Norris Watson Preyer

Norris Watson Preyer

Birth
Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina, USA
Death 5 Jun 2013 (aged 87)
Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina, USA
Plot Section: 20 Lot: 9 Grave: 32
Memorial ID 112176203 · View Source
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Norris Watson Preyer, Charles A. Dana Professor of History Emeritus, age 87, died June 5, 2013 in Charlotte, NC. Born in Greensboro, NC on Feb. 9, 1926, he was the son of William Y. Preyer and Mary Norris Richardson Preyer, and fourth in a family of five sons. He attended local public schools and Woodberry Forest. At age 18 he volunteered and spent two years in the Navy's V-12 program at UNC Chapel Hill and Pennsylvania State College. After graduating from Chapel Hill with a B.A in History, he biked through post-war France, spent a year interning in business, and a summer at Yale studying German. He then enrolled in graduate school at the University of Virginia earning M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American history.

He taught American History for 33 years, first at Guilford College (1953-57) and then at Queens College (now University) from 1957 until retirement in 1990. He served as Chair of the History Department during most of those years. He developed courses in African-American history (after an American Political Science study tour of Africa), an honors program in history, and public history program with internships in archives, museums, and historic sites. He specialized in Southern history and the Revolutionary and Early National periods of American history. He gave tours of the Old South, led student groups studying in Vienna, and with other department members and students organized symposiums.

He published two books, numerous articles and reviews, and served on the board of the Society of Early American History. His articles were published in Essays on Jacksonian America, the Encyclopedia of Southern History, the Biographical Directory of NC History, and the Encyclopedia of NC History. He was chosen a Dana Fellow, received a Fellowship at the Newberry Library in Chicago, and was an Honorary Alumnus of Queens College.

Norris was an elder at Myers Park Presbyterian Church and a founding board member and later president of Historic Latta Plantation. He was on the Nature Museum Board that founded Discovery Place, on the committee that helped found the Museum of the New South, and served on the board of the Charlotte Museum of History. He and his wife have been active in many cultural and non-profit organizations in Charlotte and he was a member of several civic clubs, one of the most enjoyable being the Horace Williams Philosophy Club. His major hobbies have been tennis, flying (he flew both land and seaplanes), sailing, and anything having to do with wind, water, and nature.

Norris is survived by Kathryn, his wife of 63 years. Both enjoyed art, architecture, music, and sought a better understanding of other cultures, ideas and ways of life through travel and reading. They have been blessed with two fine children and their spouses, Norris Jr. married to Lucy Woltz, and Janet married to Lowell Nelson. He felt fortunate to be able to follow the growth of his two grandsons, Robert and James Nelson. He is survived by two brothers, Robert (Mandy) and Fred (Margret) and sister-in-law, Doris Preyer.

A graveside service will be held at Green Hill Cemetery in Greensboro, NC, on Sunday, June 9th at 2:00 pm. A memorial service will be held at Myers Park Presbyterian Church at 11:00 am on Monday, June 10th. The family will greet friends after the memorial service.

Greensboro News & Record


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  • Maintained by: Brad
  • Originally Created by: McKenzie
  • Added: 11 Jun 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 112176203
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Norris Watson Preyer (9 Feb 1926–5 Jun 2013), Find A Grave Memorial no. 112176203, citing Green Hill Cemetery, Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Brad (contributor 47437321) .