Stackhouse pledged $40,000 to help establish the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals. In addition, he provided a gift to establish the John Stackhouse Distinguished Professorship and lecture series in 1994 and to provide continued support for the Burn Center.
John Woods Stackhouse, 103, passed away early Sunday morning at Wayne UNC Health Care.
Stackhouse was born in the small town of Mullins, South Carolina, son of the postmaster. He started working summers at Carolina Power & Light when he was only 15; his first job was washing streetlights for five cents an hour. In the 1930s he worked as a lineman for the company before heading into the Navy to serve in WWII.
Over the years through experience and hard work he started his own construction businesses contracting with electric companies to put up their power lines, creating Stackhouse Incorporated. Linemen, even today, continue to work on the electrical lines crisscrossing the state, rigging power to new construction and bandaging the old. All the while, they are surrounded by electricity. Electrical current can cause many injuries to the workers who help to bring light to North Carolina. Burns, in particular, were quite nasty for Stackhouse employees.
Burns were an unfortunate reality during Stackhouse’s long career in the power business. He recalls early on having a hard time finding adequate care for employees who suffered burns. But it was the case of an 18-year old who was badly burned during a snowstorm that was the final straw. Stackhouse pulled all the strings he could to get the boy the best care available, but he knew most burn victims weren’t that fortunate.
“Back then, a seriously burned patient never returned to work or even to productivity for that matter,” Stackhouse said. “Just to return them to the task of living was a continuous struggle.”
Stackhouse set out to improve the quality and accessibility of burn care in North Carolina. He pledged $40,000 of his own money, and the board of the Rural Electric Association voted to match it. Stackhouse lobbied other organizations, and many groups that had seen the effects of burns – such as firefighter and electrical organizations – joined the effort.
The groundbreaking for the Burn Center was January 15, 1977, and Stackhouse’s vision came to fruition when the center officially opened on February 23, 1981. He provided a gift to establish the John Stackhouse Distinguished Professorship and lecture series in 1994 and to provide continued support for the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center.
John is survived by his wife, Marlys N. Stackhouse; children, John Woods Stackhouse, Jr. and wife Saray, Charles Kirkland Stackhouse and wife Ann, Wilson Bryant Stackhouse and wife Susan, and Katherine “Kitty” Stackhouse Sauls and husband Ben; grandchildren, Kimberly Stackhouse Smith and husband Shane, Heather Stackhouse O’Quinn and husband Ryan, Heather Sauls Honeycutt and husband Johnny, Elizabeth Stackhouse Saunders and husband John, Katherine Stackhouse Parker and husband John, John Joseph Sauls and wife Katherine, and Susan Stackhouse Lutcavage and husband Marc; seventeen great-grandchildren; and daughter-in-law, Pamela Jeffcoat Stackhouse.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine Dunlap Stackhouse and grandchildren, Benjamin Kaylor Sauls, Jr. and Claire Connor Sauls.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be given to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, 101 Manning Drive CB #7600, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.