A beloved son of the Heavenly Father was taken home on June 14, 2013, at Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC, only one day before his 56th wedding anniversary. William Clifton Allred, Jr., a resident of Etowah, NC, left behind his lovely bride, Jerry Anne Jervis Allred, with whom he fell in love at age 15; two daughters, Jan Allred Price and Hope Allred Murtaugh; son-in-law David B. Murtaugh; and four grandsons, John William Murtaugh, Daniel James Murtaugh, William Lloyd Garrison Smith III, and Samuel McKinley Murtaugh, all of Greer, SC. Also surviving are three siblings, Frances Allred Garvey Wilson of Winston-Salem, NC, Miriam Allred Todd of East Bend, NC, and John H. Allred of Raleigh, NC. He also leaves behind dear, lifelong friends Frances Westmoreland Winstead and Dr. Jim Winstead, Jr., of Hendersonville, NC.
A lifelong historian of racial relations, Allred was active in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and participated in solidarity with four African American students on the second day of the seminal "sit in" at the Greensboro, NC, Woolworth's lunch counter on February 2, 1960. He later went on to serve as the executive director of the North Carolina Council on Human Relations from 1966-69, during which time period the Council actively promoted the expansion of local, volunteer-organized groups to promote school desegregation, racial harmony, fair housing and employment practices, and federal, state and local civil rights laws. In the early 1970s, the State of North Carolina incorporated the work of independent non-profit organizations into the state agency named the North Carolina Human Relations Commission, and the NC Council closed its doors.
Allred went on to work for 25 years in higher education as an instructor in history and an administrator in the area of college enrollment and financial aid. His employers included Brevard College (Brevard, NC), Virginia Intermont College (Bristol, VA) and Coastal Carolina College (now Coastal Carolina University, in Conway, SC). Throughout his life Allred maintained the same heart for justice and fairness which motivated his civil rights work. Over his long career he administered programs totaling over 50 million dollars to approximately 7,500 college students. He was noted for his racial and gender fairness in allocation of federal, state and private financial aid.
Allred was born on April 8, 1934, in Charlotte, NC, and was the son of William Clifton Allred and Viola Maner Allred, both deceased. He grew up in Charlotte, Fayetteville, Mooresville, and Winston-Salem, NC, where he was graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School in 1952. He served two years in the U.S. Army 8111th Signal Corps Battalion on Okinawa, Japan, from 1954-56. Allred held degrees from Wake Forest (BA, 1958) and Emory University (MA, 1966) and did additional doctoral study at UNC-Chapel Hill. Allred's primary area of scholarship was interracial history in the Southern United States, and his master's thesis at Emory University on the Southern Regional Council is cited in the Southern History Encyclopedia as an early work on the history of cooperation between the races to end segregation in the American South after World War II.
His private papers documenting his years with the North Carolina Council and the history of the civil rights movement have been donated to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where they are available online. His scholarship and career endeavors were complemented by community service, most notably by his long involvement with the Rotary Clubs of Bristol, VA-TN, where he served as Vice President and President-Elect, and of Conway, SC, where he served as President. He also headed the Horry County chapter of the South Carolina State Employees Association.
In recent years Allred greatly enjoyed the companionship of the Etowah community, especially of the owners, staff and regular customers of the Dutch Cupboard Restaurant on the Brevard Highway. The staff at Mission Health Heart Center in Asheville, the doctors of Asheville Cardiology Associates, the Rathbun Center and the Henderson County EMS services made the last months of his life easier, and showed great compassion and kindness to his family. Allred's courtesy toward others - especially his medical caregivers - and his humor never faltered, even in his last hours.
Allred donated his body to Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, to be used for medical instruction and research. A memorial service for friends and family will be held at the Dutch Cupboard Restaurant, 6500 Brevard Road, Etowah, NC 28729, on Sunday, June 23, 2013, at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, for those who wish, memorial contributions may be sent to the House of Worship, 173 Cimmaron Drive, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768.
Published in The Times-News from June 16 to June 18, 2013