May 25,1948-May 9, 2019 GOOD MORNING! Today is not just "another day in Paradise"; it is truly a spectacular "Day in Paradise"! Today I have boarded and taken the front seat on the bus to His Amazing Kingdom, ready to accept my next assignment. Lou Gehrig once said, "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth," and I feel the same way. There will not be a funeral. Sometime in the near future, on hopefully a gorgeous day, my family will announce a date for cocktails and conversation for family and friends to gather at Belle Plain, our home on the Creek, to remember the fun times and great memories we have shared over the years. Where do I begin? I have experienced so many wonderful things over the years. I was born on a sunny, beautiful day in May (according to my Mom), as the third child to Walter and Rita Schooler. I was the family baby to my sister Nellie Ann and brother Kenneth Lee and I am looking forward to re-joining them in the Kingdom. My pre-teen years introduced me to Rock and Roll and it never left my life, thank God. My formal school years took a back seat to Rock and Roll but that was okay by me. The direction I wanted to take in life was clear early on and the positive attitude and burning sensation in my belly guided me through life and helped me pursue my craft. These two attributes were with me every morning of my life. I was so fortunate to grow up and live my life in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia. Especially at Belle Plain, where I was able to watch and hear the Lord's work every morning as the sun rose over the Creek and the watermen tended their pots. I was proud to watch these hard-working men and claim some as family. Thinking of the fondest of all my memories, it only seems like yesterday, this wonderful lady, Brooke walked into my life and I fell in love forever. Our forty (40) years together I think are best described by the last lines in one of our favorite songs: "So here's looking at you kid." We had it all. Just like Bogie and Bacall. Starring in our own late late show. Sailing away to Key Largo. She brought with her a beautiful family, a son Drew and twin daughters Brooke and Leland, who became my children that I loved so much. This helped me get the marriage thing right and boy did I get it right! Fortunately, over the years our family has grown with five wonderful grandchildren, William A., Reese, Malone, Scott and Nicole, plus a wonderful daughter-in-law, Cathy, son-in-law, Lawson, four sisters-in-law, three of my most favorite brothers-in-law and many special friends including Todd and Justin. Brooke's and my nieces, nephews and cousins are too numerous to mention, but all are fondly remembered. I have been extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to be part of this family and to see them all mature into wonderful human beings. We have also been blessed with many animals (dogs, cats, and ducks); all have been loved by us and loved us in return. The last several years we experienced a special four-legged companion, Caymus, who stayed by my side until he passed away. He understood the turmoil my body put me through each and every hour and brought me a tremendous amount of love and companionship. I look forward to being able to walk again on the streets of gold, especially with Caymus by my side. And now a new little girl, Baby, has entered our lives and brought us much needed smiles. It has been said we give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare and in return, dogs give us their all. Thinking about it now, it's the best deal I ever made. I have been blessed so often by the wonderful people I have come in contact with during my career, from the laborers and workers on my jobs, wonderful tenants in my buildings, to the CEOs in the board rooms. I have learned from each and every one of them. As I built my company, I have had many special and talented employees and you know who you are. I would like to thank each and every one of you, especially Ann Bowman who worked with me for over 37 years. I also had the privilege of belonging to many fraternal and community organizations throughout the years where I have been able to give back to this area which gave me so much. Some of my fondest memories are of the wonderful times we had on our boats. We cruised from Nantucket to the Florida Keys, and yes Key Largo, and experienced so many wonderful people and places. Our favorite times were the ones we spent at home on the Potomac River with our friends, especially eating crabs. Our second love became golf which we took up 25 plus years ago. We golfed across the United States and other parts of the world. Florida becoming our winter home in later years added to the good memories and more great friends that were part of both of these endeavors. Music has always been a major part of my life and special songs have meant so much. I have way too many favorites to mention, but one that truly stands out is "A Wonderful World" by Louie Armstrong. Satchmo ended most of the verses with "and I think to myself, what a wonderful world." I ask each one of you today to please take the time to listen to the song's every verse and then go make a new friend, call an old friend and appreciate all of God's miracles. I hope it makes you feel as good as it has made me feel. So now, I look back and think about what a wonderful world and life it has been with my family, my friends and the people I have met every day. Instead of flowers, think about donating to life, to your favorite SPCA, or The ALS Association, or helping someone that might be down on their luck, helping not with a hand out but a hand up. And remember: "Life is short. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile." Anonymous In closing, please remember WHAT A BLESSING IT IS TO BE AN AMERICAN, and lastly for me BY THE GRACE OF GOD--A VIRGINIAN. Looking forward to our paths crossing again my many dear friends. CHEERS!
...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING... THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SOME OF THE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE SEVERE, WITH DAMAGING WINDS AND LARGE HAIL BEING THE PRIMARY THREATS. ANYONE WHO PLANS ON BEING OUTDOORS DURING THIS TIME SHOULD PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE LATEST FORECASTS. STAY ALERT FOR WARNINGS AND BE PREPARED TO SEEK SHELTER QUICKLY SHOULD THUNDERSTORMS OCCUR. IF YOU SEE LIGHTNING OR HEAR THUNDER, YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE IN HARM'S WAY. THE THREAT FOR THUNDERSTORMS WILL MOST LIKELY BE IN TWO ROUNDS. THE FIRST ROUND THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON MAY BE MORE SCATTERED IN NATURE, BUT AGAIN SOME OF THOSE STORMS WILL BE SEVERE WITH DAMAGING WINDS AND LARGE HAIL. MORE WIDESPREAD SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY THIS EVENING INTO THE OVERNIGHT HOURS AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT, AND SOME OF THESE STORMS MAY BE SEVERE AS WELL.