Notices sorted by graduation date.
August 5, 1952–July 2, 2017
UVA basketball player, youth coach inspired kids and a Disney Channel movie
Lamont Carr (Col ’76), a passionate and beloved coach who was the first African-American basketball player to graduate from the University and who inspired a Disney Channel movie, died July 2, 2017. He was 64.
Recruited out of a Chicago junior college, Carr “was exactly what you would want out of a basketball player,” says Terry Holland, UVA’s head basketball coach from 1974 to 1990. Carr’s size—6 feet 7 inches—and athleticism as a power forward helped the team to the school’s first ACC Championship title, in 1976.
An “inquisitive” player and student, “he was interested in taking advantage of everything he possibly could,” Holland says. “He was serious about accomplishing something.”
After graduation, Carr worked as a campus police officer before attending law school at Washington & Lee University.
He then moved to Los Angeles, where he became fascinated with the sport of competitive darts.
“Whatever he was interested in, he would school himself to become an expert,” says Joel Silverman (Col ’86 L/M), a friend of Carr’s from UVA. “He was convinced darts was the next big sport in America.”
Carr’s work for the sport earned him a profile in Sports Illustrated in 1993.
The same passion for knowledge led him to become a wine connoisseur. “He was a Renaissance guy,” Silverman said. “He could dominate a wine tasting.”
He continued to promote darts when he moved to Boca Raton, Florida, where he also worked as a gym teacher and basketball coach. He was dedicated to teaching kids the sport and devoted Saturdays to individual and group clinics.
He attended Hall of Fame coach Pete Newell’s “Big Man Camp” to learn footwork drills to bring back to his kids, and he befriended Tom Amberry, who once held the world record for making 2,750 consecutive foul shots, about which Carr was “meticulous.”
“He passed on a high level of fundamental techniques to kids,” says Paul Griffiths, a friend from law school. And the kids paid attention. “He was a Pied Piper,” Griffiths says.
Carr’s time coaching a championship-winning basketball team at a Jewish school was the inspiration for a 2003 movie on the Disney Channel, Full-Court Miracle, written by Silverman. “Lamont was the kind of guy movies should be made about,” Silverman says.
Survivors include his brother, Clarence; his sister, Donna; and his daughter, Angela.
Virginia Clark “Ginny” Ismay (Educ ’71) of Tappahannock, Virginia, died July 17, 2017. She received her master’s degree at the University after attending Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. As a social worker, she spent time working at Towers Hospital in Charlottesville before working for Madison County. She also served many years as minister of music in a number of churches. Survivors include two sons, including John A. Ismay (Col ’75); two sisters; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
William “Bill” Sinkler (Educ ’72) of Salem, Virginia, died June 14, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army. Before receiving his master’s degree in education from the University, he attended Morris College in South Carolina and Virginia State College. He was an educator for 40 years, serving as a math and science teacher, a vice principal and a principal. He was the first African American to serve on the Salem School Board and served as its vice chairman. He received a Virginia General Assembly Resolution for his dedication to his students. He was also on Salem’s Fair Housing Board and Planning Commission. In the community, he was involved with The Links, Inc., the NAACP, Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Beta Sigma. Survivors include his wife, Marzetta; two sons; two grandchildren; and a sister.
Dewitt Malone Shy (Col ’73) of Memphis, Tennessee, died April 28, 2017. He attended Stanford University before graduating from the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt Law School. He was a partner at the law firm of Burch, Porter & Johnson. Mr. Shy loved music. In high school, he was the drummer in the band the Jinx, which released several records. He also enjoyed playing squash. Survivors include his wife, Laura Miller Shy; two children; his mother; two brothers and a sister.
Scott A. Warren (Col ’73) of Yellow Springs, Ohio, died April 8, 2017. At the University, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also played intramural basketball and was active in the anti-war movement. Following his time at the University, Mr. Warren earned his master’s and doctorate degrees before going on to hold several faculty and administrative positions at universities in California, Colorado and Ohio. He published a book, The Emergence of Dialectical Theory: Philosophy and Political Inquiry, in 1984. Outside the classroom, he was active in the community as a coach for the local youth soccer league. Survivors include his wife, Kay Koeninger; a son; a brother; two sisters; and six nephews and nieces, including Dayna Fralicker (Com ’06 L/M).
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.
Richard M. “Rick” Clark (Col ’74) of Glen Allen, Virginia, died April 25, 2017. He worked in the telephone and information technology fields at C&P Telephone, AT&T, Bank of America and SunTrust Bank until his retirement. Survivors include his wife, Jan.
James Talmadge “Jim” Countiss (Law ’74) of Johnson City, Tennessee, died May 17, 2017. He attended Hampden-Sydney College, American University, Harvard University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He lived in Hawaii for much of his life and practiced law there. He served on the Hawaiian Crime Commission and was a professor at the University of Hawaii School of Law. At the time of his retirement in 2013, he was working as a criminal defense lawyer in the federal courts, primarily in northeast Tennessee. Mr. Countiss was most proud of his daughters and his adventures. He sailed the Hawaiian seas, summited mountains, traveled the world and raced motorcycles and go-karts. Survivors include three daughters and a grandson.
Jeffry S. Cohn (Col ’77) of Ventnor City, New Jersey, died May 17, 2017. At the University, he was a member of Hillel and Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity. An entrepreneur, he started his own ski and travel business while in college. In 1983, he moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he co-founded AC Toll-Free Reservations. He later expanded the business to include deep-sea charter fishing, one of his great passions. He also greatly enjoyed skiing, tennis, swimming and poker games with friends. Survivors include a daughter and a sister.
Barbara A. Marks (Col ’77 L/M) of Memphis, Tennessee, died November 19, 2016. She was one of the founding members of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority when it returned to the University in 1974. She also served as the sorority’s president, was a founding member of the Thursdays Society and was the first president of the Inter-Sorority Council. Ms. Marks was a retail executive at Goldsmith’s and the Bon-Ton department stores and TJX Companies. She was an avid reader and supported her mother, a Holocaust survivor, in telling the story so others would remember. Survivors include a brother, two sisters and two nephews, including McLean “Mac” Dunmire (Col ’16 L/M).
Ruth E. Benshoff Barber (Educ ’79) of Roanoke, Virginia, died April 19, 2017. She attended Ashland College, Miami University and Wichita State University before completing her master’s degree at the University of Virginia. She also earned a certificate in teaching English as a second language. Ms. Barber taught at Herndon Middle School in Herndon, Virginia, for many years. Reading was her passion. Survivors include her husband, Carl; three sons; two daughters; and 19 grandchildren.
William J. Matheson (Arch ’79 L/M) of Gloucester, Virginia, died April 2, 2017. He graduated from Virginia Wesleyan University before attending the University of Virginia. Mr. Matheson loved his community and donated many hours helping to revitalize buildings along Gloucester’s Main Street. He also served on several boards in the area. Survivors include his wife, Ruth, and a daughter.