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Obituaries

James Cooper Jr., RPS computer pro, dies at 85

James Cooper Jr., who trained Richmond Public Schools teachers and staff to use computers as they came into common use in the 1980s, has died.

Georgia Bulldogs racial barrier breaker Ronnie Hogue dies at 69

Ronnie Hogue, the University of Georgia’s first Black scholarship basketball player, died Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. He was 69.

Photographer Richard L. Swann dies at 85

Richard Leon Swann turned his youthful passion for taking photos into a photography career that spanned nearly 60 years and provided lasting memories for untold numbers of Richmond residents.

Kool & the Gang co-founder Ronald ‘Khalis’ Bell dies at 68

Ronald “Khalis” Bell, a co-founder, singer and producer of the group Kool & the Gang, died Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. He was 68.

Dr. Diane Harris Marsh, trailblazing dentist and wife of former state Sen. Henry L. Marsh III, dies at 84

Dr. Diane Elaine Harris Marsh was a “super mom” before the term was coined, according to her family.

Lou Brock, MLB’s former stolen base king, dies at 81

Lou Brock, among the greatest MLB leadoff hitters and known for stealing bases, died on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020. He was 81 and living in St. Louis.

Charles L. Conyers, consummate educator and retired state education administrator, dies at 92

Charles Lee Conyers believed that a good education was the ticket out of poverty.

Legendary basketball coach John Thompson succumbs at 78

Coach John Thompson, the imposing Hall of Famer who turned Georgetown University into a “Hoya Paranoia” powerhouse and became the first Black coach to lead a team to the NCAA men’s basketball championship, has died. He was 78.

Cliff Robinson, former NBA star, dies at 53

Cliff Robinson, who played 18 NBA seasons from 1989 to 2007, died Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Portland, Ore. He was 53.

Dr. Earl McClenney Jr., legendary VSU educator and longtime public administrator, dies at 79

Dr. Earl Hampton McClenney Jr. left his mark on public administration in Virginia as an educator and as a Richmond and state official where he fought entrenched racism and sought to aid the underdog.

Former Lt. Gov. John H. Hager dies at 83

Former Virginia Lt. Gov. John H. Hager, a Republican and former tobacco executive who served from 1998 to 2002, has died at the age of 83.

Tennis trailblazer Robert Ryland dies at 100

Robert Ryland, a trailblazing tennis player and coach, died Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, at age 100. He was living in Provinc- etown, Mass., on Cape Cod.

Retired Richmond Police Maj. Wille C Jones, who battled racism within the department, dies at 87

Retired Police Maj. Wille C Jones was a leader in seeking to end ingrained racial bigotry in the Richmond Police Department.

Horace Clarke, one of the first Black athletes to play pro baseball in Richmond, dies at 81

Horace Clarke, among the first Black star athletes to play professional baseball in Richmond, has died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Petersburg native Joseph B. Jefferson, whose songs gave The Spinners big hits, dies at 77

Petersburg native Joseph Banks Jefferson, a self-taught drummer and organist who went on to co-write hit songs for The Spinners, has died in his adopted city of Philadelphia.