Professor dies of brain cancer

Photo courtesy of VCU arts.

Cyrus Nuval
Staff Writer

VCU professor Kerry Talbott died Friday from brain cancer. Talbott, 49, was a professor in VCU’s communication arts department for more than 13 years.

Talbott had been suffering from brain cancer since 2011, friends say.

“The first time it hit him, he collapsed on Christmas Day of 2011,” said Patrick Godfrey, owner of Velocity Comics and a close friend of Talbott’s. “He woke up in the ambulance and next thing you know they’re telling him he has a tumor.”

Talbott continued teaching at VCU despite the physical toll the treatments were taking on his body, Godfrey said.

“I would give rides to him from his home to work and back,” Godfrey said. “We lived close enough and the chemo and the other treatments made it difficult for him to drive his own car.”

Talbott’s cancer was in remission in the months before his death, but the cancer returned this fall.

Talbott continued teaching until the first week of September when he took a medical leave of absence.

Family and friends are planning a party to celebrate Talbott’s life on Oct. 20.

“He wouldn’t have wanted us to mourn his death … so we are going to celebrate his life and his importance to our lives and the Comm Arts Department,” Godfrey said. “He was at the forefront of getting VCU to have comics art classes … he designed the comics art classes and the science fiction arts classes that are now part of the curriculum.”

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