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Obituaries

Brenda Howlett Melvin, retired educator, dies at 76

Brenda Eulalia Howlett Melvin, a retired educator described by her family as “a ray of sunshine” and a person “who loved to celebrate everything and everyone,” died Monday, March 21, 2022, in a local hospital.

Gurtha ‘Gil’ Gilchrist Jr., longtime Armstrong phys ed teacher, dies at 83

Gurtha “Gil” Gilchrist Jr., who taught physical education and health at Armstrong High School for 30 years, has died.

Longtime NSU coach and AD William ‘Bill’ Archie dies at 92

William “Bill” Archie, a legendary coach and athletic director at Norfolk State University, died Saturday, March 19, 2022. He was 92.

Dr. Robert L. Pettis Sr., longtime pastor or Zion Baptist Church, dies at 67

Dr. Robert Lee Pettis Sr., a well-regarded minister who was in his fifth decade of leading Zion Baptist Church in South Side, has died.

Rodney L. Lofton, LGBTQ advocate, community leader, author, succumbs at 53

Rodney Lamont Lofton was a force in changing Richmond’s attitudes toward gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and queer people.

Singer Traci Braxton of ‘Braxton Family Values’ dies at 50

Singer Traci Braxton, who was featured with her family in the reality television series “Braxton Family Values,” died at age 50 on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

Actor-comedian Johnny Brown dies at 84

Actor and comedian Johnny Brown, who was perhaps best known for his role as apartment building superintendent Nathan Bookman on the television sitcom “Good Times,” died Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Los Angeles, his longtime home. He was 84. “Our ...

Askia Muhammad, dean of The Final Call editorial staff, dies at 76

Askia Muhammad, a renowned journalist, photographer, poet and columnist who served as an editor of The Final Call, died Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 76.

Dr. Paul Farmer, global humanitarian leader, dies at 62

Dr. Paul Farmer, a U.S. physician, humanitarian and author renowned for providing health care to millions of impoverished people worldwide and who co-founded the global nonprofit Partners in Health, died Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He was 62.

Carol Swann-Daniels, a trailblazer integrating Richmond schools in 1960, dies at 73

Sixty-one years have passed since Carol Irene Swann, 12, and her friend, Gloria Jean Mead, 13, blasted an opening in the racially segregated schools of Richmond.

Ezell Royal Lee, ‘Fashion King of Hull Sreet, dies at 66

Hull Street became the runway where Ezell Royal Lee would display his personal clothing creations while walking his dog, Miss Cleo.

James L. ‘Skippy’ Moss Jr., a member of Richmond Fire Department’s elite ‘Flying Squadron,’ dies at 74

James Lorenzo “Skippy” Moss Jr. helped break down racial barriers in the Richmond Fire Department during his 30-year career.

The Rev. Charles Williams Jr., director of the Office for Black Catholics, dies at 70

The Rev. Charles Williams Jr., who led the Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s Office for Black Catholics for three years, has died.

Richmond attorney Rhonda K. Harmon, who challenged Nationwide's redlining policies, has died

Rhonda Michelle King Harmon, a former attorney who helped overturn racist insurance policies that prevented Black homeowners in Richmond and elsewhere from gaining standard coverage for their property, has died.

Suicide takes Miss USA 2019

Cheslie Kryst, who won the 2019 Miss USA pageant and worked as a correspondent for the entertainment news television show “Extra,” reportedly committed suicide Jan. 30.