Published in The
State on March 16, 2010
LEXINGTON - Vernon
Martin Mustian, M.D., 82, husband of Sarah Blackmon Mustian of Lexington,
South Carolina, passed away peacefully at his home March 14, 2010, after
an extended illness.
Born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, he was the son of the late Reverend
Alfred Plummer and Katherine Parker Mustian. In 1945, Dr. Mustian matriculated
at Wake Forest College where he began his lifelong love of the Demon Deacons.
While a student there, he played basketball and baseball, and was proud
to have been on the team which competed in the finals of the NCAA College
World Series in 1949. And, as the son of a Baptist minister, he became
widely known to his teammates and fellow deacons as "Preacher."
A veteran of World War II, Dr. Mustian put his college education on hold
to serve in the United States Navy. After the War, he returned to graduate
from Wake Forest in 1950.
His passion for the game of baseball continued as he played professionally
for the Tobacco State League and the Coastal Plain League.
During this time, he also worked in a variety of occupations, including
teaching, turning logs in a saw mill, and driving trucks.
After a few years, however, he returned to his beloved Wake Forest, enrolling
in the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1958.
Dr. Mustian completed a fellowship in neurology at the University of North
Carolina School of Medicine and practiced medicine as a neurologist in
Greenville, South Carolina, until his retirement in 1989.
While in Greenville, Dr. Mustian was an active member of First Baptist
Church of Greenville, where he enjoyed serving the Loaves and Fishes ministry
and building strong friendships through his Sunday school group, the Fellowship
Class. After moving to Lexington in 2003, he became a member of Saint
John's Episcopal Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
Throughout his life, Dr. Mustian made sure to pass on his love of his
alma mater on to his children, each of whom graduated from Wake Forest
as proud Demon Deacons.
He was also an avid hunter and outdoorsman, often found driving a tractor
around his farm, tending to his honey bees, or fishing in his backyard
pond. More than anything, though, he enjoyed wading through tall brambles
to hunt the fencerows of Carolina farmland in the hopes of flushing an
elusive covey of bobwhite quail.
While he raised and trained many bird dogs in his day, he most recently
found a devoted companion in his adored yellow Labrador retriever, Mollie.
Although his family and friends will miss his bellowing laugh, his hard-working
and unselfish nature, and his loving spirit, he will be long remembered
through the inevitable retelling of stories too numerous to count.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, are a son, Benjamin Parker Mustian,
his wife, Rebecca Quinn Mustian, and their children, Parker, Quinn and
Adlyn, of Columbia, South Carolina; two daughters, Laura Mustian Anderson,
her husband, Paul Rogers Anderson, and their children, Martin, Walker
and Bailey,of Franklin, Tennessee, and Jo Ann Mustian of Dunwoody, Georgia;
and a daughter-in-law Rebecca Mustian Wills, her husband, Timothy Charles
Wills, and their children, Will, Katie and Lucy, of Lexington, Kentucky.
He is also survived by one brother, A.P. Mustian, and his wife, Gussie
Evans Mustian, of Winston Salem, North Carolina, and a sister-in-law,
Geneva Miller Mustian of Ahoskie, North Carolina.
He was predeceased by a son, Vernon Martin Mustian Jr., and a brother,
Eugene Jerome Mustian.
The family would like to express their gratitude for the compassion and
care provided by Daybreak Adult Care Services and Ascension Hospice.
A memorial service will be held at Saint John's Episcopal Church on Thursday,
March 18, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. Memorials may be made to St. John's Episcopal
Church, Alzheimer's Association - South Carolina Chapter, or the Wake
Forest University Athletic Department. Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Lexington
Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.