Excerpts by Henry Lane Hull

Jim Charbeneau left the Northern Neck a better place than he found it. Jim, who died last week, spent much of the last three decades as a volunteer and organizer for Hospice Services, where he labored tirelessly to care personally for those facing serious health concerns.

Under his aegis, the Turkey Shoot Regatta was able to raise substantial funds for the program, but for Jim, the more important and rewarding part of his service came in attending personally to the healthcare needs of individuals. He was an indefatigable recruiter for Hospice, nearly always asking individuals with whom he was having a conversation if they would like to join the program and following up by offering to “get them started.”

Jim and his wife, Carol, retired to the Northern Neck from the hustle and bustle of living in Springfield, where Jim spent his career working as an analyst for the C.I.A. in Langley. Appropriately, given his career choice, he had been a geography major at what is now Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich., on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Michigan Peninsula.

Jim was a genuinely dedicated person who sought to do his part to improve the quality of life for everyone he met.

James Charbeneau, October 17, 2023. R.I.P.


A half century ago, Come-heres and Been-heres had the opportunity to shop at the Western Auto store on Main Street in Kilmarnock. When they did, they encountered the gracious personality of Earl Davis, who was far more than an employee; in reality, his was a welcoming face to everyone who entered the store. When the store closed, Earl moved over to join his wife, Margaret, to work at Tri-Star Supermarket, where his already vast horde of admirers increased exponentially.

The best description of Earl is to say that he was “authentic Northern Neck.” He reflected all the qualities that characterize being a true Northern Necker. He spent his life in Ball’s Neck, and when not working in Kilmarnock, he lived on and for the water. He was particularly proud of his oyster shore, and he attended to it meticulously. 

He also liked fishing and crabbing, but holding the lease on the oyster ground was one of his favorite topics of conversation. He abided by all the official regulations, wanting to make the shore as productive as possible, both for his family’s dining pleasure as well as for the health of the Bay itself. Across the span of his long life, Earl thrived on being self-sufficient, and in the process, he did his part to making the Northern Neck the exemplary place it is.

Emory Earl Davis, June 28, 1928 – October 20, 2023. R.I.P.


June Christie spent the last several decades of her life as a devotee of Cavalier King Charles spaniels, of which she had five. She came to the breed for its affection and loyalty, and locally was its great proponent. June was a native of Richmond who moved to the Northern Neck, settling initially at Sandy Point, and then outside Reedville. She enjoyed life here and having the space to indulge her passion for her dogs.

She liked to speak about them by name, discussing the personality traits of each. If anyone asked about them, she would burst into a broad smile and proceed to regale the party with her fascinating observations of spaniel life. For June, Cavalier King Charles spaniels were an integral part of her family, along with her human relatives. As a fellow spaniel devotee, I had many chats with her about the breed, although at present we are a corgi household, to which June would say, “That’s a nice breed too.” 

Being kind to animals is a noble trait, and one in which June excelled.

June Tate Christie, April 1, 1929 – October 19, 2023. R.I.P.