Letter: Al Van Huyck, Round Hill

Editor: My friend and colleague George Kirschenbauer died Dec. 13, 2019, in a Veterans Facility in Richmond. He asked that nothing be done in his memory or to celebrate his life. 

While I wish to honor his wishes, it seems appropriate to share his passing with his friends and colleagues here in Loudoun County.

It is hard to know the true worth of a life to their family, friends, and community as our lives are complex and fate intervenes in strange ways. But to me George will always be remembered for his leadership role on the Planning Commission culminating in the Comprehensive Plan of 2002. His bigger-than-life personality, patience, compassion, and dedication made at that time was translated into a better life for Loudoun citizens over the past 20 years.

For years after, our friendship was mainly on the golf course. A game George came to love and in his final years it was sharing stories at his bedside as he suffered, with grace, enormous pain. It was here that I learned of his days as president of his class at West Point, starting halfback on the football team, and his athletic claim to fame, hitting a home run in an exhibition game with the 1961 World Champion New Your Yankees off their ace pitcher, “Bullet” Bob Turley. He had the picture to prove it to me.

George had a career of military service with several notable examples of leadership under fire in service to our country. And during this period, he met and married Karen Kristofferson, his beloved wife, who sadly died in 2005. Karen brought a special joy to all she met and their bond was so strong that George’s loss was never fully overcome. His survivors include his three sons and their families.

As I turn 87, it is not unusual to hear of the losses of friends and colleagues, but somehow it is particularly difficult to know that I will no longer hear his powerful voice on answering the phone booming out his greeting “KIRSCHENBAUER.”

Al Van Huyck, Round Hill

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