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William Larry Ventis

October 25, 1943 - April 11, 2020

William Larry Ventis, of Williamsburg, passed away on April 11th, 2020 due to complications from COVID-19. Born October 25, 1943 in Knoxville, TN to Reuben Clyde Ventis and Vernie Mae Ventis, Larry was beloved father to Summer Ventis and friend to many. Larry received his B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee and was Professor Emeritus of Psychology at William & Mary, where he taught from 1969 until his retirement in 2016. He was a longtime member of the International Society for Humor Studies, which he served as president from 2014-2015.

Larry was an active member of the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists, where he sang in the choir for over 25 years. Music was one of the great joys of his life, along with tennis, skiing, travel, and humor. He will be remembered for his many professional accomplishments, his mentorship of graduate and undergraduate students, his service to both the college and community, and most of all for his kind, compassionate spirit and his sense of humor.

A memorial service will be held virtually by the WUU church on Sunday, May 3 at 2 p.m. EST and may be accessed through the WUU event calendar at https://wuu.org/event-calendar/ . Per Larry’s wishes, his ashes will be spread in the Great Smoky Mountains at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the WUU endowment fund, to the Botetourt Chamber Singers International Tour Fund, or to a charity of your choice.


WUU Endowment Fund link:



Botetourt Chamber Singers International Tour Fund link:


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