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In Memoriam | Spring 2021

In Memoriam: 1940s

Notices sorted by graduation date

Richard W. Thavis (Col ’45), formerly of Mankato, Minnesota, died Aug. 29, 2020. After graduating from high school at 16, he spent two years with the Civilian Conservation Corps before working accounting jobs in Idaho. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the start of World War II and graduated from UVA as part of a Navy officer training program. He and his wife, whom he met on Armistice Day in 1945, moved to Mankato after marrying in 1949. After a series of jobs, including at Kato Beer, Shari Candy and his own Colonial Candy Co., Mr. Thavis started an accounting firm, Professional Systems of Mankato, and eventually retired from the business in the 1980s. Retirement opened new chapters for him. An avid bowler and table tennis player for much of his life, he excelled at three-cushion billiards in his later years. He wrote children’s stories and travel journals, learned about fine wine, visited Italy several times and took up Italian cooking. His specialty was pasta—al dente, of course—and his personal favorite was spaghetti with clams. Mr. Thavis did not shy away from modernity, and even at the age of 100 often perused Facebook, Twitter and his email account. Survivors include his wife, Alice; children John, Susan and Robert; six grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

William Edward Hughes Jr. (Engr 49 CM) of Alexandria, Virginia, died July 13, 2020. He served in the U.S. Navy. He was a brilliant electrical engineer and held several patents and designs during his 51-year career, including for a machine that sprayed gold on NASA space helmet face shields to improve visibility. An active UVA alumnus, he was a member of the Thomas Jefferson Society. Mr. Hughes was also a competitive player with the National Capital Club de Pétanque, and he loved to travel and play tournament bridge. He cherished coaching his children in basketball, bowling, football, soccer and softball. His wife, Edith, predeceased him in 1985 after nearly 39 years of marriage. Survivors include children Jane, William III and Catherine; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.