Hall of Honor 2010 Inductees
Brigadier General Gill P. Beck
A 1974 Lenoir High School graduate, Brigadier General (BG) Gill P. Beck continued his education at Appalachian State University (ASU), graduating second in his class in 1978. While attending ASU, he received the Eggers English Award as the top English student, ASU Athlete of the Year, and Academic Football All-American. In 1985, he graduated from Duke Law School with High Honors.
BG Beck served on active duty in the US Army for 13 years, including assignments in the 1st Infantry, 3d Armored, and the 82d Airborne Divisions. Following active duty, BG Beck continued his military service in the US Army Reserve, with assignments which included Staff Judge Advocate, 108th Division (IT), and Commander, 12th Legal Support Organization. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, BG Beck served as Staff Judge Advocate. Later, BG Beck served as Associate Deputy General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon; Executive Officer for the Army General Counsel; and Chief Judge (IMA), US Army Court of Criminal Appeals. BG Beck is currently the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command. BG Beck’s military education includes a Master’s of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College and an LLM from the Judge Advocate General’s School. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Iraqi Campaign Medal. In 2001, BG Beck received the Judge Advocate Association’s Award as the Top Reserve Component Judge Advocate in the US Army. BG Beck is the Chief of the Civil Division of the US Attorney’s Office in NC, where he has received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, the NC Bar Association’s Government Distinguished Attorney Award, and the NC State Bar’s Legal Assistance for Military Personnel Distinguished Service Award. BG Beck has been inducted into the Caldwell County Athletic, ASU, and CoSIDA Academic All-American Halls of Fame. He is the recipient of the Distinguished ASU Alumni Award.
He and his wife, Mary Jo Beck, reside in Greensboro, NC with their sons, Joshua, Gill, and Jon. His children, Emily Beck and Andrew Beck, reside in Hudson, and his son, Alan Beck, is a baseball coach at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. His mother, Gail K. Beck, a Caldwell County elementary teacher for over twenty-five years, lives in Lenoir, as do his sisters, Caroline Pope and Elizabeth Walker, and Aunt Joanna Suddreth, who was a librarian at West Lenoir Elementary School and who along with his mother served as lifelong inspirations.
Robert J. Love
Robert J. Love, a graduate of Lenoir High School in 1949, received a BA in Music Education in 1953 from Appalachian State Teacher’s College. He began his career as Band Director at Granite Falls High School from 1953 to 1954. After serving his country honorably for two years in the US Army, he returned to Appalachian State Teacher’s College and completed his Master’s Degree in Music Education in 1957. In that same year, he became the Band Director at Hudson High School and its feeder schools. While serving in this position for 20 years, he brought the program out of obscurity, leading Hudson High band program to its first superior rating. In 1977, he established and directed the first band program at South Caldwell High School. After much success in district and statewide superior performances at the most challenging and difficult levels, Love retired in 1984 with 28 years of outstanding service.
During his tenure, he helped establish a retail business in 1968, The Music Center, which provided services, employment and resources throughout the county. What began as a part-time endeavor, expanded over the years into full ownership of six, full-time thriving business establishments serving music educators, students and musicians within western North Carolina. Love was inducted into the American School Band Directors Association in 1965, an organization founded by invitation-only membership; recipient of the Award of Excellence in 1984 presented by the North Carolina Bandmaster’s Association; and inducted into the North Carolina Bandmaster’s Association Hall of Fame in 2009, one of 48 band directors in North Carolina to receive this distinction.
Robert J. Love and his wife Barbara, of 51 years, reside in Caldwell County. They have two children, Scott Love and Lisa Creamer, and four grandchildren.
Brent B. Kincaid
Brent B. Kincaid graduated from Gamewell High School in 1949 and attended Mars Hill College from 1949-51 before completing a Bachelor of Science Degree at Wake Forest University from 1951-53. He concluded graduate work at Appalachian State University.
Kincaid, who served two years in the U.S. Army, was a teacher at Gamewell High School before entering the business field. Most notably, Kincaid was president and CEO of Broyhill Furniture Industries. He served on the Board of Directors for Furniture Brands International, American Furniture Manufacturers Association, the AFMA Marketing Board and Home Furnishings Center. He also served as a board member for Wake Forest University, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (chairman for six) and Appalachian State University (also as chairman). Service on other boards include BB&T, co-chairman or honorary chairman for capital campaigns to benefit Caldwell County Schools, the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, City of Lenoir, Caldwell County and First Baptist Church - Lenoir. He serves on the Mars Hill College Board (past chair), Mars Hill College Foundation Board (vice chairman), BMC Fund Incorporated Board, Piedmont Council Boy Scouts of America and Economic Development Commission. Kincaid served as a member and vice chairman of the NC Department of Transportation for six years. Kincaid was a former member and a past president of Lenoir Rotary Club and Gamewell Ruritan Club.
He is a life deacon and a Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church - Lenoir. Kincaid has been recognized as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and Outstanding Young Man of the Year (1961), Boss of the Year in Caldwell County (1968), the Alexander Meiklejohn Award for Academic Freedom while serving on the board at Wake Forest (1978), Order of the Long Leaf Pine (1992), the Golden Apple Award (2000), Alumnus of the Year at Mars Hill College (2001), and the Hickory Heritage Furnishings Award for Outstanding Service to the Furniture Industry (2003). Brent B. Kincaid will be remembered for his determination to treat his fellow employees fairly, while fulfilling his commitment o maintaining a healthy and vibrant company and his service to fellow citizens.
He and his wife, Kathryn, are the parents of Rebecca Baker, Joan Lawrence, Susan Bradford, Kenneth (Chip) Kiser and the late Charles (Charley) Kiser.
Dr. J. Steven Oliver
Dr. J. Steven Oliver, a Professor of Science Education, has served as Coordinator of the Science Eduation Program and Associate Department Head of Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Georgia since 2006. He attended Hudson Elementary School and graduated from Hudson High School in 1973. In 1977, he graduated from North Carolina State University with degrees in Zoology and Science Education. He started his teaching career at West Caldwell High School where he taught Physical science and biology. He completed his Master’s Degree in science education from North Carolina State University in 1983 and continued his graduate studies at the University of Georgia. He completed his PhD in Science Education in 1986 and moved to Kansas State University as an assistant professor. In 1990, Dr. Oliver returned to University of Georgia as a faculty member in science education.
Dr. Oliver has received grant funding for approximately $4.6 million dollars. He has been the principal investigator on grants from Eisenhower Funds, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Oliver has published more than fifty journal articles and he currently serves as the Associate Editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching. He has served on the editorial board of five major journals in education. Oliver received the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award in 1983 from North Carolina State University, the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1998 from the College of Education at the University of Georgia and the John Shrum award for distinguished contributions to science education from the Southeastern Association for Science Teacher Education. Dr. Oliver’s dedication and work will continue to improve science instruction in public education and his research and teaching will encourage students to pursue careers in the world of science and mathematics.
Thomas Marshall "Jack" Robbins
Born November 13, 1919 in Caldwell County, Thomas Marshall “Jack” Robbins attended Valmead Elementary School and graduated in 1937 from Central Lenoir High School. Mr. Robbins attended North Carolina State University and returned to Lenoir to begin a life of great achievement and philanthropy among work and community.
Mr. Robbins served in the United States Navy during World War II, returning once again to Lenoir. He and two other partners began a successful business venture, founding Kincaid Furniture Company. Mr. George Kincaid became partner of production, his son Wade Kincaid partner of sales and Mr. Robbins partner of transportation. The Kincaid transportation division began with one truck in 1953 which grew under Mr. Robbins’ business leadership into a nationwide transportation fleet. After retiring in 1998, Mr. Robbins served on the La-Z-Boy Board of Directors and devoted his time to personal finance with great success.
Mr. Robbins changed the quality of life of many lives in Caldwell County and beyond when he left from his estate $15,400,000.00 to seven charities: The Education Foundation Inc. of Caldwell County, CCC&TI, First Baptist Church of Hudson, First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir, Caldwell County Hospice and Palliative Care, Caldwell Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Jack Robbins was a 50 year member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir where he also served as a deacon. In 1954, he became a volunteer fireman and after years of dedicated service was named Honorary Captain, Lenoir Volunteer Fire Department. Mr. Robbins was a man of compassion who never wanted recognition for his acts of kindness. His joy was to quietly help others. He is Caldwell County’s community hero.
Mr. Robbins is survived by his devoted wife Shirley H. Robbins and sisters, Kathryn R. Jackson and Carolyn R. Sigmon.