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Obituaries

AME official Jerome V. Harris dies under a cloud of alleged corruption

The Rev. Jerome V. Harris, a retired general officer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, died in Memphis, Tenn,, on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. At his death, Rev. Harris was involved in a lawsuit with the denomination over alleged mishandling ...

David Sanborn, jazz saxophonist, dies at 78

David Sanborn, the Grammy-winning saxophonist who played lively solos on such hits as David Bowie’s “Young Americans” and James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” and enjoyed his own highly successful recording career as a performer ...

Mandisa, Grammy-winning singer and ‘American Idol’ alum, dies at 47

Mandisa, a contemporary Christian singer who appeared on “American Idol” and won a Grammy for her 2013 album “Overcomer,” has died. She was 47.

Faith Ringgold, pioneering Black quilt artist and author, dies at 93

Faith Ringgold, an award-winning author and artist who broke down barriers for Black female artists and became famous for her richly colored and detailed quilts combining painting, textiles and storytelling, has died at 93.

O.J. Simpson has been cremated, estate attorney in Las Vegas says

Former football star and celebrity criminal defendant O.J. Simpson was cremated Wednesday, the lawyer handling his estate said following his death last week at home in Las Vegas at age 76.

William DuBois ‘Duke’ Smither leaves a legacy of powerful storytelling

Red Smith, the prominent sportswriter, once said that “writing is easy. Just sit in front of a typewriter, open up a vein and bleed it out, drop by drop.”

Award-winning Norfolk journalist Marvin 'M.L.' Lake remembered

As a career journalist, Marvin Leon Lake’s interests dated back to junior high school when he was a business manager for the Jacox Journal in 1959.

Louis Gossett Jr., the first Black man to win a supporting actor Oscar, dies at age 87

Louis Gossett Jr., the first Black man to win a supporting actor Oscar and an Emmy winner for his role in the seminal TV miniseries “Roots,” has died. He was 87.

Richmond native Willie Williams III passes away at 93

Willie Williams III’s life reflected unlimited service and leadership in the Richmond community. Born July 31, 1930, Mr. Williams left this life on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at the age of 93.

Educator Wilbert H. Brooks remembered

Wilbert H. Brooks Jr., 83, died Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, leaving behind a decades-long legacy in Virginia education.

John Warren Jones III, owner of Church Hill Cleaners, remembered

Following the legacy of his grandfather and father, John Warren “John John”Jones III began working at the family-owned business, Church Hill Cleaners, as a youngster.

Hair care products founder Joe Dudley dies

Joe Louis Dudley, who rose from humble beginnings and overcame a speech impediment to create a multimillion-dollar, Black-owned hair care company, died Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at age 86. Funeral services were Monday, Feb. 19, at Mount Zion Baptist Church ...

Harold Deane Sr., VSU icon dies at 84

Harold Deane Sr., who found much success as a basketball player and coach at Virginia State University, died Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. He was 84.

Rev. Thomas S. Simmons, a ‘people’s pastor,’ dies at 80

The Rev. Thomas S. Simmons always was willing to help somebody — anybody. “He truly never met a stranger,” his daughter, Angela Simmons Cason said. “Once you met him, he loved you and you loved him.”

Elmer T. Seay Jr. remembered for his civic, social activism

Elmer T. Seay Jr. known for his community activism, social work and talents as an artist died Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. He was 90 years old.

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