In Memoriam: Dr. Junius Brutus Stroud, III – June 9, 1929 – May 17, 2022
J.B. Stroud was born on June 9, 1929 in Greensboro, N.C., but his family moved to the small town of Faison, N.C. (population 800) when he was four years old. He grew up there with his parents J.B. Stroud, Jr. and Rachel W. Stroud, his maternal grandmother Annie H. Witherington, and his two sisters Anne W. and Berta A. Stroud. He once said that being a small boy in Faison in the 1930s was like living with one foot in a Mark Twain story and the other in a Norman Rockwell painting. He enrolled at Fishburne Military School in 1944 where he lettered in football, basketball and track, graduated first in the class of 1944 and was selected by the faculty as the most outstanding cadet.
He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Davidson College, class of 1951. Two months later he was called on active duty and trained as a rifle platoon leader and as a paratrooper. Then, in the mysterious ways of the army, he was temporarily pulled out of the pipeline to Korea and sent to military intelligence school. Captain Stroud next spent a year in Korea at Eighth Army Headquarters as an Order of Battle specialist.
In the fall of 1953 he joined the faculty at Fishburne where he taught mathematics and physics, coached football and track, and was assistant commandant of cadets. The 1957 Taps yearbook was dedicated to him. Most importantly, he met Ruby Lee Masincup, and they married in August 1955. After two years of graduate study at the University of Virginia, he joined the mathematics faculty at Davidson College in 1960 where he taught until 1998. During those years he took a two year leave of absence to complete a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Virginia. He further pursued his scholarship during sabbaticals at Dartmouth University, the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
J.B. was a dedicated teacher who maintained close relationships with his students throughout his life. He was a recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award at Davidson in 1987. He served Davidson College Presbyterian Church over a 40-year period as Deacon, Elder, Clerk of the Session, and Treasurer. He was the Scoutmaster of Troop 58 in Davidson for numerous years and a dedicated contributor to Habitat for Humanity.
J.B. loved history, puzzles and travel, and he was the consummate handyman. To his friends and students, J.B. was appreciated for his intelligence, thoughtfulness, fairness, sly smile and wit, and kind and friendly nature. To his family, he was a beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather and uncle. He was an inspiring example of always doing one’s best and of always putting others first. He dearly loved his family and is survived by his cherished wife Ruby Stroud; his children Timothy and his wife Stella P. Stroud, Jonathan Stroud, and Cynthia S. and her husband Jonathan Glance; his grandchildren Brion (Jacinda), Robert (Chie), Emily (Philip), Clara, Jon David, Pryor, Timothy, Carlyle (fiancéeTherese), and Ellyson; his sisters Anne S. Taylor and Berta S. Swain; his sister-in-law Sarah M. Wright; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their gratitude for the wonderful care given to J.B. by the nurses and staff of The Pines at Davidson as well as Hospice and Palliative Care, Lake Norman. If desired, friends may make a memorial contribution to the J.B. Stroud Scholarship, Davidson College, Box 7170, Davidson, NC 28036, or tribute gifts can also be made online via www.davidson.edu/makeagift.
Donations to Hospice & Palliative Care can be made at hpccr.org.
The memorial service honoring the life of J.B. Stroud III will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2022 in Davidson College Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Main St., Davidson, North Carolina.