Year in Review: Among Those We Lost in 2016

James C. “Jimmy” Athey, a 78-years-old Lucketts native died May 10. The long-time Loudoun farmer was a baseball star and a state champion skeet and trap shooter in his youth. He was a member of Loudoun County High School’s first graduating class in 1955. As a homebuilder, he built more than 800 Loudoun houses.

Robert E. Butt served as Loudoun’s superintendent of public schools from 1969 to 1988. He died Sept. 18 at The Pines in Davidson, NC. He was 92. He was a B-24 bomber flight engineer and tail gunner during World War II. Butt brought about full integration of Loudoun County Public Schools during the 1969-70 school year. In addition, kindergarten, vocational and adult education, special education and the middle school and alternative school programs were created when he was superintendent.

Helen Casey died Jan. 23 at the age of 83. The long-time Sterling Park resident was a long-time civic activist in Loudoun. She worked as an aide to former State Sen. Charles L. Waddell, served as chairman of the Eastern Loudoun League of Women Voters, was a founding member of the Bypass Alternative Review Committee and the Loudoun County Transportation Association (now the Virginia Regional Transportation Association). She was appointed by Gov. George Allen in 1988 to serve on the Goose Creek Scenic River Advisory Board, serving as chairman of the board from 1999 to 2009. She attended almost every Loudoun Board of Supervisors meeting from 1986 until 2010.

Charles P. Clark died March 31 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Martinsburg, WV. The World War II veteran and longtime school bus driver was 108 years old and celebrated as Purcellville’s oldest resident.

Georgios “George” Kakouras died Dec. 22. One of Loudoun’s longest serving restaurateurs, he came the United States from Greece in 1955 at the age of 17. He began working for his late uncle, Nick Fragakis, at the White Palace Restaurant in Purcellville and later partnered with John Pilalas there. In 1982, he started George’s Plaza Restaurant across the street. Today, that restaurant is owned and operated by his son, Nick.

Robert Klancher died May 4. He was 57. Klancher was first appointed to the Loudoun County Planning Commission in 2004 by Supervisor Lori Waters and was reappointed in 2008 to represent the Broad Run District.  He was subsequently appointed by Supervisor Ralph Buona in 2012 and again in 2016 to represent the Ashburn District. His tenure included a three-year term as chairman.

Mark Allen McCoy died Aug. 1 of colon cancer. He served as music director and conductor of the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra for 18 years. Under McCoy’s leadership the Loudoun Symphony Association established the Loudoun String Workshop which gives emerging musicians of any age an opportunity to perform in a string ensemble, and the Loudoun Symphony Youth Orchestra. Before joining the LSO, Maestro McCoy served as cover conductor for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and was music director of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Jeanette G. Newton died Nov. 20 at age 66. She had retired in May as the as the longtime CEO of the Dulles Area Association of Realtors, a post she held since 1991.

Jean Sagan died Sept. 27 of cancer. She was 89. After moving to Loudoun County in 1963, she quickly got involved with the League of Women Voters of Loudoun County and for more than 50 years she was an active member. She served as president for eight two-year terms during the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. She was passionate about preserving Loudoun’s land use policies and state financing for public education. She was instrumental in bringing attention to Virginia’s Motor Voter Law and supported restoration of funding to Loudoun County’s Legal Defense Office. In 1987 she was named a “Woman of Achievement” by the Loudoun Commission on Women for her work with the League.

Clifford D. Thomson died May 6 in Naples, FL. He was a drama teacher and choir director at Loudoun Valley High School for 35 years, starting in 1974. During his career as an educator, Thomson taught thousands of students in a diverse array of subjects, including choir, drama, music theory and art and architecture. Thomson sang with the Washington Opera Chorus for 30 years.

Su Webb died Oct. 15 at the age of 73. A longtime newspaperwoman, Webb devoted decades of service to preservation efforts in Loudoun. She served on the boards of the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, Piedmont Environmental Council, Aldie Heritage Association, and Lovettsville Park Advisory Board. For more than 20 years, she served on the Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Open Space Advisory Board and had served on the Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority board. Among the accolades presented for her service, she was named the 2012 Heritage Hero by the Mosby Heritage Association and was inducted as a Loudoun Laurel.

The Rev. Elijah “Lige” B. White III died March 26 at age 77. The longtime Loudoun clergyman, former newspaperman, and historian was the rector emeritus of the Church of Our Saviour Oatlands, a parish over which he had presided for more than 30 years. He was a descendent of Elijah V. White, a noted Loudoun Confederate cavalry leader who formed the Laurel Brigade and who became a successful businessman after the Civil War. White was ordained to the ministry, first as a deacon in 1968 then a priest in 1969. He became rector of Our Saviour’s Church at Oatlands in 1977 and retired in 2011.

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