Notices sorted by graduation date.

Patrick M.P. Taylor (Col ’70, Grad ’71) of Richmond, Virginia, died June 2, 2017. He was a partner in the Coates & Davenport law firm for a number of years and was active in youth soccer and social justice organizations. He is survived by his wife, Sue Childers Taylor (Nurs ’69, Educ ’72 L/M); and a son, Jordan Taylor (Grad ’02).


William “Bill” Brinton (Col ’74 L/M) of Jacksonville, Florida, died June 19, 2017. At the University, he was a member of Sigma Kappa fraternity. After attending law school at the University of Florida, he joined a Jacksonville law firm before helping form the firm Allen, Brinton, Simmons and McCarthy. This firm was eventually bought by Rogers Towers. Mr. Brinton was instrumental in pushing through citizen-initiated amendments to the city’s charter that helped preserve the beauty of Jacksonville. Two of the initiatives, Citizens Against Proliferation of Signs and Citizens for Tree Preservation, eventually merged to become Scenic Jacksonville. He also helped create term limits for city officials. Survivors include his wife, Catherine; two daughters; and three grandchildren.


Ruth Cadd Walton (Educ ’74), recently of Harrisonburg, Virginia, died Sept. 10, 2017. After earning her bachelor’s degree in education from The College of William and Mary, she earned her reading specialist certificate and her master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia. She went on to earn a second master’s in professional communication with a concentration in storytelling from Eastern Tennessee State University. Ms. Walton’s valuable work contributions included teaching at Rena B. Wright Elementary School in Chesapeake, Virginia; establishing the reading program at Brookland Middle School in Henrico County, Virginia; helping to initiate the special education program and serving as coordinator of psychological services for Chesapeake schools; serving as an educational diagnostician for the Virginia Department of Health neurology program; and coordinating programs for Reading is Fundamental in Washington, D.C. As a professional storyteller, she was a member of the Blue Ridge and National Storytelling Associations. She authored religious, family, historical and cultural stories, traveled to Russia with the Network of Biblical Storytellers and told stories in Germany and the United States. As a volunteer, she worked with People Helping People in Harrisonburg. She also organized the library and evaluated the reading needs of children in Española, New Mexico. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Survivors include three daughters, including Diana Walton Hopkins (Educ ’73); seven grandchildren, including Jessica Lunsford Avery (Col ’06); five great-grandchildren; a brother; and three sisters.


Willis P. “Bill” Lawrie (Arch ’75) of Moneta, Virginia, died June 19, 2017. A consummate architect, he continued designing until the end of his life. Some of his design contributions to the field of architecture include the Monroe County Crime lab, the first LEED Platinum-certified forensic science lab; the FBI lab and Forensic Science and Coroner’s Center, the largest forensic science labs in North America; and the Maryland Statewide Forensic Center in Baltimore. Additionally, his refinements in lab design for the emerging DNA profiling procedure led to a reduction in chances for cross-contamination and have been adopted internationally. He also designed homes that feature solar and geothermal power. He was an avid outdoorsman and adventurer who loved to study and appreciate nature. He enjoyed sharing his passion for astronomy and sailing with those he loved. He relished working with his hands and enjoyed cultivating the land. Survivors include his wife, Susan; two children; and a brother.


Stephen L. Cochran (Grad ’79) of Chattanooga, Tennessee, died Aug. 4, 2017. He received his doctorate in neurophysiology from the University after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University. He was a Microsoft MVP and worked in research before moving to Chattanooga, where he was a computer software developer and a photographer. He sold his photographs and his homegrown catnip at the Chattanooga Market. He loved his cat, Delta. Survivors include three brothers, and several nieces and nephews.