Dan Otto Via Jr., son of late Dan Otto Via and Josephine Carter Via, died on Sunday, October 12, 2014, at the age of 85.
He is survived by Margaret, his beloved wife of 64 years;his son Dan, daughter-in-law Susan, grandsons, Forrest and Nathan;his son Carter, daughter-in-law Amy, grandson Joseph and granddaughter Rebecca;his sister, Mary Jo McCarrick and brother-in-law Tom;and cousins, nieces and nephews, who have been an important part of his life.
Dan was born and reared in Charlottesville and attended public schools here. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Davidson College, and is a member of Phi Gamma Delta and Phi Beta Kappa. He received the Bachelor of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and his PhD in biblical studies from Duke University. He was awarded the honorary Doctor of Letters by Davidson College. Dan’s primary field of teaching and research was the New Testament, especially its theology and ethics. He also had an interest in literary criticism and the religious significance of fiction. After serving on the faculties of Wake Forest University, the University of Virginia and The Divinity School of Duke University, he retired from the latter in 1991 as Emeritus Professor of New Testament. Over the course of his career, he taught as a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, the University of Zimbabwe, Acadia Divinity College in Canada, and the Iliff School of Theology. He and his family were much enriched by sabbaticals spent in France, Canada and England.
Dan was the author of 11 books on biblical and theological topics and the editor of another 17. His most recent book, “The Hardened Heart & Tragic Finitude,” was published in 2012. He was also the author of some 40 articles in various scholarly journals. He served as president of the North Carolina Teachers of Religion and of the Southern Section of the American Academy of Religion, and served on the editorial board of several journals. In 1975, he was selected by The Christian Century as one of 13 mid-career scholars to have made a significant mark on religious studies during the decade from 1965 until 1975. Without question, his peers deemed him to have been an innovative and pioneering scholar who made a creative contribution in his field.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday morning, October 18, 2014, at 10 a.m. at Saint Paul’s Memorial Church in Charlottesville. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Cross Cultural Thresholds Inc. (www.crossculturalthresholds.org).
Copyright 2014, The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, VA