January 2020 - March 2021
Geraldine "Jell" Mark Miller, 86, formerly of Fork Union, Virginia, died on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, at The Martha Jefferson House in Charlottesville, Virginia. Born on November 14, 1933, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Jell lived all of her married life in Virginia. She worked for State Farm Insurance in Charlottesville during the years Bill attended the University of Virginia. They moved to Fork Union in 1957 where they raised their children and worked at Fork Union Military Academy. Jell was Secretary to the Athletic Director for 29 years and was beloved by both coaches and athletes.
Robert Kirkwood “Bobby” Spencer, 84, passed away on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at Morningside of Charlottesville. Bobby had served 34 years on the staff of Fork Union Military Academy where he was Chairman of the English Department and was Special Services Officer. He also taught Sociology, Journalism, Public Speaking, and Drama.
Arnold “Boo Boo” Banner ('48), 89, of Bethesda, died on Jan. 4. Born in Philadelphia on Sept. 6, 1930, Boo Boo graduated from Fork Union Military Academy and proudly served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He and his wife Steffi were the owners of the Lamp and Shade Centers and he was the founder of Banner’s Hallmark stores along with his sons.
Earl Francis Hedrick ('48), passed away on February 11, 2020. Earl lived in Bassett, Virginia.
Warren E. Johnson ('46), 91, of Des Moines, Iowa dies January 20, 2021. After graduating from FUMA he attended Virginia Tech one year and then enlisted in the Army for 18 months. He was honorably discharged and re-entered VT where he graduated in 1951 with a bachelor's of science degree in business administration. Lt. Johnson's military decorations include: Combat Infantry Badge, Korean Service Medal with three battle stars, United Nation's Service Medal, Republic of Korea's Presidential Unit Citation and the Korean's National Defense Service Medal. He married Gloria Love of Columbus, Ga., on June 10, 1952. The couple's three daughters were each born in a different state as Warren advanced his career with Sylvania Electric Products. He joined the company in 1955 as Field Representative in St. Louis, Mo., relocating to Little Rock, Ark., and Davenport, Iowa, before becoming Regional Sales Manager in Chicago. In August 1968, Warren purchased a partnership in Stitzell Electric Supply Co. He served as President and Chairman of the Board until retirement in June 1994.
Robley Eugene Pitts, Sr. ('40), 97, known to everyone as Rudy, passed away on November 13, 2020 at the age of 97. Rudy was a life-long resident of Caroline County, Virginia and the owner of Alps Farm. He began farming in 1942 initially with his father's land and growing the business until he "retired" in 1988. He was a life-long member and a retired deacon of Salem Baptist Church in Sparta. He was proud to have been a committee member for the Caroline County ASCS for ten years. He was a Forest Warden starting his tenure in 1954. He also served on several committees with the Caroline County Ruritan Club. He was a 50+ year member of the Kilwinning Crosse Masonic Lodge in Bowling Green. He loved the outdoors, developing lifelong friends with his fishing and hunting buddies. His love of baseball never waned, watching his game on TV at any and all opportunities
Frederick Gray "Tom" Pruitt Jr. ('44), 94, was born October 25, 1925, in the same home in Short Pump where he died 94 years later on January 9, 2020. He served two years in the U.S. Army, and after his discharge, started his construction company F. G. Pruitt, Inc. in 1946. It continues today as a family business.
Robert "Bob" Eugene Raper ('49), 88, departed this life Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Bob was a proud graduate of Fork Union Military Academy class of 1949. He retired from General Electric's Mobile Communications Division. Bob loved music, amateur radio, camping and nature. He loved his Cardiac Rehab family at Henrico Doctors' Hospital and his neighbors, none of which could he have survived without. His wit and dry humor will be missed by many friends and "North River" camping buddies.
Morton C. Tadder, ('36) was a veteran Baltimore professional photographer who was the Orioles' team photographer for 44 years and was among the first photographers in the United States to take pictures of the Beatles when they performed in 1964, died Oct. 23 of Alzheimer’s disease at Silverado Memory Care in Encinitas, California. To read the rest of the Baltimore Sun article by Frederick N. Rasmussen CLICK HERE.
The Honorable Robert S. Bloxom, Sr. ('55), 83, husband of Patricia Killmon Bloxom and a resident of Mappsville, VA, passed away at his home, Cedar Grove, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. Bob owned and operated his family business, Bloxom Auto Supply in Mappsville for many years. Bob began his longtime political career in 1978. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the Eastern Shore in the 46th District, serving for 26 years in what ultimately became the 100th District. In 2004, after 13 terms, he chose not to seek re-election. During Bob’s tenure in the General Assembly, he served on the Agriculture, Labor and Commerce Committee, the Chesapeake and its Tributaries Committee, Appropriations Committee, and chaired the multi-state Chesapeake Bay Commission. Following his departure as Delegate from the General Assembly, he was appointed the first Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, a newly added position in the Commonwealth. After five productive years as Secretary, Bob retired from his storied 32-year political career in January 2010. To honor his vision and work to construct a centralized agricultural marketing facility on the Eastern Shore, The Robert S. Bloxom Agricultural Complex in Melfa, VA, was aptly named acknowledging his efforts.
Charles Ryland "Chuck" Bowie ('50), 89 of King George, passed away at his residence on Saturday June 13, 2020. He served 2 years in the Marine Corps then attended VPI. He owned/operated the Fairview Beach Marina for the last 42 years.
Len Bullock ('52), 87, passed away on June 12, 2020, after a period of declining health. His wife, Anne, was at his bedside, the two professing their love. Until his last breath, he thanked God for every blessing. He was 87. Len was born on June 5, 1933, in Perquimans County in eastern North Carolina, the youngest of Garland and Claire Bullock's five children. He grew up in Ayden, N.C., where he was captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams at Ayden High School. Around Ayden, he will forever remain a sports legend. At the same time, his gift for music and theater blossomed early: He was 10 when he sang his first solo at Ayden United Methodist Church. He attended Fork Union Military Academy on a football scholarship for his senior year of high school, then earned a football scholarship to UNC-Chapel Hill in 1952, where he played quarterback. Deeply competitive in everything he did, Len loved the game. His father, Garland, loved watching him play - until he had a heart attack one Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium and had to make do listening to Teedy's games on the radio. That was the nickname father gave to son. Len graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama, having been part of the renowned Carolina PlayMakers theater group. He was good enough at football to earn offers from five NFL teams to play quarterback. But he turned them down to pursue his love of theater, moving to New York to perform in the Broadway production of "No Time for Sergeants." He became friends with the stars, a couple of actors by the name of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. Len later played the lead in the touring production of "No Time for Sergeants," acted in TV commercials and performed in North Carolina's famed outdoor dramas, "The Lost Colony" and "Unto These Hills" before starting his career insuring and bonding contractors. He spent 30 fruitful years in business, working for several companies before retiring in 2003 as Chairman and CEO of Aon Construction Industries Division. Len was proud to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. He valued the friendships he made in the Wesley men's class at church. He served as chairman of the McLeod Center in Charlotte, helping those struggling with addiction. His sports background was an asset to the UNC Charlotte Athletic Foundation. He loved watching his Tar Heels and was a four-handicap golfer and nationally ranked tennis player in his day. Later in life, he enjoyed playing gin rummy with his buddies. He was a loving confidante to his children and then his grandkids, who called him Poppy. He and Anne enjoyed traveling, enjoyed every moment together no matter where life took them. Whether it was in football, theater or business, Len had a gift for building relationships. So it was in his personal life: An avid tennis player, he found himself in a doubles tournament in 1977 in Memphis, Tenn., across the net from a worthy foe. That was the only time Anne Goodwin beat Len in tennis, which probably came up a time or two in their nearly 38 years as husband and wife. They were married on July 10, 1982 and settled in Charlotte for Len's work. A second marriage for both, they had nine children, 21 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. How deeply did Len cherish his family? The last thing he told Anne before he died was to continue the tradition of having everyone to the house for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
William "Billy" Carl Duke ('50), 89, of Palmyra, formerly of King George, died on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at his home. Born in Washington, North Carolina, he was a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he had worked as a Guidance Counselor at King George High School and then at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, until his retirement. He was a gifted athlete and was inducted into the FUMA Sports Hall of Fame.
James Forest Eley ('54), 84, passed away on November 19, 2020. James was from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and born in Petersburg, Virginia.
Robert Mortimer Holloway III, ('58), A striking figure at 6 foot 5, Robert Mortimer Holloway III was also a towering presence whose charm and charisma drew many to him over the years. "Bob," as he was known, was in the hearts of his friends and family when he passed away on March 27, 2020, at his home in Richmond, Va. Bob grew up with a passion for history and military regimen. He graduated from Fork Union Military Academy in 1958 where he learned 'Scots' drumming, and later marched in Civil War bands. Bob's stately bearing and his attention to detail came out of these formative years and then later in his passions for horses, boating and a little golf. Long before Navy four-star Admiral William McRaven's graduation speech advising University of Texas graduates to "make your bed" as a way of "getting the day off to a good start," Bob was studiously practicing it. Bob had a quiet, but powerful, way of paying attention to the details in life his home, his dress and uniform for the day, his work, his dog and his beloved friends and family. All of these benefited from his thoughtful attention and care. Bob attended the Richmond Professional Institute (RPI) in Richmond, Va., and was a natural salesman with an early career serving a wide variety of industries. But in his early 40s he was drawn to a life of public service and a farm life in Louisa, Va. Here, he would initiate a long law enforcement career starting as a court bailiff and deputy sheriff. He rose quickly to Chief of Police in Gordonsville and later in Luray, Va. He then marked a long and distinguished career as Chief of Police for the Virginia Bureau of Forensic Science and as Administrative Manager for the Virginia State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. He would carry this life of public service till his final weeks as the most recognized face of security for Summerhill at Stony Point, as well as other prior locations such as the Richmond Times-Dispatch. We will remember Bob's twinkle in his eyes, his zest for life, his great pride in family and his vibrant spirit. We will be reminded of all these things whenever we sip a fine scotch, or we just spend time quietly remembering him. Bob's easy laugh, warmth and enthusiasm for life was infectious and heartfelt.
Carlton Gray Jones Jr. ('59), 79, of Richmond, passed away December 20, 2020.
L. Douglas Shrader ('53), passes away on March 15, 2020. Douglas resided in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
John Robert Twisdale ('56), 82, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in New Hanover County, North Carolina at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Hospice Center. John’s passing was from a quick resurgence of cancer. After graduation from FUMA John moved to New York City and attended The New York School of Interior Design. He then joined the staff at Woodward and Lothrop’s Interior Design Department in Washington, D.C. Upon a visit to Wilmington, N.C. in 1974 to visit his parents, John fell in love with the city of Wilmington, the beaches, its people and historic downtown. John decided then to move to Wilmington, going to work with the family business, Twisdale Manufacturing, started by his father and brother Allen. John was a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (Allied ASID). From 1986 to the present day, John designed and renovated beautiful homes, businesses and churches for clients and friends from Lake George, New York, to Palm Beach, Florida. In 1999, John finally did what he had wanted to do; he designed and built his own house in a beautiful community and was there until his passing.
Ronald Lee Weber ('55), passed away on September 1, 2020. Ronald resided in Hampton, Virginia.
Bill George ('69), passed away on March 2, 2020. Bill lived in Davidsonville, Maryland.
Gail W. Jasper ('62), 75, died as he lived on June 2, 2020, putting the final polishing touches on his car. He was born in Sayre, Oklahoma, on January 25, 1945, while his father was stationed there in the Navy during World War II. He grew up in Gary and Thorpe, West Virginia, graduated from Fork Union Military Academy, earned his business degree from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, then served for seven years in the United States Army. During his two years in Germany, he met and married his wife, Pat, and went on to serve 13 months in Vietnam as commander of a truck company convoying goods and materials to fire bases daily. When we came home to his family home in Buchanan, Virginia, he managed the Truckstops of America at exit 150 for 25 years, worked as a cashier for the Bank of Fincastle for 10 years, and was a member of the VFW Post 1841 in Daleville. Gail loved his model trains and showing them to the local kids in the no matter what their age. He was also a member of the Model Train Collectors Club
Rev. Richard Arthur Kroll ('64), 73, of Williamsport, MD passed away on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at Meritus Medical Center Hagerstown, MD. He was born on November 23, 1946 in Washington, D.C. to the late Arthur and Charlotte Bennett Athey Kroll. He graduated high school from Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, VA. He also graduated from Tusculum College in Tusculum, TN and graduated from Duke University School of Divinity in Durham, NC. Rev. Kroll retired after 42 years serving as a Pastor in the United Methodist Church in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. After retirement he served as Pastor of visitation at First Christian Church in Hagerstown, MD. He was currently a Chaplain at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, WV. He belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Manchester, MD. He volunteered as a guide and mentor with the God and Country Program of the Boy Scouts of America. He also volunteered at Harpers Ferry National Park.
George Joseph Kulanko Jr. ('64), 75, formerly of Fountain Hill and more recently of Hellertown, died on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021 surrounded by his family. He was born on Dec. 5, 1945, son of the late George and Mary A. (Yurish) Kulanko. George was a very talented athlete, especially when playing baseball and basketball. He was a standout athlete at the former Fountain Hill High School. He later attended Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia and played early in his college career at Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree. George was recognized for his athletic achievements and championships earned. He volunteered his time and knowledge of the game as a coach for his daughters’ little league teams and as an umpire. He was an avid Eagles fan. In his free time, George enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family. In keeping with his philosophy of always helping others, George worked as a social worker in child protective services in Lehigh County and then in Warren County, N.J. He finished his career working for the Superior Court of New Jersey as a court mediator in Warren, Hunterdon and Somerset counties. He took pride in his work and helped so many.
Taras Markus ('61), 78, passed away peacefully at his home November 3rd, 2020. Taras resided in Port Richey, Florida.
Frederick Lee Wendorf ('63), 74, passed away on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, after a prolonged illness. Fred was born on October 9, 1945, at Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Yukon, Fla. He attended Cave Spring High School and Fork Union Military Academy. Fred was a graduate of Wake Forest University with majors in Political Science and Communications, and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order. Fred went on to serve as VP of Marketing for Dynamics, Inc. and founded American Independent Marketing Inc. where he served as President and CEO until 1973. He later formed a consulting company, Limited Editions Ltd. In 1988, he founded Commercial Leasing Corporation and Lenders Leasing Corp (trading as Lease Southeast) as well as Equipment Distribution Systems (EDASCO). Fred was also involved in the executive management of AL&F Limited Partners and Wendorf Family, LLC. A T1D himself, Fred was a staunch advocate for Juvenile Diabetes research. He was proud to be a past President and board member of the Greater Blue Ridge Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He was instrumental in helping to build funding for the continuing search for a cure for diabetes, the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Charles "Charlie" Owen Wilson ('70), died on September 4, 2020. Charlie resided in Lorton, Virginia.
William Edward "Billy" Blowe ('88), 51, died on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC. Billy grew up in Elizabeth City, NC where he lived until recently moving to Greenville, NC. He excelled in football in high school and played one season at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, prior to a knee injury. Billy’s love for football eventually led him to join the coaching staff at Northeastern High School. Billy worked for over 20 years with the NC Department of Corrections and held the position of Captain for many of them. Billy had a remarkable sense of humor and was very quick on his feet. He had the ability to keep his friends laughing and had an infectious smile that will never be forgotten. Billy loved East Carolina Football and attended home games whenever he could. On summer days, he could be found fishing at Oregon Inlet or just taking in the rays on the beach. He enjoyed hunting and spending time with his family and friends. Billy was smart, fun loving, and a friend to many.
Jerome Lenzy Darden ('85), died on November 4th, 2020. Jerome was from Girard Ohio.
Travis Vaughn Hall Sr. ('84), 54, of Henrico, Va., passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at Henrico Doctors' Hospital. Travis attended Virginia Wesleyan University. He was co-founder of American Security Group, a local private security business in Richmond, Va. He had previously worked for the Currituck County Sheriff's office and the Richmond City Sheriff's Office. He will be remembered for his lively sense of humor, charm, charisma and deep love for his family and friends. He loved the beach, where he spent many summers in Duck, N.C., where he was a member of the Duck Volunteer Fire Department. He was often referred to as the "mayor" of his neighborhood pool.
Heath “Blake” King, Sr. ('86), 53, died on September 19, 2020, in Pompano Beach, Florida. He excelled in sports while attending Fork Union. Blake attended College of Boca Raton Culinary Program in Boca Raton, Florida. A master of his own craft and a chef, Blake loved to exhibit his culinary skills while sharing his delicious recipes with all he encountered from coast to coast. One of his most treasured memories was cooking Allman's BBQ with his father, J.C. and his son, Blake Jr. After the birth of his first child, Blake immersed himself in the teachings of Billy Graham and the Holy Bible. In 1999 while staying with his sister Cheryl, he found the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior.
Wayne Albin Lander ('85), 53, of Rockdale, IL passed away peacefully in his home on January 1, 2021; after a brief stay at Silver Cross Hospital with congestive heart failure. He grew up in New Lenox; attended Haines Grade School and 1st year st Lincoln-Way High School Then moved to Virginia. Graduated from Fork Union Military Academy, Virginia with honors including 4 years a member of the aspired to attend U.S. Naval Academy, unable due to health reasons. Wayne was a member of the N.R.A. as a qualified sharp shooter. Wayne retired from Catipiller, Joliet, IL after 25 plus years. He was a member of International Association od Machinist Union : Local Lodge 851 where he served as Vice-President for over 6 years. Interests were books, movies, politics, and religion.
Matthew Dennis Schuler ('93), 46, of Big Bear Lake, California, passed away on Sunday, June 21, 2020. Matthew had a great passion for life including travel, music, and pursuing a career in the film industry, landing him small parts in various movies and videos. He also spent many years working as a bartender and restaurateur, in 2013 he opened nine Restaurant in Wilmington, N.C. He was a strong advocate for those working in hospitality and very involved with his community. Matthew was an avid sports fan (Go Red Sox!) and athlete, playing many sports throughout high school and college including basketball, football, and baseball. This led him to proudly coach and support his nieces and nephews in their athletic ventures.
Jonathan Kane Smith (‘94), passed away on December 20, 2020. Jonathan resided in Brecksville, Ohio.
Joshua Mark Everett ('16), 21, of Ellicott City, Maryland, passed away on March 5, 2020. He most recently worked in the automotive industry. Joshua was a compassionate soul. He was a hard worker and loved football, music and aspired to someday work in the sports management industry.
Ibraheem Shaikh ('20) died on May 11, 2020. Ibraheem resided in Annandale, Virginia.
Errors and Omissions - Our goal is to honor all Fork Union Military Academy alumni, staff, and faculty that passed away during the stated period. If we failed to include someone from our community please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the information, preferably an obituary.