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Obituaries

Rubye M. DeWitt, retired speech therapy supervisor with Richmond Public Schools, dies at 101

Rubye M. DeWitt, a retired supervisor of speech therapists with Richmond Public Schools and a champion for children and equity, died Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Williamsburg.

Longtime Delegate Mary T. Christian of Hampton dies at 95

Dr. Mary T. Christian, a retired educator who represented Hampton in the Virginia House of Delegates for many years, died Monday, Nov. 11, 2019.

'Friday' actor-comedian John Witherspoon dies

Actor-comedian John Witherspoon, who memorably played Ice Cube’s father in the “Friday” films, has died. He was 77.

Former Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving black lawmaker in U.S. House of Representatives, dies at 90

Former Rep. John Conyers, a liberal Democrat who was the longest-serving African- American member of the U.S. House of Representatives at more than half a century, died on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, at the age of 90.

Rep. Cummings remembered as ‘fierce champion’

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was eulogized as a leader with the fiery moral conviction of an Old Testament prophet at a funeral last Friday that brought former presidents and ordinary people alike to the Baltimore church where the congressman worshipped ...

Funeral service Friday for Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland

Tributes continue to pour in for Congressman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, a moral voice of conscience who fought for civil rights and took on the White House as a prominent figure in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump as ...

Margaret Rodgers, retired teacher and tech guru for RPS, dies at 75

Margaret Aurelia “Rea” Rodgers was a teacher’s teacher in Richmond Public Schools when it came to computers and technology.

Trailblazing actress Diahann Carroll succumbs to cancer at 84

Diahann Carroll, a versatile singer and stage actress who quietly blazed a trail for African-American women on American television in the late 1960s by playing a widowed nurse and single mother in “Julia,” died Friday, Oct. 4, 2019.

Barbara W. Rabin, a founder of HOME, dies at 86

Most people take for granted that if they have the money to pay rent or cover a mortgage, they can live anywhere they want in the Richmond area. But that was not the case 50 years ago when skin color ...

International opera star Jessye Norman dies at 74

Jessye Norman, the renowned international opera star whose passionate soprano voice won her four Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honor, has died, according to family spokesperson Gwendolyn Quinn.

Ramona J. Craighead, longtime educator and community volunteer, dies at 92

Ramona Johnson Craighead “was a nurse to some, a teacher to many and a role model and friend to all,” as her family put it. Mrs. Craighead, a former Richmond educator and community and church volunteer, died Friday, Sept. 13, ...

Ira P. Washington Jr., retired educator and sports enthusiast, dies at 79

For Ira Payne Washington Jr., guiding middle school students to academic achievement was a calling. For nearly 50 years, he was a fixture at Henderson Middle School in Richmond’s North Side where he taught, ran the in-school suspension program and ...

The Rev. George Nelson West, longtime area pastor, succumbs at 95

The Rev. George Nelson West, a longtime area religious leader who served several churches in Richmond, died Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.

Arlington R. Banks, owner of Banks Coin Laundry in Jackson Ward, dies at 81

Arlington Raymond Banks spent much of his life clean- ing the dirt from people’s clothes, towels, sheets and other fabrics. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, Mr. Banks operated a coin laundry and dry cleaners in Jackson ...

Acclaimed writer Paule Marshall, professor emeritus at VCU, dies at 90

Writer Paule Marshall, an exuberant and sharpened storyteller who in books such as “Daughters” and “Brown Girl, Brownstones” drew upon classic and vernacular literature and her mother’s kitchen conversations to narrate the divides between African-Americans and Caucasians, men and women, ...

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