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TAPS - June 2021 to September 2021

Date Posted:  Thursday, July 1, 2021


June 2021 - September 2021

Faculty and Staff

Fletcher M. Arritt  '60, 79, Jr. was born in Fayetteville, WV. His proud parents were the late Fletcher M. and Sarah B. Arritt. He left us to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, after a long battle with Alzheimer's. He had two brothers, David (deceased), and his wife, Maria and their five children; and John and his wife, Cathy and their two children. Fletcher is also survived by his his wife/ "girlfriend" of 55 years, Betty Jean (BJ) and their three children: son, Benjamin and his wife, Amanda and their children, William and Elizabeth; son, Fletcher III and his wife, Sonia, and their children, Daniela and Fletcher IV.; and daughter, Amy Jean Berry and her husband, Brooks their children, Noah, Lucas, and Emma Jean. He truly loved his family, nieces, nephews and was proud of their families.  Fletcher's love for Christ was demonstrated by serving at his church (Fork Union Baptist), his community, and his work. Throughout his life he was active in sports, most avidly basketball and running. He enjoyed fishing on the James and listening to the trains. He taught biology and coached at Fork Union Military Academy for 46 years. He was well-known as the head coach of the post graduate basketball team at FUMA, and started the basketball summer camp with his wife, which continues. He has been recognized by his school and the state of Virginia as well as nationally. In 2018, his home court at FUMA was dedicated to him. Those who knew him well, knew he did not believe in trophies. His desire for people, not limited to those he coached or taught, was to inspire them to improve, learn and grow as reflected in the motto "Body, Mind, Spirit." He was old school, the straight arrow, and loyal to a fault. He enjoyed the continued contact of many friends, family, coaches, and players throughout the years. We will end as he always ended his conversations, "God Bless."

John Howard Garber Jr., 95, of Jeffersonton, Culpeper County, died Thursday, July 22, 2021.  Born in 1926 in Hampton, VA, John was the middle child of five of Dr. John H. and Ammie Glenn Garber. All his life he was aware of the responsibility of being a PK (pastor's kid) and conducted himself accordingly.  He graduated from Hampton High School in 1943 and proudly attended Crabber reunions until 2015. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in political science from the University of Richmond. After finishing his freshman year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving during 1945-46 as a radar operator aboard the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Los Angeles (CA-135). Returning to college after the war, he met fellow student Kitty on a blind date set up by an SAE fraternity brother. John packed a lot into 1949: he married Kitty in January; graduated with a Bachelor's degree in June; and was awarded his Master's degree in September. A stickler for perfection, Kitty insisted on typing the manuscript through numerous revisions for his Master's thesis.  The young couple then moved to North Carolina so John could begin work on a doctorate at the University of North Carolina, with an eye toward becoming a college professor. He said he dropped those plans to get a job so he and his wife could eat regularly. He then worked as an instructor at Fork Union Military Academy.  He started his nearly 40-year career with The United Way of America in Richmond. He said he considered his work for a charity to be a form of ministry, not unlike the calling of both his father and brother to the Baptist ministry. He rose through the ranks to retire as a group vice president. Following his retirement, his many friends in the United Way established the John H. Garber Jr. Minority Development Award In honor of his extensive commitment and work to help develop the careers of his minority colleagues.  After retirement John volunteered for multiple charities (including the United Way) that reflected his quiet dedication to community engagement. He was named to the Board of Trustees of the Culpeper County Library. He was a longtime member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Culpeper.  John and Kitty traveled around the world during retirement, sometimes taking a grand child along. John said his favorite destination was Italy. They were visiting Barbados in 1983 when nearby Grenada was invaded and they observed U.S. military aircraft being loaded and preparing for takeoff.  They took delight in their grandchildren and great-grand children. John built a swimming pool (at Kitty's insistence) at their retirement home specifically for the grandchildren. Annual trips to the beach with their three sons and their families became a family tradition.  John's favorite retirement pastime was golfing with his buddies, making good-natured bets on the outcome - losers had to buy the milkshakes. One son said "I think Dad bought a lot of those."

Jack Thompson, 84, of Atlanta, Georgia.  Click here to read the tribute to the legendary Georgia Tech Athletics figure.







Robert Louis Bousman '56, 82, of Leesburg, VA passed away peacefully in his sleep, Friday, July 2, 2021. He was born on February 22, 1939 in Washington, D.C. to Woodrow Wilson Bousman and Louise Carl.  “Bob” graduated from Fork Union Military Academy where he played several sports and was a successful marksman. In the summers, he lifeguarded at Washington Golf & Country Club. Bob was educated at the University of Virginia, earning a B.S. from the Commerce School becoming a lifelong, dedicated Cavalier. He was an officer for the Student Aid Foundation and an active Theta Delta Chi brother. During his time in Charlottesville, he worked at the famed “Eljo’s” men’s clothing store establishing his dapper dressing style.  Bob married Carolyn Olney in September 1959 and they have celebrated 61 years of love & devotion. After spending time on Wall Street, he began his investment career with Hornblower & Weeks in 1967 on Pennsylvania Avenue. Over the years, Bob moved offices from D.C. to Tysons Corner as a Senior VP, eventually settling in Leesburg, VA. He finished his career with Capital Securities in 2015.  Bob was active in his community with various organizations including the Purcellville Rotary Club as the Sergeant of Arms. He enjoyed many of their activities including his most favorite, caroling, to fundraise during the holidays. He was an active member of the Purcellville Golf and Country Club. During his life, he enjoyed racing cars, tennis, traveling, hunting, and entertaining — especially at annual hunt dinners. He was a famed story & joke teller, harmonica player, and yo-yo magician. When misbehaving as “PaPaw”, he entertained the grandchildren by reading them color-comics or the Wall Street Journal, held bubble-blowing contests, tickling “noogie”, assembling toys without using directions, or telling “fractured fairy tales”. He was a fan of the Redskins, the Nationals, and all UVA sports. Bob never met a stranger. He was deeply loved and he will be dearly missed by family and friends.

General John Thomas Chain Jr. '52 (born December 11, 1934)[1] is a retired U.S. Air Force General. He is also a director of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, ConAgra Foods, Inc., and Kemper Insurance Co., as well as holding other corporate offices.  Chain was born in Wilmington, Delaware, attended high school at Fork Union Military Academy and was a member of Fork Union Chapter of DeMolay International. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1956 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters in 1990, both from Denison University. While at Denison University, General Chain was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. In 1971 he graduated from the National War College and concurrently earned a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University.  John Chain had a wide and varied military career, serving in a number of powerful positions. He accrued over 5,000 flying hours (including 400 combat hours) in more than 45 different military aircraft. He is a master parachutist with 66 jumps, and has been awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Bronze Star.  Chain was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He received his pilot wings in 1957 and then entered combat crew training. From 1958 to 1959 the general was an F-100 Super Sabre pilot at Toul-Rosieres Air Base in France, and from 1959 to 1962 at Ramstein Air Base in West Germany. General Chain then served as a flight examiner at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. In 1964 he was assigned as a forward air controller in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. While there he became a master parachutist and flew Army O-1s and Air National Guard F-84 Thunderjets.  In 1966 Chain flew combat missions while assigned to Tan Son Nhut Air Base in South Vietnam. He then transferred to Washington, D.C. From 1969 to 1970, Chain was an exchange officer with the U.S. Department of State. He entered the National War College in 1970 and upon graduation was assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona as deputy commander for operations. In 1972 he became deputy commander for logistics.  In 1972 and 1973, Chain flew combat missions in F-4 Phantoms from Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand. Upon his return to the United States in 1973, he became deputy commander for operations at George Air Force Base, California. In 1974 he was assigned as vice commander at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where he flew as an aggressor pilot. He then transferred to Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base in 1975 as director of fighter and reconnaissance operations. In 1976 and 1977 he was assistant to the commander there.  Chain became the military assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force in 1978. He then served as deputy director of plans at Air Force headquarters until 1980, when he became director of operations. Chain was assigned as assistant deputy chief of staff for plans and operations in 1981 and became deputy chief of staff for plans and operations in 1982. He served as director of the Bureau of Politico Military Affairs for the Department of State from 1984 until 1985, when he became chief of staff for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium.  On July 1, 1985, Chain was promoted to general. In 1986 he became commander in chief of Strategic Air Command, where he oversaw the LGM-118A Peacekeeper operations for the Reagan Administration. He retired from the military on January 31, 1991.  After his retirement from the Air Force, Chain devoted himself full-time to corporate management. In March 1991 he became executive vice president for Burlington Northern Railroad, a position he held for five years. He was also special assistant to the chairman of that company in 1995 and 1996. In 1996 he became president of Quarterdeck Equity Partners, a position he held until 2002. Chain became a member of the board of directors of Thomas Group, a management consulting company, in 1995, and was elevated to chairman of the board in 1998. He is also a director of RJ Reynolds, Inc., ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Kemper Insurance Co.. Chain's also served as a board member of Northrop Grumman, one of the world's largest defense contractors. He gained this position in 1991 and oversaw the company's dramatic growth throughout the 1990s.  John Chain has been active in politics, though mostly behind the scenes. He was a Bush Pioneer in 2000, meaning that he gathered $100,000 for George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. He was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.





Robert “Bob” Bellis '70, 68, of Byron, Illinois, passed away on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at UW Hospital, with his wife by his side.  He was born on Oct. 29, 1952, in Bethelem, Pa., the son of Robert S. Bellis and Doris E. Rundle.  Bob lived a productive life in his 68 years. From Fork Union Military Academy, Virginia to Swenson Spreader, Lindenwood, Ill., where he retired in March 2020.

Benjamin Gray Cottrell,V '79, 62, passed away on Friday, July 16, 2021 surrounded by his loving family and close friends. He battled cancers and heart issues for 13 years and finally succumbed to complications from sepsis. Known for his larger than life personality, and zest for adventure, Ben was a good friend and dedicated family man. Many of his happiest days were spent in the outdoors hunting in Virginia, Alaska and Canada or boating alongside his son, Gray.  Ben's children were his primary joy: daughter Sarah Cottrell Russell, (William Douglas Russell Jr.), granddaughter Nancy Gray and son Benjamin Gray Cottrell VI. Ben is survived by his dedicated wife of 30 years, Rebecca Decker Cottrell, his parents, Benjamin and Rachel Cottrell, sister Pace Edwards (Charlie Edwards) and his brother James Merrill Cottrell (Cassandra Cottrell); and four nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Grace and Merrill Koser and his paternal grandparents Zenovia and James Cottrell.  Born on June 19, 1959 in Coral Gables, Florida, Ben was a member of The Good Shepherd and Galilee Episcopal Churches. He attended Norfolk Collegiate School and was a graduate of Fork Union Military Academy. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute in 1983.  For 30 years, Ben presided as President to Cottrell Contracting Corporation; a company that was founded by his grandfather in 1928. During his tenure he led in the rapid growth of the company. Ben served as President of The Dredging Contractors of America several times during his career.  Everyone knew Ben as a generous individual. This was evident in his involvement in numerous organizations: Norfolk Collegiate School, The Williams School, The Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Eastern Virginia Medical School, VMI's Keydet Club and Vestry at The Church of the Good Shepherd. He also served on the Board of Physicians for Peace.





Corries Hardy '91, 49, of Bowie, MD passed away on June 27, 2021. Click for link to Washington Post article.

Larry Thompson '92, 49, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, July 15, 2021, at Northside Gwinnett Medical Center in Gwinnet County, Georgia. He was the son of the late John and Parthenia Thompson, born February 6, 1972 in Richmond. Larry attended Monacan High School and Fork Union Military Academy, graduating in 1992. He was an outstanding high school football player, making the All-Metro Football Team in Richmond in 1991. After high school, he attended and played football at Concord College in West Virginia. Larry worked as a truck driver most of his adult life until Covid-19 hospitalized him in September 2020. He loved being on the open road taking in the mountains and country air. He was a true "Mountain Man". Larry embraced life and enjoyed spending time with family and friends, trade penny stocks and crypto currency. He was also very passionate about his political beliefs which he loved to share with all that would listen or read.


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 with the information, preferably an obituary.