Timothy John Potter, age 81, passed away peacefully on Tuesday March 28, 2017, following several years of declining health. Born November 3, 1935 in the city of Exeter, Devon, England, John was the only child of Walter Lewis and Thursa Violet Potter. John was always so proud of his father’s valor displayed and acknowledged with the Distinguished Conduct Medal, during the Battle of the Somme, fought in Northern France during World War One. John was educated at Hele’s Grammar school in Exeter and later attended Birmingham University, England, graduating in 1956 with a degree in Bio-Chemistry.
John soon began what would become a highly successful career in the Pharmaceutical industry, spanning more than 30 years. His first role was working for Pfizer based in Sandwich, Kent, where he would meet his future wife. In those early years, he worked on the manufacture of penicillin, the pioneering antibiotic which has saved many lives. Throughout his career, John continued to be very involved in the progress of antibiotics and many other medicines. In 1971, Pfizer asked him to join Pfizer International based in Manhattan, New York. In 1975, he accepted a position with Abbott Labs and moved to Chicago and then to Montreal, Canada as the General Manager for Abbott Canada. John completed his professional life with Bristol Myers Squibb in Syracuse, NY and later Princeton NJ, where he retired in 1995, as President of the Bio-Chemical Division.
John was baptized in England in the Episcopal Church. Locally, he was a member of Chapel of The Cross, in Chapel Hill, NC. John enjoyed so many things in life, but most of all, he enjoyed time with his family. He loved to travel, enjoyed fine wine, and followed sports of all kinds, most especially Rugby Football.
John is survived by his wife of 52 years Patricia Crane Potter of Chapel Hill, NC; three daughters, Julia and Greg Davis of Denver, Colorado; Suzanne Gardiner of Aurora, Ontario, Canada; and Anna and Jamey Millar of Chapel Hill, NC. Additionally, 10 grandchildren; Benjamin, Christopher, Alexandra, and William Millar; Jenna, Timothy, and Scott Davis; and Brittany, Sidney, and Bradley Gardiner.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donation to the University of North Carolina Medical School, in order to extend John’s lifelong commitment to science and the improvement in the quality of human life. More specifically, donations should be made payable to the Medical Foundation of NC, Inc., 880 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Please direct your gift to the Medical Education Excellence Fund as a memorial to Timothy John Potter or for online gifts go to go.unc.edu/potter
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A Memorial Service was held on Friday, April 14th at The Chapel Hill Country Club from 2-3pm followed by a reception at the same location.
Walker’s Funeral Home of Chapel Hill is serving the Potter family. Online condolences may be offered at www. walkersfuneralservice.com