Staff

Hayden Fry

Hayden Fry, 90, the legendary head coach and athletic director who led the Mean Green football team to winning records in the 1970s, orchestrated a storied victory over Tennessee and created the unforgettable Flying Worm logo, died Dec. 17. Read more about his legacy — including his coaching tenures at Southern Methodist University and the University of Iowa, his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame and his inspiration for the lead character in the 1980s TV show “Coach” — in this obituary from UNT athletics.

James Swan

James Swan, 71, of Denton, professor in health services, died May 30. He was known for his passion for research in public health studies in aging populations. He published numerous articles on the issue, mentored applied gerontology students and was a member of the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association. He taught at the University of California in San Francisco, California State University in Long Beach and Wichita State University before coming to UNT in 2004. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wichita State University and his doctorate at Northwestern University. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama from 1969 to 1971. Colleagues remember him for his love of puns and statistics.

Caroline Booth

Caroline Booth (’14 M.P.A), 42, former director of communications and marketing for UNT Libraries, died March 24 in Denton. She was director of advancement at Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home in Denton and communications specialist at the Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Oklahoma, before working at UNT from 2011 to 2014. After earning her M.P.A., she joined Denton Municipal Electric as business development officer and then worked her way through the city’s ranks. She had served as director of economic development since 2016. Known for her diplomatic and kind personality, she worked to recruit businesses to Denton. Services will take place at 2 p.m. March 29 at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Oak St.

Tony D. Lewis

Tony D. Lewis, 76, of Denton, a retired mail clerk, died Feb. 27. He worked for Moore Business Forms in Denton and for National Cash Register in Arlington before working for UNT from 2002 to 2006. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the UNT Retiree Association. He was a Naval Airman in the U.S. Navy Reserves. He is survived by his wife, Maria Graciela "Chelita" Lewis, who retired from UNT in 2006. 

Visitation is from 6 to 7 p.m. March 4 at DeBerry Funeral Directors, with rosary at 7 p.m. Mass will be at 1 p.m. March 5 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, with internment at Roselawn Memorial Park.

Kelly Davis Kucharski

Kelly Davis Kucharski (’04), 40, died Jan. 11 in Denton. She had worked as an office support associate in UNT’s Student Money Management Center since 2016. Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and took classes for a second degree in ecology in environmental science. She was a Maryland native who loved Denton, Asian cuisine, seafood, books, bees, cooking, painting, gardening and spending time with her family, including her three dogs. She was married to Brian Kucharski (’99), who works in University Relations, Communications and Marketing at UNT.

Andy Knapik

Andy Knapik (’17), 45, of Corinth, door systems supervisor, died Jan. 21 in Dallas. He had worked at UNT since 2012, earned a bachelor’s in political science and was working toward his master’s degree in public administration with a specialty in nonprofit management. A big music fan, he was a founding member and vice president of the Denton Music and Arts Collaborative and a volunteer for the 35 Denton Music Festival. He was a UNT Alumni Association member, a Cleveland Browns fan, an artist, a carpenter, a notary public and a frequent wedding officiant. He was a devoted family man, fostering five children and adopting three children. And he was a winner of the King Kong Burger Challenge at RG’s Burger & Grill and the Golden Jesus Chili Cook-Off. Family visitation will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 27 at DeBerry Funeral Directors in Denton, with a pot-luck reception following from 5 to 7 p.m. at Dan’s SilverLeaf. A mass will take place at 11 a.m. Jan. 28 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Denton.

Tim King

Tim King, 60, of Denton, building manager of the Murchison Performing Arts Center, died Nov. 28 in Valdosta, Georgia. He knew he wanted to work at UNT after passing through the area and seeing the then newly constructed Murchison Performing Arts Center. He detoured from his planned path, received a tour of the facility and worked at the Murchison from 1999 until the time of his death. He enjoyed giving tours of the building and was known for being upbeat and pleasant. A fan of opera, he proposed the idea for the stained glass light fixtures adorning the Lyric Theatre within the Murchison. They depict scenes from famous operas. “Tim’s contributions here have extended far beyond his job description,” John Richmond, dean of the College of Music, says. “Losing him is just terrible, but it likewise is a vivid reminder that each day for each of us is a gift to be treasured and tended.”

Roddy Wolper

Roddy Wolper, 73, former news director for UNT, died Oct. 10 in Denton. He worked at UNT from 1999 to 2007 as associate director of University Relations, Communications and Marketing and director of news and information. He did everything from serving as spokesman for breaking news stories to writing articles for The North Texan. He was noted for his ability to see things objectively, even writing poetry about current events, and was a mentor to others in the department.

Co-workers remember him as a voracious reader who had great command of the written word and an amazing vocabulary and loved his family, friends and animals fiercely. He always said every writer should have a dog named Doggerel.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M University and did graduate work at Texas Christian University. He also worked for Southern Methodist University, Loyola University, SullivanPerkins, the American Heart Association, the University of Dallas and Texas A&M University at Galveston. He often photographed events of the Denton County Democratic Party, which his wife, Phyllis, served as chair.

A reception will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 21 at Bill DeBerry Funeral Home, 2025 W. University Drive in Denton.

The Rev. Donald Lee Dakin

The Rev. Donald Lee Dakin, 55, of Krum, a cataloging and metadata associate since 2009 for  UNT Libraries, died May 2 at in Denton. Don graduated in 2008 with a degree in Christian education at Nazarene Bible College and was an ordained elder. He served as an associate pastor in Woodlawn, Tenn., then pastored Dyersburg First Church of the Nazarene before serving as associate pastor of student ministries at Hope Community Church of the Nazarene in Denton. He loved to spend time with his family, play golf and talk about God. He was also a dedicated FC Dallas fan.

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