Cindy Bither
Administrative Assistant
P: (540) 464-7207
F: (540) 464-7443

111 Smith Hall
Lexington, VA 24450

Jackson House Volunteers Honored

FullTextImage/img/@altRon Grandel displays the Barksdale Award he received for outstanding service; Dale Buckner received the Gentry Award for work in the Stonewall Jackson House garden. — Photos courtesy of the Stonewall Jackson House.

LEXINGTON, Va., July 3, 2014 – Stonewall Jackson House volunteers and staff were honored at a reception at McKethan Park June 10. Among those recognized were Sherwin Dillard, who was honored for serving the most hours, 311, by a single volunteer in 2013. Honored for contributing the most hours during her overall tenure at the Stonewall Jackson House was Dolores Ryan, who has served 8,000.

“Once a year we gather to say something that we can never say often enough, which is ‘Thank you’ to all those people who contribute so much to make the Stonewall Jackson House the place it is,” said Michael Anne Lynn, Stonewall Jackson House site director. Lynn went on to note that in 2013 alone 76 volunteers worked more than 5,700 hours on behalf of the museum.

Several significant anniversaries were recognized during the event. Anne Demsky, LaVonne Demsky, Lucy Gritzmacher, Winifred Hart, Mitzi Languedoc, Mary Quarles, Jane Stange and Paul Strickland all celebrated five years working with the Jackson House. Jim and Maureen Smart were commended for 10 years of service, and Nancy Walker was honored for volunteering for more than 30 years.

Dale Buckner was honored with the Gentry Award, which is named for longtime volunteer Mary E. Gentry and given to a garden volunteer. Buckner was chosen for his dedication and commitment, often coming in, working, and leaving before staff members are even aware of his presence. He quietly takes care of the hard jobs in the flowerbeds, said Lynn.

Ron Grandel received the Barksdale Award, named for longtime volunteer Flournoy Barksdale and given to a volunteer who offers outstanding service inside the house. In addition to his regular shift as a docent, Grandel reviews books under consideration for sale in the museum shop, works on research projects, guides special groups, offers outreach programs to local Boy Scout and school groups, and generally is the first person staff will call for any special project, said Lynn.

Col. Keith Gibson, Virginia Military Institute executive director of museum operations, gave the opening remarks, praising the efforts of the volunteers who offer their time in service, leading tours of the house, working in the museum shop, planting and tending the garden, and helping with the many small tasks that keep the museum functioning as a Lexington tourist venue.

The Stonewall Jackson House is the only home that Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson ever owned. It is owned and operated by VMI, where Jackson taught. For further information, or to become a volunteer, call 540-464-7704, send e-mail to Kachina Johnson at, or visit The next volunteer informational meeting will take place Sept. 4.