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In Memoriam | Fall 2016

In Memoriam: 1960s

Notices sorted by graduation date

William Rice (Col ’60 L/M) of Chicago died April 3, 2016. He served in the U.S. Navy. At the University, he was a member of T.I.L.K.A., the Corks & Curls staff, Naval ROTC and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and was an editor of the Cavalier Daily. He began his career at The Washington Post in 1963, where he held a range of writing and editing jobs, including an assignment as a restaurant critic. In 1969, he moved to France to study at Le Cordon Bleu. He studied French and cooking and spent time in French vineyards. After returning to the U.S., Mr. Rice directed a cooking school in Bethesda, Maryland, and worked as a freelance writer and restaurant critic for Washingtonian magazine before returning to The Washington Post in 1972. He was executive food editor at the newspaper from 1974 to 1980. From 1980 to 1985, he was the editor in chief of Food & Wine magazine. He became a food and wine critic at the Chicago Tribune in 1986, a post he held until 2004. Mr. Rice’s approach to food criticism was noted for its mix of refined and populist sensibilities. Though he witnessed the rise and fall of numerous trends, he maintained that his favorite food was a simple roast chicken. Survivors include his wife and a sister.

Roland Thayer Sheets (Col ’61 L/M) of Yorktown, Virginia, died May 24, 2016. At the University, he was a member of the Glee Club, Beta Theta Phi fraternity and the baseball team. After graduation, he briefly played for the Pittsburgh Pirates before beginning work for NASA at Langley in 1963. He served as manager of the NASA Small Business Innovation Research program from 1983 until his retirement in 2004. In 1993, Mr. Sheets was inducted into the National Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame for his role in developing a cooling suit for treating patients with multiple sclerosis. He received a number of other awards, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was a dedicated Little League baseball coach and took great pride in the successes of his teams. Survivors include his wife, two sons, two grandsons and a granddaughter.

Boyce Ficklen Martin Jr. (Law ’63) of Louisville, Kentucky, died June 1, 2016. He served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Reserve. After graduation from the University, he worked in private practice and taught at the University of Louisville School of Law before he was appointed to the Jefferson County Circuit Court in 1974. After an amendment to the Kentucky state constitution restructured the judicial branch, Judge Martin was elected chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1976. President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1979, where he was chief judge from 1996 to 2003. He also served on the executive committee and other committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States. His rulings on affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger and on the Affordable Care Act were affirmed by the Supreme Court. A traditionalist in adhering to precedent, he also included references to popular culture in his opinions, quoting Homer Simpson in an employment law case and the lyrics to a John Prine song in an environmental ruling. He retired from the court in 2013. Survivors include his wife, two daughters, two sons, eight granddaughters, a sister and a brother.

William W. “Bill” Anderson (Educ ’67, ’71 L/M) of Poquoson, Virginia, died March 31, 2016. He served in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve for a combined 23 years, retiring with the rank of commander in 1998. He taught literacy education at Shippensburg University, the University of Virginia and Nova Southeastern University for a total of 30 years. A champion of the underdog, he had an upbeat spirit and a love of learning and language, especially stories, puns and jokes. Survivors include his wife, Ann E. Fordham (Educ ’85); a daughter; five sons; and eight grandchildren.

Raymond Gavins (Grad ’67, ’70) of Durham, North Carolina, died May 22, 2016. He was the first black student to receive a doctorate from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. In 1970, he became the first black faculty member at Duke University. He was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor in 1977, becoming a full professor in 1992. His academic focuses were African-American and American history. He wrote two books and more than 70 scholarly articles, book chapters, essays and reviews. Much of his recent work was with the Behind the Veil project, which, to date, has conducted 1,350 oral history interviews with African Americans to document life in the Jim Crow era. A co-recipient of the 1996 Oral History Association’s Distinguished Oral History Project Award, he also received the 2008 Southern Historical Association’s John W. Blassingame Award in recognition of his work in African-American history. He was known for mentoring young faculty and students and for uniting scholarship and activism. Survivors include his wife, a daughter, a son and five grandchildren.

Henry H. Rossbacher (Law ’68 L/M) of Ventura, California, died June 8, 2015. At the University, he was on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review. He worked in a number of federal and state government positions, including attorney adviser to the U.S. Department of Commerce and deputy general counsel to the New York state special commission on the 1971 Attica prison riot. Mr. Rossbacher was assistant U.S. attorney and senior litigation counsel in Los Angeles from 1978 to 1985, and he worked with the federal prosecution of Bernard Whitney and Rienk Kamer in one of the largest land fraud cases in U.S. history. In 1990, he founded Rossbacher & Associates, later the Rossbacher Firm, where he focused on business litigation and class-action suits. The firm successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Hanlon v. Berger, a case with implications for privacy rights. Survivors include his wife, two daughters, a son and a grandson.

Jonathan C. Bell (Educ ’69 L/M) of Luray, Virginia, died April 13, 2016. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. After the war, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Hillsdale College and worked for Remington Rand before joining the Fairfax County, Virginia, public school system as an elementary school teacher. He later worked in guidance and administration for 28 years, earning his master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia during that time. He was active in several organizations and served as president of the Virginia Retired Teachers Association. Survivors include his wife, two children and two grandchildren.

Michael Edward Flynn (Col ’69 L/M) of Richmond, Virginia, died July 5, 2016. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He spent 25 years working with banks and Wall Street firms. He had affectionate and colorful nicknames for the “Yankee heathens” he encountered in his work, and these only became more colorful as he moved further in his career, as did his personality. After completing a billion dollar mortgage-backed security trade and attaining the title of senior vice president, Mr. Flynn decided to leave banking and pursue something he believed to be infinitely more challenging: being a stay-at-home dad. Most of his day-to-day parental instruction involved advice about the current state of the financial markets and, his favorite, really bad puns. While it is entirely possible that he learned course content while at the University, he preferred to speak about fraternity members shooting flaming arrows at one another’s houses and how he had to “walk 15 miles uphill in winter” to go to class. He would also frequently croon “Good Morning Starshine” up the stairs at his sleeping children at 7 a.m. He loved chocolate pudding with Cool Whip, steak with Béarnaise sauce and long, meandering naps. Survivors include his wife, a son and a daughter, Elizabeth V. Flynn (Col ’14, Com ’15 L/M).