Mar. 21, 2022
December 2021 - April 2022 Faculty and Staff William Harris "Bill" Miller, age 87, of Fork Union, Virginia, passed away on February 24, 2022, at Morningside of Charlottesville. Bill was born on February 27, 1934, the youngest child and only boy of the late Burton Kindt and Frieda Koch Miller of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who predeceased him. […]...

December 2021 - April 2022


Faculty and Staff

William Harris "Bill" Miller, age 87, of Fork Union, Virginia, passed away on February 24, 2022, at Morningside of Charlottesville. Bill was born on February 27, 1934, the youngest child and only boy of the late Burton Kindt and Frieda Koch Miller of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who predeceased him. He was also preceded in death by brothers-in-law Charles "Pinky" Tertusek, Vincent J. McAndrew, Jack A. Campbell, and Leonard J. Mark; sister-in-law, Rose Marie Mark Campbell; nephews, James V. McAndrew, Robert B. McAndrew, and Charles A. Tertusek; and granddaughter, Kathryn Towler Shuman.  As a college freshman on December 26, 1953, Bill married his high school sweetheart Geraldine "Jell" Mark, and the couple lived in Charlottesville, Virginia until his graduation from the University of Virginia in 1958. Following graduation, Bill and Jell moved to Fork Union, Virginia, where he taught Algebra I and 2, and became the head postgraduate basketball coach at Fork Union Military Academy. He led the postgraduate program for 13 years and then served as the Assistant Athletic Director, a position he held until his retirement in 1997.  At Fork Union, Bill and Jell not only created a loving family, but were instrumental in creating a tight-knit community of colleagues and families that added fulfillment to their lives. Bill recruited and mentored countless Fork Union cadets in athletics and academics, many of them from his beloved Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. Bill took his role as a mentor, coach, and teacher to Fork Union cadets and members of the Fork Union community as a privilege.  Bill was an excellent athlete. He graduated from Bethlehem High School, currently known as Liberty High School, in 1952, having lettered in basketball, baseball, soccer and football. As a high school senior, he was named to the First Team All-East Pennsylvania League Team, won the Bethlehem Boy's Club Athlete of the Year award, and was named to the United Press and the Associated Press First Team All-State Pennsylvania Basketball Teams. He also recorded a perfect game while on the diamond as a left-handed pitcher in baseball.  Following graduation, Bill accepted a basketball scholarship to Villanova University. Unhappy there, he left Philadelphia in November of 1952 before his freshman basketball season began, and through a Bethlehem High School friend, he landed at Fork Union Military Academy – sight unseen – in time to play on the postgraduate team. At FUMA, he made the First Team All-Military Virginia team and head coach Bus Male recruited and signed him to play basketball at the University of Virginia. At UVa, Bill was a three-year starter at point guard, playing as a sophomore with famed Buzzy Wilkinson. As a pass-first point guard, Bill, along with scorer Buzzy, made a great combination, and they became lifelong friends. Bill ended his Cavalier career with scoring 949 points in 70 games over three seasons, was the team captain his senior year, and earned Second Team All-ACC Tournament Team honors in 1956 and 1957. He was credited with the first triple-double in ACC history on Feb 1, 1955, scoring 11 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists, in a 98-91 loss to No. 6-ranked NC State. Bill also lettered in baseball for two years and soccer for one year at UVa.  Bill was inducted into the Lehigh Valley Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979, the Liberty High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Fork Union Military Academy Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.  Bill and Jell were married for 66 years until her passing in 2020.

Alumni

1940s

Erik Robert Christensen died peacefully in his home in Newark, Delaware, on Friday, March 18th. He was 90 years old. He was surrounded by his beloved wife Shirley and his two sons, Steven and Paul.  Erik was the second of five children of Anna and Erik Christensen who immigrated from Denmark. He grew up in Woodbridge, New Jersey and met his wife Shirley at Woodbridge High School. He graduated from Woodbridge, The Fork Union Military Academy, and the University of Richmond. In high school, he played football, basketball, and ran track and went on to Richmond on a football scholarship. In 1956, his senior year he was named to the College All Star team that played against the Chicago Bears, the then NFL football champion, in an exhibition game. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 1956 and played two years of professional football for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League before injuries ended his career. In his later years, he was inducted into the Woodbridge High School, Fork Union Military Academy and University of Richmond Football Halls of Fame. He loved football and was passionate about Fork Union and the Richmond Spiders for his whole life. He would not have been able to attend college without football.  While in college he joined the Army and served both in the Army and the Army Reserves rising to the rank of Captain. Had it not been for football he may have become a career military officer, and he loved the Army dearly.  After football, Erik went on to a career in sales and management selling industrial and commercial construction products with Johns Manville, Price Brothers, and Harco. He developed strong relationships with many of his contractor clients and became a mentor to many salespeople over the course of his career, many of them becoming lifelong friends. He loved the people part of the business.  Raising two boys he taught them football, basketball, baseball and golf and the power of hard work, which ran in the family, across two immigrant families. Erik was a big, open man, who always had a story or joke and loved being with family and friends whether on the sidelines of a sporting event or on a golf course. The spark and joy of his life came from his deep lifelong love of Shirley who always lit up his life. He loved being around his grandchildren, great grandchildren and his many nieces and nephews who were always near and dear to his heart.

Dr. Charles Porter Fletcher, 95, was called by his Savior on Feb. 9, 2022 from his earthly house to the House of the Lord to live forever. "Charlie" was born and raised in Ocean View by his loving parents, Bluke and Catharine and attended Fork Union Military Academy. One of the last of "The Greatest Generation", he joined the Army Air Corps and attended Biarritz American University. Back home, he graduated from ODU, VA Tech and the MCV School of Dentistry. At MCV, he was a member of Sigma Zeta, the national science and mathematics honor society. Later, he received an honorary doctorate from EVMS and the Distinguished Alumni Award from ODU.  Dr. Fletcher loved his patients and enjoyed "every single day" of his fifty-year general dental practice in Kempsville. Fletchers Arch, a street near his office is named after him.  Always willing to serve his community, Dr. Fletcher was acting president of WVAB Radio Station, chairman of the board of AAA Tidewater, director and chairman of the Board of First Coastal Bank, chairman of the board of Virginia Beach Federal Mortgage Company, and director of First and Merchants National Bank of Richmond and the Bank of Virginia Beach, as well as, member and vice chairman of the VA Beach School Board and chairman of the Norfolk Medical Center Planning Board. Dr. Fletcher has been an active member in the Tidewater, Virginia and American Dental Associations, and was an advisor to ODU on vocational education and dental hygiene and a clinical instructor and guest lecturer. He was a Fellow in The American College of Dentists.  Dr. Fletcher is a former rector and member of the Board of Visitors of EVMS. Having been an EVMS trustee since 1991, Dr. Fletcher voluntarily served in leadership for more than three decades at the medical school. The Fletcher Conference Room, on the top floor of the Hofheimer Building on the EVMS campus was named in his honor.  Charlie attended church at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay where he was able to help provide a sacred place for the Hoy Center, The Fletcher Prayer Room to honor his precious Juanita and the dedicated Hoy staff who cared for her there. The family would like to thank the Westminster Canterbury Hospice staff, who recently helped him at home. Previously, Charlie had attended First Presbyterian Church and served as an adult Sunday School teacher and an elder.

Carroll WiIliams '49, of Chevy Chase, Maryland

1950s

Kennard Smith Vandergrift Jr. was born November 11, 1934, in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, and died peacefully on February 1st in San Antonio.  He experienced the beginning of WWII when his home in Schofield Barracks was strafed by a plane as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and other military installations on Oahu, Hawaii.  He graduated from Fork Union Military Academy and attended the University of Richmond. He was Senior Class Secretary, lettered in track, Scabbard and Blade (honorary military society), and fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. He graduated with a BA and commission as a 2nd. Lt US Army Artillery.  He served twenty plus years as a U.S. Army officer. He commanded a field artillery battery with the 1st How. Bn. (SP), 22nd Field Artillery, 4th Armored Division in Germany and then attended airborne school where he earned his parachute wings.  He was assigned an Infantry position in Vietnam as Senior District Advisor in Phu My District, II Corps. He commanded a team working with the local paramilitary and US forces of the 1st Air Calvary Division in operations against the enemy. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star, the Cross of Gallantry (Silver Star) and National Honor Medal by the government of South Viet Nam.  He served on the Army General Staff, in the Pentagon, as Executive Assistant to MG Freund, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence. He was involved in intelligence meetings with the CIA, briefings for the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Westmoreland and of all the intelligence chiefs of the US Services. He was awarded the Army General Staff Identification Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal.  His final assignment in Hawaii was to command and control operations for the Commander-in-Chief Pacific where he was awarded the Legion of Merit.  He is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College where his classmate, carpool, and poker friend would later become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State – Colin Powell.  After the Army, he was the Vice President at International Savings and Loan and later Administrative Manager at the BHP petroleum refinery in Hawaii.  In his retirement years he spent enjoyable time travelling, visiting over 60 countries and 49 states. He made over 30 cruises, including two transatlantic. He enjoyed playing golf with friends and was also an accomplished ukulele player.

1960s

John Ely '66 of Winchester, Virginia

Daniel O’Neil Hulihan '63, 76, faithful husband of Barbara Hulihan, entered into the arms of Jesus on Sunday, May 30, 2021.  Born in Oklahoma City, OK, he was the son of the late Jack and Lillian Widdowson Hulihan.  Dan was a born again believer in Jesus Christ and was a longtime member of Calvary Church in Santa Ana, CA where he taught both adult and children’s classes. In his later years, he attended First Baptist Church in Mauldin, SC.  An avid reader throughout his life, Dan never tired of learning more about history and the Bible and often said to “search the Scriptures and the Scriptures will search you.” He had an extremely generous spirit and truly lived as a servant for God and not for the approval of men. Long distance truck driving and construction work occupied his days. Yet with every spare moment, he made time to invest in others and build the foundation for his grateful family.

James Thomas "Jimmy" Disosway, 71, of Liberty, passed away on Monday, January 10, 2022.  James served bravely in search and rescue services in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and at various duty stations including Shemya Air Force Base in Alaska and Pope Air Force Base and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. Following his military service, James worked as a long distance truck driver for many years. His greatest joy was caring for and showing his dogs, Dalmatians and Boston Terriers.

1980s

Todd Wayne Vogel was born on March 24, 1971 in Edison, NJ and passed away on February 18, 2021

1990s

Wesley "Brent" Bumgarner, 47, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.  Brent was born in Gastonia, NC to Candler and Kandy Bumgarner. He attended St. Michael's Catholic School, Fork Union Military Academy and graduated from Gaston Day School.  As a boy and young man Brent had many hobbies and enjoyed participating in numerous sports, such as BMX bike racing, swimming, skateboarding, golf, tennis, billiards, snowboarding and wakeboarding. He also liked to play chess, read books, listen to music and draw.  He was attending college in Charlotte when, at the age of 24, he was involved in a devastating car accident that left him a blind quadriplegic. Fortunately, he was able to use voice activated equipment to work on his computer, listen to music, call family and friends, and watch movies or listen to audio books. He also collected postcards from all over the world and requested family and friends send him one as they traveled. One of his biggest passions was music and he had a vast and varied collection. Over the years, and with the help of amazing friends, he had his own radio show at Gaston College, hosted his own podcast (Organized Confusion) that was listened to in twenty countries and used special equipment to create artwork that was later shown at a gallery in Charlotte.  In spite of his severe disabilities, he maintained a wonderful attitude, a great sense of humor, much patience and a deep love of God. He lived his life with grace, resilience, and courage. As Christopher Reeve once said, "A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." There are many brave people in the world and Brent was among the bravest and strongest. He will always be our hero.

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