School Loses Long-time Friend G. Shuford Abernethy

G. Shuford Abernethy, 92, a long-time friend of the UNC School of Dentistry, died at his residence in Hickory, on Aug. 24, 2003. Abernathy served on the DFNC board (president in 1976), earned the DFNC’s Distinguished Service Award in 1997, and was a member of the Campaign for Excellence steering committee.  He contributed $50,000-plus to name the waiting area on the third floor of Tarrson Hall, and contributed another $50,000 to the UNC-CH Gift Annuity Program that will create the G. Shuford Abernethy Lectureship Endowment Fund.  It will fund lectures in ethics at the School so that “dental students may acquire a sense of obligation, responsibility and generosity to their patients, families, place of worship, profession and community.”

Of Abernathy’s many contribution to dentistry Dean Stamm said, “I met Shuford Abernethy very early on during my tenure as dean of the school.  I learned quickly that he was someone you could count on — someone who had been actively involved in organized dentistry over many years — someone who cared deeply about the profession of dentistry and dental education. He was a marvelous friend.”

He was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Hickory for more than 50 years and a beloved family dentist in Hickory for many years, often treating three generations of families. During his dental career, Abernathy received multiple state and national dental awards.

He served in the U.S. Army Dental Corps from 1953 to 1954 as major and lieutenant colonel. A generous benefactor of his church and community, Abernathy supported the Hickory Landmarks Society, the Hickory Museum of Art and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A past president of the Hickory Rotary Club, Abernathy was its oldest member.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Connie Hall Abernethy and son, Dr. G. Shuford Abernethy Jr.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, William Ramsey and Mary Hazel Abernethy of Hickory; two granddaughters, Lisa A. Capps of Tallahassee, Fla., and Elizabeth Shuford Abernethy of Hickory; a grandson, William Ramsey Abernethy Jr. of Hickory; and a great-grandson, James Capps of Tallahassee, Fla.