In Memoriam: 1960s
Roger S. Cortesi (Grad ’61 CM) of Washington, D.C., died July 7, 2020. He earned a doctorate in physics after earning his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. He spent most of his career at the Environmental Protection Agency in positions of leadership. From 1999 to 2009, he headed the Quality Program of the Office of Research and Development, earning a Special Achievement Award for leadership and guidance. All told, he spent almost 40 years in the service of his country. His lifelong passion for math and science was accompanied by an impressive memory for verse and song. His wide-ranging curiosity meant that the Oxford English Dictionary and Encyclopedia Britannica were kept close at hand and frequently consulted in the days before electronic searches. The New York Times crossword puzzle was a daily ritual. Mr. Cortesi also loved tennis, opera, sailing, New York City and the Brooklyn Dodgers (until they left Brooklyn). He was Metropolitan Club Squash Champion in 1976, but when not playing sports his preferred attire was a suit and bowtie, even when doting on small grandchildren. Survivors include his wife, Deborah Shapley; children Tina, Isabella, Roger and Kate; seven grandchildren; and a sister.
Roselle Sesso Sturdevant (Nurs ’61) of Chantilly, Virginia, died July 2, 2020. As a registered nurse, she worked at the National Institutes of Health, the Rusk Institute, and hospitals in Texas, New York and Virginia. Her clinical experience included rehabilitation, post-op heart surgery, recovery room, intensive care and medical-surgical nursing. She later earned an associate degree in fine arts from Northern Virginia Community College and a bachelor’s degree in museum and gallery management from George Mason University. Her creative mixed media art won numerous local awards and recognition in Northern Virginia. For a time, she served as visual arts coordinator for the Fairfax County Council of the Arts. Ms. Sturdevant eventually returned to nursing, where she worked in medical and case management, and utilization and quality review. She loved to travel, visiting China and much of Europe. Her caring and witty personality endeared her to all who knew her. Survivors include her husband, Bill; sons Eric and David; two grandchildren; and her sister, Jo Ann Sesso Beman (Nurs ’58).
William Battle “Bill” Cole Jr. (Engr ’62 CM) of Montross, Virginia, and Sarasota, Florida, died Sept. 20, 2020. He studied economics and business administration at West Virginia University, law at Washington and Lee University, and graduate business at the George Washington University. He served on active military duty with the West Virginia Army National Guard during the Berlin crisis in the early 1960s. Mr. Cole had a distinguished career at the National Science Foundation from 1964 until 1995, where he became a member of the senior executive service and served as director of the division of grants and agreements until he retired. Mr. Cole was a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and the recipient of the highest service award presented by the National Grants Management Association and by the NSF. Mr. Cole was considered an expert on grants management policies and federal regulations, and in 1996, he founded Cole and Associates, a management consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. Survivors include his wife, Barbara Kervick Cole (’68); and sons Will Cole (Col ’01) and Patrick Cole (Col ’05).
Kathryn Tuttle Birnbaum (Nurs ’65) of Ashburn, Virginia, died Sept. 23, 2020. A registered nurse, she would tell people her career spanned “birth to death.” She started out in the nursery at UVA Hospital and later worked for the Alexandria Health Department, several nursing homes and Hospice of Northern Virginia as a home health care nurse. Mrs. Birnbaum lived fully and loved adventures, scuba diving, taking the “scenic route” and reading ALL the signs. Kind and compassionate, she was generous with her time and money. Her cheerfulness and stubbornness were admired by many of her friends. Survivors include daughters Rebecca Birnbaum (Col ’92), Teresa and Robin; two grandchildren; a sister and five brothers.
James T. “Jim” Mitchell (Com ’65) of Memphis, Tennessee, died Aug. 16, 2020. A native of Culpeper, Virginia, Mr. Mitchell was a member of ROTC at UVA before serving in the U.S. Army for two years during the Vietnam War. He and his wife, Phyllis, whom he met at the University, eventually put down family roots in Memphis, where he began his career as a pharmaceutical sales manager. He took great pride in his work and was known for his work ethic, reliability and integrity. One of his greatest strengths was his ability to connect with people and invest in relationships, which became the bedrock of his business. After “retirement,” Mr. Mitchell entered another career, in the senior life care industry as a salesman and client consultant. He loved helping his clients and considered his role a ministry. Active in his church for more than 30 years, he lived a life of devotion and service. Survivors include his wife; children Mary Beth and Christopher; two grandchildren; and a brother and sister.
John B. “Jeb” Charamella (Col ’66 CM) of Bedford, New Hampshire, died Dec. 16, 2019. After graduating from UVA, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma, he attended Officers Candidate School in Yorktown, Virginia, before serving in the U.S. Coast Guard until 1969. Mr. Charamella went to work for the DuPont Company in sales and marketing and enjoyed a successful and fulfilling 46-year career. While attending UVA, he learned to fly and maintained his passion for flying throughout his life. He enjoyed the clear New England skies, the distinct seasons, fall bicycle riding, skiing in the New Hampshire mountains and beautiful summers in Maine. Survivors include his wife, Mary; children Max, Ben and Cicely; two grandchildren and a sister.