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Dr. Wallace Randolph Ranny Umberger, Jr.

Posted By Hall-Wynne On October 21, 2011 @ 12:00 am In Obituaries | No Comments

Dr. Randolph “Ranny” Umberger, Jr. died Friday, October 21, 2011, at Duke Medical Center. A long-time resident of Chapel Hill, Ranny was born in Christianburg, VA to Buena Denny Umberger and the late Wallace R. Umberger, Sr.

He is a retired Senior Professor of Theatre at North Carolina Central University, where he chaired the department for seven years and taught for forty. Ranny has a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill in Dramatic Art, English and British History; an M.A. from UNC-CH in Dramatic Art; and a Ph.D. from Tulane University in Theatre Literature and Criticism.

In 1998, he co-founded with Benjamin Keaton, Long Leaf Opera, a professional opera company dedicated to the production of opera written originally in English.

Ranny was an active member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in downtown Durham.

He is survived by his mother, Buena Umberger of Wytheville, VA; his life mate, Benjamin F. Keaton of Chapel Hill, NC; his sister, Sharon Minetree and husband, Charles, of Baltimore, MD; and three nephews, Richard, Christopher and Joshua.

A Requiem Eucharist will be celebrated at 6:00 PM Tuesday, November 1, 2011 from St. Philip’s Episcopal Church with the Reverend M. Jonah Kendall presiding.

A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ranny’s memory may be made to Long Leaf Opera, P.O. Box 2683, Chapel Hill, NC 27515.

On-line memorials: www.hallwynne.com. Select obituaries.

Arrangements for the Umberger family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Durham.


Condolences for the family of “Dr. Wallace Randolph Ranny Umberger, Jr.”

Condolence from Larry Lee Randolph on October 28th, 2011 12:00 am

Ben: I know it’s been years since we had contact but I always kept up with what you and Ranny were doing thru mutual friends. You have my best wishes.

Condolence from GaryRalph on October 30th, 2011 12:00 am

Even after all these years, Ranny has not dimmed in my mind – just as he will live on in the hearts and minds of those he taught and all who knew him.

Condolence from Cookie Maynor-Clark on October 30th, 2011 12:00 am

I honor you Dr. Umberger, the Strike at the Wind family honors you and your memory. When you first came here with Paul Green, no one even knew what a Lumbee was. Now, because you wrote the Strike at the Wind script. The Lumbee’s have their own idenity and their own form of tribal government. I remember a young boy on opening night saying out loud “Mommy! I see me a real live Indian.” Thank you for believing in your cast. A drama that was only suppose to last one summer lasted 30 and in it’s 2nd year under your guidance was named “The Best Outdoor Drama In America.” From the 100 members of the Strike at the Wind Face Book page and others who have performed on your stage. I humbly say “thank you for believing in us the same way we believed in you.”

Condolence from Ted Hunsaker on October 30th, 2011 12:00 am

Our deepest sympathy is with you, Ben. I have lost a friend, and the community has lost a treasure.

Ted & Maureen

Condolence from Dr. James H Henderson on October 30th, 2011 12:00 am

I am deeply saddened at the death of Dr. Umberger. My prayers and condolences go out to his family. He was one of my favorite professors at North Carolina Central University who helped spark the desire to be a playwright and a much more intense writer. I will always have fond memories of him as a student and then as a member of the faculty and staff serving in another academic department. He was definitely a jewel that loved the theater, students, life, and people in general. Rest in peace. I will always carry the memories of you and the fun we had in class forever in my heart.

Condolence from Machella Chavis on October 31st, 2011 12:00 am

My deepest sympathy. Love you Ben!

Condolence from Nancy Bloom on October 31st, 2011 12:00 am

Dear Ben,

I was so sad to hear that Ranny had passed away. I have fond memories of watching Ranny at the Gilbert and Sullivan rehearsals in Durham and of a wonderful dinner the three of us had together many, many years ago. Ranny was truly a gentleman and a scholar. My heart goes out to you at this time.

Fondly,
Nancy

Condolence from Nancy Bloom on October 31st, 2011 12:00 am

Dear Ben,

I was so sad to hear that Ranny had passed away. I have fond memories of watching Ranny at the Gilbert and Sullivan rehearsals in Durham and of a wonderful dinner the three of us had together many, many years ago. Ranny was truly a gentleman and a scholar. My heart goes out to you at this time.

Fondly,
Nancy

Condolence from Barbara on October 31st, 2011 12:00 am

I will miss you Ranny…your wisdom will always be remembered and cherished. My prayers to Benjamin and the remainder of the family.

Condolence from Barbara on October 31st, 2011 12:00 am

I will miss you Ranny…your wisdom will always be remembered and cherished. My prayers to Benjamin and the remainder of the family.

Condolence from Kelvin & Vera Allen on November 1st, 2011 12:00 am

Our heart-felt condolences to Ben. Dr. Umberger was a great teacher and scholar and a unique spirit that we will always remember.

Kelvin and Vera Allen
N.C. Central University
Department of Theatre Alumni

Condolence from John and Joe Carol Thorp on November 1st, 2011 12:00 am

We are so appreciative of Ranny’s encouragement,guidance,and hospitality to our son in his moment of need. Ben-you are in our prayers as you walk through the grief of his loss.

Condolence from Barbara and Pat Price on November 2nd, 2011 12:00 am

Dear Ben; We are so sorry for your loss. Ranny will be remembered as talented man, always willing to give to others. We will remember him as a wonderful neighbor and friend. With all our love.

Condolence from joanne shelley on November 2nd, 2011 12:00 am

So sorry for your loss. Ranny was a beautiful person. He will be missed

Condolence from Betty Jean on November 2nd, 2011 12:00 am

Dear Ben I want to say how sorry we are of Rannys passing and we will keep you in our prayers. Norman is in Naples so I his sister am writting this from the both of us. Norman at least got to visit the two of you before he left. Your Friend Betty Jean and Norman P.

Condolence from Betty Jean on November 2nd, 2011 12:00 am

Dear Ben I want to say how sorry we are of Rannys passing and we will keep you in our prayers. Norman is in Naples so I his sister am writting this from the both of us. Norman at least got to visit the two of you before he left. Your Friend Betty Jean and Norman P.

Condolence from Betty Jean on November 2nd, 2011 12:00 am

Dear Ben I want to say how sorry we are of Rannys passing and we will keep you in our prayers. Norman is in Naples so I his sister am writting this from the both of us. Norman at least got to visit the two of you before he left. Your Friend Betty Jean and Norman P.

Condolence from Deb Baldwin on November 5th, 2011 12:00 am

Dear Benjamin and family,
I was shocked and saddened to hear about Ranny’s passing. The last time I saw him, he seemed so full of life and enthusiasm about his art and his projects, as always. His death is a real loss to our towns and community, and especially the artistic world.
I send you my deepest sympathy.

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