Jerry Scheeler, who began working at Virginia Tech in 1971 as a filmmaker and then led the university’s transitions to video and digital, died Jan. 22. He was 68.

“Jerry was known for his cinematography and lighting expertise, which he brought to his work every day,” said Randy Stith, director of visual and broadcast communications and Scheeler’s longtime co-worker.

Over the years he shot the coaches’ films for athletics and was a videographer for retired football coach Frank Beamer’s television show, Stith said. He also traveled to create videos about Virginia Tech's work in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Russia, and Riva San Vitale.

For many years Scheeler, a Montana native, also taught a film production class as an adjunct faculty member.

“He made a difference in the lives of countless students, many of whom currently work in the industry in Hollywood and across the country,” Stith said.

One of Scheeler’s students, Jeff Consiglio, was the editor of the film “Inocente” that in 2012 won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject.

Consiglio, like many other former students and friends, posted a tribute to Scheeler on Facebook.

"Jerry was my film dad, my coach and my champion, my inspiration, my source of endless Hollywood folklore, and my dear friend. I owe it all to him. Farewell, my captain, you have left us too soon. But you have marked us, so very many of us, forever. Every film thing from here forward is for Jerry," he wrote.

Scheeler also had a career as a respected freelance filmmaker who traveled internationally and once filmed a story on ‘Born Free’s’ George Adamson at his camp in Kenya.

Scheeler is survived by his wife, Marian. The couple recently moved from Montgomery County to Botetourt County in preparation for Scheeler’s retirement from Virginia Tech sometime this year.

A memorial service is being planned but details have not been finalized. This story will be updated when they become available.

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