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In Memoriam | Summer 2013

In Memoriam: 1950s

Notices sorted by graduation date

Stephen V. Jamme Sr. (Com ’50) of Charlottesville died March 7, 2013. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. At the University, he was a member of the track team. Mr. Jamme worked as an accountant for a number of local organizations, including the University’s bursar’s office, Elliott’s Ice Co., Charlottesville Woolen Mills and Sperry Piedmont Division, retiring in 1985. In retirement, Mr. Jamme worked part time preparing taxes and also worked for the U.S. Census Bureau. He was an avid gardener, golfer and bird and weather watcher who rarely left the daily crossword puzzle undone. His greatest pleasure was entertaining family and friends at his home. Survivors include his wife; one daughter; and six sons, including Stephen V. Jamme Jr. (Educ ’89 L/M).

Theodrick Bland Norris (Engr ’50 L/M) of Blacksburg, Va., died Feb. 22, 2013. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. At the University, he was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. Mr. Norris worked for the U.S. Navy Department’s Bureau of Aeronautics and participated in developing a steam catapult for the landing systems required for the operation of Navy jet aircraft aboard the Forestall-class aircraft carriers, and later joined the Navy Special Projects Office, where he developed the Polaris Fleet Ballistic Missile. He joined NASA in 1959 as program manager of the first Thor-Delta unmanned space launch vehicle. During his career, he contributed to the launch of many early scientific and applications satellites and worked on a number of programs, including the Centaur launch vehicle; the Surveyor Series; the Mariner Mars, which was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet; and the Mariner Mercury. Mr. Norris retired from NASA in 1979, but continued to work as the director of advanced planning for Perkin Elmer Corp. and served as president of the National Space Club from 1986 to 1987. Survivors include a daughter, Priscilla Norris Masters (Col ’81).

John Thorpe Richards (Law ’50) of Alexandria, Va., died March 30, 2013. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War, retiring from the U.S. Naval Reserve in the early 1960s. At the University, he was a member of the Glee Club. Mr. Richards was a general practice lawyer in Alexandria, specializing in zoning and estate law. He was a past president of the Alexandria Bar Association and served as general receiver of the Circuit Court of Alexandria. Mr. Richards was active in many civic organizations and was a past president of the Old Town Civic Association and chairman of the Alexandria traffic board. His hobbies included farming, beekeeping, making raspberry jam and spending time at his second home in Newcastle, Maine.

William “Bill” R. Baker (Engr ’51 L/M) of Cartersville, Va., died Feb. 20, 2013. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Mr. Baker worked for 37 years in the facilities engineering department of Newport News Shipbuilding. There he designed unique shipbuilding equipment and, as lead mechanical engineer for the north yard’s expansion, supervised the procurement and erection of the largest gantry crane in North America, state-of-the-art fabrication shops and a dry dock used for construction of liquefied natural gas carriers and Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Mr. Baker retired in 1988, and in 1998, he and his wife moved into a home that he had designed himself. He loved designing, working with machinery, hunting and spending time with his family. Survivors include a son, Dwight Baker (Engr ’77, ’78 L/M).

Henry G. Blosser (Col ’51, Grad ’52, ’54 L/M) of East Lansing, Mich., died March 20, 2013. At the University, he lived on the Lawn and was a member of Kappa Alpha Order, the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society and Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. After working as a nuclear physicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he joined the Michigan State University faculty in 1958. Mr. Blosser served as founding director and co-director of Michigan State’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory until 1989 and was honored as a university distinguished professor in 1990. He was an avid backpacker and cultivator of heirloom tomatoes that came from his grandfather and continue to be grown by his family.

John H. Gum (Educ ’51) of Churchville, Va., died Oct. 28, 2012. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, receiving the WWII Cross of Military Service and the Korean Cross of Military Service awarded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. A life member of Delta Sigma Delta dental fraternity, Dr. Gum practiced dentistry in Churchville from 1959 until 1986. He served on the Augusta County School Board for eight years and was a past member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Smithey Cannon King (Engr ’51 L/M) of Roanoke, Va., died April 27, 2012. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. At the University, he was a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. Mr. King worked for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. in Martinsville, Va., for more than 40 years, serving in various engineering roles until his retirement. He was also active in community affairs, serving his church in various capacities. For his 50 years of service to the University, Mr. King was a member of the Thomas Jefferson Society of Alumni. In his retirement, he took pleasure in woodworking and was an avid history buff. Survivors include a grandson, Ryan Cannon Doyle (Col ’02 L/M).

Eugene L. “Gene” Nuckols (Law ’51) of Pulaski, Va., died April 19, 2013. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II. Mr. Nuckols was a partner in the law firm of Crowell Nuckols Layman & Aust for more than 50 years. He was also a retired judge of the Juvenile and Domestics Relations Court, 27th Judicial District. Mr. Nuckols was active in bringing the NAACP to Pulaski and served on the board of the American Red Cross and the Pulaski town council for a number of years. He and his wife enjoyed traveling the world—their favorite city was Paris—and they helped establish the Fine Arts Center of the New River Valley. Mr. Nuckols enjoyed playing golf and listening to hand-bell music. Survivors include a daughter, Nance Nuckols Thompson (Nurs ’76).

William Rowan III (Col ’51 L/M) of Charlottesville died March 10, 2013. He served in the U.S. Army. At the University, he lived on the Lawn and was a member of the University Union, president of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society and a member of Delta Phi fraternity (St. Elmo Hall). He began his retail career at Stephen Sheppard and later opened his own store, William Rowan III Clothing Store, in the original Barracks Road Shopping Center. After moving to northern Virginia, he served as the director of the Smithsonian Institution Museum Shops. Mr. Rowan loved a good conversation and opened the Gilpin House Bookstore in Old Town Alexandria as a place where people could share stories and find a good book to read. He loved traveling and visited Japan, Mexico and Europe many times.

John R. Alba (Com ’52) of Roanoke, Va., died April 19, 2013. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. At the University, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Throughout his career, he worked for the Pocahontas Fuel Co., the West Virginia Department of Welfare, the Stuart McGuire Co. and Artistic Greetings. He was also co-owner of Information Products Co. in Salem, Va. Mr. Alba was an avid sports fan who loved the outdoors, especially hiking and canoeing. He enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Edwin F. Green II (Col ’52 L/M) of Gahanna, Ohio, died Feb. 4, 2013. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. At the University, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He worked for the defense activities division of Western Electric Co. on the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) project, one of the earliest early warning systems for North America. He retired from Western Electric after 36 years of near-perfect attendance. Mr. Green was an avid fan of the Virginia Cavaliers and cherished his time at the University. He is survived by a son.

E.R.M. “Mac” Coker (Engr ’53 L/M) of Franklin, Va., died April 9, 2013. He served in the Civil Engineer Corps of the U.S. Navy. At the University, he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Mr. Coker served in various capacities with the fine paper division of Union Camp Corporation in Franklin for 35 years, retiring as sales manager in 1993. Survivors include sons William Coker (Com ’82 L/M) and James Coker (Col ’87 L/M).

George J. Klein (Col ’53) of Palm Beach, Fla., died March 19, 2013. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. At the University, he was a member of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity. He worked for his family’s business, S. Klein Inc. for 40 years, retiring in 1995. Mr. Klein had a wonderful sense of humor.

Jerome Kruger (Grad ’53) of Rockville, Md., died March 31, 2013. At the University, he was a member of the Hillel Foundation. Throughout his career as a scientist, Mr. Kruger wrote more than 160 scientific papers and was the editor or co-editor of six books. He began his career with the Naval Research Laboratory and later joined the National Bureau of Standards, retiring in 1983 from its successor, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as chief of the metallurgy division’s corrosion section. After retiring, he joined the Johns Hopkins University faculty in 1983 and taught in the materials, science and engineering department until 1994. Mr. Kruger received the U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal for meritorious service.

Mason Gordon Robertson (Med ’54 L/M) of Savannah, Ga., died July 20, 2012. He served in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army. Dr. Robertson was board certified in hematology and oncology and practiced medicine in Savannah for 25 years. He and his wife were active in the civil rights movement, often participating in lunch counter sit-ins, and were founding members of the Human Relations Council. He battled segregation in the delivery of medical care, and for his efforts received the NAACP Freedom Award in 1987. Dr. Robertson championed various other public health care efforts in Savannah, including the fluoridation of the city’s water, and helped establish the city’s first sickle cell anemia clinic. He retired in 1984 and spent his time traveling to China, Scotland and England with his wife and teaching courses in medical ethics and history at Armstrong State College.

James G. “MaGoo” McGall Sr. (Col ’55) of Farmville, Va., died Feb. 9, 2013. He served in the U.S. Army. At the University, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. For more than 30 years, he worked in the oil business in Farmville, where he was an active member of many local organizations and was the co-founder of the Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad in Prince Edward County. Mr. McGall was listed in the 1970 edition of Outstanding Young Men in America and was a longtime member of the Farmville Jaycees, receiving the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 1970. He was a member of the Thomas Jefferson Society of Alumni.

William Lawrence Young (Col ’55 L/M) of Rock Hill, S.C., died Feb. 6, 2013. He began his career as a chemist at the Celanese Fibers Co. in Narrows, Va., and worked for the company in a variety of roles in Maryland, North Carolina and Rock Hill through 1977. He later served as a hospital administrator, first at York General Hospital and Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill and later for SunHealth at several small hospitals in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. He then worked for the U.S. Census before retiring in 1990. Over the years, Mr. Young was a member of the board of directors of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the United Way. He enjoyed spending time with his family, visiting the beach and following U.Va. sports. Survivors include a daughter, Amy Elizabeth Young Lawton (Col ’88 L/M).

Beverly “Bev” Browne (Col ’56) of Atlanta died Feb. 9, 2013. He served in the U.S. Army. At the University, he lived on the Lawn and was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and Eli Banana. He worked in the paper industry, living and traveling all over the country with several different organizations. In 1979, he became president of Diameter Paper Co. in Atlanta, retiring in 2005. Mr. Browne loved the outdoors and sports, spending most of his retirement days on the golf course.

Jan Bakker (Col ’58, Grad ’61 L/M) of Logan, Utah, died March 18, 2013. He taught American literature and technical writing at Utah State University for more than 30 years, earning the title professor emeritus. In addition to teaching, he served as the consulting editor for Children’s Literature, published by Yale University Press. Mr. Bakker was the author of Pastoral in Antebellum Southern Romance and published a number of articles in academic literary journals, the Southern Literary Journal and Studies in American Fiction among them. He received two Fulbright awards, one sending him to Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia and the other to Heidelberg University in Germany. He claimed to be wretched at tennis but good at twaddle and making witty remarks.

Robert Brandon Hyde (Col ’59) of Kisumu, Kenya, died Dec. 16, 2012. At the University, he studied politics and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Early in his career, Mr. Hyde worked in advertising in New York City and was a Peace Corps volunteer in St. Lucia. He designed and marketed a micro-irrigation pump, named Kickstart, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty in developing nations such as Kenya and India. Mr. Hyde lived most of his life in India and Kisumu. Survivors include a sister, Carolyn Hyde Hofacket (Nurs ’61).

Raymond M. Racey Jr. (Engr ’59 L/M) of Ludington, Mich., died Feb. 2, 2013. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. An electrical engineer by trade, he worked for Sperry Corp. and later for Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties, retiring in 1992. He was active in his church community, teaching adult Sunday school and serving as director of the food pantry. He was a board member of the Ludington chapter of the American/International Red Cross and the site director for the local Self Help and Resource Exchange program.