission for Justice and the Courts in North Carolina, the Governor’s Committee on State Government Reorganization, and the Governor’s Task Force on Criminal Justice and the Public.
Dave chaired the board of trustees of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was vice chairman of The University of North Carolina Board of Governors. He also served as a member of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees, chairman of the ECU Medical and Health Sciences Foundation, and was a member of the North Carolina Board of Higher Education.
In 1981, Dave was recognized as Greenville’s Citizen of the Year. He was inducted into the UNC Journalism Hall of Fame in 1995.
Dave loved his church, St. Paul’s Episcopal, and served in many capacities, but was proudest of his contribution to the reestablishment of the Legacy Fund. He also served the diocese as a member and chair of the Interfaith Refugee Board.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Judith Kirkpatrick; his three children, Kathryn Whichard Poston and husband, Bill of Orlando, FL; D. Jordan Whichard, III and wife, Ann of Greenville; and Virginia Whichard Caudill and husband, Mark of Winston-Salem, N.C. He is also survived by seven beautiful grandchildren: William McLean Poston, Kathryn Poston DeCastro and husband, Alex; D. Jordan Whichard, IV and wife, Jessica; Anna Brooks Whichard, Christian Gray Caudill, Anna Davis Caudill and Virginia Collier Caudill; three precious great-grandchildren: Kayle, Taylor and Lucas DeCastro; his brother, John Suther Whichard of Greenville and cousin, Mary Whichard Vars.
Other survivors include his mother and father-in-law, Craig and Edna Kirkpatrick of Hendersonville; brother-in-law, Craig Kirkpatrick, Jr. and wife, Elaine of Etowah; and sister-in-law, Vivian Kirkpatrick James and husband, Steve of Whitsett; nieces and nephews: John A. Whichard, Sally Whichard Averette, C. Mitchell Kirkpatrick, Scott W. Kirkpatrick, Ryan M. Kirkpatrick, Amanda James Payne and Taylor D. James as well as 14 great-nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, August 11 from 5-7 p.m. at the home of Jordy and Ann Whichard, 811 Bremerton Drive, Greenville, NC.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Legacy Fund, 401 E. 4th St., Greenville, NC 27858 or the David Jordan Whichard, II Scholarship at the UNC-CH School of Journalism Foundation, Carroll Hall, CB 3365, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 or a charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements by Wilkerson Funeral Home and Crematory.
Online condolences at www.wilkersonfuneralhome.com