Washington column for July 17

Stepping down but not out

The law firm of Baumgardner, Brown & Cupp has announced that Douglas K. Baumgardner is retiring after more than 38 years of law practice. Doug began his practice after graduating from the University of Virginia’s School of Law in 1976, opening his office in Washington in 1977.

Doug Baumgardner in his office in 2010.
Doug Baumgardner in his office in 2010. Jan Clatterbuck | Rappahannock News

He served Rappahannock County as the Commonwealth’s Attorney from 1980-83, and county attorney from 1982-83; he was also the commissioner of accounts and represented the town of Washington as its attorney. Doug has an extensive background in local government law as well as all aspects of a general practice, including criminal law, domestic relations and civil litigation.

He has devoted much of his time in recent years to a diverse eminent domain law practice, helping many local landowners navigate their cases with VEPCO as well as representing the department of transportation.

“It has truly been an honor for me to serve the legal needs of this community,” said Doug, whose decision to retire was influenced by health problems caused by Parkinson’s disease. “I want to thank my clients for allowing me the opportunity to represent them.”

Doug and his law partners, Michael T. Brown and Melissa N. Cupp, have elected to dissolve their partnership. Brown says he will continue to practice law in Rappahannock County with his office in Doug’s building for the immediate future, while Cupp intends to limit her law practice to representing the Rappahannock County Department of Social Services.

“We hope to make the transition as smooth as possible for our clients,” said Brown. “Doug will be greatly missed in the legal community. The breadth and scope of his knowledge has provided guidance to all of us here.”

Helen Keller once said, “The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart.” I have known Doug for more than 40 years, and I cannot find the words to describe him. A man of honor and respect, a trustworthy and true friend — I could go on saying nothing but good things about this man. He has done so much for the county. Although I may no longer see you in town as often, I can still hear the echo of your feet coming up Harris Hollow Road on your daily walk.

I wish you the best of luck on your retirement!

Community churches’ picnic

The area churches-sponsored community picnic takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 27, in the county park. The picnic is open to the public and is being sponsored and coordinated by the Washington Baptist Church.

This annual event has traditionally been for congregants and friends of Washington Baptist Church, but this year, in the spirit of community, it is being expanded to include several area churches and residents and guests of Rappahannock County.

There will be fun, food and fellowship; games for children, teens, and adults; sports (softball, basketball, volleyball and more), music and much more. There will be feature a booth for Child ID Program (provided by Masonic Lodge members with sheriff’s office assistance), as was provided at the Fodderstack 10K last spring.

The churches directly involved are First Baptist, Rappahannock United Methodist Charge, Flint Hill United Methodist Church, Sperryville United Methodist Church, Willis Chapel United Methodist Church, Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church, Saint Peter Catholic Church, Trinity Episcopal Church and Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge.

If you plan to attend but are not already associated with one of the churches listed, call Washington Baptist Church at 540-675-3336; leave your name and the number in your party planning to attend.

Service for Dotsy Davis

Dorothy Davis, known to many as “Dotsy,” died March 2. She was elected as the first woman mayor with an all-woman town council in the United States in 1950, a position she held for 20 years. There will be a graveside service for her at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at the family plot in the Masonic Cemetery in Washington. Rev. Park P. Dickerson will conduct the service.


The community was saddened to hear that Sharon Luke’s father, Larry Gray Genebach, from Orchard Ridge, Winchester, passed away on June 21. Sharon, our hearts go out to you and your family. The death of someone close to us often leaves us shocked with grief. We cannot understand how one minute this person was here and the next they are gone. The truth is that those we love are never truly gone — we will always have them in our hearts and their spirit will always live on.

Condolences also to Kimberly Novak on the death of her mother, Barbara Lee Griffith Reid. Mrs. Reid attended school in Washington; after graduation she became a teacher’s aide, a job that she thoroughly enjoyed. Reading and teaching others to read was one of her passions. A funeral service was held July 9 at Found and Sons Funeral Chapel. Interment followed in the Sperryville cemetery.

Condolences also go out to Connie Huff-Harris on the death of her husband, William “Bill” Henry Harris, 57, of Flint Hill. Harris passed away last Thursday (July 10) at Winchester Medical Center. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, July 18) at Turner-Robertshaw Funeral Home. A time of fellowship will follow at the Flint Hill fire hall. Connie, our prayers are with you and your family.

Remember in prayer

Let’s remember Annie Huff in our prayers each day, as she is under the weather. Annie works at the Country Cafe for her son David, and makes some of those delicious desserts.

WVFR breakfast

A reminder that the Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue hosts an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet from 7 to 11 this Saturday (July 19) at the station. Adults are $8 (10 and younger eat free). All proceeds fund daily operations. For more information, call 540-675-3615.


Belated birthday wishes go out to Ginger Miller, who celebrated her special day on Sunday (July 13), and to Amanda Alther, who celebrated on Monday (July 14). Happy birthday also to Roger Miller, whose special day is Sunday (July 20). And congratulations to Willie and Lois McFarland, who celebrated their wedding anniversary on Tuesday (July 15).

Drop-off box

The Food Pantry has an increased demand for the following items: Sugar, flour, coffee, tea, pancake mix and syrup. They are currently buying these items, which puts a strain on their finances. If you wish to drop off non-perishable food when the Pantry is closed, Trinity Church has a drop-off box located just inside the red church doors (which are always open). For more information, call 540-675-3716.

Butterfly count

For all of you butterfly lovers, don’t forget the Old Rag Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists hold an official butterfly count for the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) at 9 a.m. this Saturday (July 19) in the Habitat Restoration and Nature Area on Leggett Lane in Washington. For more information, contact Don Hearl at 540-825-6660 (540-672-5712 after 5:30) or donh@ess-services.com.

Have a wonderful week!