In Memoriam Winter 2021

John H. Hager ’54, a recipient of Durham Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award, died Aug. 23, 2020,  in Richmond, Virginia. He was lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002 and served as Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education under President George W. Bush, pioneering an innovative approach to the transition of children and adults with disabilities to independence and a better life. He was an executive vice president of American Tobacco Company when he contracted polio at age 36 and lost his ability to walk. In his autobiography, Best Seat in the House, he wrote about rebuilding his life and career while striving to look beyond disability and “make the wheelchair disappear.” A graduate of Purdue University, he earned an MBA at Harvard and served in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of captain. Survivors include his wife, Margaret Chase Hager; sons, John Virgil Hager of Philadelphia and Henry Chase Hager of New York City; and six grandchildren. 

Frances Faison DuBose Bradley Bohlayer ’57 died Sept. 4, 2020, in Dawsonville, Georgia. She was a giver, more concerned with others than herself; an acclaimed painter and sculptor; and had a compassionate nature that brought her to the service and care of lesser creatures, especially dogs and horses. After growing up at the Meadowmont house in Chapel Hill, she graduated summa cum laude from Bryn Mawr College and began married life. She is survived by her three children and their families: Christopher Hill Bradley of Charlotte, Edward McClain Bradley of Atlanta and Diana Faison Bradley Eudy of Asheville; and six grandchildren. 

James Edward Aldridge ’62 died Oct. 13, 2020, in Wilmington. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and had a career in the textiles industry. He will be remembered for his affable nature and kindness to all he worked with. Fishing off Wrightsville Beach with friends and family was where he found his peace and perspective, and where he taught his sons about much more than fishing. He is survived by his significant other, Cindy Walker; sons, James Edward Aldridge, Jr. and Bryson Aldridge; and brothers, Allen Aldridge ’53 and Willis "Bird" Aldridge.

Mattie Lou Uzzle ’59 died Nov. 18, 2020, at her home in Durham. She graduated from Saint Mary's College and UNC-Chapel Hill, where she earned a degree in French and was a member of Chi Omega sorority. She taught school for several years, had a career in interior design in Rocky Mount and worked in the office at Westminster Presbyterian Church after returning to Durham. She was a member of St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Town & Country Garden Club in Durham and Canterbury Book Club. She was also a lifetime member of the Mims Charitable Foundation, which supports the needs of Rocky Mount and areas of Eastern North Carolina. She is survived by a son, William Ransom Johnston Jr. of Raleigh, and three grandchildren.