UNT friends

Virgie Burrows

Virgie Mae Meeker Burrows, of Denton, died Dec. 21. She worked in the research and grants office at UNT, retiring in 1998 after 28 years. She previously worked for the KDNT radio station. She lived in and around Denton all of her life and enjoyed shopping and making friends at Denton's thrift stores.

Debbie Merki

Debbie Merki ('83, ’86 M.Ed.), Denton :: She was very involved in the Denton ISD and was passionate about supporting bilingual education, early childhood education and autism research. She and her husband Mark Merki (’91) were members of the Chilton Society and the 1890 Society. They established The Mark John Merki and Deborah Davis Merki Scholarship in Education and The Mark John Merki and Deborah Davis Merki Scholarship in Accounting.

John Carmichael III

John Carmichael III (’76 M.B.A.), Dallas :: He spent his career involved in the development of multifamily real estate and was the cofounder of Westwood Residential. Throughout his life, he was a cowboy, from roping calves as a child to riding cutting horses as an adult. This summer, he rode in the National Cutting Horse Association Western Nationals 35K Non Pro Competition, where he won first prize. John and his wife, Dimitra, were members of the Chilton Society and the 1890 Society. The Carmichaels established The John R. Carmichael III Professorship in Real Estate in the College of Business.

Bruce Stover

Bruce Calvin Stover, 63, of Dallas, who worked for the College of Visual Arts and Design for more than 20 years, died July 13. He was a graduate of San Marcos Academy and UNT. Generations of art students will remember him as a model in figure drawing classes. He enjoyed politics and aviation. He also worked at Southern Methodist University. Memorials may be made to the College of Visual Arts and Design.

Etta Landers

Etta Mae Landers, 77, of Tioga, died July 15 in Denton. She worked as a clerk in the Physical Plant at UNT from 1974 to 1999. She also was an elder at Pilgrims Way Baptist Church, which she helped establish, in Sanger.

Barbikay Pohl

Barbikay B. Bissell Pohl, 74, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Las Vegas, Nev., widow of past UNT President Norval F. Pohl, died Aug. 27. She excelled as a student both in academics and music and went on to become a professor. She taught computer science at Texas Woman’s University when the Pohls were in Denton from 1999 to 2006 and also taught in Arizona and Nevada. She was involved in education at many levels, teaching at high schools and community colleges as well as universities, and later earned certification as a Montessori instructor. Outside of teaching, she was a soccer coach, hockey scheduler, scout leader and animal lover. She spent a great deal of time with her children and grandchildren and is remembered as a devoted, no-nonsense and selfless person. After receiving both a kidney and a liver transplant, she was deeply grateful for the care she received at the Mayo Clinic and spent much of her time volunteering there. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Arizona and a master’s in finance and Ph.D. in education from Arizona State University, where she met fellow doctoral student Norval. He died in 2009.

James Nicklas

James Nicklas (’71, ’82 M.S.), 72, of Denton, former director of activities and the University Union, died Sept. 4. He worked as a resident assistant in Kerr Hall as a student, and in 1970 he began his career with the University Union as building operations supervisor, retiring as director in 2005. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps on active duty from 1966 to 1968 and reserve duty from 1968 to 1972. He received his associate’s degree from Weatherford Junior College, and at UNT earned his bachelor’s in industrial technology and education and his master’s in industrial technology and business computer information systems. He is survived by his wife, Marcella ‘Marcy’ Shelton Nicklas (’72), with whom he established the James and Marcella Nicklas UNT General Scholarship, and gifts may be made to that fund.

Elmer Tayor

Elmer Taylor, 68, Professor Emeritus of art, died July 1 at his home in Ketchum, Idaho. He taught at UNT from 1974 to 2013, becoming a Regents Professor in 2003.

He made his reputation on his beautiful ceramics and mentored countless students through the years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramics and crafts and a Master of Fine Arts in ceramics from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. He also apprenticed with master potter Michael Leach in England. He taught at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., before joining North Texas.

He conducted lectures and workshops internationally, and his work was featured in numerous publications and public collections, including the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

He and his wife, Dianne Taylor ('73, '77 M.F.A., '83 Ph.D.), former lecturer in art, owned Taylormade Pottery in the Ketchum/Sun Valley area.

Peggy Lee

Peggy Sue Lee, 54, a former Dining Services employee, died March 8 in Denton. She worked in Dining Services from 1987 to 2014. While working at UNT, she also worked part-time for 20 years at the Holiday Inn. She enjoyed reading and spending time with her friends and grandchildren.

Lorie Ingram

Lorie Jane Ingram (’85, ’87 M.B.A.), 52, former director of alumni operations for the UNT Alumni Association, died May 2 in Denton. She worked on campus from 2006 to 2015 and prior to that worked at several local financial institutions, including TexasBank and Wells Fargo. She loved to travel with her family and also loved cats, adopting many from local animal shelters. She earned a bachelor's degree in general business and a master’s in in personnel/ industrial relations at UNT.

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