Carol Grotnes Belk, the Charlotte, North Carolina, philanthropist who with her husband, Irwin “Ike” Belk, changed the landscape – physically and academically – of colleges throughout a good portion of the eastern United States, died Monday at her home just two days shy of her 87th birthday. Ike Belk, a businessman and philanthropist whose father founded the chain of Belk department stores, holds an honorary doctorate from Brenau University because of the millions of dollars in contributions and art donations that he and his wife made to scores of colleges, universities and other educational institutions particularly in the South. Their gift of the bronze sculpture of a golden tiger to Brenau not only has become a source of pride for the university but also an often-visited landmark in the Gainesville community.
“If you are known by your works,” said Brenau University President Ed Schrader. “Mrs. Belk certainly will be known for generations to come because she and her husband focused the sharing of their considerable financial resources with educational institutions like Brenau that are helping transform lives.”
The Belks were married for almost 66 years.
A celebration of Mrs. Belk’s life takes place at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Charlotte at the Myers Park Presbyterian Church (2501 Oxford Place, Charlotte, NC 28207). Instead of flowers the family suggests contributions to Mrs. Belk’s favored institutions.
Condolences may be offered at www.HarryandBryantFuneralHome.com. See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charlotte/obituary.aspx?n=carol-belk&pid=172261188&fhid=5889#sthash.Px2a5rWi.dpuf