The body of John Lewis will be laid to rest this week, but the legacy of his leadership in the Civil Rights Movement will live on. In his role as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he was the youngest person to speak at the March on Washington in August 1963. While his words that day are not as well remembered as those of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who spoke after him that day with his “I Have a Dream” speech, the message of John Lewis is as relevant today as it was then. He exhibited a style of frank speaking that day that became famous over the decades of his leadership in the Civil Rights Movement when he told the crowd:
“We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by policemen. We are tired of people being locked up in jail over and over again. And then you holler ‘be patient.’ How long can we be patient? We want our freedom, and we want it now!”
He must have had some sense of satisfaction when last month with District of Columbia Mayor Muriel E. Bowser he visited the Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House and stood where the Black Lives Matter message was painted in the street. That day was in sharp contrast to the day in 1965 when he marched with others in the Civil Rights Movement across the bridge in Selma, Alabama, and suffered a skull fracture from being hit in the head with a police baton in what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
John Lewis was the last of the great civil rights leaders of the 1960s. He lived long enough I believe to realize that his message was being more widely heard than ever before in this country. Should John Lewis be beginning his career today rather than ending it, I have no doubt he would be at the forefront of Black Lives Matter. While Lewis experienced the police batons, dogs and fire hoses, others today have felt the knee of white authority pressing on their necks or bullets hitting them in the back. The words “I cannot breathe” have come to be more than the last words of individuals whose lives were being snuffed out but are the words of generations living under a society of oppression because of the color of their skin. I cannot breathe means to many that they cannot live freely in an unjust and discriminatory society.
John Lewis never gave up through many challenges that are now being chronicled by other writers. In recent years I have appreciated his efforts to get the Congress to take action to end gun violence that affects communities of color disproportionally. What would John Lewis have us do? He offered this advice: “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just: say something, do something. Get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble.” We can participate in making a more just society when we follow John Lewis in getting into necessary trouble!
School Buildings Closed — All Fairfax County Public School buildings are closed until further notice. Beginning today (Monday), grab-and-go food distribution sites will be set up at 18 locations. Breakfast is served from 8-10:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m.t o 2 p.m.[Fairfax County Public Schools]
Local Parks, Libraries Closed — The Fairfax County Public Library System and local parks will be closed for due weeks to the novel coronavirus threat. [Patch]
Telecom Entrepreneur Dies — John McDonnell Jr., who started Recon-Based Transaction Network Services, died in March at a hospital in Florida. He was 82. [The Washington Post]
Boston Properties Sell Properties — The company has sold its New Dominion Park property, including 499 Grove St., in Herndon to an affiliate of USAA Real Estate. [Washington Business Journal]
Photo by Cbreezy
Early Reston Resident, Lawyer Dies — Calvin Larson, a lawyer who practiced bankruptcy law in Fairfax County, died last month. He was a civic activist and one of the early residents of the new town of Reston. Larson — who delivered copies of The Washington Post early in the morning until he was 85 — was also a founder of the Reston Community Association and the Reston Music Center. [The Washington Post]
Reston Community Players Receive Honors — The group was nominated for the 20th annual Washington Area Theatre Community Honors for several productions, including “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and “Time Stands Still.” [Maryland Theatre Guide]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Born in Havana, Cuba, de la Fe was first appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2001 and he was one of the architects behind bringing Metro rail to the Dulles Corridor. He grew up in Miami and became a U.S. citizen in 1958.
He worked for NASA in the 1960s and married Sarah Anne Prendergast in 1964. From 1969 to 1971, he created the Illinois State Bureau of the Budget and later established the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention.
The de la Fe family moved to Reston in 1971 and de la Fe lived in the community for 47 years. He served on several local boards and committees, including Reston Association’s Board of Directors, Reston Soccer and Reston Interfaith, now known as Cornerstones. He was also chairman of the Fairfax County Park Authority.
His family issued the following statement following his death:
[We] are forever grateful that our parents chose to not only settle in Reston, but to fully embrace the vision for what the community could be – the hard work it would take to realize that vision. We learned the importance of service and a strong community. And, most importantly, we learned about family. Family you are born to and family you choose. The connections and friendships made in regency square, Reston soccer, swim team and St. Thomas are relationships and friendships that continue to this day…
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking individuals to send donations to the Fairfax County Park Foundation.
He is survived by his daughters Catherine and Mary, son-in-law Dionicio and grandchildren Megan, Caitlin, and Juan.
Photo via Adams Green
Public Meeting Tonight on Unfunded Transportation Projects — Fairfax County Department of Transportation officials are seeking public input on nearly 300 transportation projects that are vying for roughly $100 million in funding. Local residents can provide feedback on proposed projects at a public meeting tonight from 7-9 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). The meeting will include a formal presentation about unfunded projects and a question-and-answer session. [Reston Now]
Be Alert for Deer on Roadways — Police are urging residents to be alert and aware of the potential for deer to dart into the road in front of their vehicles. About half of all deer-vehicle collisions occur during the months of October, November and December, they say. [Fairfax County Police Department]
County Rape Suspect Arrested in West Virginia — Eusebio Romero-Rivera, 48, is believed to have fled the state after a warrant was issued for his arrest on a charge of raping an adult family member in August. The U.S. Marshals Service says Romero-Rivera, a Salvadoran national, had previously been deported and had re-entered the country illegally. [The (Martinsburg, W.Va.) Journal]
Learn About Lyme Disease Tonight — The National Capital Lyme Disease Association will host a panel discussion on the topic tonight, 7:30-9:30 p.m., at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). [NatCapLyme]
Herndon Welcomes South Korean Guests — Herndon’s mayor and Town Council exchanged gifts, including a ceremonial Town Key, with the South Korean visitors, who were guests of Grandmaster H.K. Lee Academy of TaeKwonDo. [Connection Newspapers]
Local Military Veteran Dies in Texas — Carl Bolle, a 1977 graduate of Herndon High School, served 20 years in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of sergeant first class. Among his medals, he earned the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. After retiring, he worked as a contractor in the computer intelligence area at Fort Hood for 16 years. [Temple Daily Telegram]
Weird Brothers Coffee (321 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) has announced via social media that co-owner Kenny Olsen died unexpectedly Thursday.
My dear brother Kenneth Olsen passed away yesterday. Our family is distraught and still in shock. Kenny had the biggest…
Brothers Paul and Kenny Olsen founded the popular business as a mobile coffee bar before they opened their permanent location in Herndon in April. Paul told Connection Newspapers the next month about how close he and his brother were, leading to the name “Weird Brothers.”
“My brother and I, for our entire lives, have just always marched to the beat of a different drummer. It always turned out that when we were together, all these weird and strange things would happen. It just fit.”
Friends of the Weird Brothers have shared their condolences on social media.
Please help us support our friends at Weird Brothers Coffee, who supply Lake Anne Brew House with our amazing Nitro Cold…
Sorry to hear about your loss, sending condolences from The Frenchman team
— The Frenchman (@TheFrenchmanFT) August 4, 2017
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the business as it copes with Kenny’s death.
A memorial service has been scheduled for Friday, Aug. 18 at Adams-Green Funeral Home (721 Elden St., Herndon).
Photo collage via Weird Brothers Coffee/Instagram
Actor Evan Helmuth, who lived in Reston until the age of 10, died July 18 in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke.
Helmuth, who attended Lake Anne Elementary School before his family moved to the Midwest, pursued a film career after graduating from Interlochen (Mich.) Arts Academy and from the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts. His credits included appearances in numerous popular films and television series.
The following information was provided by Helmuth’s family:
Evan Hershey Helmuth passed away in Los Angeles, California on July 18, 2017 of complications from a stroke. Born in 1977, Evan lived in Reston, Virginia until age 10, when he moved with his family to Ames, Iowa. For many summers, he attended the Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan, followed by three years of high school at the year-round Interlochen Arts Academy. He graduated from the Academy in 1995 as a theater major, receiving the school’s highest award for an individual arts graduate. He further pursued his dramatic studies at the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts, where he received numerous awards and graduated in 1999 with the prestigious Jack Nicholson Award for outstanding actor. He lived in Los Angeles since that time.
Helmuth’s film credits include the Farrelly Brothers’ Fever Pitch, where he appeared opposite Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore as Fallon’s Red Sox-loving sidekick Troy; William Brent Bell’s 2012 horror movie The Devil Inside as Father David; and Joshua Michael Stern’s 2013 Steve Jobs biopic Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher. His TV credits spanned the likes of ABC’s Alias, CBS’ NCIS, Fox’s Bones, TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles and more recently CBS’ comedic drama Battle Creek.
Evan is remembered as a warm, kind, generous, and talented person by family and friends. He is survived by his sister, Erika Fairchild Helmuth Saunders of Hershey, PA; his stepmother, Paula Forrest of Ames, IA; and his beloved dog Sasha. He was preceded in death by his father John William Helmuth and his mother Kerry O’Brien Helmuth. Memorial contributions can be sent in Evan’s name to the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts and the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Theatre Division.
Former Assistant Principal Passes Away — Bill Weaver, a longtime assistant principal at South Lakes and Herndon high schools, died last week at the age of 83. Weaver was also a former football coach at George Mason and James Madison high schools. [Southern Maryland Online]
Community Meeting Tonight on Temporary Fire Station — Residents are invited to come to the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) tonight at 7 p.m. to learn about the county’s plan for Reston’s temporary fire station, and to share their thoughts. [Reston Now]
County Fire Welcomes New Recruits — After 28 weeks of training, new members of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue graduated from training Friday evening. Some began work the next morning, while others started on the job today. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Police: Watch for Signs of Gang Activity — The Fairfax County Police Department says certain types of graffiti can be an indicator of increased gang presence in a community. In addition, they are sharing tips for parents to look for in kids who may be at risk. [WTOP]
Snow Forecast Disappoints — Snow that was predicted to fall overnight didn’t amount to much of anything in Fairfax County, but it will remain windy and cold today. Warmth is expected to return soon, with 60s or even low 70s possible again Sunday. [Capital Weather Gang]
Three Divas Readying for Upcoming Show — Reston’s three divas (Beverly Cosham, Menda Ahart and Felicia Kessel-Crawley) will perform Friday, Feb. 17 at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne. Though the concert is free, seating is limited and reservations are encouraged. [Reston Museum]
Notable Death: Ralph Edward Groening — Groening, a longtime Reston resident, died earlier this week at the age of 97. Groening was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for several decades. [Reston Patch]
William “Bill” Young was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 6, 1942. He was the son of William A. Young, Jr. and Lenora Stephens Young. Bill graduated from Central High School in 1960.
He went on to Bates College in Lewiston, ME graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 1964. He then moved to New York to attend Columbia University, earning his MBA in 1966. Bill then started his own company, Boone, Young and Associates with another Bates College graduate, David Boone. Read More
Dr. Farrell, originally from Clarksburg, W. Va., was a 1955 graduate of Campion Jesuit High School, a Jesuit boarding school for boys in Prairie du Chien, Wis. He was a 1959 graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Farrell completed his medical training in 1965 after his internship at Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, and residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
After completing his medical training Dr. Farrell served in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps at the U. S. Naval Hospital, Pediatrics, Camp Lejeune, N.C. In 1968-69, he served in Vietnam pacification program as a Navy pediatric physician advisor II corps, Milphap Team N-4 in Nha Trang and Saigon treating plaque, malaria and tuberculosis.
After being discharged in 1969, he continued to serve in the U. S. Navy Reserves receiving an honorable discharge as Lieutenant Commander April 1975. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
After his military service, Dr. Farrell moved to Reston in 1971, establishing Farrell Pediatrics in Hunters Woods Village Center.
In 1985, he moved his practice to Sunset Hills Professional Center. The practice still bears his name and has provided care to thousands of young patients in Northern Virginia.
“Dr. Farrell was such a good clinician that in 1989, when my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, he knew the diagnosis before the blood test came back,” said Reston resident John Farrell, a lawyer who often joked with the doctor because the two shared the same name.
Dr. Farrell was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Marcus E. Farrell and his mother, Mae Ann (Hurray) Farrell. His first wife, Carol (Aston) Farrell, died in November 2015 in Raleigh, NC.
He is survived by his wife Nancy; brother Marcus E. Farrell Jr. (wife Ellen); son John David Farrell Jr. (wife Kerry and grandchildren Victor, Patrick and David); Laura Farrell Page (husband Jeff and grandchildren, Carter, Natalie and Logan); Michael Farrell and Julene Farrell; and stepdaughter Cynthia Connell (husband Paul and grandchildren Brian and Kevin).
Family will receive guests on Friday, Oct. 28 from 6-8 p.m. with a memorial service to be held Saturday, Oct. 29 (time and location pending).
More information and a condolence book can be found at www.adamsgreen.com.
Photo: Dr. John D. Farrell Sr./Family photo via Adams Green Funeral Home.
Heidi Merkel, a senior planner with the Fairfax Department of Planning and Zoning who was instrumental in organizing and implementing the Reston Master Plan Special Study and plan amendment, died of cancer July 19. She was 49.
Merkel, of Arlington, is survived by her husband, Bill, and three children: Caroline, 15; Samuel, 12; and Caleb, 7; her father, Leland Tolo of West Hartford, Ct.; her brother, Paul Tolo, and sister-in-law, Jennifer Tolo, of Sammamish, Wash.; and her many beloved nieces and nephews.
Merkel attended high school in West Hartford, Ct., then received her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and studied Urban and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She began her professional career as an Associate Planner for the City of Danbury.
Merkel joined Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) in 1995. She later took five years off to raise her family, but after returning in 2007, she worked tirelessly to help move Reston into the future.
The Master Plan amendments were approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2014 and ’15.
“Heidi was a gem,” said land use lawyer Mark Looney, who served on the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force. The task force held dozens of meetings over four years, and Merkel attended most of them, even while battling her illness. Read More
Daryl was the son of Rodney E. Smith and Alene Smith and the older of their two children.
Daryl was born on Feb. 5, 1966 and grew up in Reston. He attended Lake Anne Elementary School, Herndon Middle School and Herndon High School. At HHS, he played football and participated in band.
He continued his education at Tennessee State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1991.
Daryl worked for George Mason University and then at American Systems Corporation in Chantilly for 24 years.
Daryl was a loving son, uncle and brother. He loved sports, “The Simpsons,” playing computer games, eating popcorn and encouraging his nephew, Thomas Mayo, in his football career.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. He is survived by his mother, Alene; sister, Leslie; nieces, Asheligh and Amber; nephews Thomas and Tory; grandnieces, Ayianna, Amariee, and Jamirah; and grandnephews Antonio and Jose.
Services were previously held. Contributions may be made to the Autism Society, 4340 East West Highway, Bethesda, Md., 20814.
Manny and his wife, Ruth, lived in Reston for more than 30 years, relocating from New York in 1974 to be near grown children.
At age 82, Manny became the oldest ball boy to work the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. That earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
He competed several times in the Virginia Senior Olympics and the National Senior Olympics and was an avid softball and bridge player. His needlepoint works were also displayed at Reston Community Center in recent years.
Manny retired twice — from the fur industry in New York and later as a furniture salesman at Bloomingdales at Tysons Corner.
“I think being so active keeps me young,” Hershkowitz told the Washington Times in 2003. “I think age is a state of mind.”
He was a World War II veteran and was married to Ruth Hershkowitz for 73 years. They had three children, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Manny is survived by his wife Ruth, children, Stephen (Louise), Jared (Fran) and Meryl (Peter); grandchildren, Rana (Mark), Jo (Steve), Arianna, Brittany and Steven; great grandchildren, James, Sean, Alan and Jason.
Donations may be made in his memory to the Ashby Pond Scholarship Fund or the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Religious School.
Photo: Manny Hershkowitz/Legacy.com
Levine was a 2013 graduate of Herndon High School who was a junior Political Science major at the University of Miami.
At Miami, he was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and was active in undergraduate student government.
Levine’s larger-than-life personality and witty sense of humor made him the life of the party, whether it was a gathering of two or a stadium full of fellow students.
“Truly beloved by all, Adam’s outgoing, caring personality and sense of humor was known to always make his friends smile,” Miami’s Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely said in a statement. “With a remarkably joyful disposition, he enjoyed helping his fellow students.”
He had a passion for leadership and helping others, working when he was a teen as a teacher at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation’s (NVHC) religious school and as a counselor at its summer camp for preschoolers.
Robert Nosanchuk, a family friend and the former rabbi at NVHC, said Levine has always been “the kind of kid people gravitated toward.”
“I first met him when he was nine, and that was the same kid at 21 the students at University of Miami will miss,” said Nosanchuk. “He was so affectionate and open hearted. He defined loyalty and protection. I saw that time and again. If this [tragedy] had happened to someone else, he would care more than anyone else. He was such a loyal, consistent friend.”
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22 at NVHC, 1441 Wiehle Ave. in Reston.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Camp Harlam Memorial Fund, c/o NVHC.
Photos courtesy Levine family