Though we were not intimate, I counted John a friend as he was one of the first persons to encourage me to write my book about Stonewall Jackson and his black Sunday school class. John will be missed, especially his voice and laughter coming from my radio. I hope WSVA recorded those programs for posterity. The photo is of John lecturing on the battle of Cross Keys. See obituary below:
John L. Heatwole, age 58, of Swoope died Wednesday, November 22, 2006 in Rockingham Memorial Hospital.
He was born March 24, 1948 in Washington, D. C. and was the son of the late John L. Heatwole, Jr. (formerly of Dayton) and the late Lillye Marie Preston Heatwole.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was employed by the Library of Congress before returning to his roots in the Valley in 1974.
Mr. Heatwole was a well-known sculptor, folklorist, historian, author, lecturer and tour guide. He served as co-chairman of the Rockingham County Bicentennial Commission and on numerous committees and commissions dedicated to preserving the Valley’s traditions and historic sites.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Miriam Dale Heatwole; his son, David F. Heatwole and wife Dawn and their children of Martinsburg, W. Va.; a sister, Stephanie Heatwole Price and husband George of Warrenton. Also surviving are his father’s widow, Lillian Cash Heatwole of Woodbridge; two half sisters, Theresa Howe and Juanita Ford; and two stepbrothers, Wayne Heatwole and Lawrence Heatwole.
Burial was private in Green Hill Cemetery in Churchville, as John wished. Memorial donations may be sent to AMC Hospice of the Shenandoah, Rockingham Memorial Hospital Regional Cancer Center, or to a memorial scholarship fund in his honor by contacting the Harrisonburg, Rockingham Historical Society.
(From The Daily News-Record, Harrisonburg, Virginia)