Obituaries Archive

Post Script: Navy veteran educated himself, took care of neighbors

VIRGINIA BEACH ­- When he realized his life was coming to a close, H.D. Finney was philosophical: As a sailor during World War II and the Korean War, he knew so many men who never made it to 25. "I had a great life," he told his family before he died Feb. 6 at age 81.As his neighbors in Aragona Village will attest, Finney also lived a very generous life, often hiding his soft heart with a gruff manner. He shared the flowers, shrubbery and vegetables he nurtured in his immaculate yard. He delivered . . .

Oscar Smith mourns death of longtime coach and AD

By jami frankenberry
CHESAPEAKE - James William "Bill" Myers , who died Thursday after a battle with cancer, left much more than an Oscar Smith High School gymnasium with his name on it."He did a lot for Oscar Smith, and he's got a lot of friends," said Nathan T. Hardee , Deep Creek's longtime principal. "Everybody loved Bill."Myers, 66 , was Oscar Smith's athletic director for 26 years and also coached varsity basketball, track and baseball and junior varsity football."The kids I taught, I'm teaching their kids now," . . .

Post Script: She saw the world with childhood friend who became mate

By JIM WASHINGTONThe Virginian-Pilot
VIRGINIA BEACH ­- Is there such a thing as love at 1,000th sight?Doris Harrison met Bill Sternberg in Annapolis, M d. They were 5 years old and growing up on the same street.They became friends and stayed so for years. It wasn't until Bill joined the Navy and came back home for a visit that something else happened. "They saw each other again, and it was like they saw each other for the first time," said the couple's daughter, Deborah Tibbitt. Maybe it was love at first sight after all.Doris . . .

Post Script: Religious scholar was heart and soul of Norfolk synagogue

The Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK — No matter how early Rabbi Michael Panitz arrived at Temple Israel, Harry Snyder was there. Seven days a week.For more than 20 years, Snyder was the temple’s revered gabbai in charge of coordinating the daily morning and evening services.“He wasn’t just a part of the synagogue,” Panitz said. “He was the synagogue.”If anyone was destined to be a gabbai, it was the unassuming Snyder.Raised in poverty on lower Church Street, he began studying the Torah at age 4. Snyder, who died Feb. 12 at . . .

Post Script: Former Beach police chief was in his element on the road

By fred kirschThe Virginian-Pilot
VIRGINIA BEACH — Reeves Johnson was happiest when he was behind the wheel, cruising the streets, making sure everything was running smoothly in his beloved city.In 42 years working for Virginia Beach, including 16 as chief of police, Johnson probably drove the equivalent of to the moon and back.“He loved being on the road,” said Jeanne Evans, Johnson’s office assistant for seven years. “We used to joke that he used more gas than anyone in the city.”Whether heading the police force, serving as chief . . .

Post Script: Music, baseball were cornerstones of organist’s composition

By FRED KIRSCHThe Virginian-Pilot
PORTSMOUTH — Whe n he was 17, Herbert Stewart was one of the youngest Methodist church organists in Virginia. When he retired at 82 as minister of music from West End United Methodist Church in 1991, he might have been the oldest.Stewart continued playing piano and organ long after that, giving concerts at senior citizen homes and clubs and sliding behind the baby grand at West End to play hymns before services when he was in his 90s. “He was so talented, but he was never impressed with himself,” . . .

Alan Anderson, former president of Smithfield Foods, dies

Alan T. Anderson, former president and chief operating officer of Smithfield Foods Inc. and Gwaltney of Smithfield Ltd., died this week in his Suffolk home. He was 78.
Anderson, a native of Minneapolis , accumulated decades of experience in the food industry before resigning from Smithfield in 1989.

Post Script: ''Mr. Bob'' was ready to lend a hand - no fuss necessary

By JIM WASHINGTONThe Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK — If you would like to honor Robert Culpepper, please stop reading. Mr. Bob, as he was known in Ocean View, would hate to hear his praises sung like this. Robert Culpepper was a soft touch. He would help anyone with anything at any time, from fixing bikes for neighborhood children to giving too much money to panhandlers to housing stray animals.But please. Don’t make a big deal about it. Culpepper, who died Feb. 4 at 82, was a fixture in the neighborhood where he lived his entire life, . . .

Post Script: Lifelong resident knew – and loved – every inch of Norfolk

By Brown H. CaRpenterThe Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK — For Grover Franklin, there was no place like home. Most of his adult life was spent charting and surveying this Navy town and delving into its rich past.Until he retired, Franklin, who died Sunday at 82, was in charge of drafting and mapping for the city of Norfolk. During his off hours, he pored over historical documents in the Sargeant Memorial Room at the city’s main library.“He loved to walk the city streets,” wife Dorothy said, “and point out what used to be there.” He lived in . . .

Post Script: Woman saw purpose in life after losing vision to illness

By FRED KIRSCHThe Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK — About the only thing Fran Merchant couldn’t do was see. Blind since her mid-40s, Merchant lived on her own, cooked , cleaned, gardened, swam, exercised, read Braille, did ceramics and could perfectly apply her own lipstick.And that was just what she did for herself. She also was the driving force behind the creation of Norfolk’s Therapeutic Recreation Center, lobbied for more handicapped-accessible vans, founded the annual Day for People with Disabilities at the Virginia Zoo, and . . .

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