A friend of a friend-Irwin “Ike” Belk and Dick Taylor-March 3

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for March 3, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

This past week an important member of our community and friend Dick Taylor celebrated his 87th birthday. It is amazing what this man does at the age of 87. Dick is a man that loves to talk to his friends and often utters the phrase “you done did good”.

Dick is the owner of Taylor Insurance Agency in Lumberton, NC but there is much more to the man than just a business owner. On the business side Dick has been in business for more than 55 years. I do mean he is in business. I can verify that he is at the office every morning before 8 a.m. and he often returns at night after eating dinner with his beautiful wife Lenore.

Dick Taylor is also a loyal supporter of a number of causes including his alma mater UNC Chapel Hill. Dick is a 1950 graduate from UNC, and was an All-American in track and has recently been inducted into the Penn Relays Hall of Fame. In addition to that honor he also is member of the UNC Athletic Hall of Fame and Robeson County Athletic Hall of Fame for his philanthropy. Dick’s athletic prowess did not stop when he graduated from college. He became very active in the NC Senior Games when he got in his 50’s and has won enough gold medals to qualify his home as a satellite to Fort Knox. With the Senior Games Dick and his wife Lenore qualified and competed on the national level multiple times in a variety of sports including Track & Field and basketball.

Dick is a very loyal Rotarian. He rarely misses a meeting of his club which is located in Lumberton NC. He is always reaching out to people he knows to have them included as speakers. He lives his life according to the Rotary 4 Way Test found below:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and better FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Dick is also a collector. He collects a lot of stuff but he is most noted for his car collection. His automobiles have won a number of awards at car shows. He has been featured on a number of TV segments including the one below that aired on WRAL-TV


Dick is also someone who is willing to serve. He currently is one of the 32 members of the UNC Board of Governors (BOG). Dick was elected to this position by the NC General Assembly House. He was nominated in 2011 by his good friend G.L Prigden who at the time served in the NC House.

The BOG is the governing body for all 17 campuses which make up The University of North Carolina including his alma mater UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, East Carolina University, and my employer UNC Pembroke. Prior to serving on the UNC BOG Dick was in his second four year term on the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees when he was elected.

Dick Taylor has also been very generous to two universities UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Pembroke. That generosity has resulted in Dick having his name become associated with two wonderful track and field facilities.

His name is on the 6 lane indoor track at UNC Chapel Hill located inside the Eddie Smith Field House. That wonderful indoor facility is shown below.

Taylor Indoor Track

UNC Pembroke track and field complex is also named in his honor. The track went under a 1 million dollar restoration in the summer of 2013 and is depicted below. Second photo is UNCP Athletic Director Dick Christy with Lenore and Dick Taylor at track dedication.

Taylor Track UNCPDick Christy and the Taylors

Dick Taylor has a friend that has a fondness for track also. That friend name is Irwin “Ike’ Belk. Ike Belk is a member of the family connected with the Belk stores located across the country.


Dick Taylor

The Friend of the Friend-IRWIN “IKE” BELK

Ike Belk

Track and Field brothers Dick Taylor and Ike Belk

When you look at these two men you can’t help but see some common connections. They both ran track at UNC Chapel Hill. They both have been successful businessmen. They both are still active Dick at age 87 and Ike Belk at age 92. If you think about what these two men have accomplished and done after the age of 60 it is pretty humbling.

Ike Belk has donated funds to construct 29 collegiate track and field facilities in North and South Carolina. Dick has been responsible for two more. Combined these two men former UNC track athletes have given back to the sport they loved. I would wager you be hard pressed to go to any UNC campus without seeing the name Belk on a track, residential hall, or building. In college at East Carolina I stayed in Belk Hall my senior year.

Dick Taylor and Ike Belk have both been members of the UNC Board of Governors. Dick has served from 2011 to present and Ike Belk served two (4 year) terms. Dick and Ike have both served on Board of Trustee at UNC campuses. Ike Belk at UNCC and Dick Taylor at UNC Pembroke.

Ike and Dick are both collectors. I had a chance to meet Ike Belk several years ago in his Charlotte office and I was amazed at his memory, stories, knowledge, and collection of North Carolina history. Dick Taylor has a great collection of fabulous cars. In addition to the cars there are many other collectibles he owns. Picture below is taking in Mr. Belk’s Office with Ike Belk in center. UNC Pembroke Chancellor Kyle Carter on left-Dan Kenney on right.

Ike Belk Chancellor Carter

They both stayed involved with sports after college. Dick Taylor was a champion in the NC and National Senior Games. Ike Belk was a volunteer member of the US Olympic Committee for 45 years. In 2002 at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City Ike Belk received the Olympic Order which is the highest honor a volunteer can receive.

Ike and Dick “you done did good”.

One comment

  1. […] Taylor is a Lumberton businessman who arrived in the community in 1952. He is a friend who I wrote about in 2015. He has many interesting aspects about his life including running and collecting vintage […]

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