Thursday, July 1, 2021
June 2021 - September 2021
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.
Ellis Grey Winstead, Jr., '49, 90, died September 2, 2021 at his residence in the Teloga Community of Summerville, Georgia. Mr. Winstead was born Dec. 19, 1930. He was the son of the late Dr. Ellis G. Winstead, Sr. and Anne Murphy Winstead. In addition to his mother and father, he was predeceased by his two sisters, Leah Dae W. (James) Younce and Anne W. (Charles) Clark and their husbands. Ellis married his childhood sweetheart, "Julie." They fell in love at the tender age of seven (Ellis) and six (Julie), and they often told the story of how Julie would ride on the handlebars of Ellis's bike in the little town of Belhaven, N.C., where they were raised. They remained sweethearts through his school years at Fork Union Military Academy, Va. and her school years in Pantego, N.C. Ellis married Julie in 1952, the same year he graduated from NC State University with a degree in civil engineering. Soon after, he entered the Air Force, serving during the Korean War. In 1953, they began raising a family of their own. After the Air Force, Ellis worked in the home construction industry and fire insurance underwriting field before settling into a career as a life insurance agent in the early 1960s. Over his six decades in life insurance, he served many clients, most of whom stayed with him until their deaths and then helped the families settle their estates. Many of his clients and fellow agents became lifelong friends and they shared many adventures together camping, fishing, houseboating on Lake Lanier, raising children, enjoying the fruits of their labors, and helping neighbors in their north Atlanta communities. In 2003, Ellis and Julie moved from Atlanta to Summerville to join their eldest son, Grey, and his family in the Teloga community. They built a new home on Grey’s farm, and Ellis learned how to become a remote, digitally engaged life insurance agent, long before remote working was the norm. He worked until his failing vision made it too difficult to see and gave up his last two clients in 2020. Ellis loved working with his hands and used his at-home "shop" to build and repair everything from furniture to boats to electronics. He loved all kinds of fishing and boating. He loved telling jokes and having a good laugh. He loved his family and friends, and they loved him. Most of all he loved the only sweetheart of his life, his wife of 69 years, Julie. He will be missed by all who came to know him. His family is imagining him sharing a laugh with the Almighty as they wait for our arrival one day.
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) 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.
Dr. Jon William "Buck" Couch '54, 85, died on Friday, August 20, 2021, at Clapp's Convalescent Nursing Center in Asheboro, North Carolina, after suffering a stroke five years ago. He was born in Durham, North Carolina, on April 10, 1936, the eldest son of the late Leamon F. Couch, Sr. and Gladys Andrews Couch, and brother of Janet Couch Teer and Leamon F. "Lea" Couch, Jr., who survive him.
Buck graduated from high school at the Fork Union Military Academy in 1954, where he played football and served as the drum major of the marching band. He graduated from Duke University with a bachelor of arts degree in English in 1958, and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. At Duke he participated on the school lacrosse and club football teams, and was an avid golfer. While in college he enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve, where he served as a hospital corpsman assigned to a Marine Corps reserve unit. He later received an honorable discharge from the Navy in 1964 after attaining the rank of Hospital Corpsman Second Class (HM2). After working in his father's furniture store in Durham, Buck entered dental school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1961. Upon his graduation in 1965, he opened a dental office in Asheboro, North Carolina, where he practiced for the next twenty-nine years. He was known as a skilled and compassionate dentist, who provided his services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Throughout his life Buck was an active member of the Randolph County community. As a member of First Presbyterian Church in Asheboro he sang in the choir and taught Sunday School. For his many years of service as the leader of Cub Scout Pack 525 he was awarded the prestigious Silver Beaver Award by the Boy Scouts of America. He sang tenor as a member of the Randolph Community Choir. In his later years he was instrumental in establishing the Asheboro Shelter of Hope by contributing many volunteer hours and finances to supply a kitchen. He was an active member of Back Creek Friends Meeting Church from 2007 until his death. Buck was an avid supporter of all levels of youth athletics as a coach for many baseball, football, and golf teams; and in his participation as an umpire, referee and rules official for high school and collegiate teams. In 1978, he attended Major League Baseball's Bill Kinnamon Umpire School in Clearwater, Florida, which led to his career as a baseball umpire at the collegiate level in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The highlight of his umpire career were his assignments to two spring exhibition games between the UNC Tarheels and the New York Yankees played in Chapel Hill in 1979 and 1981. He participated as a rules official for the NCAA Women's Golf Division II National Championship tournaments in 2002 and 2003.
Lloyd Dobyns '53, an award winning NBC News correspondent and anchor during the 70s and 80s known for his robust reporting and wry delivery, died Sunday, August 22nd, in Mebane, North Carolina, from complications following a series of strokes. He was 85. Dobyns was an NBC News correspondent in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, but is particularly remembered for the innovative late night news series NBC News Overnightwhere he was teamed with Linda Ellerbee. The program was known for the insightful writing of its two anchors as well as its sardonic tone. A graduate of Washington and Lee University, Dobyns was born in Newport News, Virginia on March 12, 1936. After a stint as an officer in the US Army, he got his start in broadcasting as a reporter for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1957. Three years later, he began anchoring the news at the local NBC affiliate in the Tidewater area of Virginia (WAVY-TV), then became news director, where he was responsible for several progressive changes, including hiring the area’s first female TV reporter at a time when television news was primarily a man’s game. He left Virginia in 1969 for New York, first as Managing Editor of WNEW-TV, then as part of the NBC News team. At NBC, he worked as a foreign correspondent, then was brought back to New York by legendary producer Reuven Frank to anchor the groundbreaking TV news magazine, Weekend. When reporters asked Frank to describe “this guy Dobyns,” he answered, “well, he writes like David Brinkley and looks like Charles Bronson.” Dobyns set the style for Weekend, a writing and reporting style that continued after he was joined by Linda Ellerbee – the first time the irreverent duo were paired. “He was a friend, teacher, trouble-maker, and a world-class journalist,” said Ellerbee, “I shall miss him more than I can say.” After leaving NBC News Overnight, Dobyns anchored the short-lived but critically acclaimed TV magazine Monitor. Later, in a documentary titled If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?, he reported on the Japanese boom at a time when American manufacturing was faltering. The success of this documentary led him to co-write several books about Japan’s economic success with NBC News producer Clare Crawford-Mason. “I learned a lot about journalism and how to deliver it by watching Lloyd—here was an old-school journalist inventing a new school of journalism every night on NBC," said Brian Williams, chief anchor at MSNBC. "Lloyd was wry without being snarky, he was smart but never pedantic, he was dry by design...but never boring. He firmly believed: he was a delivery system. The news was the star of the broadcast." During his long career with NBC News, Dobyns won more than two dozen awards for reporting, writing, and anchoring. "Lloyd was a man ahead of his time,” said Richard C. Wald, former president of NBC News, now Fred Friendly Professor of Professional Practice in Media and Society at Columbia University. “He had what is now called edge. In service to that style he brought experience, intelligence and a subversive humor that made anything he did identifiably Dobyns." When he retired from television in 1986, Dobyns occupied the Ayers Chair at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, then moved back to Virginia in 2004 where for several years he wrote and hosted award-winning podcasts for Colonial Williamsburg, interviewing historians, writers and other authorities on America’s past. In 2003, Dobyns was inducted into the Virginia Hall of Fame for the body of his work over the years.
Nicholas (Nick) A. Falbo '56, 84, of Palm City, FL, formerly of Old Tappan NJ, passed away peacefully on August 4, 2021 with his loving family by his side. He was of Greek decent and Greek Eastern Orthodox faith. Nick was born in Manhattan, NY on July 10, 1937 to Alexander and Argo (née Maravias) Falbo, originally from Smyrna, Turkey. Nick attended Fort Lee High School and graduated from Fork Union Military Academy in 1956. He received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Farleigh Dickenson University in 1961. He was stockbroker and financial adviser on Wall Street for 58 years, retiring on December 30, 2020. Nick was also a Staff Sgt in US Army Reserves and served as Medic. One of his many accomplishments was serving as Council President and Police Commissioner on the Mayor and Council in Old Tappan, NJ for 16 years from 1980-1996.
Walter Sammons Howard, Jr. '53, was born September 5th, 1935, in Milford, DE to the late Mildred H. Tyndall Howard and Walter S. Howard. He attended school at Lewes High School and later Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, where he became major of his battalion. He then attended Braden’s Prep School, preparing him to enter into West Point. His preparation was shortened due to Governor Boggs of Delaware honoring him with an apprentice pilot position in Lewes, DE. This position later became a career for him as a Delaware Bay and River Ship Pilot. IN November of 1998, after 44 years of service, Mr. Howard retired. When the Howards moved from Mendenhall, PA to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1985, Mr. Howard was able to enjoy his hobbies which included boating and traveling. Mr. Howard was a member of the Masons (Jefferson Lodge #15) and the Nanticoke River Yacht Club.
James "Jim" B. Wheat '67, 71, departed this life on Friday, August 13, 2021 after fighting a long battle with diabetes and cancer. He was born in Hampton, VA. He spent most of his life on the Peninsula and he loved Williamsburg. Jim graduated from Fork Union Military Academy before attending William and Mary College. During his college years, he played football, baseball, rugby and enjoyed the fraternity life. He was also active in the drama department, performing in "Man of La Mancha" and "The Common Glory". After leaving William and Mary, Jim worked for the Williamsburg Pottery. He then became a part-owner of the Short Stop Deli, where he worked for several years before building his own business in Newport News.
Paul Wildasin '62, passed away at his home on July 19. Best known as “The Woodstock Florist”, Paul owned and operated his store for over 25 years. Upon its closure in 2005, he was employed as a Lister for the town, and as host at several area restaurants, until his retirement in 2020. He was a congregant and lay-preacher at St. James for over 25 years. He also served on various committees and boards throughout town. Paul was raised in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the only son of Geraldine and Melvin Wildasin. He attended schools in Hanover, PA, Fork Union, VA, and East Millinocket, ME.Paul received his B.S. in Environmental and Soil Studies from U. Maine, Orono and his M.Div. from the Kentucky Theological Seminary, Lexington. He was especially proud of his Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, and traced his family roots back 10 generations to Southern Germany. Paul enjoyed working, driving around town in his ‘73 Pontiac Lemans, spending time with his family and friends, cooking,attending services at St. James, reading, sitting on his deck, gardening, watching and discussing politics, and his annual vacations to Honolulu, Hawai’i.
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.