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In Memoriam

Listings of deaths of alumnae and members of our community appear in the Bulletin each quarter. If a death is reported to the College between dates of publication, we will endeavor to share the news as soon as we are notified via postings to the College web site.  

We are saddened to announce the deaths of a several former College faculty and staff:

  • Claire Noyes Cox, Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Director of Riding, died December 9, 2011
  • Bronna Willis, former Dean of Students, died December 18, 2011
  • Bob Merritt, former Director of Admissions, died December 21, 2011
  • Miller Boord, Librarian Emeritus, died December 27, 2011

Claire Noyes Cox died Friday, December 9, 2011 at The Fountains, in Yuba City, CA. Claire was assistant professor of physical education and director of Riding at Randolph-Macon Woman's College where the indoor riding arena is named in her honor. She was the 1982-83 recipient of the Katherine Graves Davidson Award for service to the Lynchburg community that best exemplified the purposes of the College. She retired from R-MWC in October 1987 but remained active foxhunting and trail riding. She was inducted into the SWHJA Hall of Fame in 1994. Claire was a proud huntsman and Master of the Bedford County Hunt for many years. Her skill and dedication in training the Hunt's foxhounds and in creating a controlled pack were instrumental in the Hunt's recognition by The Master of Foxhounds Association. Besides teaching and fox hunting, Claire loved opera, travel, food, parties and her two black poodles.

Bronna Yvonne Willis died on Sunday, December 18, 2011, at Westminster-Canterbury of Lynchburg after a six-year battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Bronna received her BA from the Woman's College, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and her MS from Indiana University. Following her employment as a caseworker for the Rockingham County, NC, Department of Public Welfare, and the American Red Cross, Maxwell AFB Hospital, Bronna began her work in student personnel administration. She was assistant to the Dean of Students at Agnes Scott College and the Assistant Dean of Women at the University of South Carolina before becoming the Dean of Students at Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Upon leaving R-MWC, Bronna became an assistant vice president and trust officer at Central Fidelity Bank before becoming vice president, Trust & Investment Management Group at Crestar/SunTrust. Bronna was a member of Lynchburg Rotary International and was on the board of directors of the Venture for Enterprising Women, the Mental Health Association, and The Arc of Central Virginia (where she was also president of the board). A long-time member of First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, Bronna served as elder and president of the board. In all of her associations, Bronna was highly respected for her integrity, her wisdom, her ability to see the humor in every situation, and her compassion.

Robert Merritt died Wednesday, December 21, 2011, in Miami, FL after a short battle with cancer. He was born in Patterson, NJ to Lloyd and Myrtle Merritt. He graduated from Rutgers University with a BA and received a master's degree from Columbia University. He was employed by the College Entrance Examination Board followed by several years as director of Admissions at Goucher College, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, and Jacksonville University.

Philip Miller Boord died on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, at the age of 105 at Westminster-Canterbury of Lynchburg, VA. Mr. Boord graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1933. Later he earned graduate and professional degrees from the George Peabody College for Teachers and the Peabody Library School in Nashville. In the 1970s Peabody College merged with Vanderbilt University. He was librarian emeritus of Randolph-Macon Woman's College; former adjunct professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL; public librarian at Mason City Public Library in Mason City, Iowa; and librarian with the Illinois State Library in Springfield, IL. An Army veteran of World War II, Mr. Boord served in the South Pacific. He was a resident of Lynchburg for nearly half a century and a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church.