In Memoriam: 2011

December 15, 2011

As the year draws to a close, UVa Today will look back at milestones, achievements, trends and big stories of 2011. To share your 2011 thoughts, visit the UVA Today News Blog or send a tweet @uva using hashtag #uva2011.

December 15, 2011 — In 2011, the University of Virginia community lost some beloved faculty members, respected staff and two students, among others.

Richard B. Parker, Middle East expert and U.S. ambassador who had been a diplomat-in-residence at the University, died Jan. 7 in Washington, D.C. He was 87.

James Ross Beazell died Jan. 20 in Charlottesville. He was 59. Beazell came to Charlottesville in 1998 and was a physical therapist, site coordinator and residency director at the Musculoskeletal Center at the U.Va. HealthSouth outpatient clinic.

• Virginia Supreme Court Justice Leroy R. Hassell Sr., a U.Va. alumnus, died Feb. 9 in Richmond. He was 55. Hassell, who received his undergraduate degree from the College in 1977, was named the first black chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court in 2003.

Thomas W. Gilliam IV, a first-year student in the College and a member of First-Year Council, died March 28 after falling from the roof of the Physics Building. Gilliam, 19, was from Albemarle County, but his family has lived in Ireland for the past several years. His parents are Thomas W. Gilliam III, a 1985 graduate of the College and a 1990 graduate of the Darden Business School, and Catherine V. "Vicki" Gilliam of Charlottesville.

Robert T. Denommé, professor emeritus of French in the College, died May 24. He joined the faculty in 1962 and held the Douglas Huntly Gordon Professorship from 1990 until his retirement in 1997. Denommé was instrumental in establishing the U.Va. French House. In 1993, he received an All-University Teaching Award. In 1989, he was awarded the Medal of the Chevalier of the French Order of the Palmes Academiques.

Joan St. Clair Crane, 83, died on May 29 in Charlottesville. She came to the University in 1969 as a bibliographer of rare books and manuscripts in the Alderman Library Special Collections department (now the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library). In 1975, she was appointed curator of American literature collections, a post she held until her retirement in 1992.

William D. Middleton, 83, died July 10 in Livonia, N.Y. He worked as the chief facilities officer at the University from 1979 to 1993.

Raymond J. Nelson, 72, English professor and former dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia, died Aug. 19 in Charlottesville. He began leading Arts & Sciences in 1989 as dean of the faculty, a position that was consolidated in 1995 to include deanships of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He held the post until 1997, then returned to teaching in the English department. He received the Thomas Jefferson Award, U.Va.'s highest honor, at Fall Convocation in October 1999.

John Frederick Harlan Jr., a former administrator in the U.Va. Medical Center, died on Sept. 19 in Charlottesville. He was 85.

Charles M. Heuchert, a retired professor in the Curry School of Education, died Sept. 20 in Waynesboro. He was 78. He taught at U.Va. for three decades, touching the lives of thousands of students before his retirement in 1998 as associate dean for undergraduate programs and licensure. His favorite summers were spent as the summer camp director at Camp Holiday Trails, a residential camp for children with chronic health impairments.

Jane "Joy" Rotch Boissevain, 51, died in Esmont on Oct. 5 after a long illness. Born in Charlottesville, she worked at the University in several different jobs beginning in 1990. Boissevain joined the School of Medicine's Center for Global Health in 2003, where she became associate director. She was recently recognized for her years of service to the University with the Leonard W. Sandridge Award for Outstanding Contribution.

Dorothy Ann Twohig, former editor-in-chief of the Papers of George Washington [link to], died Oct. 5 in Charlottesville. She was 84. Twohig joined the Washington Papers project as associate editor in 1969, became editor-in-chief in 1992 and served in this role until retiring in 1998.

• English professor Gregory G. Colomb died Oct. 11 in Charlottesville. He was 60. Colomb joined the English department in the College in 1997 and directed the Academic and Professional Writing Program.

Robert Rood, professor emeritus of astronomy in the College of Arts & Sciences died Nov. 2 after suffering a stroke while at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. He had been en route to Italy to collaborate with colleagues.

Jonathan Adam Hukari, 32, a fourth-year student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, died Nov. 24 in Charlottesville. He grew up in the Pacific Northwest until moving to Northern Virginia in 1993. Jon was a 1997 graduate of Broad Run High School in Ashburn. He had just returned to U.Va. to finish his degree in computer science.

Raymond P. Bice Jr., professor emeritus of psychology and long-time University administrator, died Dec. 22 at age 93. His "Bice Psych" course, in which he used "Bice devices" to demonstrate concepts, was a favorite among students. He retired in 1998 after a 50-year career at U.Va.

— By Anne Bromley

Media Contact

Anne E. Bromley

University News Associate Office of University Communications