In Memoriam: 1960s
John G. Colligan Sr. (Com ’60 CM) of Toano, Virginia, died April 20, 2021. He served in the U.S. Army before enrolling at UVA, and he had a long career in management positions in the private sector and with the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Colligan served on the UVA Alumni Association Board of Managers; as president of both the Washington, D.C., and Williamsburg Alumni Clubs; and as chair of his class reunion committees. He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. Survivors include his wife, Virginia; children John Jr., Christopher Colligan (Col ’81 CM) and Ann Blechman; and eight grandchildren.
Phyllis Marx Crouse (Nurs ’60) of Largo, Florida, died Aug. 6, 2020. Born in East Orange, New Jersey, she received her nursing degree at UVA and had her first son while working at the UVA hospital in 1961. After her youngest child entered middle school in 1978, she returned to nursing and worked in maternity at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, until retiring in 1999. Before moving to Florida, she raised her family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Ms. Crouse was preceded in death by her husband, William S. Crouse (Com ’62). Survivors include five children and eight grandchildren.
Eugene E. “Buddy” Leasure Jr. (Engr ’60, ’63) of Greensboro, North Carolina, died Jan. 16, 2021. After serving in the U.S. Army for four years, he worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories for his whole professional life, retiring after a long career of exceptional service. His priority in life was his family, and he was never happier than when all were gathered together. He dearly loved and was devoted to his wife, Lou, and he raised his children in an environment of love and support. Modeling integrity and generosity, Mr. Leasure touched innumerable lives, tirelessly committing his time to his church and community. The consummate coach, he was still advising his grandsons on their batting stance at age 80, and he loved seeing the UVA basketball team finally win the national title. Mr. Leasure loved the fellowship of people and was keenly interested in the story of everyone he met, often finding connections with complete strangers. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Nancy. Survivors include his second wife, Louise; his four children, Wendy Leasure Wicker (Col ’83 CM), Ted Leasure (Engr ’87 CM), Bob Leasure (Col ’89 CM) and Laura Leasure Penrod; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Rex Young Davis (Engr ’61) of Huntsville, Texas, died Jan. 31, 2021. He played basketball at UVA and graduated alongside his mother, who completed her studies the same year. After graduating, Mr. Davis moved to Houston and married his first wife, Jeannetta, whom he met as a student. Mr. Davis worked for Shell Oil and BP Amoco. An active and involved father, he loved his family and shared with them his passions for catamaran sailing, skiing and raft expeditions through the Grand Canyon. In retirement, he enjoyed time with his grandchildren, traveling with Jeannetta, volunteering with his church, golfing and square dancing. After Jeannetta predeceased him, he married Carol Harrington, and together they traveled often, especially by cruise, and made it to all seven continents. As much as he loved traveling, Mr. Davis also loved being at home, doing minor repairs, gardening, and making time for his grandchildren and step-grandchildren. He was a generous and cheerful giver of his time as well as his money. He believed in the gift of life and donated 96 pints of blood over his life. Survivors include his wife, Carol; children Dianne and Douglas; stepsons Gregory and Thomas; five grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren.
William S. Crouse (Com ’62) of Largo, Florida, died Sept. 25, 2019. Born in Trenton, New Jersey, he briefly served in the U.S. Army after high school. While at UVA, he met and married Phyllis Marx Crouse (Nurs ’60) and welcomed his firstborn. Mr. Crouse had a long career in sales and fully retired when he and his wife moved to Florida permanently in 2009. He was survived by his wife until she died in August 2020. Survivors include five children, eight grandchildren and a sister.
John F. “Jack” Davies (Com ’64, Darden ’70 CM) of Ruxton, Maryland, died March 3, 2021. At UVA, he played lacrosse and was a 1964 All-American. He served in the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Davies worked as a marketing executive and worked for several firms, including McCormick, before joining Right Management Consultants as a career consultant. He loved helping people find new possibilities and took pleasure in the successes of others. He was active in his church, serving on committees and leading financial workshops. His love for sports endured throughout his life, and he biked and golfed while avidly following football, basketball and lacrosse. He spent summers with his extended family at Henlopen Acres outside Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Survivors include his wife, Caroline Bourne; children Lynn and John III; three granddaughters; and a brother and sister.
Richard E. “Richie” Evans (Col ’64 CM), formerly of Towson, Maryland, died April 9, 2021. At UVA, he was president of Phi Gamma Delta and was named to the Virginia All-America lacrosse team. He later played for the Mount Washington Club and the U.S. all-star team in Toronto and Australia. He was named to the Virginia Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2015. He eventually settled in Washington, D.C., and worked on the campaigns of George McGovern, Jimmy Carter and Edmund Muskie. In 1968, he bought a Washington, D.C., bar, the Aquarius, which he later renamed Sarsfield’s. He later opened a bar in Towson, The Crease, named for a lacrosse term, and eventually opened a second location. He was involved in many other ventures, including real estate, and he helped found the Bartenders Ball, a charity benefiting cystic fibrosis research. Mr. Evans was known for his sense of humor and fun, knack for diplomacy and competitive spirit. Survivors include his daughter, Brooke; two grandsons; and two brothers.
Dennis Michael Gehley (Com ’68 CM) of Springfield, Virginia, died Jan. 26, 2021. At UVA, he was president of the Newman Club at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Having received a high draft number before graduation, he decided to enlist in the Army OCS program and spent three years in Germany and one tour in Vietnam. Once home, he went to work for the General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C., for more than 35 years. In his free time, Mr. Gehley was a prolific model maker, making hundreds of World War II tanks, fighter planes, and ’50s or ’60s drag racing cars, which he entered in contests. He created such authentic details that a magazine featured one of his German tank scenes on its cover. After his wife, Nancy, encouraged them to take up dancing, they eventually found their favorite: shag. Mr. Gehley was the treasurer of the Northern Virginia Shag Club for years, but his biggest joy was in being the DJ for most of their parties and events. Whether you requested a song by the Del-Vikings or Del Shannon, Mr. Gehley could pull it up and have it on the dance floor within minutes. He was known throughout the shag communities along the East Coast for his vast music library and accommodating nature. His goal was to make you happy and keep the dance floor hopping, and, boy, was he good at that. His wife predeceased him. Survivors include children Lisa and David; four grandchildren; and four siblings, including Doug Gehley (Arch ’76 CM).
Duane B. Hopper (Col ’68 CM) of Charlottesville died April 14, 2021. At UVA, he was a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society; WTJU-FM; Air Force ROTC; and the concert, jazz and pep bands. Upon graduation from UVA, Mr. Hopper was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was a combat flight crew member in Southeast Asia from 1970 to 1971 and was awarded three Air Medals. After earning his master’s degree in management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1974, his career included executive roles with several health care products companies. In 1988, he joined Graphic Controls Corp. and became president, CEO and COO four years later. He subsequently led negotiations in 1998 for the sale of the corporation to a Fortune 500 company. Mr. Hopper and his wife, Anne, moved to Charlottesville in 1999. From their Virginia homes, they enjoyed many activities such as trips to Anne’s native France and other destinations in Europe and North America. They especially loved spending time with their family. Survivors include his wife; children Leslie and Mark; two grandchildren; and two brothers.