Eugene “Gene” Patrick Wright

Photo of Eugene “Gene” Patrick Wright Eugene “Gene” Patrick Wright (’60, ’61 M.A.), 85, Professor Emeritus of English, died April 30 in Frisco. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. As a student, he was a member of Phi Beta Delta and Phi Kappa Phi. He earned his doctorate in English Renaissance literature from the University of Texas and taught at Lamar University and UT before working at North Texas from 1966 to 2006. He was appointed the first faculty ombudsman in 2005, received the Mortar Board Senior Honor society’s “Top Prof” award and served as commencement speaker at two graduation ceremonies. He published scholarly books on Joanna Southcott, Thomas Deloney and William Shakespeare, as well as a series of Jerry Valdez novels, including Run, Run As Fast As You Can, Nobody Knows His Name, The Painful Warrior, The Accidental Warrior, Patriots and Statesmen, and Pirates, Preachers and Poteen Makers.

Bud Buschardt

Photo of Bud BuschardtBud Buschardt, 79, of Dallas, who served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Media Arts for 46 years, died March 15. He brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to students, drawing on his career as an on-air personality and producer. He got his start on Nov. 22, 1963, when, after graduating from the University of Houston, he covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy for WFAA.

He hosted radio shows for WFAA and KVIL, including the The Sump'n Else Show, a 1960s bandstand show that he later wrote a book about, and he earned the title of “musicologist” of Dallas-Fort Worth.

From 1989 to 2007, he worked for ABC Radio Networks, hosting Night Train and the Saturday Oldies Show and serving as program director of the Stardust (later Timeless) format. In 2010, he was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

He was an avid music fan, boasting a collection of 200,000 records, tapes and CDs in his house as well as his own home studio. His research for the 1977 movie The Buddy Holly Story earned him a screen credit.

Watch Bud give a tour in and around the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building. Share memories of him in this Facebook group.

A Dallas memorial service is scheduled at 4 p.m. April 15 at the Granada Theater on Greenville Avenue.

Memorials may be made to the Bud Buschardt Endowed Scholarship fund (checks payable to UNT Foundation), University of North Texas, University Advancement, 1155 Union Circle #311250, Denton, Texas 76203-1250, or online at one.unt.edu/giving.

Donald L. Yates

Photo of Donald L. YatesDonald L. Yates, 69, who was assistant professor in the Institute of Criminal Justice at UNT from 1989 to 1993, died Feb. 14 in Roanoke, Virginia. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bishop College, a master’s degree in sociology from Indiana University, a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Texas at Tyler and his doctorate in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught at various universities across the country, beginning with Jarvis Christian College and including Georgia Southwestern, Oklahoma State University, Old Dominion, Alabama A&M and Virginia Tech. During his four decades of teaching, he wrote several books and more than 60 articles that were published in academic journals and presented his research around the country. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

John F. Miller III

John F. Miller III, 82, who served at UNT as a philosophy professor for 20 years, died in January in Tampa, Florida. John earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Gettysburg College, his master’s degree at the University of Maryland and his Ph.D. from New York University. He went on to teach at Queens College, Radford College and the University of South Florida, as well as the Chapman College World Campus Afloat, which was a campus entirely on a ship. He then taught at UNT for 20 years before returning to Florida to teach at various colleges until his retirement last summer. He was an expert in numerology, a teacher in meditation and a former president of the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research. He also was a tenor singer who once studied opera and performed often at synagogues and churches.

Roy “Martin” Richards

Roy “Martin” RichardsRoy “Martin” Richards, 73, of Denton, a business computer information systems professor from 1982 to 2000, died Feb. 13. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in systems analysis and design at Georgia State University, and he earned his doctorate in business from the University of Georgia. He was on the faculty at the University of Montana and served as an insurance risk management consultant before coming to UNT. He then built the information technology department at Belmont University. He had received training from the police academy at UNT before moving to Tennessee, and he worked in law enforcement after retiring from teaching in 2003. He served as an officer for the city of Fairview and as a deputy in Williamson County before he and his wife, Ginny Tarpenning Richards, whom he met at UNT, returned to Denton. He was a Master Gardener who also enjoyed playing trumpet in the Denton Community Band and directing the Denton Senior Center Chorus.

Lillian Linebarger

Lillian LinebargerLillian Linebarger (’57), 84, of Denton, who worked at UNT from 1972 to 2000, died Feb. 21. She had served on the occupational and vocational education faculty and as a program administrator and project director for grant writing. She earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics from North Texas, then received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Woman’s University. She taught in Georgia, Fort Worth and other Texas cities, and her skills as a grant writer helped earn millions of dollars for UNT and other universities. She also was involved with Women in New Roles, an academic excellence literacy program for families learning English, and assisted many female doctoral students in developing academic skills for the American higher education system. Survivors include her husband, Professor Emeritus of English James Linebarger.

Bernard “Barney” A. Coda

Bernard "Barney" A. CodaBernard “Barney” A. Coda, 90, Professor Emeritus of accounting who worked at UNT from 1965 until 1996, died Feb. 23 in Sanger. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Olivet College and a master’s and doctorate in accounting from the University of Illinois. He was a C.P.A. and textbook author, who served on the faculty at Oklahoma State University and was a faculty resident at Arthur Andersen before joining UNT. The Bernard “Barney” A. Coda Endowed Chair in Accounting in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business was named in his honor, created from a bequest of one of his former students, Thomas W. Richardson, for the major influence he had on Richardson’s life and career. A native of Illinois, he enjoyed watching his Chicago Cubs, as well as anything related to horse racing. A visitation will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. March 13 at DeBerry Funeral Directors, 2025 W. University in Denton. A celebration of life will follow in the chapel.

Lawrence Kelly

Picture of Lawrence KellyLawrence Kelly, 88, retired professor of history who taught for more than 30 years, died Feb. 1 in Denton. He earned his bachelor's and master’s degrees, both in American history, from Marquette University, then served as a junior officer in the U.S. Navy for three years. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and began teaching at UNT in 1968. He specialized in Native American history and U.S. policies concerning Indigenous populations. During retirement, he served as a consultant and expert witness on cases involving tribal identity, reservation lands and water rights.

Glen L. Taylor

Photo of Glen L. Taylor Glen L. Taylor (’50, ’53 M.B.A.), 91, of Denton, Professor Emeritus in business and former associate vice president of academic affairs, died Jan. 19 in Denton. He earned his doctorate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before working at North Texas for 45 years, from 1953 to 1998. At North Texas, he was a noted scholar and specialized in preparing students for the insurance industry. He also was instrumental in the planning for the Business Administration Building (now Sage Hall) and helped develop hospitalization and benefits plans for employees. He earned the professional credentials of CPCU (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter), CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) and ChFC (Chartered Financial Counselor). The Glen L. Taylor Professorship/Chair in Insurance was established and named in his honor. He also was a member of the UNT Alumni Association.

A private memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Friday, March 19, and will be livestreamed at: https://www.standrewdenton.com/memorial-service/

Dr. Bertina Hildreth Combes

Dr. Bertina Hildreth Combes

Dr. Bertina Hildreth Combes, 62, vice provost for faculty success and professor of special education who had worked at UNT since 1989, died Feb. 19 in Denton. She also had served as coordinator of special education programs and as associate and interim dean of the College of Education.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University, she worked as an elementary school teacher specializing in learning and intellectual disabilities and emotional and behavior disorders while earning a master’s degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas in Austin and served as an assistant professor at Texas Tech University before joining the UNT faculty.

In UNT’s Department of Educational Psychology, she focused on preparing professional educators to meet the needs of diverse students receiving special education services, including those with learning disabilities. She was the director for Project TELL: Training Effective Leaders for High-Needs Schools Through Local Partnerships, which received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help train future leaders of special education programs.

Her honors at UNT included being named a Student Association Honors Professor and a Mortar Board Top Prof, as well as receiving the first Ulys and Vera Knight Faculty Mentor Award and a President’s Council Teaching Award. She also was honored for her leadership in supporting inclusion and diversity at UNT and was known as a guiding light and mentor to her colleagues on campus and beyond. She was active in numerous professional organizations through the years, including the International Council for Learning Disabilities. She also was an active member of Delta Sigma Theta.

Students remember her as an understanding mentor who shaped their interest in the field of special education and encouraged them to turn possibilities into plans. She was a deeply religious person who also believed in the power of education to transform lives. The child of college educators, she created the Drs. Eddie and Gladys Hildreth Scholarship at UNT, named for her parents. This scholarship is now endowed because of her dedication and commitment to it.

Survivors include her two children, Ashley ('17) and Julius ('19), both UNT alumni, and her mother, who also taught at UNT.

To honor Dr. Combes' legacy as an educator, a scholarship has been created in her name. Memorials to the Dr. Bertina H. Combes Scholarship fund may be made through University Advancement, 1155 Union Circle #311250, Denton, TX 76203-5017. For more information about the scholarship, contact Shelly Lane, senior director of development in the College of Education, at shelly.lane@unt.edu or 940-891-6860.

The UNT community will celebrate Dr. Combes' life at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, in a virtual recognition on UNT's YouTube channel.