Notices sorted by graduation date.
Robert Schnepfe Diggs Jr. (Engr ’73 L/M) of La Mesa, California, died May 16, 2015. He was a mechanical engineer with San Diego Gas & Electric for 21 years before becoming a stay-at-home dad in 1997. Mr. Diggs coached his children’s soccer teams, volunteered at their schools, and was a member of the Spring Valley Middle School Site Council and the Spring Valley Rotary Club. An avid boater and wood craftsman, he enjoyed reading, spending time with his family and working in his workshop. Survivors include his wife, Jan Buckley Diggs (Educ ’82 L/M); a daughter, Jennifer B. Diggs (Engr ’10 L/M); a son; three sisters; and several nieces and nephews.
Elizabeth Warner Lewis (Educ ’73) of Greenville, Virginia, died July 26, 2015. She began her career working for the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950s, and she and her husband, who was also in the CIA, served at various international posts for a number of years. In the 1970s, Ms. Lewis and her husband returned to the U.S. and worked raising cattle and sheep on their farm in the Shenandoah Valley. At that time, Ms. Lewis also began teaching at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, where she would later become principal. In retirement, Ms. Lewis worked for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation teaching American Colonial history across Virginia, and taught English as a second language to students in Augusta County. She was a member of a number of organizations, including the Daughters of the American Revolution. Survivors include two daughters; two sons; seven grandchildren; and a brother, Mays Livingston Lewis Jr. (Col ’64).
Claude E. Keener Jr. (Com ’75 L/M) of McLean, Virginia, died Sept. 5, 2015. He was the co-founder of Keener-Squire Properties, a residential renovation and development firm, and Keener Management, a management company, both based in Washington, D.C. Mr. Keener served as a deacon at Memorial Baptist Church in Arlington, Virginia, and was known for his devotion to his family, friends and church. He was an intelligent and athletic man who had great business acumen and a wonderful sense of humor. Survivors include his wife; two daughters, including Katherine Keener Sear (Col ’06, Law ’11 L/M); and a grandson.
Inez Webb Rains (Educ ’75) of Collinsville, Virginia, died Aug. 29, 2015. She was a teacher at Fieldale Elementary School and John Redd Smith Primary School in Henry County. She enjoyed gardening, traveling and getting together with friends. Ms. Rains focused her life on her family and her church, and especially delighted in spending time with her granddaughters. Survivors include a daughter; two sons; five granddaughters, including Sara Rains Hunt (Col ’03); and seven great-grandchildren.
Franklin Kipps Birckhead (Com ’76 L/M) of Charlottesville died Oct. 18, 2015. At the University, he was manager of the men’s basketball team, serving as head manager for the 1975-76 ACC Championship season. He was a member of the UVA Board of Visitors from 1995 to 1998 and served as chairman of the audit, compliance and risk committee and as a member of the executive committee. Mr. Birckhead was a certified public accountant in Charlottesville for more than 30 years. He was the founder and president of the Thomas Jefferson Society of Certified Public Accountants and was founder and CEO of MoneyWise Payroll and other local businesses, working tirelessly to serve the needs of his clients. A man driven by his commitment to family and community, he served on the boards of the Miller School of Albemarle, the Piedmont Family YMCA and the Senior Center. He was a steadfast Virginia Cavaliers fan—especially of the basketball team—and loved running, supporting political campaigns and practicing hot yoga. Survivors include his wife; two sons, including Franklin K. “Kipps” Birckhead Jr. (Col ’08); his mother; and a brother.