Ulmo “Sonny” Shannon Randle
January 6, 1936–May 23, 2017
Football star, coach Randle was “tough” and “on your side”
Ulmo “Sonny” Shannon Randle Jr. (Educ ’59), a football star at UVA and in the NFL who returned to the University as head coach before embarking on a memorable sports broadcasting career, died at his home in Staunton, Virginia, after a short illness. He was 81.
Known for his great speed, Randle earned a scholarship at the University after arriving from Fork Union Military Academy as a walk-on. As a senior in 1958, he led the ACC in receptions, as well as receiving, kickoff and all-purpose yards.
Randle went on to play for the Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, earning Pro Bowl honors four times during an 11-year career.
Randle began his coaching career at East Carolina University, becoming the Pirates’ head coach in 1971 before taking over at UVA in 1974. The Cavaliers went 4-7 and 1-10 in his two years at the helm. “He wanted to win in the worst way—it was his alma mater,” recalls Roanoke Times sportswriter Doug Doughty (Col ’74).
Former Ohio University, Wake Forest University and Baylor University head coach Jim Grobe (Educ ’75, ’78) says Randle was one of his biggest influences. “He was really, really tough and really demanding,” says Grobe, who played and coached under Randle. “But he was somebody who, if you played for him, he was on your side and he would do anything in the world for you.”
Says Doughty: “In going to his funeral, I was struck by the cross-section of people who were there. It was all walks of people he had affected.
“He had a lot of charisma. People gravitated to him.”
Randle went on to coach two seasons at Massanutten Military Academy and then five seasons at Marshall University before immersing himself in the radio and television business, where he became known for “The Sonny Randle Sports Minute.” His trademark signoff was, full of emphatic pauses, “Until our next visit, this is Sonny Randle sayin’ sooo long, everybody.”
Randle, who was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (in Portsmouth) in 1991 and the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009, is survived by his wife, Gail Killgrove Randle; a brother; four children; two stepchildren; and nine grandchildren.
E. L. Carlyle (Com ’50 L/M) of Virginia Beach and Richmond, Virginia, died February 20, 2017. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After graduation, he returned to his hometown of Bedford, Virginia, to work in his family’s business, Carlyle’s Dairy. While working there, he developed his favorite saying: “There are only two kinds of food in the world, chocolate ice cream and everything else!” In 1951, Mr. Carlyle and his wife, Sue, moved to Virginia Beach, where he worked for Norshipco. as comptroller and vice president for finance for 30 years. Mr. Carlyle and his wife moved to Richmond in 2007. Survivors include his wife, Sue, and a son.
Louis S. Herrink Jr. (Law ’50) of King George, Virginia, died April 17, 2017. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and in the Naval Reserves during the Korean War. Before attending the University of Virginia Law School, he graduated from the University of Richmond. He argued cases before the Virginia Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Mr. Herrink was one of the first two Republicans elected to the Virginia House of Delegates after Reconstruction and served from 1963 to 1965. He moved to King George in the 1970s, when he took partial ownership of Historyland Memorial Park. He also managed an office building that housed the county’s healthcare clinic. Mr. Herrink had a keen interest in family history and published a book on his family’s genealogy. Survivors include three daughters, including Jessica Herrink Wolfe (Col ’79) and Beverly Herrink Klunk (Grad ’80); five grandchildren; and four sisters.
George L. Proctor (Col ’50, Grad ’55) of Bandon, Oregon, died December 21, 2016. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II in New Guinea and Borneo. At the University, he was awarded Phi Beta Kappa and was a member of the Raven Society. Mr. Proctor taught philosophy and psychology at the Virginia Military Institute for two years. He then began a 10-year career with System Development Corp. of Santa Monica, California, working as system designer with project staff responsible for design of military command and control systems. He was senior field consultant to the 86th Air Division in West Germany for five years. Beginning in 1968, he was director of institutional research and professor of philosophy at Sonoma State University until retiring in 1986. He enjoyed world travel, listening to jazz and classical music, reading, and spending time with his grandchildren. In 2004, he bought and ran a 52-acre ranch in southwest Oregon, where he lived until moving to the Oregon Coast in 2010. He is survived by his wife, Alexis; three stepchildren; and 11 grandchildren.
Pendleton Emmett Thomas III (Col ’50 L/M) of Richmond, Virginia, died May 27, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was later in the U.S. Navy. At the University, he earned a varsity letter on the fencing team and was a founding member of the student radio station, WUVA, where he had a call-in request show. After attending the Medical College of Virginia, he helped found Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, where he was chief of medical staff, and St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond. He was a distant cousin of John Hartwell Cocke, who served on the University’s first Board of Visitors. Dr. Thomas enjoyed flying and earned a commercial and flight instructor license. He was a loyal UVA sports fan. Survivors include his second wife, Jacalyn; a brother; two sisters; eight children, including Robert Thomas (Darden ’80 L/M), Ronald Thomas (Engr ’81 L/M) and Anne Thomas King (Col ’83 L/M); and eight grandchildren.
John Blaine Crimmins Jr. (Col ’51 L/M) of Chattanooga, Tennessee, died June 30, 2017. At the University, he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. He spent 38 years at Mills & Lupton Supply Co., where he served as president. He was active in several business and trade organizations and served terms as president of the Electric League of Chattanooga, the Westinghouse and Distributors Association, the Southern Industrial Distributors Association, and the Industrial Committee of 100. He was also an elected commissioner for the town of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, for 20 years. Mr. Crimmins was involved with Boy Scouts of America, and he was director of SunTrust Bank, Chattanooga, for more than 25 years. He served as chairman of the Board of Directors of Memorial Hospital as well as its founding organization. He golfed whenever he had the chance, and he especially enjoyed time with his family. Survivors include a sister, five children, including Michael R. Crimmins (Col ’82 L/M) and Christopher P. Crimmins (Col ’84 L/M); eight grandchildren, including William M. Crimmins (Col ’16 L/M); four great-grandchildren; and one great-nephew.
Kenneth Okkerse (Col ’51) of Neenah, Wisconsin, died January 29, 2017. At the University, he was a member of Glee Club and played in the marching band. While studying at Juilliard, he decided to become a priest, later earning his degree in theology from the General Theological Seminary in New York. His priesthood began in Missoula, Montana, and took him around the country. He retired in 1990. Music, theater and opera were very important to Mr. Okkerse. He played in dance bands, sang in numerous musical comedies and operas, acted in plays and played the cello in orchestras, string quartets and trios. Survivors include three sons, a daughter and 13 grandchildren.
Frank Talbott III (Col ’51, Law ’53 L/M), formerly of Danville, Virginia, died July 21, 2017. He served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Army. At the University, he was a member of Delta Psi fraternity (St. Anthony Hall) and Eli Banana. He later served on the boards of the Virginia Student Aid Foundation and the University of Virginia Alumni Association. Following his Army service, he returned to Danville to practice law with the firm of Meade, Talbott & Tate. He later served as vice president and general counsel of Dan River Mills, general counsel to the Virginia Manufacturers Association and became of counsel with the firm of Woods Rogers before retiring in 2010. He was a former president of the Danville Bar Association and an Executive Committee member of the Virginia Bar Association. In the community, Mr. Talbott served on the Danville School Board and the boards of Memorial Hospital and the First National Bank. He most recently lived at Westminster Canterbury in Richmond, Virginia. He was the son of former rector Frank Talbott Jr. (Col ’21, Law ’24) Survivors include two children, including Frank Talbott IV (Col ’78 L/M); three grandchildren, including Frank Talbott V (Col ’08 L/M); and a great-granddaughter.
Frank Noel Perkinson Jr. (Law ’52) of Roanoke, Virginia, died June 24, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army. While at the University, he was elected mayor of Copeley Hill, UVA’s married student housing. He worked as a special agent for the FBI in Pittsburgh and New York before establishing a private practice in Roanoke, where he worked for 56 years. In Roanoke, he was elected to the City Council and was a former director of the Roanoke Bar Association. He was president of his chapter of young Democratic Clubs of Virginia when it was awarded Best Democratic Club in the United States. He also raised thoroughbred horses for 10 years. He loved gardening, fishing and UVA sports. Survivors include his wife, June; three daughters; two nieces; and a nephew.
Philip Amadon Kolvoord (Col ’53, Law ’56 L/M) of Essex Junction, Vermont, died March 11, 2017. At the University, he was a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, the Virginia Spectator and the business staff of the Virginia Law Review. He also won the University chess championship. Mr. Kolvoord was the founder and senior partner of the law firm Kolvoord, Overton & Wilson. He also served as the executive clerk for the governor of Vermont from 1961 to 1963 and chaired the professional responsibility committee of the Vermont Bar Association for many years. He was an active member of Rotary International and was twice recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. An experienced traveler, Mr. Kolvoord visited all seven continents and more than 50 countries. He had a particular passion for polar exploration. His hobbies included beekeeping, gardening and fishing wherever and whenever he could sink a line. Survivors include his wife, Louise; two sons, Robert Andrew Kolvoord (Col ’83, Engr ’85 L/M) and Steven Eric Kolvoord (Engr ’85); and three grandchildren.
James K. Fishback (Engr ’54) of Richmond, Virginia, died December 5, 2016. He served in a counterintelligence unit in the Army during the Cold War. At the University, he was member of the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, and he played the saxophone in the marching band. Throughout his life, he was an enthusiastic problem-solver, and his designs included missile propulsion systems, instruments for the lunar spacecraft program, pollution-free incinerators and energy recovery systems. His equipment is installed at the Pentagon and in cities, hospitals and industrial complexes in the United States and around the world. Survivors include his wife, Patricia Davis Fishback (Educ ’76); his brother Fred Fishback (Arch ’53 L/M); a son and daughter; a daughter-in-law; and a grandson.
H. Donald Scott (Col ’54 L/M) of South Chatham, Massachusetts, died July 2, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army in the Counter Intelligence Corps. At the University, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the Cavalier Daily staff. He served as Vice President of Finance at Rochester Institute of Technology and at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, from which he retired in 1989. Mr. Scott held family as his primary value, followed by dedication to country and love of the natural world. He was an enthusiastic follower of both college and professional sports and was an avid golfer. In retirement, he particularly enjoyed birding. He and his wife, Carol, traveled across the world in search of rare and beautiful birds, setting foot on all seven continents and all 50 of the United States in so doing. Survivors include his wife, two daughters, a son and four grandchildren.
Dorothy L. Knisley (Educ ’55 L/M) of Bristol, Tennessee, died April 27, 2017. Before attending the University, she graduated from Carson-Newman College, now Carson-Newman University, in Jefferson City, Tennessee. After completing her master’s degree at the University of Virginia, she taught at Greendale High School in Washington County, Virginia, for eight years. She later worked at Tennessee High School in Bristol as a teacher before starting the school’s guidance department. She retired from the school system after a career of 44 years. Ms. Knisley served as the adult sponsor of a school fundraiser for the American Heart Association for 19 years and was named the 1985 Executive of the Year by the local chapter of Professional Secretaries International. Survivors include a brother and a sister.
Eugene R. Walker (Educ ’55) of Roanoke, Virginia, died June 25, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army. He worked for the Continental Insurance Company and the Underwriters Adjusting Company. He was a talented golfer, baseball player and swimmer. He loved the Virginia Cavaliers. Among his favorite places were Holden Beach, North Carolina, and his family farm, ScotLyn, in Floyd County, where he loved picking blueberries and admiring the land from his tractor. Survivors include his wife, June; a son; a daughter; and a grandson.
James S. “Jim” Howie (Com ’56 L/M) of Arlington, Texas, died June 10, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. At the University, he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. He began his career in the bakery division at Union Steel products in Albion, Michigan, and later formed the Howie and Green Association, where he was a manufacturer representative for restaurant equipment. He was a member of the Arlington Gem and Mineral Club, American Legion and the Arlington Senior Men’s Golf Association. Survivors include three sons, two daughters and 13 grandchildren.
George Nelson Schramm Jr. (Com ’56) of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, died July 6, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army. At the University, he was a midshipman in the Naval ROTC and was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. He lived on the Lawn. He spent 10 years with U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Chicago, before spending 24 years with Modern Drop Forge in Blue Island, Illinois, where he was CEO when he retired in 1990. In Lake Wylie, he happily spent time with family and friends rooting for the Steelers, Bears and Cubs, and pursuing his passions for woodworking, golf, reading, fine dining and wine. Survivors include his wife, Joan; two daughters, including Julie Schramm Frisch (Col ’90 L/M); and four grandchildren.
E. Massie “Skeeter” Valentine (Col ’56 L/M) of Richmond, Virginia, died August 3, 2017. At the University, he was a member of Delta Psi fraternity (St. Anthony Hall), the IMP Society, the Raven Society and Eli Banana. He also played on the tennis team. After beginning his business career with the William Byrd Press, Mr. Valentine joined the Baker-Cockrell Insurance Agency, which was acquired by Johnson & Higgins. He was a director of Johnson & Higgins, served as president of J&H Virginia and retired as chairman of the Southeast region in 1992. He served on or chaired the s of numerous organizations throughout the area, including the YMCA of Greater Richmond and the Valentine Museum. He also served on the boards of St. Christopher’s School and Woodberry Forest School, and on the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors. Mr. Valentine was passionate about tennis, having won the 15-and-under singles and doubles state championships in 1948, captaining his team at Woodberry Forest and playing at UVA. He was also a five-time city of Richmond doubles champion. Mr. Valentine helped bring the Fidelity Bankers Life Tennis Tournament to Richmond, served as president of the Richmond Tennis Patrons Association and endowed a tennis scholarship at UVA. He was inducted into the Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009. He valued family and friendship above all else, however, and was deeply loyal to those around him. His children and grandchildren inherited his love for ice cream, guava jelly, backgammon, tennis and UVA athletics (for better or worse). Memorial contributions can be made to the E. Massie Valentine Endowed Tennis Scholarship at the University of Virginia. Survivors include his wife, Virginia; three children, including E. Massie Valentine Jr. (Col ’80 L/M) and J. Gordon Valentine (Col ’81 L/M); and nine grandchildren, including J. Gordon Valentine Jr. (Col ’10), Gray V. Ellington (Col ’16), William I. Valentine (Col ’15 L/M), Sarah G. “Sazshy” Valentine (Col ’10), Jesse T. “Tom” Ellington IV (Col ’12 L/M), and Eugene Massie Valentine III (Col ’10).
Sheppard “Allen” de Hart (Grad ’57) of Louisburg, North Carolina, died October 14, 2016. He served in the U.S. Army. He taught history and psychology at Louisburg College for more than 50 years while cultivating property near the college that would become a 91-acre botanical garden for the community to enjoy. He gave the land to Louisburg College in 2012, and donated the 172-acre DeHart Botanical Gardens in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to Ferrum College, where he received his. undergraduate degree. A lifelong conservationist, Mr. de Hart was known, in part, for the 11 guidebooks he wrote, among them North Carolina Hiking Trails. He was also instrumental in the development of North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and he founded an organization to contribute to its maintenance. He established a concert, film, lecture and recital series at Louisburg College that led to other initiatives such as the Franklin County Arts Council in 1978. He also started the Franklin County and Louisburg College Folk Festival, which served as the cradle for the International Whistlers Convention. Survivors include his wife, Flora Ballowe de Hart (Grad ’58).
Sidney “Lee” Miller (Law ’57 L/M) of Barrington, Rhode Island, died May 29, 2017. He began his banking career in Florida before moving north to Massachusetts and then Rhode Island, where he especially valued his time at Old Stone Bank in Providence. He retired from Rockland Trust in Massachusetts in 1995. Mr. Miller was active with several community organizations, including the historical Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and the Longmeadow Republican Town Committee. He also pursued equality in Barrington’s sports by helping to bring Title IX to the town. He was passionate about cars and an avid reader, and he valued his friends deeply. For two weeks each September, he and several friends sailed the coast of Canada and Maine, where he and his wife spent their summers. He loved learning and traveling and did both throughout his life. Survivors include his wife, Joan; three daughters, including Julie Miller (Col ’80 L/M); and seven grandchildren, including Jacqueline Viens (Col ’17) and Caroline Iurillo (Engr ’14 L/M).
Edwin B. Fockler III (Law ’58 L/M) of North East, Maryland, died July 23, 2017. He served in the U.S. Air Force. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland before attending the University for law school. He was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force for two years and resigned from the Reserves in 1970 as a Major. He practiced law in Cecil County, Maryland, from 1958 until he retired in 2008. Proud of his heritage, he could trace his lineage back to the Mayflower and to several soldiers in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. According to the obituary he wrote for himself, Mr. Fockler considered himself “an intellectual weasel of the finest ilk.” Survivors include three sons, including Edwin B. Fockler IV (Col ’86 L/M) and Karl H. Fockler (Col ’89 L/M); and seven grandchildren.
Donald Hogan Misner (Arch ’58 L/M) of McLean, Virginia, died May 18, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army. His first architectural employment was with Saunders and Pearson, where he was chief designer for the original T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria and the first quadrangle buildings at George Mason University. He helped establish the firm of Kohler, Misner, Daniels, specializing in commercial architecture throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area. He later formed Misner Development Co., focusing on office building and shopping center development. After an accident in 1985 left him paraplegic, he helped found The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, an investigative research program for spinal cord injury. Survivors include his wife, Gloria Taylor Misner (Educ ’59); a daughter; a son; and three grandsons.
Joseph P. White (Col ’58 L/M) of La Quinta, California, died July 1, 2017. He served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He studied for a year at Massanutten Military Academy before attending the University, where he pledged Delta Psi fraternity (St. Anthony’s Hall). He was also a member of the “V” Club and Eli Banana. He played three years of varsity football and was named an all-conference tackle. He worked for 46 years in the insurance and financial planning field for Manulife, Lincoln Financial and John Hancock. Stints in California, Richmond, Washington, D.C., and 27 years in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, created a lifetime of memories, friendships and stories. Mr. White especially loved his years playing tennis. His family was often regaled with the story of the heroic play that once happened on Men’s Night where it was “4 at the net and the ball never hit the ground.” Survivors include his wife, Maureen; and two daughters, including Elizabeth Barron White (Col ’86 L/M).