Commander Victor ‘Tory’ Failmezger, USN Retired, (74) of Warren County, Virginia, passed away on July 2, 2021, after complications of Heart Failure. He was born in New Brunswick, NJ in 1947, the third child of Victor Failmezger and Mary Elizabeth Welch and the stepson of Dr. Paul D. Sturkie, Professor Emeritus of Rutgers University, all now deceased. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patricia A. Grant, their son Christian and daughter Victoria Matthews and two grandsons. He is also survived by his sister, Stephanie Partilla of Huntington, Long Island. His brother, Robin Gregory, died in 2017.
Commander Failmezger grew up in New Jersey and graduated from East Brunswick High School, class of 1965. He was active in track and played drums in the high school band and orchestra. He was an Eagle Scout, BSA, and Chief of Sakawawin Lodge Number 287 Order of the Arrow. For five summers, he worked as a Boy Scout Camp Counselor at the Sakawawin Scout Reservation in Branchville, New Jersey.
He graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1969 with a degree in History. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. After his junior year, he spent the summer touring the major cities of Europe, and that started his lifelong infatuation with the continent. Upon graduation and subject to the US Military Draft, he enlisted in the US Navy.
He was first stationed at the NATO Base in Naples, Italy, where in his off time he joined the Archaeological Team of Dr. R. F. Paget and worked on the ancient Roman road system north of Naples and the Oracle of the Dead at Baia.
In Italy, he met and married Patricia Grant of Council Bluffs, Iowa. a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the US Navy Nurse Corps stationed at the US Naval Hospital, Naples. Their son Christian was born in Naples.
While in Italy, Failmezger earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Boston University, Naples, Italy campus.
Selected to attend Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, he was commissioned an Ensign, Special Duty Intelligence in April 1974. His first major assignment was to Attack Squadron VA-56, embarked on USS Midway, and home ported in Yokosuka, Japan, where their daughter Victoria was born. Most notable was his participation in Operation Frequent Wind, the emergency evacuation of Saigon in 1975. Patricia and Victor traveled much of the Far East and spent several months living with the children at Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines. A high point was a 1975 port visit to Karachi, Pakistan, and a visit to the Khyber Pass.
The next assignment was at a US Naval Intelligence Center in Suitland, Maryland. Because of some innovative analytical work, the then Lieutenant Failmezger was appointed the Special Assistant to Rear Admiral Sumner Shapiro, the Director of Naval Intelligence, and a Pentagon Aide to then Rear Admiral E.A. Burkhalter, Jr. the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence.
His next assignment was Rome, Italy, where he served for three years as the Assistant Naval Attaché. It was Patricia’s and his favorite assignment. Back in the States, he joined Commander Carrier Group Eight and was embarked on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVAN-69) and the USS Nimitz (CVAN-68). Additionally, he was part of the first staff to embark aboard the USS Iowa (BB-61) since WW2.
Following German language training in California, he was assigned as Director US Naval Science and Technical Unit, Munich, Germany. There he conducted naval intelligence information exchange with NATO Naval Allies, sought out innovative technologies, and was often called to travel to East Berlin to exercise US Navy rights to enter that city. He took his family to visit Berlin before the fall of Communism and the Berlin Wall.
His final Navy assignment was at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC, where he directed a team evaluating bomb damage inflicted during Operation Desert Storm.
Over the course of his 22 years in Naval Service, Commander Failmezger was awarded eight personal decorations, including two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, and other commendation and achievement medals.
Entering civilian life, he worked for several small consulting companies bringing European technology to the United States and export US Technology to Europe. He was active with the US Department of Energy to transfer government-developed technologies to the private sector and worked with NASA on Satellite Remote Sensing technology transfer issues. During the period he was a featured speaker at international conferences in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Qatar. He also made a preliminary site visit for a World Bank International Water Forum in Dalian, China.
At the same time, he assisted Patricia with her architectural salvage business, Architectural Old House Parts of Front Royal, Virginia. Growing out of the experience, he supervised their recreation of Thomas Jefferson’s private house, Poplar Forest, in Warren Country.
For four years he served as a Warren County, Virginia, Planning Commissioner.
Commander Failmezger wrote and published six books. Most notably was American Knights, the story of the legendary WWII 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion and Rome, City in Terror, the Nazi Occupation 1943-1944, published by Osprey Publications of Oxford, UK. In the course of writing both of these books, he and Patricia traveled to Europe on numerous occasions, occasionally taking the rest of the family with them.
He was a long-time member of the Ancient Numismatic Society of Washington and moderated two international numismatic conferences in York, England.
Judy M. Smith (1943 – 2022)
Judy M. Smith, nee Barnett, 79, of Front Royal, Virginia, and Pasadena, Maryland, passed away on September 27, 2022, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease peacefully in her sleep.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, September 30, 2022, at 2:00 pm at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Front Royal, with the Rev. Matt Waters officiating.
Mrs. Smith leaves her husband of 59 years, Sidney Smith; daughter, Stephanie Smith (Amy Thompson); sister, Roseanne B. Mobley; brothers, Frank H. Barnett Jr. (Cathy Steed), William P. Barnett Sr., and George E. Barnett (Connie) and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and innumerable friends.
Born in Front Royal on August 3, 1943, her father, Frank H. Barnett Sr., was instrumental in starting the predecessor to the current Warren Memorial Hospital. Her mother, Rose C. Barnett, was a devoted elementary school teacher.
For much of her career, Judy was a devoted federal employee. She was a team leader and manager in taxpayer services at the Internal Revenue Service and was in charge of cash management at the treasury department.
After leaving federal service, Judy went on to a successful commercial real estate and appraisal career. While Judy was very successful and focused on her business endeavors, she was most known for her devotion to her family and friends.
Judy’s passions included world travel, dancing, sailing, reading, music, and enjoying the view from her front porch. She enjoyed life’s moments big and small. Judy was a wonderful hostess and cook well before being a “foodie” was a thing.
Judy’s greatest gift was being a partner in a 59-year love story with Sid. Their marriage was built on love, caring, trust, and mutual consideration.
Judy’s starring role was being her best friend and mother to Stephanie.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Alzheimer’s Association in the name of Judy Smith.
Jeffery Allen Fincham, Jr. (1986 – 2022)
Jeffery Allen Fincham, Jr., 36, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away suddenly on Saturday, September 24, 2022, at his home.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, September 29, at 2:00 pm at Maddox Funeral Home with Steve Foster officiating. Inurnment will be private.
Jeffery was born July 19, 1986, in Front Royal, Virginia, the son of Jeff Fincham Sr. and Kelly Lynn Gifft-Carter.
He worked for Jeff Fincham’s Tree and Landscaping.
Surviving is his father, Jeff Fincham, Sr., and wife Tracy of Toms Brook; mother, Kelly Lynn Gifft-Carter of Front Royal; paternal grandmother, Lillie K. Fincham of Front Royal; maternal grandmother, Peggy L. Nicholson of Front Royal; one sister, Amy Fincham of Winchester; and three brothers, Nathan Fincham, Cody Fincham, and Dylan Fincham, all of Front Royal.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, September 28, from 6:00 -8:00 pm at the funeral home.
Patricia Anne Mullen (1929 – 2022)
Patricia Mullen, 93, was born to Joseph Edward Mullen and Marie Luellyn Kinslow Mullen in Washington, DC, on August 13, 1929, where she grew up and attended school.
Pat graduated with high honors from Holy Trinity High School on June 4, 1947. She began her career at The National Bureau of Standards as a Physical Science Technician in the Ionizing Radiation Division, where she stayed until retirement. She was there published more than a dozen times for her work in physical, chemical, and radiological sciences. She also made lifelong friends before retiring on August 31, 1984.
Pat spent her retirement years living in Frederick, MD, with frequent visits to Deale, MD, where her sisters, Marie Riegel and Doris Parks, lived with their families. Over the last 20 years, she lived in Oakton, VA, and later in Winchester, VA, to be close to family.
Pat, or “AnBap” as she is known by the youngest great-great nieces and nephews, will be remembered for her red hair, spirited personality, fun anecdotes, wittiness, and ability to conjure up an old tune. To her older nephews and nieces, she was resilient and well-read in world affairs, family history, and Ireland.
She is survived by her nephew, Frank Tucker of Texas, along with numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas.
She was predeceased by her parents, her sisters, and four of her five nephews, Thomas Tucker (TX), Joseph Riegel (MD), John Riegel (VA), and Al Parks (NC).
Friends and family will be received for a closed casket visitation at 9:30 am on Friday, September 30, 2022, at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, 120 W Main St., Front Royal, Virginia 22630. Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am the same day at St. John’s. Interment will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, MD, at 1:00 pm.
Memorial donations may be made to Blue Ridge Hospice or the Susan B. Komen Foundation.
James Trent Williams (1974 – 2022)
James Trent Williams of Capon Bridge, West Virginia, passed away on September 15, 2022.
Reunited September 15, 2022, with his daughter Trentity Williams, brother Troy Williams, mother Judith Williams, father Wilbur Randolph Williams, maternal grandparents Elsie & James Cameron & paternal grandmother Margret Williams. James “Trent” Williams, previously of Front Royal, VA, attended Warren County High class of ‘ 91. He was employed by EMS Technology.
Trent leaves behind two daughters, Tifinie Martin of Front Royal VA & Deiana Carr of Augusta WV; brothers Randolph Todd Williams of Berryville VA & Shawn Hale of Front Royal VA; sisters Toni Williams of Stephens City VA, Jazzmyne Ravn of Winchester VA & Katei Keiffer; 5 grandchildren, Elijah Williams, Allison & Nicholas Martin, Memphis & Jameson Carr.
Throughout his life, Trent enjoyed the great outdoors. He enjoyed riding his motorcycle, side by side, four-wheeler, hunting & fishing. Trent also enjoyed playing video games & thrived with DIY home improvement projects.
A private memorial service will be held.
In place of flowers or memorial contributions, please consider planting a tree in honor of his love for the great outdoors.
Jeraldine Shipe Ridgway (1940 – 2022)
Jeraldine Shipe Ridgway, 82, of Front Royal, VA, died at her home on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 2, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at the Front Royal Volunteer Fire Department, conducted by Rev. Buzz Moore and Mr. Steve Foster.
Mrs. Ridgway was born May 30, 1940, in Rockland, VA, the daughter of the late Cleveland Ernest Shipe and Nannie Mae Oliver Shipe.
She began her career in 1954 at Weaver’s Department Store (later Peebles). She served the public for many years at Family Pharmacy, Bowling Green Country Club, and many other businesses. She started Peaches N’ Cream Catering with her daughters and Dal-J Designs with her husband, Dale.
On November 7, 1959, Jerri married the love of her life, Dale Ridgway. The couple, who had been sweethearts since the fourth grade, had been married for 54 years.
Jerri was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her three sisters, Joyce, Jeanette, and Janice.
Surviving are her two daughters Pam Budd and her husband Stephen and Dale Mechelle Cummings and her husband Tom all of Front Royal: six grandchildren Stevi Marie Budd, Jesse E. Budd and his wife Megan, Dale Taylor Williams and her partner Chris Winterkorn, David Brent Williams, Stephanie Dawn Yamamoto and her husband Luis, and Christopher Cummings; seven great-grandchildren Carter Elena Budd, Rowan Daniel Gustafson, Myles Christopher Cummings, Charlotte Lucille Budd, Emilia Grace Yamamoto, Archer Ridgway Winterkorn, and Liam Gustafson; eight godchildren Reggie Fritts, Shannon Laing, Danielle Winnger, Susan Bennett, Kara Bates, Angela Gouda, Jason Tyree, and Tamara Lapp; two brothers-in-law Buzz Moore and Tommy Fritts; special friends The Chuck and Nancy Barnes Family, Betty Stephens, Matt and Susan Bennett, Howard Sanders, The Clarence Jones Family, The Junior Jones Family, The Jean Cornwell Family, The Tommy and Charlotte Esteppe Family, Vaughn Hayes, The Eileen Laing Family, Billy Jones, The Silas Laing Family, The Michael Laing Family, The Bob Laing Family, The Marvin Laing Family, Ruth and Niles Tyree, Virginia and Sammy Henry, Julie Mullins, Bonita Rose, Bonnie and Edward Hoffman, Mrs. Lillian Sloane, Pam and Steve Foster, Kirby Covert, Bob Ladd, Jane Moore, Jim Wells, Bill and Sue McHenry, Elaine Bailey, and Todd and Jessica Cooper. Also surviving are Jerri’s animal friend Amazing Grace, the mule, and Jerri’s faithful and constant companion, her poodle Rascal.
Family is not made by blood but by love. Granny felt richly blessed to have such a large, loving, wonderful family and many great friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Amazing Grace Gospel Barn, c/o Steve Foster, 4796 Reliance Rd., Front Royal, VA 22630.
GySgt Robert “Bobby” Wayne Sites Jr. USMC (Ret.) (1961 – 2022)
GySgt Robert “Bobby” Wayne Sites Jr. USMC (Ret.) 61, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, in the comfort of his own home.
A graveside service will be held at 12:30 pm on September 27th, 2022, at Quantico National Cemetery, 18424 Joplin Rd. Triangle, Virginia 22172.
Bobby was born on January 9, 1961, in Cumberland, Maryland, to the late Robert Wayne Sites Sr. and Laura VanMeter. He is also preceded in death by his sister, Alesia Lee; his nephew, Clay Lee; his niece Cori Jean Carr and his step-father, Donald VanMeter.
Surviving Bobby is his loving wife of 39 years, Janice Sites; his daughter, Jill Sites & Kenny; his siblings, Michelle Savilisky & Dave, Kermit Sites & Beth, Amy Connell, Joy Carr, Ruby Burkett, and LeeAnn Parker; step-mother Lee Sites; his brother in law, Donnie Lee; his nephews, Cody, Zack, Tony and Gary; and numerous extended family members including his dog Sandy.
Bobby enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in December of 1978. He was a drill instructor at Parris Island for two years before becoming an Aircraft Communications Navigation Tech. He then studied Information Technology at the University of Phoenix & worked as a Computer Specialist before his retirement in 1999. He was recalled to active duty in 2005 for Operation Iraqi Freedom, stationed in Fallujah. He achieved many medals during his lifetime in the military with numerous Good Conduct Medals, a Navy Commendation Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, an Armed Forces Reserve Medal, a Korean Defense Service Medal, an Iraqi Campaign Medal, and a Global War on Terrorism Medal.
He retired again in 2006 after 21 years of exemplary service. He also worked at Winchester Medical Center, Army Corp of Engineers, MCCS Quantico, and retired as a security network engineer for the VA. Bobby enjoyed riding his motorcycle, driving his 2.5-ton truck, and living on the Shenandoah River. He had a love for animals, especially his dog Sandy. He will always be remembered as a loving husband & father.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Cumberland, MD
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Humane Society of Warren Co. 1245 Progress Dr. Front Royal, VA 22630