Faculty

Myrtice Larson

Headshot of Myrtice Larson Myrtice Larson (’46, ’49 M.S.), 100, former faculty member and member of the McConnell Society, died April 27 in Arlington. In the late 1940s, she served on the Demonstration School faculty at North Texas and then moved to Arlington with her husband, Curtis. She worked in education for four decades, serving as a teacher as well as an administrative supervisor of instruction for the McKinney school district and curriculum consultant for the Arlington school district. She retired in 1981. The Arlington school district named the Curtis and Myrtice Larson Academy elementary school in their honor. She volunteered with the Texas Retired Teachers Association after her retirement and served as president of the statewide group from 1994 to 1996. She also wrote “Teachers and the Planning Guide” for Houghton Mifflin’s kindergarten program, which is still in use today. She and her husband established The Myrtice Nygaard Larson and Curtis Larson Scholarship for Education at UNT, and she left a planned gift benefiting the College of Education. She also led an active life outside the classroom. She was the first woman in the American Lutheran Church body to serve as president of a church and congregation. She enjoyed collecting items like teapots and handkerchiefs, being a seamstress and exploring the world on 11 cruises.

Lea R. Dopson

Lea R. Dopson, 59, of  Pomona, California, who was an associate professor and chair of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at UNT from 2001 to 2014, died in April.

She earned a B.S. and an M.B.A. from Texas Tech University and an Ed.D. from the University of Houston and joined UNT after serving on the faculty at The Collins College of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. In her tenure here, she doubled the number of faculty members in the program and saw a 300% increase in students. She co-wrote two textbooks, Food and Beverage Cost Control and Managerial Accounting for the Hospitality Industry, and she created UNT’s joint master’s degree program in international sustainable tourism with Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) in Costa Rica.

She also established The Dr. Lea R. Dopson Endowed Scholarship for Graduate Education in Hospitality and Tourism Management at UNT in 2014 and was a member of the President’s Council.

She returned to The Collins College in 2014 as dean and James A. Collins Distinguished Chair, where she served until her death. She was known for her energetic leadership, her unfailing support of students and her commitment to diversity. She was the current president of the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education, among many other professional activities. She also had a passion for traveling and had visited six continents.

The Dr. Lea R. Dopson Celebration of Life will take place online and at The Collins College from 4 to 5:30 p.m. May 12.

John Murphy

John Murphy (’84, ’86 M.M.), 60, Professor Emeritus of jazz history and former chair of the Division of Jazz Studies, died March 8.

He taught at UNT from 2001 to 2020, serving as chair of jazz studies for 11 years. He designed the jazz major for the D.M.A. in performance and taught jazz history, research methods, styles and analysis, as well as serving on thesis committees in the ethnomusicology area. He was chair of the Division of Music History, Theory and Ethnomusicology from 2006 to 2008.

An ethnomusicologist, he was an expert on Brazilian music and the author of Music in Brazil (Oxford University Press). He published many articles on jazz improvisation and Brazilian traditional and popular music and was awarded Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships for research in Brazil.

It was as he finished his degrees in jazz performance studies and music theory at UNT that he discovered his love for teaching, and he went on to earn a master’s and a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Columbia University, with a focus on Cuban and Brazilian music.

He taught at Western Illinois University before joining the faculty at UNT, and was known for his unwavering support of students and colleagues.

In 2019, he co-founded UNT’s Neurodiversity Initiative, which includes training, research, an employee resource group, and other programs and resources to support neurodivergent faculty, staff and students.

As a student at UNT, he was a member of the One O’Clock Lab Band, and he continued to perform in the DFW area, playing jazz on tenor saxophone and Irish traditional music on button accordion.

Survivors include his wife, Genene, also retired from UNT, and children Jack (TAMS '06), Peter and Gillian ('15, '18 M.Ed.).

A memorial service is scheduled at 11 a.m. May 7 at the First United Methodist Church in Denton, with a reception following off-site.

Memorials may be made to the John Murphy Scholarship Endowment for Jazz Studies online (in the "Area of Support," select "The John Murphy Scholarship Endowment for Jazz Studies") or by check — list "John Murphy Endowment" in the memo line and mail to University of North Texas; University Advancement, Gift Administration; 1155 Union Circle #311250; Denton, TX 76203.

Allen Whear

Photo of Allen WhearAllen Whear, who had taught baroque cello and viola da gamba as an adjunct instructor at UNT since 2010, died Feb. 10.

After graduating from the New England Conservatory, he earned a master’s at the Juilliard School and a doctorate at Rutgers University. He also was the recipient of an ITT International Fellowship and studied with Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam.

He performed as a soloist for multiple symphonies and orchestras, including the Brandenburg Collegiums and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, and appeared with many notable musical groups across the world, including Musica Antiqua Köln, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Vienna Boys Choir and Aradia.

He was the associate principal cellist of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; artistic director of Pro Musica Rara, Baltimore's premier early music ensemble; and principal cellist and recital director of the Carmel Bach Festival in California.

His recording credits included Sony, Virgin, Musical Heritage, Naxos and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi. He also was a prolific writer of program notes, and his liner notes for Mozart and Beethoven symphonies were published on the Sony and Analekta labels.

Survivors include his wife, baroque violinist Cynthia Roberts, a principal lecturer in the College of Music. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Peter ‘Pete’ Lane

Photo of Peter ‘Pete’ LanePeter ‘Pete’ Lane, 82, Air Force veteran and Vietnam War pilot who was a history professor and administrator at UNT from 1984 to 2009, died Nov. 25 in Denton.

With a passion for education and a deep care for students, he served in numerous roles at UNT, including executive assistant to the chancellor, special assistant for athletics and vice president of development as well as on the history faculty. He co-edited the book Warriors and Scholars: A Modern War Reader.

He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and served in the Air Force for 23 years. As an F-105 Republic Thunderchief "Thud" pilot, he flew over 100 combat missions during the Vietnam War. He received many awards for his service, including the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.

He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in history from the University of Washington and continued his career in the military by teaching at the Air Force Academy and National War College in Washington, D.C., and serving in various positions at Bergstrom, Holloman and Howard Air Force Bases. He also established and commanded the emergency rescue team for the Space Shuttle Columbia. He retired from military service in 1984 at the Pentagon as the chief of the Western Hemisphere Division air staff.

He was active in numerous military organizations, as well as civic groups in Denton. He especially loved greeting soldiers at DFW International Airport and, in 2014, received the Congressional Veteran Commendation.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 11 at St. Mark Catholic Church in Argyle. Burial is scheduled at noon Dec. 20 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Donations may be made to The Marjorie Murray Lane Audiology Endowment at UNT.

Edra Bogle

Edra Bogle, 87, who served on the English department faculty from 1970 to 2002, died Sept. 13 in Denton.

She received her bachelor’s degree at Iowa State Teachers College/University of Northern Iowa in 1956, her master’s in library science from Columbia University and her Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Southern California in 1968.

Along with being a professor at UNT, she became the first coordinator of women’s studies and served on the English Department Steering Committee and the Faculty Senate. She also was one of the early faculty members in Texas to come out publicly as an LGBTQ+ person.

Bogle served in numerous elected positions for the Modern Language Association and the Science Fiction Research Association and was editor for the MLA’s Gay Caucus. She also was an indexer for the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature from 1972 to 1984 and an associate editor of the third edition of Halkett and Laing’s Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Literature in 1980.

Politically active, she belonged to the Denton chapter of National Organization of Women, participated in the Dallas Gay Alliance and helped revive the Denton Gay Alliance at UNT. She also co-chaired the Lesbian/Gay Democrats of Texas and co-created and served as the first president of the Denton Chapter of the Stonewall Democrats. She served as precinct chair for the Democratic Party in Denton County for several years and as county chair, and she ran for the State Board of Education in 2006.

A memorial will be held at a later date.

Barbara Coe

Barbara Coe, 83, of Denton, Professor Emerita of business administration who taught marketing at UNT from 1980 to 2005 and was an avid supporter of the university, died Oct. 10 in Denton. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration at the University of Arizona and a master’s in sociology and doctorate in business administration at Northwestern University. The first woman to teach in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, she also taught at New York University before coming to UNT. In 1975, New York City recognized her as an “Outstanding Young Woman of the Year.” She was a Regents Professor at UNT, won numerous teaching awards and consulted for Fortune 500 companies. Community service was important to her, and she fostered and adopted more than 30 local dogs. She also was a generous contributor to UNT and a member of the Chilton Society, along with her husband, Teddy, Professor Emeritus of business administration who taught at UNT from 1980 to 2007. In their honor, the College of Music established the Ted and Barbara Coe Opera Scholarship in 2017.

Barbara Coe

Lawrence ‘Bud’ Wheeless

Lawrence ‘Bud’ Wheeless, 80, Professor Emeritus of communications, died Sept. 15 in Denton. He began teaching at UNT in 1993 and retired in 2004.

Known by many as “Dr. Bud,” he earned his bachelor’s degree at Texas Christian University in 1964, his master’s degree at the University of Houston in 1967 and his doctorate at Wayne State University in 1970.

Prior to teaching at UNT, he was the chair of the communications department at Marshall University and taught at many other schools, including Illinois State University, West Virginia University and Texas Tech University. He served as a researcher and became known on a national and international level for his work in interpersonal and instructional communication. He also served as the editor for Communication Quarterly, an academic journal for the Eastern Communication Association.

His final wish was to have his body donated and used for research at the UNT Health Science Center.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Virginia Wheeless, who was associate vice president and special assistant to the chancellor for planning and director of the university planning office at UNT.

Christopher Deane

Photo of Christopher DeaneChristopher Deane, 63, of Corinth, a professor of percussion who had taught at UNT since 2000, died Oct. 9.

He taught orchestral timpani and mallets, and he directed the UNT Percussion Players. He brought a wealth of experience to his role — appearing in more than 70 performances as a concert soloist around the world for symphonies and wind ensembles, including the Boston Pops; performing on recordings as a timpanist, percussionist and Hungarian cimbalom soloist; and composing numerous works that were performed in international concerts and recitals worldwide.

He also served as principal percussionist with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, principal timpanist of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra and principal timpanist of the Greensboro Symphony. He frequently performed with the Dallas Wind Symphony.

He also had served as faculty percussionist at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival in Maine and the Vale Veneto Music Festival in Brazil. He earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Percussive Arts Society in 2019.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and his master’s degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

A Celebration of Life and Music is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. April 2 in the UNT Music Building's Recital Hall. Memorials may be made to the Christopher Deane Principal Percussion Scholarship online (for Area of Support, select “Other” and write in Christopher Deane Principal Percussion Scholarship), or checks can be mailed to UNT Advancement, 1155 Union Circle #311250, Denton, TX 76203, with the scholarship name in the memo line.

Barry G. King

Barry G. King, 86, Professor Emeritus of accounting who served as acting dean of what is now the G. Brint Ryan College of Business from 1971 to 1973, died Sept. 19 in Denton. He began teaching at UNT in 1970 and retired in 1995.

King, who also served as chair of the accounting department and as the director of graduate business programs at North Texas, conducted some of the university’s early oil and gas accounting research.

He graduated from Hardin Simmons University with a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s degree in economics. He then taught at Ohio State University, where he earned his doctorate in accounting, and he later taught at Oklahoma State University and studied at the University of Houston.

Next to teaching, he enjoyed traveling and learning about different cultures. King took part in multiple overseas programs, which he also had his family join in, teaching courses in Europe and Asia as well as in Guam and Uruguay.

Memorial service plans will be announced soon.

 

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