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Obituaries

Preddy D. Ray Sr., longtime affordable housing advocate who sought to keep people in their neighborhoods, dies at 69

In 1971, Preddy Drew Ray Sr. was among a group of nine Richmond college students who packed their bags and went to a Cincinnati conference on af- fordable housing and the role community groups could play.

Corine R. Farrar, veteran Richmond educator, dies at 90

Veteran Richmond educator Corine Ransom Farrar was best known for helping elementary students master arithmetic and the rudiments of algebra.

NASA pioneer Katherine Johnson takes her place among the stars

Three African-American astronauts joined hundreds of other mourners Saturday, March 7, at a funeral service for trailblazing mathematician and NASA pioneer Katherine G. Johnson.

John Merchant, who broke barriers at U.Va. law school and in golf, dies at 87

John F. Merchant broke racial barriers in the legal profession and in the game of golf.

Jazz master pianist ‘McCoy’ Tyner dies at 81

“McCoy” Tyner, the ground- breaking and influential jazz pianist and the last surviving member of the John Coltrane Quartet, has died. He was 81.

Rev. William E. Clarke, longtime teach and minister, succumbs at 83

The Rev. William Edward Clarke built a reputation as a kind, helpful person in following two career paths — teaching and the ministry.

Richard R. Jiggetts, who was instrumental in rebuilding of First Baptist Church Centralia, dies at 98

When arson destroyed the historic but vacant former sanctuary of First Baptist Church Centralia in 1996, everyone bemoaned the fiery loss of an irreplaceable church building.

Funeral service Saturday at Hampton University for NASA's Katherine Johnson

A funeral service has been set for Katherine G. Johnson, the trailblazing mathematical genius whose calculations for NASA influenced every major space program from America’s first manned space flight in 1961 to the first lunar landing in 1969 to the ...

Katherine G. Johnson, trailblazing NASA mathematician immortalized in the film 'Hidden Figures,' dies at 101

Katherine G. Johnson, the mathematical genius whose calculations took her from a behind-the-scenes job in a segregated NASA as portrayed in the film “Hidden Figures” to a key role in sending humans to the moon, died on Monday, Feb. 24, ...

Dr. Levy M. Armwood Jr., retired pastor, music teacher, dies at 79

Dr. Levy Mack Armwood Jr., retired pastor of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Jackson Ward and a 32-year music teacher for Richmond Public Schools, has died.

Restaurateur, model B. Smith dies at 70 from early onset Alzheimer’s

Barbara “B.” Smith, one of the nation’s top African-American models who went on to open restaurants, launch a successful home products line and write cookbooks, has died at her Long Island home at age 70 after battling early onset Alzheimer’s ...

Actress and film festival co-founder Ja’Net DuBois succumbs at 74

Ja’Net DuBois, who played the vivacious neighbor Willona Woods on the 1970s sitcom “Good Times,” composed and sang the theme song for television’s “The Jeffersons” and was one of the founders of the largest black film festival in the United ...

Thousands fill the Staples Center for Kobe Bryant’s ‘Celebration of Life’

A gallery of basketball legends joined thousands of Kobe Bryant fans in Los Angeles on Monday to pay tribute to the transcendent NBA star, his daughter and seven others who died in a helicopter crash last month that shocked the ...

Thelma M. Robinston, longtime Richmond educator, dies at 99

Fueled by a love of education, Thelma Mealy Robinson rose from teacher to principal to assistant superintendent during a career largely with Richmond Public Schools that spanned more than 40 years.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala dies

The founder of the South African multi-Grammy Award-winning music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, has died at age 78, the group and the government have announced.

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