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Couple's Estate Gifts Designated for Establishing New Catawba College Scholarship

July 07, 2008

Category: Academics, Alumni

Gifts from the estates of the late Henry Wilson Tysinger, Jr., and his wife, Helen Bost Tysinger, have been designated for the establishment of a new scholarship at Catawba College, memorializing Mr. Tysinger's late sister, Catherine Victoria Tysinger, a Catawba College alumna of the class of 1937.

Preference for the Catherine Victoria Tysinger Memorial Scholarship will be given to students from North Carolina who demonstrate financial need.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Tysinger, Jr. and his sister, Catherine Tysinger, were all natives of Rowan County. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Tysinger, Jr. were married at Unity Presbyterian Church and spent the first 20 years of their married lives in Salisbury before moving to Charlotte in 1960. They lived in Charlotte until 2005 when they moved to Winston-Salem to be near their only son, Henry W. Tysinger III. The couple died one week apart in January of 2007.

Catherine Tysinger, who never married, actively pursued her career in library science. Following her graduation from Catawba, she enrolled at UNC Chapel Hill where she earned a bachelor's degree in library science in 1941. In the early 1940s, she worked at Duke University on the women's campus. She later worked at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.; at the University of Alabama in Birmingham; and at the University of Georgia in Athens where she retired. According to her nephew, Henry W. Tysinger III, his aunt died the same month she retired in 1982.

Catherine's brother, Henry Tysinger Jr., was the executor of her estate. He made the decision to create the memorial gift at Catawba in her honor. Catherine was the only one of the three children in the Tysinger family who graduated from college, although both of her brothers, Henry and Murray, received additional education beyond high school and had successful careers as bookkeeper/accountants. Henry Tysinger Jr. was the secretary/treasurer for the Charlotte-based trucking company, Bruce Johnson Trucking Company, Inc.

Henry Tysinger III described his Aunt Catherine as "quiet and studious" with a love of genealogy. He recalls visiting her at her places of employment and playing in the stacks before "taking your child to work day" was created. Today, he and his wife, Cynthia, make their home in Winston-Salem where he serves as organist and director of music at a Presbyterian church there.

Catawba College Senior Vice President Tom Childress lauded the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Tysinger, Jr. for the forethought they had in creating the scholarship fund as a memorial to Catherine Tysinger at her alma mater. Henry Tysinger III said his father maintained the principal from Catherine Tysinger's estate especially for that purpose.