Bag­pipes for a sol­dier and friend

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE -

For 25 years, Rap­pa­han­nock County has been blessed by the pres­ence of a mod­est gen­tle­man whose ser­vice em­bod­ies the very essence of the vol­un­teer spirit. That man is Pre­ston An­gell. Pre­ston has been a welcome pres­ence for the Washington Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment and Res­cue Squad in many ca­pac­i­ties: fire­fighter, first re­spon­der and am­bu­lance driver among them.

As a Life Mem­ber of WVF&R, Pre­ston has served as sec­re­tary and has contributed to count­less fire depart­ment func­tions over many years, lend­ing a hand wher­ever and when­ever he saw the need. Pre­ston has han­dled the task of sched­ul­ing and co­or­di­nat­ing pub­lic reser­va­tions of the fire hall and he per­son­ally up­dates the road sign on War­ren Av­enue that alerts the pub­lic to fire depart­ment events.

Pre­ston has also been a much val­ued friend to the Washington Ladies Aux­il­iary which runs the Fire House Trea­sures Thrift Shop. He vol­un­teered his la­bor to sin­gle­hand­edly build their des­per­ately needed stor­age shed. For six years, three days per week in the early morn­ing hours, Pre­ston ar­rived to turn on the propane heaters or the small air con­di­tion­ers in the two sheds oc­cu­pied by the thrift be­fore the new build­ing was com­pleted. Ev­ery work day, he also faith­fully put out the thrift shop’s sign and flag and brought them in at the close of busi­ness. The per­ma­nent thrift shop sign on War­ren Av­enue is yet an­other ex­am­ple of Pre­ston’s hand­i­work.

You have prob­a­bly also seen Pre­ston if you fre­quent the Rap­pa­han­nock County Li­brary. For more than 20 years, Pre­ston has served as the Wednesday evening vol­un­teer. His kind­ness, grace, (and sweet tooth) have en­deared him to the li­brary staff, and he will be deeply missed.

It is Pre­ston’s quiet civic ac­tivism, his will­ing­ness to con­trib­ute in in­nu­mer­able ways wher­ever he sees a need that makes him such a pre­cious as­set to Rap­pa­han­nock County. Now, an­tic­i­pat­ing a gen­uine re­tire­ment, Pre­ston has be­gun the process of re­lo­cat­ing to Winch­ester. Thank­fully, he has promised to come back and visit us of­ten. We wish him the very best in his new home. Winch­ester is gain­ing a man we all ad­mire, a vol­un­teer, friend, neigh­bor and ex­em­plary cit­i­zen. ANN L. SPIEKER, chief, Washington Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment and Res­cue Squad MARY V. COLLINS, pres­i­dent, Washington Ladies Aux­il­iary DAVID SHAFFER, direc­tor, Rap­pa­han­nock County Li­brary

BY HEIDI MAEYER

An “hon­or­able and beau­ti­ful ser­vice for this sol­dier, plan­ner, farmer,” ob­served close friend and neigh­bor Heidi Maeyer, who with nu­mer­ous other mourn­ers at­tended Sun­day’s funeral for Richard “Dick” McNear at his fam­ily’s beloved Green­wood farm in Gid Brown Hol­low. An ac­tive par­tic­i­pant in the Rap­pa­han­nock com­mu­nity, McNear has left be­hind a legacy of suc­cess both in his per­sonal and pro­fes­sional life.

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