In Memoriam: 1980s
Dr. Rex A. Birkmire (Nurs ’84 CM) of Orlando, Florida, died Dec. 2, 2022. At UVA, he was a member of the Z Society, a Lawn resident and president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. After graduating, he earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and completed his medical residency and fellowship at Harvard University. He was appointed medical director at Bridgewater State Hospital, managed by the Massachusetts Department of Correction. In 1998, he moved his family to Orlando, Florida, where he worked for Florida Hospital and then started his own practice, Birkmire Behavioral Health (now known as Ashlawn Consulting). He also founded NICO, an online forum for car enthusiasts. Survivors include his wife, Angel, and four children.
John E. Barrett (Col ’87) of San Francisco died Nov. 9, 2022. While studying mathematics at UVA, he was a member and president of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He later moved to California and earned his M.B.A. degree from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. A serial entrepreneur, he co-founded several startup companies in the orthopedic implant device field, developing technological solutions to replace complex invasive surgeries. He enjoyed golf, hiking and swimming, and he was also passionate about rescuing dogs. Survivors include six siblings and many nieces and nephews.
Mary “Mimi” Saunders Taylor (Col ’88 CM) of Richmond, Virginia, died Oct. 28, 2022. While studying psychology at UVA, she was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. After graduating, she pursued a career as an interior designer. She enjoyed attending auctions and gardening. Her style was unique, and she had clothes for every weather and occasion, which was helpful for her many travel endeavors. Survivors include her sister and numerous cousins.
Jeffrey Adams Wheeler (Arch ’89) of Belmont, Massachusetts, died Dec. 27, 2020. After earning his master’s degree in urban planning at UVA, he spent 30 years as town planner of Belmont and became a prominent figure in the community. His projects can be seen all over town, and he was most proud of increasing the town’s number of affordable housing units. His greatest joy was his son, Francis, whom he raised as a single parent following the death of his partner, John, in 2006. He was a lifelong sailor and graceful skier in his beloved New England. His interests included mentoring young people, cooking, collecting antiques and playing live music. He is survived by his spouse, Craig; his son; five siblings; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.