Washington column for July 26

The loss of a wonderful person

One might think they have everything in life. The perfect house, family, a good stable income, kids to tuck into bed at night. Sometimes life is unrecognizable for us. It can turn around 180 degrees. We sure can’t take anything in life for granted, for it can be taken away in an instant.

Sarah Alice Clark Miller, a loss of a wonderful person in our community. Courtesy photo

As I type this article, we are in the wake of one such tragedy — the loss of a wonderful person. The community is saddened by the death of Sarah Alice Clark Miller of Washington, who passed away on Thursday, July 19.

Sarah no doubt left for work on Thursday morning with the usual smile on her face, knowing that she would return home that evening to be with her family. Instead, tragedy hit, as she was struck and killed by a vehicle that morning outside the Culpeper Post Office where she worked. One can only imagine the pain the family is going through.

I cannot find the words to describe Sarah. She had such a big impact on the community, always willing to serve others. She was the person who would always put others first. Her family was her pride and joy.

Sarah was a member of Washington Baptist Church. She was a Girl Scout leader for years and participated in Boy Scouts with her grandsons. She enjoyed reading Danielle Steele, playing Candy Crush and making memories with her grandchildren. They traveled on vacations and attended carnivals. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, wife, aunt and friend who never met a stranger, and she could light up a room with her smile, humor and grace.

It would seem impossible for me to try to describe Sarah when so many others knew her better. That being said, I was inspired by the depth and sincerity of her dedication and commitment to the service of others. She will be missed.

Said Phil Bailey: “I was Sarah’s pastor at Washington Baptist Church for 17 years and knew her to be a person of strong faith in God. She had a warm and gracious smile and a welcoming spirit to all she met. There was nothing she would not do to help someone in need. She also had an unconditional love for all people, which overflowed with acts and words of kindness. She loved Rappahannock County and her work at the Post Office, both in Washington and Culpeper. Many testimonies came forward from her patrons telling of her great concern for them and their families. Her greatest love, however, was for the Lord Jesus, with her family a very close second. Please remember them in your prayers.”

“Sarah and I were classmates from 5th grade on when we met at Sperryville Elementary,” added Nan Butler Roberts. “News of her demise is devastating to the community. I’m really struggling again with the loss of someone from my formative years.”

After the schools integrated in Rappahannock County, Roberts said, she attended the rest of her school years with Sarah, being part of the first 7th grade class at the new Rappahannock County Elementary School until they graduated from Rappahannock County High School.

“Looking in my yearbooks from that time, there are notes that she wrote to me stating that she hoped we’d keep in touch,” Roberts said. “In the senior yearbook, we are pictured side by side. Sarah loved to laugh, had a dry sense of humor, like mine, so we got along well. We also both struggled in P.E. class, so we encouraged each other as best we could!

“We didn’t see each other much after high school, just occasional chance meetings,” Roberts continued. “She always gave me a cheery hello and we’d chat a few moments about something going on or about somebody in Rappahannock. She never failed to ask how my mother was doing before her passing last year. I will really miss seeing Sarah in the post office. I offer my very deepest condolences to her loved ones, family and friends, and co-workers at the post office, as well as the class of ‘74 RCHS Panthers.”

Mimi’s party!

Everybody, as in everybody in Rappahannock County, is invited to a garden party at Lilac Farm, 23 Gaschs Lane, Castleton, on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to celebrate Food Pantry giant Mimi Forbes’ 70th birthday.

RSVP at 540-937-2067. No presents.

VBS memories

Trinity Episcopal and Washington Baptist churches completed their annual joint Vacation Bible School last Friday. The week’s lessons were all water-themed stories from the Bible including, Noah and the Ark, Moses parting the Red Sea, Jonah and the big fish and Jesus Walking on Water.

Trinity Episcopal and Washington Baptist Churches completed their joint VBS last Friday, July 20, and the collection for the week was $134.00 went to Headwaters.
Right: Jan McKinney, Juliet DelGrosso presented the check to Kevin Brandriff, Executive Director of Headwaters. Photo by Jan McKinney

A special thank you to Wendy and Gary Aichele for heading up the music and M.C. responsibilities. They were aided by the VBS band — Anthony DelGrosso and Ben Giles. Trinity Episcopal and Washington Baptist churches would like to thank all the youth and adult volunteers that helped to make this event possible. In keeping with the “water theme,” this week’s collection of $134.00 went to Headwaters and was presented to executive director Kevin Brandriff.

Help needed

RappCats, a local non-profit organization that rescues, cares for, and finds loving homes for abandoned, abused, neglected, injured, and homeless cats and kittens throughout Rappahannock County, really needs your help. They are experiencing their busiest kitten season in more than 10 years and need foster homes for these adorable, needy kittens. Please call 540-987-6050 or email rappcats@rappcats.org to obtain additional information.