Notices sorted by graduation date.
J. Stewart Bryan III (Col ’60, Law ’63) of Richmond, Virginia, died Jan. 23, 2016. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He worked as publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and in a number of executive positions at Media General, including board chairman and CEO. He was director of The Associated Press from 1984 to 1993. In 2012, Mr. Bryan received the George Mason Award from the Virginia Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, for his contributions to the advancement of journalism in Virginia. He was inducted into the Greater Richmond Business Hall of Fame in 2003. His colleagues regarded him as a principled gentleman who felt he had a personal duty to his company and its employees. He was deeply engaged with his community and worked as campaign chairman for the United Way operations in the Richmond area and as a member of a number of nonprofit boards, including Junior Achievement of Central Virginia and what is now Goodwill of Central & Coastal Virginia. Mr. Bryan was known too for his extensive collection of bow ties. Survivors include his wife, two daughters and five grandchildren.
Elaine “Lani” Murphy Barkley (Educ ’61 L/M) of Bethesda, Maryland, died Jan. 6, 2016. A strong advocate for access to knowledge, she spent her career as a librarian with Montgomery County Public Libraries in Maryland. She worked in a number of leadership positions, including branch head at the library branches in Olney and Kensington. After retirement, Ms. Barkley cultivated her interests in music, studying the piano and joining a small musical ensemble of retired librarians, Ex Libris. She enjoyed long dinners filled with conversation, playing bridge, taking trips abroad and spending time at the beach. She was committed to the arts and took great pleasure in attending performances with her husband. Ms. Barkley was an avid reader and often shared stimulating articles with her friends and family. Survivors include her husband, Emmett Barkley (Engr ’61 L/M); two daughters; and five grandsons.
Larry Matheny (Col ’61, Grad ’69) of Danville, Kentucky, died Jan. 4, 2016. At the University, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He was a professor of government at Centre College for more than 39 years; he was awarded the John Marshall Harlan Professorship in Government in 1994 and held that professorship until his retirement in 2005. Mr. Matheny often visited the Boyle County Public Library and the Centre College Library to satisfy his love of books and continued learning. Survivors include a son, a daughter, three brothers, a sister and two grandchildren.
Sylvia Sheldon (Grad ’66 L/M) died Dec. 19, 2015. She taught at James Madison University until moving to Miami with her family in 1967. An accomplished pianist and singer, Ms. Sheldon worked as a preschool music teacher at the Coral Gables Congregational Early Childhood Center and later at The Giving Place at the First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables. She was also a licensed financial planner and was president of Kaw Valley Bancorp for more than 30 years. She was president and scholarship chair of the Coral Gables Music Club, where she also coordinated auditions for potential students. She chaired the club’s “Play and Listen” group, organizing performances for club members and the community. Ms. Sheldon served on the Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition board for 20 years. She was a member of Chapter A.O. of P.E.O. International, a philanthropic organization dedicated to creating educational opportunities for women. Her family and former students remember her as an adventurous spirit. Survivors include a daughter, Jennifer Sheldon Doucet (Col ’87, Grad ’92, ’99 L/M); two sons; a brother; and three grandchildren.
Martha Sim Cassell (Nurs ’67 L/M) of Blacksburg, Virginia, died Jan. 31, 2015. At the University, she served on the Student Council. She worked as a pediatric nurse at the University Hospital and later for the Children and Youth Project, where she provided medical care for families in rural areas. In 1970, she and her husband started a pediatric practice in the Blacksburg community. She helped found the Shelter Home, where she was also a member of the board of directors. Ms. Cassell was a member of the board of directors of the Smithfield Preston Foundation and a member of the Junior Women’s Club of Blacksburg. She loved Blacksburg and her friends. A lifelong antiques enthusiast, she spent many years as an antiques dealer in the Blacksburg area. Survivors include a daughter, Ann Stuart Cassell (Col ’97 L/M); a brother, Peter A. Sim (Med ’73 L/M); and a sister.
Russell C. “Rusty” Adams Jr. (Arch ’68) of Geneva, Illinois, died Oct. 30, 2015. At the University, he played rugby and was a member of Delta Phi fraternity (St. Elmo Hall), Air Force ROTC, University Union and P.K. Society. After attending business school, he worked for 25 years as a manager and executive at Weyerhaeuser and International Paper. He later switched tracks to work in city planning and community redevelopment in Bensenville, Illinois; Naples, Florida; and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Mr. Adams loved carpentry and restoring old houses, playing the guitar, golfing, coaching and watching his children’s sports teams, and planning adventures with his wife. He was a gentle, easygoing and hard-working man who delighted in sharing life with his family and friends. Survivors include his wife, a daughter, a son and three granddaughters.