John C. Loughridge

Apartment A-414

John Carl Loughridge was born February 11, 1935 in Gastonia, NC, the first born of two children of John C. Loughridge and Mary Grace Westbrook Loughridge. His father was a new car auto dealer, having sold Buicks, Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles for 25 years, and his mother was a school teacher. Both parents are deceased.

Mr. Loughridge has a sister, Mary Loughridge Sessoms who is married to Frank T. Sessoms and they reside in Pinehurst, NC. Mary is a housewife and Frank retired from Burlington Industries as a dye plant manager, and presently sells real estate for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. Mr. Loughridge is very proud of his nephew and niece and their children. Nephew, David Hendricks, Jr. and wife Nancy have two children, Carly and Ashley. Niece, Mary Arberg and husband, Brad, also have two children, Hannah and Blair.

Mr. Loughridge graduated from Gastonia High School and Belmont Abbey College with a BA in business administration and minor in sociology. He entered the USAR 801 HQ & HQ Signal Company in Charlotte, and was then called into active duty by then President John F. Kennedy during the Berlin Crisis and was stationed at Fort Rucker Army Aviation Center in Alabama. He showed jungle movies to helicopter pilots going to Viet Nam. He was discharged on September 30, 1963, with the rank of SP5 having attended army reserve meetings in Charlotte prior to his discharge.

From 1962 until 1964, he was employed by the Gaston County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court as a case manager and juvenile probation officer, assisting judges who would request both oral and written reports requested prior to disposition of various cases in domestic relations and juvenile court. He dealt with juvenile offenders from age 12 to 16, and also with adults who were having marital problems.

From 1964 through 1997, he was employed as a NC State Adult Probation/Parole Officer supervising offenders from ages 16 thru 80, and often had heavy caseloads. He also supervised those on parole upon their release from prison. He received extensive training at the Institute of Government, UNC Chapel Hill, and the State of North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg, NC. He also had continuous training at the state probation division offices in Asheville and Lexington, NC

Upon his retirement from the State of North Caroline, he was awarded by the then Governor, Honorable James B. Hunt Jr., The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is the highest civilian award given in North Carolina because of his service to said state.

He is a lifelong member of First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia where he was a deacon and served for five years on the foreign and home mission committee.

He is presently on the board of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and attends various sporting events promoting Christ. He also belongs to Gideons International having served as scripture distribution and church ministry chairman. He distributes scriptures to schools, nursing homes, hotels, motels, National Guard, police, fire and medic. He has been in both organizations about eleven years.

Mr. Loughridge has traveled extensively and had the opportunity to visit Russia, Finland, Estonia, Egypt, Greece, France, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Switzerland, Italy, Malta and Canada. All trips were made through Gaston College Study Tours.

Mr. Loughridge now looks forward to meeting new and old friends at Covenant Village.

Doris “Dotsie” Wallace

Apartment B-311

Doris “Dotsie” Wallace was born December 10, 1924, to Willie Clarence Carter and Carrie Elizabeth Trexler Carter. Her father was a baker and her mother was a housewife.

Mrs. Wallace was married to her high school sweetheart, Jim “Legs” Wallace for fifty years. While Mr. Wallace worked for Provident Insurance, Mrs. Wallace spent most of her time raising their three children, Jimmy, Dan and Sha. In her free time, she enjoyed modeling for local retail stores and Revlon Cosmetics. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wallace loved dancing at the Eagle’s Club, boating on Lake Wylie, hanging out at the Shriner’s Club, and traveling with Mr. Wallace’s job.

After Mr. Wallace passed away, Mrs. Wallace took several amazing trips with son, Jimmy, and visited several countries including Turkey, England, Spain, Italy, Greece, Amsterdam and Ireland. They also traveled to Northern Africa, and to several states here in the U.S. In addition, Mrs. Wallace took dance lessons at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio where she performed on a cruise ship off the coast of Florida and won eight gold medals. She also danced in Las Vegas and Miami.

Mrs. Wallace now enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren, Brian, a Physician Assistant in Mount Holly; Allison, a Realtor in the Gaston County and Charlotte areas; Allen, a senior at the University of Alabama, and Carter, a junior at New York University studying film.

Mrs. Wallace is a member of First United Methodist Church in Gastonia. She is excited to be moving into Covenant Village.

Larry and Frances Rhodes

Apartment A-409

Larry Rhodes was born in High Point, NC on March 17, 1933, to James Ellington Rhodes and Violet Gann Rhodes. His father worked for Merita Breads and his mother worked at Belk Department Stores. He had one sister, Ramona Harris.

Always a hard worker and competitor, Mr. Rhodes walked many miles delivering The High Point Enterprise and Greensboro Daily News. In school, he played football, basketball and baseball. He starred in each sport and graduated from High Point Central in 1951. He was awarded a full football scholarship to East Carolina where he started all four years as an offensive and defensive end. He graduated in May 1955, and two weeks later married the love of his life, Frances Fitts Rhodes.

Frances Fitts Rhodes was born on August 12, 1935, in Siler City, NC to William R. Fitts, Sr. and Mae Marley Fitts. Her dad was the owner/operator of the Gulf Service Station in town, and her mother was a homemaker. Growing up with four older brothers, she was actually the athlete of the family playing basketball all four years at Siler City High School. She was known as “Hook Fitts” for her impressive hook shot.

Mrs. Rhodes attended East Carolina where her love of sports led her to a football pep rally where she met one of the star football players, Larry Rhodes. They were married on May 28, 1955, and moved to Galax, VA. Their oldest daughter, Sharon Kay, was born in Galax. Mr. Rhodes taught Biology at the local high school.

Gastonia became their hometown when Mr. Rhodes accepted a coaching/teaching position at Ashley High School. He taught World History and Biology while coaching basketball, football and golf. Mrs. Rhodes was a stay-at-home mom and in 1959, their second daughter, Susan Carol was born. When the girls were both in school, Mrs. Rhodes began working at First Union National Bank.

During desegregation in the 60’s, Mr. Rhodes played an integral part in keeping the peace, both in the school and in the community. Bringing two teams together, one all black and the other all white, he built a team that won the State 4-A Championship in 1967.

Mrs. Rhodes had a desire to teach and became Gaston County’s first Teacher’s Aide. Upon finishing her degree in Elementary Education from Sacred Heart College, she began teaching at South Gastonia Elementary (now H. H. Beam Elementary). She taught for 30 years.

In 1970, Ashbrook High School opened, and Mr. Rhodes continued coaching basketball and golf at the new school. He taught History, Physical Education and Drivers’ Education. He has won numerous honors and awards such as NC Coach of the Year in 1967, inducted into the Gaston County Hall of Fame in 1979, and inducted into NCHSAA Hall of Fame in 2013. Mr. Rhodes taught and coached for 35 years.

Playing golf and working in his yard are favorites of Mr. Rhodes. He loves to travel and spend time with his family. Mrs. Rhodes loves attending and watching ballgames (especially those coached by Mr. Rhodes). They both treasure time spent with their family. Daughter, Sharon Kay Rhodes, retired after 35 years as a Gaston County School teacher; Daughter; Susan Rhodes Carson is Office Manager at Cancer Services of Gaston County; Son-in Law, Thomas Carlton Carson is Manager of GAT Ground Services at Charlotte International Airport and Grandson, Ryan Rhodes Carson is a rising senior at Forestview High School

They have been members of First Baptist Church since 1956. Mr. Rhodes has served as Deacon and on numerous committees. He also likes to help in the kitchen. Mrs. Rhodes serves as Secretary of the Chapel Sunday School class. She has also served on numerous committees throughout the years as well as volunteering in the kitchen for Wednesday night suppers and special occasions.

Grandson, Ryan is Mrs. Rhodes greatest joy! She looks forward to every summer when she can travel with Ryan and Mr. Rhodes.