The Rapp column for Aug. 11

Cooperative venture

If you are one of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s customer-owners and have something to say about REC’s support for a plan to build what would be the largest single coal-fired power plant in the state, you can say it at the cooperatives’s annual meeting 8 a.m. Saturday at Liberty High School in Bealeton. For more information, contact REC at 800-552-3904.

Taste of Rappahannock

One of last year's Taste of Rappahannock auctioned artworks. Photo by Molly Peterson.

Get ready for a magical evening as Headwaters Foundation presents the 14th annual Taste of Rappahannock at 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at Belle Meade Farm, Sperryville.

“This year’s Taste planning committee is creating a setting that will sparkle and glitter to create a memorable evening at what has become one of the county’s most popular social events of the year on behalf of a most worthy cause,” said Ashleigh Cannon-Sharp, who co-chairs the planning committee for this year’s dinner with Terri Lehman. More than 100 volunteers are involved in making the event happen.

Individual seating tickets are $150 per person. Reservations must be made by Sept. 5. Either respond to the printed invitation or contact Headwaters executivedirector Jane Bowling-Wilson at 540-987-3322 or

This year’s printed invitation once again features the artwork of artist and Rappahannock resident Jeff MacNelly, who died in 2000.

The event features a wine tasting reception with artisanal Rappahannock wines, buffet dinner using locally sourced foods and is served with the help of students from Rappahannock High School’s culinary class. An auction with a wide range of attractions will top the evening, all to benefit the Headwaters programs.

Funding for this year’s $10,000 “challenge grant” was made possible by generous gifts from, among others, Over Jordan Farm. Challenge donations will be dedicated to funding new Headwaters initiatives, such as the After-School Pilot Program, the Internship Program and the Anti-Bullying Program at both the elementary and high schools.

New executive director Jane Bowling-Wilson is moving quickly forward at the helm of the foundation’s robust, long-lived programs, including Farm-to-Table, Starfish Mentoring and Next Step, and its supportive teacher mini-grants and complementary staff development efforts.

Headwaters began 15 years ago with the mission to foster educational excellence in Rappahannock County by cultivating cooperative spirit and resources of the entire county to benefit students.— Laura Overstreet

Lea: A life remembered

Photo of T.C. Lea courtesy of family.

T.C. Lea, a Rappahanock native and well-known Culpeper attorney who often practiced law in Rappahannock, passed away Friday morning after an extended illness.

Thurmond Carlyle Lea Jr., whose was fondly known as “TC,” loved life and loved the law. He is remembered by friends with such terms as “very personable” and “resilient.”

He had recently turned 74, but remained active with his firm, Lea Law in Orange, until 2010.

“I remember T.C. as having a very pleasant ‘country’ disposition,” said V.R. Shackelford III, like Lea, an Orange attorney who also practices in Culpeper and has served as a public defender. “He was a man of resilience and he showed real ability to overcome adversity.”

Lee was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1962 and Shackelford said he got to know him after graduating from law school in 1974.

Orange County Commonwealth Attorney Diana Wheeler worked with Lea since 1993, long before she was elected to her present position in 2004.

“He was a very personable man, very pleasant, even when we were on opposing sides in a case,” she said. “He was a defense attorney that worked tirelessly for his clients. He was very interested in them as people and not just clients. He helped them find work and housing.

Walker said Lea had a “great sense of humor. He was fun to be around,” she said. “I will miss him.”

Lea was born and spent his childhood in Washington, Va. He graduated from Augusta Military Academy in 1955 and from Virginia Tech in 1959. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond in 1962.

Lea is survived by his wife, Frances Fletcher Lea, six children, 13 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and his sister, May Massie Maphis. His eldest daughter passed before he did.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 119 Caroline St. in Orange. Private interment will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the T.C. Lea Jr. Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 93, Orange, Va. 22960. The fund has been established by the family to “continue to honor a lifetime of generosity both at home and abroad,” according to information from Clore-English Funeral Home.— Ray Finefrock, Culpeper Times

About Staff/Contributed 5503 Articles
The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to or call us at 540-675-3338.