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 www.lanefh.com to share condolences.  

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


DeFriese, Johnnie V. Templeton

Johnnie V. Templeton DeFriese, of Chattanooga, died at her home on Thursday, April 17, 2014 after a long illness. She is survived by her husband, Donald G. DeFriese; and sons, Jimmy Harris, of Chattanooga, Charles Harris of Prescott, Az.; daughters, Judy Manning of Cave Springs, Ga., Kaye Vandergriff of Chattanooga; nieces, Ruth Appleget, of Chattanooga, and Peggie Harris, of ... (click for more)

Gibson, Opal L.

Opal L. Gibson, 88, of Ooltewah, died on Friday, April 18, 2014.  She was born April 10, 1926 in Reliance, Tn., and was the daughter of the late Mike and Oma Boring of Cleveland.  A member of Brainerd Baptist Church, she was a prior member of Silverdale Cumberland Presbyterian Church where she was a faithful choir member for over 25 years. Opal was preceded in death ... (click for more)

Williamson, Mildred (Menlo)

Mildred Williamson, 86, of Menlo, Georgia, died on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at her residence. Mrs. Williamson was born July 12, 1927, in Fort Payne, Al., the daughter of the late Frank Lance and Johnnie Jackson Lance. She was a homemaker. Other than her parents, Mrs. Williamson was preceded in death by her husband, James Marcus Williamson; sons, James Williamson and Milford ... (click for more)

Swanger, Quay (Dunlap)

Quay Swanger, 74, of Dunlap, TN, died Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  He was preceded in death by parents, Elmer and Cleo Swanger;and  brothers, Joe, Haskel and James Swanger. He is survived by three sisters, Lorraine Price, Betty (Pappy) Hobbs and Peggy (Sonny) Smith; three brothers, Wade Swanger, of Ten Mile, Freddy and Steve Swanger, both of Dunlap; and several ... (click for more)

Shots Fired Durng Armed Robbery At Rossville McDonald's

Shots were fired during an armed robbery at the McDonald's on Rossville Boulevard on Friday morning. At approximately 6:15 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a robbery at 4502 Rossville Blvd. at the McDonald’s.  Investigators discovered that two masked suspects entered the McDonald’s. One suspect fired a round into the ceiling and then ordered everyone to the ... (click for more)

Man Shot On East Henderson Drive; Suspect Sought

Chattanooga Police responded to 740 East Henderson Drive at approximately 9:02 p.m. on Thursday for a person shot.  Officers located a black male victim who was suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest. According to witnesses, the victim was in a physical altercation with multiple parties when a suspect fired at the victim striking him in the chest. The victim ... (click for more)