During their 2008 session, legislators passed 160 House resolutions and 91 Senate resolutions “celebrating the lives” of people who had passed away. Some of the resolutions recognized the same person – so in all, 231 people were honored. Here is a sample.
Honoree: William Baldwin Bynum
Achievement: An educator and coach at Broadwater Academy in Exmore for 42 years. He “touched the lives of hundreds of the Eastern Shore’s future leaders, professionals, and outstanding citizens” and was “honored with many awards and accolades over the years.”
Resolution and sponsor: HJ 133, by Delegate Lynwood Lewis, D-Accomac
Honoree: Mary Coyle
Achievement: A member for nearly 20 years of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association. She “was committed to making the community a safe and pleasant place to live” while “raising four children by herself” and “nurturing her wonderful family.”
Resolution and sponsor: HJ 138, by Delegate Tim Hugo, R-Centreville
Honoree: Louise Towles English
Achievement: Founder of Faith Christian Academy and a “kind, energetic, and devout woman.” She “gave generously of her time to many community causes and offered financial support to various organizations” and had an “unwavering belief in the power of prayer.”
Resolution and sponsor: HJ 409, by Delegate Kathy Byron, R-Lynchburg
Honoree: Oliver White Hill Sr.
Achievement: Richmond lawyer and civil rights icon “who challenged the laws of our land and the conscience of our country,” overturning school segregation and Jim Crow laws. The first African American to serve on the Richmond City Council since Reconstruction, he died last year at age 100.
Resolution and sponsor: HJ 251, by Delegate Frank Hall, D-Richmond
Honoree: Emily Jane Hilscher
Achievement: A freshman at Virginia Tech who died at age 18 in last year’s campus shootings. A Rappahannock High School graduate, she “had a great respect and affinity for all things in nature, and animals seemed to sense her compassion and ‘were drawn to her like a magnet.’”
Resolution and sponsor: SJ 86, by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg
– Bethany Emerson