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.


Gilbert, Mark Dennis

Mark Dennis Gilbert, 63, of East Brainerd died on Friday, December 19, 2014 at his home. A longtime resident of Chattanooga, Mark retired in 2010 as vice-president of Hospice of Chattanooga after 13 years of service.  He was a registered nurse graduating with honors from both Erlanger School of Nursing and Chattanooga State. He was a member of Grace Baptist Church and ... (click for more)

Cambron, Betty Harris

Betty Harris Cambron, 90, of Chattanooga, died on Thursday, December 18 2014. Mrs. Cambron was born and raised in Chattanooga.  She was a member of Brainerd Baptist Church, a graduate of Central High School and was proud to be the first female warehouse manager for Ralston Purina Company. She was preceded in death by her husband, William S. Cambron, Jr.; parents, ... (click for more)

McKenzie, Jane Suits (Decatur)

Jane Suits McKenzie, 74, of Decatur, TN, passed away on Thursday, December 18, 2014, at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.   Jane was born July 25, 1940, in Cleveland, TN to the late Spurgeon and Opal Ruble Suits; and was also preceded in death by her husband, R.L. McKenzie Jr.; son, Tony McKenzie; and sister, Shirley Miller.   She graduated from Bradley ... (click for more)

Fulghum, Opal (Whitwell)

Opal Fulghum, 91, of Whitwell, TN, passed away on Thursday, December 18, 2014.  She had worked for Oscar Myer before her retirement.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Harley Fulghum; daughter, Sandra D. Giblin; and parents, Louis and Hazel Higgins Stephenson.  She is survived by several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Fire Causes $30,000 In Damages At Scenic City Concrete

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a reported structure fire shortly after  10 p.m. Thursday  at Scenic City Concrete Pumping, at 2903 South Orchard Knob Ave. Captain Donny McMillian with Engine 9 said smoke was visible when the first firefighters arrived. Captain McMillian said the firefighters had to force their way through a locked gate and into the building, ... (click for more)