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George Washington High School Alumni Association
Mailing Address: GWHS Alumni Association, PO Box 25453, Alexandria, VA 22313-5453
This page updated October 18, 2011
In Memory of Faculty Members
Back to Main Alumni Page This page updated October 18, 2011 Send Changes to Dave Beach '55

~ In Memoriam ~
Of Our Esteemed Educators

Harry "Red" W. Caughron,
passed away May 28, 2010.
LeRoy Earl "Roy" Smith, Jr.,
passed away October 17, 2009 at the age of 83.


Note from Kassy Benson, FCHHS '62 

It is with sincere sadness that I pass on word of Coach Harry "Red" Caughron's death on May 28, 2010.  Coach Caughron was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame not long ago, with a large contingent of Hammond and GW grads attending.  Thanks to Rick Claypoole '68 for sending the following article - many from the later years didn't have the opportunity to know Coach Caughron, but those of us who did have that honor could not have held him in higher esteem.       


Legendary Woodberry Coach Harry W. "Red" Caughron Dies...

Harry W. “Red” Caughron, longtime head football coach and athletic director at Woodberry Forest School, died in Orange, VA, on May 28, 2010. He was eighty-eight years old.  

Red came to Woodberry in 1960 and became athletic director the next year. During his thirty-one seasons as Woodberry’s head football coach, he compiled a record of 217 wins, fifty-six losses, and seven ties—one of the best among Virginia high school coaches. His teams, eight of which were undefeated, earned fifteen conference championships. By the time of his retirement in 1992, he had been named Virginia Prep League Coach of the Year eight times. Red and his wife, Cathy, founded Woodberry’s highly popular Sports Camp in 1967.  

He received All-State, All-Southern, and All-American honors during his playing career. He was inducted into the William & Mary Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.  

Red is survived by his wife, Cathy, who lives in Orange. He also is survived by daughters Cindy Kemper, and her husband, Jeffery Kemper, of Madison County; and Deb Follo Caughron, and her husband, Michael Follo, of Woodberry Forest. Deb, a 1974 Woodberry graduate, has directed the school’s outdoor program since 2000. Michael Follo teaches science at Woodberry. Red is also survived by a granddaughter, Michelle Mumfrey, and her husband, Mario Mumfrey, of Newport News; and a great-granddaughter, Mariana Mumfrey.  

A memorial service was held 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 2, 2010, at Johnson Stadium on the campus of Woodberry Forest School. 

Obituary  Harry "Red" W. Caughron





Harry “Red’ W. Caughron, 88, of Woodberry Forest, died Friday, May 28, 2010 in Orange, VA. He was born on January 7, 1922, in Sevierville, Tennessee, to the late Lester and Myrtle Kerr Caughron.

“Virtually the epitome of everything noble one could ask in a tackle,” and “the very best of the principles that should imbue sport” say admirers of Red Caughron when describing the All Conference tackle for the College of William & Mary and longtime head football coach and athletic director at Woodberry Forest School. In recognition of many years of athletic excellence, Coach Caughron was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in April, 2009.

A native of Sevierville, Tennessee, Caughron played freshman football at William & Mary before joining the United States Army in 1943. He served with the 78th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, and the 84th Infantry Division. After the war, he returned to William & Mary, where he co-captained the squad that defeated Oklahoma State in the 1948 Delta Bowl, and completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Caughron became head football coach at James Wood High School in Winchester, Virginia, in 1950.

He later coached at George Washington High School and Hammond High School in Alexandria before joining Woodberry Forest in 1960. He became athletic director in 1961, and founded the Woodberry

Forest Sports Camp with his wife, Cathy, in 1967. The Caughron's retired in 1992.

Over 31 seasons as Woodberry’s head coach, Caughron compiled a record of 217 wins, 56 losses, and 7 ties, one of the best among Virginia high school coaches. His teams, eight of which were undefeated, earned 15 conference championships. He was an 8-time Virginia Prep League Coach of the Year.


Asked to describe Coach Caughron, his former players do not dwell on his winning record. Instead, they talk about what he meant to them as a coach, a mentor, and a man. “I marvel,” writes a player from the 1960’s, “at how such a physically powerful  man could, at the same time, be equally good, even gentle and empathic.” “Often I found him watching me, in the halls and on the practice fields,” writes another former player, “and I always felt that his attention gave me special powers. I knew that if Coach Caughron valued me so highly that he was interested in my success, then I really must have had something special to offer.” A former player who went on to play safety for the Virginia Cavaliers in the 1980’s says, “No one other than my parents has made as big of an impact on my life as Red Caughron.”

“Red was widely recognized by countless Woodberry graduates as a modest man who, while committed to winning, was even more invested in developing young men of sterling character who played by the rules and exhibited good sportsmanship,” said Woodberry Headmaster Dennis M. Campbell. “He and Cathy are beloved across the Woodberry community.”  

One of his former players, who quarterbacked for Virginia in the 1970’s, notes that Coach Caughron did not tell any of his colleagues at Woodberry when he was about to be inducted into the William & Mary Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984. He simply took the day off and drove to Williamsburg to accept the award.

Thanks to the efforts of many Woodberry alumni, parents, and friends, the school has been able to honor Red and Cathy Caughron in numerous ways. In 1992, Woodberry established an endowment in their honor to support and enhance its athletic program. The school is currently raising funds to name its athletic facilities for Coach and Cathy.

Mr. Caughron is survived by his wife, Catherine Jane Jones Caughron; two daughters, Cindy Caughron Kemper and husband, Jeffery, of Syria, Virginia and Deb Folio Caughron and husband, Michael Follo, of Woodberry Forest; granddaughter, Michelle Mumfrey and husband, Mario; great granddaughter, Mariana Mumfrey; sister-in-law, Dorothy Jones; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Grady B. Caughron; and sister, lmogene Caughron Smalling Lovelace; and brothers-in-law, James Irwin Jones and William Francis Jones.

The family wishes to thank Joe & Mary Coleman, Wallace Hornady, Faulkner Sgro, Janet Lewis, Bill Watson and Found & Sons Funeral Home for helping with arrangements.


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LeRoy Earl "Roy" Smith, Jr., was unexpectedly called home to the Lord October 17, 2009 at the age of 83. He passed peacefully at his home in Bellingham, WA

Roy was born August 30, 1926 in Detroit, Michigan to LeRoy Earl Smith, Sr. and Sophia Haight Smith. Roy grew up in Detroit and as a school age child found more interest in the movie theaters of Detroit than the classrooms. He was drawn to the Big Band performances of Glen Miller, Benny Goodman and the like. Following high school

Roy joined the Navy in 1944 and served during WWII in Okinawa as Buglemaster 3rd Class. After his discharge in 1946 he attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music on the GI Bill. His father was quoted as saying "What a waste of the government's money". Nothing could have been further from the truth. Roy graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Music and in 1952 with a Master of Music degree.

He then married Alice Francis Dwight on August 25, 1950 and they settled in Alexandria, VA where Roy began his career and life's calling as a Music Teacher/Band Director at George Washington High School. 

In 1956 with the opening of Hammond High School he became the Band Director for the Fighting Admirals. Roy remained in that position until 1980 when he was appointed as Curriculum Specialist of Music and Art for the Alexandria City Public Schools K-12, retiring in 1986. As a Band Director he presented great bands that won many awards in competition.

As a teacher he made a lifelong lasting impression on the students he taught. To this day his many students maintained contact and friendship with Roy. To him, his teaching days were the "Good Ole Days."

In addition, Roy was an accomplished watercolor artist. His paintings included land/waterscapes and buildings. While he chose not to publicly display his artwork, he was a fantastic artist and his paintings grace the walls of many. We will all miss his special Christmas cards. Every fall Roy would create a painting to depict the meaning of Christmas and convert to a greeting card to share with his friends and loved ones.

Roy and Alice divorced in 1976, but maintained a remarkable friendship.

They blessed the lives of two children  by  adopting  them  and  formed a wonderful family.

Alice preceded Roy in death in February 1998. Roy is survived by his children Dwight Alan Smith (Moscow, ID) and Nancy Smith Ryder (Bellingham, WA) and her husband Doug Ryder and two grandchildren Andrew Ryder and Sean Ryder ... the apples of his eye, and numerous nephews.

In the mid 1990s Roy and lifelong friend, Carole Bell, Detroit, Michigan found companionship. They shared their lives together in Tucson, AZ, and as they aged made the hard decision for each to move back to their hometowns to be near their families. Carole Belle preceded Roy in death, succumbing to Alzheimer's and passing February 2009.

Services for Roy will be held at the Garden Street Methodist Church, Bellingham, WA, officiated by Rev. Bill Green, Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Lighthouse Mission, Bellingham, WA to aid the mentally ill and homeless.

The family wishes to thank all the wonderful people who have called Roy "friend."


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This page updated October 18, 2011 Send Changes to Dave Beach