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TAPS - September 2021 to December 2021

Date Posted:  Tuesday, October 12, 2021


September 2021 - December 2021

Faculty and Staff









Robert “Bob” Townsend Knox '53, 86, of Elon passed away on Sunday, October 10, 2021 at Alamance Regional Medical Center.  Born in Ashland, KY, he grew up in Huntington, West Virginia. He was the loving husband of Jean Hendley Knox, who survives and the son of the late Emory Knox and the late Beatrice Townsend Knox.  Bob attended Fork Union Military Academy for five years, graduating in 1953. He went on to graduate from Marshall University and later Duke Divinity School with a master’s degree in sacred theology. He also had extensive studies at Butner Rehabilitation Center and Dix Hill Mental Hospital in Raleigh, NC.  Bob served the United Methodist Church in the Virginia Conference. He served as an associate in Fairfax, then went on to start a thriving new church, Messiah Methodist in Springfield. He served churches in Waynesboro, Salem, Alexandria and Arlington, where he retired from Cherrydale United Methodist Church in 1999 and was awarded Pastor Emeritus of that church. He was a member of the Virginia Conference Board of Education, Conference Board of Pensions, Boards of Trustees for Ferrum College and Randolph- Macon Woman’s College. He served as Chairman for the Committee on Higher Education, Chaplain of the Practical Nursing Program, President of the Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry and three years as Chaplin of the Virginia Senate. He was active in the community, taking part in the local Councils on Mental Health, Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club. Bob was an instrumental part in starting the program “Life of Elon” at Elon University.  Fork Union Military Academy changed his life and gave him confidence in his abilities and a strong religious foundation. He preached at the Alumni Memorial services and addressed students on various occasions. He always tried to convey to the cadets at the academy an appreciation for both the education and character-building values that they were receiving.  Bob was an accomplished musician. He was an excellent pianist and played many other instruments. He enjoyed painting and was a big supporter of the arts.



Donald Eugene Oates ‘60, 81, of Hilton Head Island, SC, formally of Augusta, GA and Winchester, VA, passed away September 18th, 2021, after a short illness.  He was born October 6, 1939, the son of Clarence S. Oates, Sr, and Eva Pearl Cooper Oates.  He was the youngest of seven siblings, Wilbur (Buddy) Oates, Clarence (Sonny) Oates, Jr, Audrey Grimes, Elizabeth Madagan, Lillian McKown and Dorothy Cox Dodson, all deceased.  He is survived by three children, David W. Oates and Michael W. Oates of Winchester and Susan Oates Jones (Thomas) of Hilton Head Island, SC.  He is also survived by five grandchildren, Julia Oates Marple (Brandon) of Stephens City, Andrew Oates of Ranson, WV, Lindsay Jones of Mauldin, SC, Patrick Jones of Virginia Beach, VA, and Christopher Oates of Winchester, two great-grandchildren, Bryce and Lila Marple and numerous nieces and nephews.  Donnie attended John Handley High School where he excelled in football and basketball, winning numerous awards for his outstanding athletic achievements.  He was inducted into the Judges Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1990. He continued his athletic career at Fork Union Military Academy graduating in 1960.  He then attended Shenandoah College, where he was a leading scorer for the Hornets, graduating in 1962.  Don was the consummate salesman.  His career began during his college years at Kern Motor Company.  He then began working in the construction industry starting at Moore’s Lumber Supply Stores.  From there, he joined Frederick Block Company in Winchester, Riverton Corporation in Front Royal and finally, Medusa Cement in York, PA and then relocating to Augusta, GA.  He maintained his residence in Augusta from 1984 until moving to Hilton Head Island, SC in October 2020.  Quite the accomplished athlete, Don’s talents were always acknowledged whether on the football field, basketball court, baseball diamond or the golf course.  He was one of the first members of Carper’s Valley Golf Club in Winchester and it soon became his “second home”.  He won numerous tournaments there over the years as well as in other parts of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland.  In his spare time, he developed, produced, and marketed his own brand of barbeque sauce called “Southern Gentleman” and his own Bloody Mary mix called “Country Club Mix”. Perhaps his greatest asset was his ability to engage people from all walks of life, whether in debates over politics, sharing his latest “best” recipe, or sharing his views of the sporting world.  He was definitely a “people” person who enjoyed life and lived it to its fullest.








Rodney Arthur “Moose” Myles ’85, Mr. Myles passed away unexpectedly Sept. 19 in Myrtle Beach. Born Sept. 18, 1966 in Charleston, W.Va., he was the son of the late James Nelson Myles and Ruth Ella Myles. Rodney attended St. Albans High school in St. Albans W.Va., where he played basketball. He went on to play basketball at Fork Union Military Academy, Radford University, and then Alderson-Broaddus University. After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, he returned to West Virginia where he pursued a career in sales, occasionally working with sports-related industries for leisure. 






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.