Van Huyck, Morris Named Heritage Heroes

The Mosby Heritage Area Association honored Mary Thomason Morris and Al Van Huyck for their years of stewardship of the cultural district. Also, Richard Deardoff was named Educator of the Year during the annual awards ceremony held last week at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg.

Morris and Van Huyck were presented with Heritage Hero awards.

Morris, whose family has roots in Front Royal dating back more then 250 years, worked as a archivist at the Handley Archives, the Warren Heritage Society, and the Clarke County Historical Association starting in 1987. She is the author of “Connections & Partings: Marriages & Deaths from Clarke County Newspapers 1859-1884” and has co-authored several other works on ancestry and genealogy in Clarke County.

Former Planning Commission Chairman Al Van Huyck, speaking for the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition, opposed the commission permit. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

Van Huyck, of Round Hill, is a retired international planner who has lived in Loudoun County since the 1960s. He is a former board member of the Virginia Citizens Planning Association and the Older Americans Humanities Corporation, he was a member of the Loudoun County Planning Commission from 1996 to 2003 and was chairman when the Revised General Plan was prepared. He was active in preparing the Mountain Overlay District and the River and Stream Corridor Overlay District. He is a member  the Waterford Foundation and the Friends of Oatlands,. He is a founder and past president of the Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Most recently, he is the current chairman of the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition.

The Educator of the Year award is given to an educator who effectively incorporates the local historical landscape and its stories into their teaching and community outreach. Deardoff is a United States Coast Guard veteran and has spent four decades teaching U.S. Government, History, and American Civil War History at Fauquier High School and Kettle Run High School. He recently retired from the classroom. He is a member of the Civil War Trust, Longstreet Society, and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. The Brandy Station Foundation awarded him its Volunteer of the Year award in 2007. He required his classed to participate in  local community service projects, such as the creation of the “Save the Waterloo Bridge” Facebook page which shares its history and advocates for its preservation. Deardoff has twice been named the Fauquier County Teacher of the Year, in 2007 and 2008, the Civil War Trust Teacher of the Year in 2011, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans Teacher of the Year in 2011.

Previous winners of the Heritage Hero Award include Sen. John Warner, Karen Hughes White, Janet Whitehouse, Hope Porter, Linda Newton, Robert H. Smith, Su Webb, Lori Kimball, Bob Sinclair, Robert Lee, Walter Nicklin, John and Mary Fishback, Mitch Diamond, David Blake, Scott Kasprowicz, Gayle and Tom DeLashmutt, and Paul Ziluca.

Learn more about the MHAA and its mission at

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