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.


Thurman, Charles W.

Charles W. Thurman, 96 of Chattanooga, died on Monday, July 24, 2017. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 28, in the funeral home chapel with Dr. Richard Mason officiating.  Interment will follow in Hamilton Memorial Gardens with military honors. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, at Heritage Funeral Home, East ... (click for more)

Shelby, Evans Matthew

Evans Matthew Shelby, 88, of Ooltewah, Tennessee, passed away on Sunday, July 23, 2017. Survivors and complete funeral arrangements will be announced by Chattanooga Funeral Home, Valley View Chapel, 7414 Old Lee Highway, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421. (click for more)

Parris, Lucille Pauline Postell (Cleveland)

Lucille Pauline Postell Parris, 86, of Cleveland, passed away on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at her residence.   She had lived in Cleveland most of her life and was a member of Victory Street Church of God. She loved her family, especially her children and grandchildren.  She enjoyed working in her garden. She was preceded in death by her husband, Chester Harold Lee ... (click for more)

Smith, Merrie Jean (Menlo)

Merrie Jean Smith, 64, of Menlo, Georgia, passed peacefully in her sleep on July 22, 2017.  She was preceded in death by her daughter, Vickie Holland and husband, Jerry Smith; her parents, Milton and Othell Bunn; and siblings, Wayne Bunn, Kay Neal and Dale Boren.  Cherishing her memory are her sons, Jeremy (Lori) and Wesley Smith, daughter, Tammy (Lance) Scuderi, ... (click for more)

3 Hikers Missing In Big Soddy Creek Gulf Area Are Found Safe

Three hikers missing since Sunday afternoon at Big Soddy Creek Gulf have been found safe. They left around noon, and were supposed to return around 6 p.m. The hikers are a married couple and their friend. They are avid hikers. Crews with the Soddy Daisy Police and Fire Departments began searching at daybreak on Monday. (click for more)

Pair Arrested In Connection With Lookout Mountain Vehicle Thefts, Break-Ins

Police on Lookout Mountain said two arrests have been made tied to the theft of  two vehicles stolen from a home in Lookout Mountain, Ga., last week.   In connection to the vehicle thefts, seven other vehicles were entered and several items were stolen. Lookout Mountain, Ga., Chief Todd Gann said, "Early  Wednesday  morning, a Georgia resident noticed ... (click for more)