James W. Valliant
CENTREVILLE — James Wilmer Valliant of Corsica Neck, Centreville, Md., died peacefully at home on July 3, 2017. He was 90 years old. Mr. Valliant was born on Aug. 24, 1926, to Edwin Stephens Valliant and Genevieve Hall Valliant.
Known as Jimmy, Mr. Valliant grew up in Centreville as the youngest of seven. His father was the president of the family fertilizer company, E.S. Valliant & Sons, and was a wellrespected business man. Mr. Valliant graduated from the Centreville High School in 1943 and attended the Virginia Military Institute, where his major studies were in chemistry. He served in the Navy on the destroyer USS Vesole in the last days of the Pacific Theater of World War II. Mr. Valliant completed his college education at Dartmouth College in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in geography.
Mr. Valliant’s career included working in the family fertilizer business and then teaching math and geography at the Gunston School. At Gunston, he was a natural teacher of manners, arithmetic, algebra and trigonometry, the breadth of the geo-political world, sailing and canoeing, and occasionally, fox trots and waltzes.
Mr. Valliant was an original and lifelong member of the Corsica River Yacht Club, and sailed a Hampton, the Jim-Jon, in races on the Corsica and local regattas as a boy. He served as commodore in 1966.
Always an avid traveler, Mr. Valliant’s first of 29 trips to Europe was in the summer of 1949 with his friend, the late Robert R. Price Jr. They toured England, France and Italy by bicycle and train. Classical music and opera were also lifetime passions.
Mr. Valliant married Joann Wennerberg of Winnetka, Ill., in 1958, and settled down in Centreville. Moving to woodland property on the Corsica River with his growing family, he also became a passionate gardener of hollies, azaleas and rhododendrons. As in all his interests and relationships, he studied, learned and cared for his subjects.
A lifetime member of St. Paul’s Parish, Centreville, Mr. Valliant served on the vestry several times. He was also a member of the Queen Anne’s County Historical Society and was instrumental in the move and restoration of Wright’s Chance. Mr. Valliant also was a longtime member of the American Rhododendron Society.
Mr. Valliant is survived by his wife, Joann; three children; and grandchildren, Bruce J. Valliant and his wife, Mary Ellen, Mary Reed Valliant, John Valliant, Alexander G. Rogers, Philip G. Valliant, James H. Rogers, Mary Shea Valliant, Benjamin S. Valliant and Patrick Egan Valliant. He is predeceased by his siblings.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on July 20 at St. Paul’s Parish, Centreville.
In lieu of flowers, contributions should be made in Mr. Valliant’s memory to The Gunston School, P.O. Box 200, Centreville, MD 21617, or to the Corsica River Foundation, P.O. Box 344, Centreville, MD 21617.
For online condolences, please visit www.fhnfuneral home.com.