Washington column for Aug. 8

20 years of memories

Retirement is an event many people eagerly anticipate. For Melbry “Mel” Paratore, executive assistant to the superintendent and school board clerk, retirement came on Wednesday, July 31. I got to know her well over the years, especially as she worked with the staff of the Rappahannock News. I cannot find the words to describe her. She always went out of her way to make sure we had everything we needed for the paper.

School board clerk Mel Paratore, who retired on July 31, poses with Amy Lilly, who, along with her big smile, stands ready to take over the position.
School board clerk Mel Paratore, who retired on July 31, poses with Amy Lilly, who, along with her big smile, stands ready to take over the position.

As Mel said, “It has been my sincere pleasure to work for the Rappahannock County Public Schools. I am thankful for the special relationships I’ve made with adults and children and am proud to be part of such a dedicated and hardworking group of county employees. As I look forward to retirement and having more time to spend with my family and friends, I reflect on 20 years of wonderful memories.”

Mel’s position passes on to Amy Lilly. Amy moved to this area in 2005, was hired as a school board receptionist in 2010 and became a deputy school board clerk in January. She’s worked closely with Mel to learn the board clerk duties and officially took over last Thursday (Aug. 1).

Mel will be missed by so many, but she will be remembered in our hearts for what she did for this community. Best of luck to both ladies!

Harris Hollow in the valley

On Saturday, Harris Hollow residents Diane DeBergh Moore, Debbie Flournoy and Debbie’s husband Bobby took a little trip over the mountain to the Yellow Barn at Shenandoah Caverns to watch the Shenandoah Jamboree, featuring Ben “Cooter” Jones and Cooter’s Garage Band, as well as Wilson Fairchild, Lisa Meadows and several other wonderful performers. “It was a fantastic show,” noted Diane.

Sympathy

Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue mourned the loss of life member Ed Clark (inset, shown building a garage in the 1980s)  with black bunting and a special message along Warren Avenue. Photo by Dennis Brack; inset, courtesy photo.
Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue mourned the loss of life member Ed Clark (inset, shown building a garage in the 1980s) with black bunting and a special message along Warren Avenue. Photo by Dennis Brack; inset, courtesy photo.

Sympathy goes out to the family of Edward Mathias Clark, 84, of Washington, who passed away last Thursday (Aug. 1) at Culpeper Regional Hospital. He was born Sept. 23, 1928 in Rappahannock County.

A happily retired carpenter, he was the eldest member of Washington Baptist Church and a founding member of the Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department. He loved running with the rescue squad and received an award in 2003 for his outstanding contributions to the county’s fire and rescue efforts; in 2009, he received the lifetime member award for WVFR. Mr. Clark greatly enjoyed watching the Washington Nationals and the Washington Redskins.

In his younger years he enjoyed playing baseball, hunting and fishing, but as time went on he simply enjoyed observing the wildlife. He loved camping and mowing his lawn. He will be missed by many.

A funeral service was held Monday at Washington Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Walt Childress and Rev. John Burke officiating. Interment followed in Washington Masonic Cemetery.

Welcome, and congrats

Mike Slater and his wife Tina Jones recently moved from Connecticut to Castleton (and recently became subscribers to the Rappahannock News). Tina celebrates her birthday on Tuesday, Aug. 20 — and the couple’s wedding anniversary is the same day. Best wishes to you both.

Have a  wonderful week!

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