Notices sorted by graduation date.
Edwin Lucian Moir (Col ’60) of Tallahassee, Florida, died September 22, 2016. At the University, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, Aviation Club and the YMCA, and was on the staff of the Cavalier Daily. After graduation, Mr. Moir entered naval officer training school in Newport, Rhode Island. He served on the USS Charles R. Ware before entering naval flight training in 1964. After receiving his wings, he flew A-4 Skyhawks in Southeast Asia in 1966 from aboard the carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt. He continued his service in the Navy for 27 years, retiring with the rank of captain. In 1969, Mr. Moir was hired by Delta Airlines, where he flew for 13 years before becoming manager of flight training and director of training and standards. He officially retired in 1998. Mr. Moir’s passions included hiking on European national trails with his Delta buddies, traveling the world, attending Navy reunions, rooting for the Cavs at UVA football games, visiting friends in Atlanta and Roanoke, being with his grandchildren, and running. Survivors include his wife, a daughter, a grandson and granddaughter, and a sister.
Ralph Hardee Rives (Educ ’60) died May 20, 2016. He served two years in the U.S. Army after college before earning his doctorate from the University. Mr. Rives spent more than 30 years as professor of English at East Carolina University, and presented historical lectures throughout Great Britain, Europe, Africa and the Far East. He was founder and president of the northeastern North Carolina branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, and president of the Society of the War of 1812-North Carolina and the North Carolina Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Mr. Rives, who had strong ties to the Methodist Church, assisted in preparing the Encyclopedia of World Methodism and wrote many articles on Methodism. He was a renowned Anglophile, an accomplished genealogist and an avid traveler, and took great pride in his home and gardens. He was an extremely thoughtful and generous Southern gentleman who had a wonderful sense of humor and a gift for story-telling with flair. Survivors include his cousins.
Linda Scott Masri (Nurs ’61) of Midlothian, Virginia, died April 24, 2016. At the University, Ms. Masri was a member of Kappa Delta sorority. She served as a psychiatric nurse for 40 years and was a beloved nana to her grandchildren. Survivors include three children, including David N. Masri (Col ’91 L/M) and Tanya Masri Todaro (Col ’92 L/M); and nine grandchildren, including Alexandra Carney Moore (Col ’11 L/M) and Mary O. Carney (Col ’19).
Phil B. Whitaker (Law ’61) of Chattanooga, Tennessee, died July 30, 2016. From 1955 to 1958, he served as an Air Force fighter pilot. After his military service, he entered law school at the University. He then practiced law for more than 40 years with Witt, Gaither & Whitaker, focusing primarily on labor law and tax and estate planning. He was elected a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation in 1995, and although he represented a variety of businesses and individuals throughout his legal career, he found pro bono work to be the most fulfilling. Mr. Whitaker served as chair on the boards of the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Chattanooga Symphony, the Baylor School and the Chattanooga Bible Institute, and was honored as National Philanthropy Day Leadership Fundraiser of the Year in 2001. He also served as mayor of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. His happiest times were when he and his wife, children, grandchildren and many dogs would gather at their beach house on St. George Island, Florida, for family vacations. Survivors include his wife; three children, including Philip B. Whitaker Jr. (Col ’83 L/M) and Charles N. Whitaker (Col ’88, Law ’93 L/M); and nine grandchildren.
Sallie Downard Branscom (Educ ’62) of Portsmouth, Ohio, died August 12, 2016. She was the first in her family to attend college, and her father so instilled in her the importance of education that she chose to devote her life to teaching others. She taught accounting for 23 years at Virginia Western Community College before her retirement in 1997, and her family is now filled with college graduates. Ms. Branscom led the International Education Program, visiting 80 countries on six continents, and at the time of her death was contemplating a trip to Antarctica. She was especially proud to have received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in 1994 and to have been named a professor emerita of Virginia Western Community College in 2015. She was also extremely proud of her two publications, You Can Do Your Own Tax Returns and The World on Your Computer. Survivors include a son; two daughters; four grandchildren, including Jack Herd (Engr ’20); and a sister.
Donald Lynn Smith (Engr ’62 L/M) of Springfield, Virginia, died July 28, 2016. At the University, he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. After receiving his engineer’s license, he managed large commercial construction projects in the Southern and Eastern U.S. and in Singapore. Mr. Smith was mid-Atlantic operations manager at Aberthaw Construction Company for ten years, and later was a project manager for Jowett, Inc., until his retirement in 2000. He volunteered in local and national political campaigns and had particular compassion for Habitat for Humanity and other charities. Survivors include his wife, Kitty Steffey Smith (Educ ’61 L/M); a son; and a granddaughter.
Stapleton Dabney “Stape” Gooch IV (Arch ’63, ’66 L/M) of Tampa, Florida, died September 27, 2016. At the University, he was a member of Delta Sigma Pi service fraternity, German Club and Theta Chi fraternity and was also active in Kappa Alpha. He is remembered by fellow Kappa Alpha brothers for a particular rush party 52 years ago for which the contracted band did not show up at the last minute. Friends said they arrived to see Mr. Gooch playing show tunes at an upright piano, while his roommate’s girlfriend sat atop the piano playing a steel bowl with a wooden spoon. After graduation, he worked for Harry A. McEwen, FAIA, until he started his own interior design firm, Stapleton Gooch Inc., in 1973. Aside from his design work, which extended from Tampa to the North Carolina mountains, Manhattan and Connecticut, he was also a talented cook. His recipes were a part of A Taste of Tampa, the Tampa Junior League cookbook. Mr. Gooch–a descendant of colonial lieutenant governor Sir William Gooch, for whom Goochland County is named–donated a collection of metallic and ceramic Cavalier figurines, which are currently on display in Alumni Hall. He was devoted to his two sisters and was generous and loving to each of his nieces and nephews. Survivors include his sisters, four nephews, three nieces, and several great-nieces and -nephews.
Joel Walter Turner (Col ’64 L/M) of Roanoke, Virginia, died March 27, 2016. He was a reporter for The Roanoke Times for 33 years until his retirement in 2005. Survivors include his wife of 45 years; his daughter, Camille Turner (Col ’95); a brother, Nathan R. Turner (Engr ’62); and a sister, Robin Turner Cooper (Col ’77).
Lowry Mann Close (Engr ’68 L/M) of Alexandria, Virginia, died February 10, 2016. At the University, he was a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and Trigon honor society. After graduation, Mr. Close joined the United States Army, completing the Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, before serving in Vietnam as a second lieutenant. His lifelong interest in New Zealand and Australia began while he was on R&R from Vietnam. After the war, Mr. Close began his career in civil engineering with Arundal Construction in Towson, Maryland, before working throughout the country with Tyger Construction Company and then Guy F. Atkinson Company of California, on projects such as dams, tunnels, bridges and construction in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Beginning in 2002, he worked for Clark Construction on projects in the Washington, D.C., area. Mr. Close was an avid Scottish country dancer, joining a local group wherever his travels took him. Survivors include his brother and sister-in-law, two nieces, one nephew, two great-nieces and a great-nephew.
Phillip Neal Brown (Educ ’69) of Frederiksted, U.S. Virgin Islands, died November 29, 2009. At the University, Mr. Brown was a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity. After graduation, he moved to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, where he worked in education until his retirement in 1982. He had nine children and built houses for all of them. His love of nature drove him to build Northside Valley into an eco-friendly resort, and he used native stone in all the houses he built (collected one by one from his 6.5-acre estate). Mr. Brown loved to swim, and swam a mile every day in the Caribbean Sea. This love of swimming came from his work on an Underwater Demolition Team with the Navy (called “Frogmen” in the age before the Navy SEALs). Mr. Brown passed three months after his wife of 53 years. He is survived by all nine children and many nieces and nephews, including his great-niece Gina L. O’Neil (Engr ’15, ’16 L/M).
Jimmy Ray Stuart (Educ ’69) of Roanoke, Virginia, died September 23, 2016. Mr. Stuart served in the United States Navy. At the University, he was a member of Phi Delta Kappa. He then spent most of his adult years in public education, where he served as a teacher, coach, school principal and finally superintendent of schools. He was also very active in his church as a teacher, Bible school assistant and board member, and helped with church yard sales and dinners, and visiting shut-ins. After retirement, Mr. Stuart enjoyed working in his yard and giving plants and tomatoes to friends and neighbors. He also developed a passion for refinishing and selling antique furniture. Survivors include his wife, three brothers, a sister, a son, two daughters, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.