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.


Cohen, Louise

Louise Cohen, 86, loved mother, grandmother and sister, died on February 8, 2016. She was born in Philadelphia, PA, to Samuel and Sarah Dubin and lived most of her life there and in other parts of southeast Pennsylvania. She moved to Signal Mountain, in 2011 to reside at Alexian Village with her husband, Leonard Cohen, who died that same year. She was predeceased by ... (click for more)

Salmons, Edna Ann Hollaway

Edna Ann Hollaway Salmons, 86, of East Brainerd, died on February 10, 2016 at a local hospital. Born Dec. 18, 1929, to the late Leon and Mary Hollaway, she was a 1948 graduate of Chattanooga High School where she was a talented pianist. She retired from the UTC Lupton Library after 30 years of service and also had worked at local banking institutions in the area. A faithful ... (click for more)

McAnally, Phyllis D. (Cleveland)

Phyllis D. McAnally, 81, of Cleveland, Tennessee, passed away Tuesday February 9, 2016 at a Chattanooga health care facility. Phyllis had a passion for cooking. She owned a restaurant in Mammoth Springs, AR, called The Spot. Phyllis was a loving mother and grandmother. She loved spending time with her family. She was preceded in death by her husband, Rex McAnally; mother, ... (click for more)

Kirk, Brenda Sue (Dalton)

Brenda Sue Kirk, 71, of Dalton, Georgia, passed away Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at her residence. She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert L. and Willie Mae Hambright Kirk; and a brother, Bub Kirk. Survivors include sisters and brothers-in-law, Martha Matthews, Sharon and Jimmy King, Barbara Kirk and Cindy and Donald Dillard, all of Dalton; brother and sister-in-law, ... (click for more)

County School Board Considers "Best Practices Audit" On Compliance With Board Policies

The County School Board is considering carrying out a "Best Practices Audit" to determine if board policies are filtering down to the school level. Board member Greg Martin said members of the Superintendent's Student Leadership Council told him that only a fraction of students are familiar with board policies on bullying and other topics. Steve Highlander, another board member, ... (click for more)

Several Central City Schools Overcrowded, School Board Is Told

All the county school overcrowding is not out in the fast-growing East Brainerd and Ooltewah sections, school board members were told Thursday. Several central city schools are far above capacity. East Lake Elementary - with 655 students and a capacity of 493 students - is at 133 percent occupancy. Calvin Donaldson, Orchard Knob Elementary and East Side Elementary also are ... (click for more)