Khalil (Kal) Elie Kardous (June 12, 1942 -- August 2, 2023) passed away unexpectedly in Charlotte on August 2, 2023. He was 81 years of age.
Kal was born in Damascus, Syria. He grew up there moving to the US in 1965 to attend the University of Wisconsin -- Platteville. There, he majored in business and economics. After graduation, he moved to Skokie, IL where he took a job at Intercontinental Photo Copy. In 1971, Kal moved to Charlotte, NC to work at White Business Machines. During this move, he met and married Dr. Marie-Claire Marroum.
Along with partners Barry Houser, Randy Sides, Bobby Tsiabassis, and Joe Gamble, Kal formed Charlotte Copy Data Company in 1988. While at the company, Kal recorded a series of "tongue-in-cheek" commercials with the tag line, "Our Accent Is On Quality". The spots became staples on local radio stations and garnered numerous advertising awards. His Syrian accent stating the tag line is remembered today. During his ownership of the firm, it grew to become one of the largest copy equipment companies in the Southeast with 10 locations and 280 employees.
Kal sold the company in March 2008. Rather than just retire, Kal worked with his son and served on the Board of Directors of Central Piedmont Community College and the International House. In 2011, Kal received the Richard Vinroot International Achievement Award from the Charlotte International Cabinet. In 2013, he was honored to be the commencement speaker and recipient of the University of Wisconsin -- Plateville's Distinguished Alumni Award.
In 2008, Kal joined the Charlotte North Rotary Club where he served on the Board of Directors, chaired the membership committee, and was very active in the club's many service projects. He was beloved by club members for his sense of humor and welcoming personality to all.
Kal was very active at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral for more than 50 years. During those decades, he sang in the choir, volunteered as a greeter at the Yiasou Greek Festival, and served as president of of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association Marathon Chapter number 2 and a s member of the board of the AHEPA Foundation. Kal was on the board of trustees of The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, acting as an ambassador for the Antiochian Orthodox Faith in the US and abroad. He was instrumental in setting up funding for University of Balamand to educate clergy and provide scholarships for deserving students. In 2023, he was unanimously re-elected to the board of the archdiocese.
Kal is survived by his wife Marie-Claire, his son Paul, and his brothers Farid and Jouhaina as well as his sister May and their spouses. He leaves nieces and nephews -- Elie, Karim, Sean, Shahira, and their spouses.
Memorials to Kal can be made to the Kal Kardous memorial fund, c/o Foundation for the Carolinas, 220 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202; or Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203; or Antiochain Archdiocese of North America, P.O. Box 5238, Englewood, NJ 07631.
(1926 -- 2022)
Ralph Woodson Bostian (September 14, 1926 -- December 23, 2022) died on Friday, following a brief illness. He was 96 years old. Born in Charlotte, he spent his entire life in the area. He retired from Duke Energy.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Marinell Bostian; son, Larry Bostian and his wife, Cindy Allen of Silver Springs, MD; daughter, Gail B. Schultz and her husband, Ron, of Houston, TX; stepdaughter, Kelly Hunter and her husband, Sid of Chapel Hill, NC; nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Also surviving are his brother, Lloyd W. Bostian, Jr. of Richmond, VA; his daughter-in-law, Emmie Curry and her husband David and many nieces and nephews.
Ralph was predeceased by his first wife, Betsy Bostian; son, Thomas Marshall Bostian; grandson, John McLean Allen Bostian, and sisters, Betty B. Caddell and Mary Lou B. Johnson.
(1934 -- 2022)
George Franklin “Frank” Suddreth Sr., 87 years old, of Mint Hill, NC passed away in the early hours of May 20, 2022. Frank was born in Charlotte, NC on August 13, 1934 to the late Guy Everett Suddreth, Sr. and Catherine Harris Suddreth.
Frank was a graduate of the class of 1952 at Tech High School in Charlotte where he played football and was named as an All-County guard. He also attended Presbyterian College on a football scholarship until he withdrew due to an injury he received while playing football. In 1954, Frank joined the US Air Force graduating from their Electronics School, however he was Honorably Discharged due to the neck injury sustained while playing football at Presbyterian College.
As a child, alongside his father, he worked in the family grocery business “Staton's” on North Davidson Street and continued there after returning from the Air Force, later becoming manager of the store until 1971 when the store was sold. In 1972, he was employed by Associated Grocers Mutual and later served as General Manager until 1982. In 1983, he was hired by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture as the first Manager of the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market and continued there until his retirement in 2012 at the age of 77, after 30 years of service. Frank also worked in-field security at the races held at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC for many years.
He served on the Johnson YMCA Board, and was a Paul Harris Fellow and Sergeant-at-Arms of the Charlotte North Rotary Club with over 40 years of perfect attendance. Beginning in 1972, and for over 40 years, Frank was instrumental in staging Charlotte's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He was a member of the Epworth Class at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church also serving as class president in the past.
Frank left us with these words:
“All I’ll do is ask you to keep an open mind at all times. Try to accept change with a good attitude. Don’t ever make a mistake that you can’t straighten out before you go to bed. Life is short, so make every day count. Remember what you can do for other people, you will have more out of it, you will have more glory for yourself than what you are dishing out to other people and you will feel good about it.”
Frank was married to his high school sweetheart, Mary Griffith Suddreth, for 57 years who preceded him in death. In addition to his parents and wife, preceding Frank in his death were his eldest son, George Franklin Suddreth Jr.; his brothers, Guy Everett Suddreth Jr. and David C. Suddreth Sr; and his second wife, Sara Elliott.
He was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. Mr. Suddreth is survived by his sons, Tom Suddreth and wife Gail McComb Suddreth and Mike Suddreth and wife Barbara Sue Pope Suddreth of Charlotte; his grandchildren, Jennifer Brittingham (Jason) of Winston-Salem, NC, Brandi Jernigan (Jason) of Lexington, SC, Andrea Arbenz (John), Edwin Suddreth (Cheri) of Indian Trail, NC, Justin Suddreth and Elizabeth Suddreth both of Charlotte, NC; his great-grandchildren, Jonah Brittingham, David Arbenz, Carmen Rogers, Jana Brittingham, Madelyn Arbenz, Josiah Brittingham, Jackson Arbenz, Paxton Suddreth, Skylar Suddreth, Andrew Arbenz, and Gavin Arbenz; his brother, Richard Suddreth and wife Brenda; and sisters-in-laws, Trudy Suddreth of Charlotte and June Suddreth of Fort Mill, SC; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
A Tribute from Neil Brown
Charlotte North Rotary Club Sergeant-at-Arms
"In addition to his sterling character, Frank Suddreth had what I call the heart of a servant. Its not a common trait among the best of folks and is becoming rarer in our world, in my opinion. For so many years Charlotte North’s meetings ran smoothly because Frank took care of the things the rest of us didn’t even think of. He was always taking care of the little stuff so the president could focus on the big deal of the day. Most Rotarians just weren’t aware of what Frank did. I became painfully aware when I tried to follow him as Sergeant at Arms. But in our conversations before the meetings I learned what Frank did for Rotary he did for other activities he was involved in. He was always taking care of “stuff” for others. I enjoyed his stories. I was honored by his friendship. And, I am humbled and inspired as I consider my own life against the man Frank Suddreth and his heart of a servant."
(1929 -- 2021)
Fred P. Culbreth, Jr. was a Rotarian’s Rotarian. He joined the DeKalb North Rotary Club in Atlanta on January 7, 1970. He later moved to Charlotte and joined the Charlotte North Rotary Club on July 15, 1991. His list of Rotary accomplishments is long:
Paul Harris Fellow Rotary Foundation Benefactor
Rotary Foundation Major Donor Charles J. May Award 1992
Distinguished Rotarian of the Year 1999 Club President DeKalb North 1985-1986
Club President Charlotte North 1999-2000
District Governor – Georgia District 690 – 1989-1990
Fred grew up in Charlotte, graduated from The Citadel, served his country as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers and was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service during the Korean Conflict. After his tour in the Army, Fred joined the Shell Oil Company in Atlanta where he lived and worked for 34 years. He was a Professional Engineer in the civil engineering field and won several awards for his professional involvement. He was a Mason, a thaumaturgist (magician) and a clown. He entertained us at CNR several times with his magic – there was something about banana pudding.
Fred was extremely talented and a wonderful human being. Those who knew him were lucky that their paths had crossed, even for just a while. He was 91 years old when he died. A celebration of life will be held at a time to be determined later. The family suggests memorials be made to the charity of your choice. Editor’s Note: The Charlotte North Rotary Donor Advised Fund at The Rotary Foundation in honor of Fred Culbreth would be a good choice.