NewsIT Littleton

We will have a zoom gathering in honor of I.T. on Sunday, August 29 at 5pm. Please invite family and friends who would like to share memories and stories. Email Pastor Lacey,, for the Zoom link.


Obituary: Cremation Society of the carolinas of Raleigh. Cremation Society of the Carolinas. (n.d.).

Isaac T. Littleton III was born on January 28, 1921 in Hartsville, Tennessee, the son of I. T. Littleton, Jr. and Bessie Lowe Littleton. He was predeceased by his parents and by his wife of 60 years, Dorothy Young Littleton. Before he was born, he was predeceased by two brothers who died as infants and a beloved sister, Dorothy Louise Littleton who died when she was five years old in 1918 during the flu epidemic after World War I. I. T. graduated from Trousdale County (TN) High School in 1939. He was a Salutatorian of his class and in his senior year was named Best Actor in both regional and state-wide high school drama competitions. In the summer of 1939 he attended a Carolina Playmakers drama workshop for high school students on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He returned to Chapel Hill in the fall of 1939 as a freshman. He worked 35 hours a week as a Junior Assistant in the Circulation Department of the UNC Library during his four years of college. He was working in the Library on December 7th, 1941 when he heard that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. He was accepted into the Navy’s V-7 officer training program which allowed qualified college students to finish their bachelor degrees before beginning officer training. He received the B. A. degree from UNC in May 1943.

After completing officer training school at Northwestern University in Chicago he was commissioned Ensign in the U. S. Navy in 1943 and served 22 months in the amphibious corps with Service Squadron Ten at several atolls in the Pacific ending up at Leyte Gulf in the Philippines when World War II ended. After the war, he served for nine months as a counselor in three naval hospitals in California completing his Navy service in 1946 as Lieutenant (jg).

After he was discharged from the Navy he worked in Knoxville, Tennessee for the US Veterans Administration as a training officer under the G. I. Bill of Rights. While in Knoxville he enrolled in the University of Tennessee. He met the love of his life, Dorothy (Dot) Young from Clinton, Tennessee, who was also a student at the university. They were married on August 12, 1949 at Eagle Bend, the ancestral home of the Young family. I. T. received a Master’s degree in Psychology from UT in 1950 and a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Illinois in 1951.

He began his career as a professional librarian at the University of North Carolina Library in Chapel Hill, NC where he worked for eight years as Head of the Circulation Department and Assistant University Librarian. In 1959 he accepted the position of Technical Services Librarian in the D. H. Hill Library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He took a leave of absence for a year in1963-64 to complete a Ph. D in Library Science from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and returned to Raleigh as Director of Libraries at NCSU in 1964. He served at NCSU for 28 years until his retirement in 1987.

Under Littleton’s leadership, the D. H. Hill Library’s collections and budgets increased dramatically, along with its physical space. During his tenure, the library became part of the Southeastern Library Network, the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), and the Association of Research Libraries. A member of several professional and honorary societies, Littleton served as chairman of the University of North Carolina system’s Library Advisory Council and the Southeastern Library Network. When the NCSU Libraries reached one million volumes in 1981 Littleton was named Tar Heel of the Week in the Raleigh News and Observer. He was a Life Member of the NCSU Friends of the Library, the North Carolina Library Association and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Alumni Association.

Dot and I.T. were active members of the Community United Church of Christ from 1963 to their deaths. Over the years I. T. served terms as Moderator, Clerk, Deacon and as a member and chairman of several committees. He strongly supported the issues of racial, women and gay rights (human equality), peace and justice that CUCC has been known for throughout its history. During his retirement I. T. was an active member of the Wake County United Nations Association serving on its board and as President for four years.

Littleton is survived by two daughters, Sally Littleton Phillips and her lifetime partner Ercilia Albistu of Tampa, Florida; Elizabeth Ann Littleton of Charlotte, NC; a son, Thomas Young Littleton and his wife, Donna of Raleigh; three granddaughters Laura, Amy and Sarah and a grandson David.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Dorothy Young Littleton Endowment, NCSU Libraries or to the Community United Church of Christ.

For more information, please contact Pastor Lacey Brown.