VanCura, Barry

Founder And Executive Director Of Ballet Tennessee

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Barry VanCura
Barry VanCura

Barry VanCura, 64, of Chattanooga, passed away suddenly on Friday, January 11, 2013, doing what he loved – preparing for his ballet students.  

As founder and executive director of Ballet Tennessee, he was a gifted choreographer of musical theater, opera, classical and contemporary ballet.  He had won numerous awards for his works and had been the instructor for the Stage Dance Course at Covenant College. 

He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts, with major in ballet, at North Carolina School of the Arts.  A native of Cicero, Illinois, Barry began his career in Chicago and his professional credits include Eglevsky Ballet of New York, Chicago Ballet and Lyric Opera Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet Theater, Milwaukee and Tucson Ballet.  One of his most noted local works is “The Nutcracker” presented each Christmas.

As important as awards are, people were more important to Barry.  He was a loving husband and co-instructor, father and family man who enjoyed making people laugh and making them reach for what might seem impossible.  His students are a testimony to what can be accomplished through hard work, dedication, training, discipline and passion.  Many of Barry and Anna’s students have made great achievements in ballet.  Their mission statement reflects their feeling that everyone, regardless of situation, should have the opportunity to learn or watch professional ballet.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Eleanor Knize VanCura; daughter-in-law, Colleen Malloy-Reinert; and nephew, Jason Herman.

Barry is survived by his wife, Anna VanCura; children, Victoria Kathleen VanCura, Anthony Reinert and Ana (Robert L. Atkins) Reinert; sister, Kathleen (Jim) Herman; sister-in-law, Penny (J. R.) Kurowski; nieces and nephews, Jack (Karen) Herman, Kellee Byrd, Tami (Gregg )Newman; great-niece and nephew, Hayley Herman and Anthony Byrd; his other “children”, Laurel Shastri, Fredrick Davis, Brittany Johnson-Mills, Joseph Lynch, Forrest Lewis and Barry’s extended family of Ballet Tennessee.  

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace.  

A memorial service will be at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, at First Presbyterian Church, McCallie Avenue with Rev. J.R. Caines officiating. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Ballet Tennessee, 3202 Kelly’s Ferry Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37419.  

Please visit to share condolences.  

Arrangements are by Lane Funeral Home, Ashland Terrace, 877-3524.

O'kronley, Betty Faye

Betty Faye O’kronley, 80, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, died on Friday, November 27, 2015. Betty worked at the Holiday Inn in Southville, Mi. for over 15 years. She was of the Baptist faith.   Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Ed and Maude Hamilton; two sons, John Jack Poe and Billy Ray Poe; daughter, Brenda Pattenson; sister, Billie Hamilton Morris; two brothers, ... (click for more)

Morton, William "Bill"

William “Bill” Morton, 63, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, died on Thursday, November 26, 2015. He was a member of Fellowship Church of God.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Sue Morton; brother, Bobby Morton; sister, Catherine Dunn.  He is survived by his wife, Norma Morton; sons, Christopher Goins, Timothy Lee Goins, Bradley Cole Goins; ... (click for more)

Ables, Darrell G. (Whitwell)

Darrell G. Ables, 65, of Whitwell, Tennessee, died on Thursday, November 26, surrounded by his loving family. Darrell was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War. The son of the late James H. and Dorothy Griffith Ables, Darrell was also preceded in death by brothers, James "Jim", Larry "Pete", Johnny, and Waylon Ables. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Layne Ables; son, ... (click for more)

Shirilla, George (Rocky Face)

George Shirilla, Lt. Col., US Army (ret), 70, of Rocky Face, Georgia died on Friday, November 27, 2015. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Peter and Elizabeth Shirilla. He was preceded in death by his sister, Jeanette. Mr. Shirilla was a U.S. Army veteran, serving for 20 years. He was a veteran of the Viet Nam War and was awarded the Bronze Star, ARCOM with Valor, ... (click for more)

Fire Breaks Out At McKee Bakery Plant 2; Damages Listed At $15,000; Propane Tanks Were Near Blaze

Fire broke out at a McKee Food plant at Collegedale on Saturday night. At 6:45 p.m. , an employee at McKee Foods called 911 call reporting a fire at McKee Foods Plant 2 located at 10260 McKee Dr. Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting flames 15 feet high at one end of the building of Plant 2. According to fire officials, ... (click for more)

Woman Shot Saturday Night Near O'Rear Street

A woman was shot while driving on Saturday night. Just after  9 p.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a person shot. Once on scene, police located a female victim near the 2500 block of O'Rear Street suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the face. The victim was driving a vehicle when the vehicle was struck by gunfire. She  ... (click for more)