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Russell H. Whichard

Russell H. Whichard

VIRGINIA BEACH—Russell H. “Rusty” Whichard passed away Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at Norfolk General Hospital after a brief but courageous battle with cancer.

A Celebration of Rusty’s Life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, 3201 Edinburgh Drive, Virginia Beach.

Rusty came into this world as a special child on October 28, 1969, at the WPAFB Hospital near Dayton, Ohio. Rusty and his family moved to Virginia Beach in 1970 where he lived until his passing. His life was impacted by a variety of medical challenges which he overcame with strength, courage and immense determination.

He attended Princess Anne High School and afterwards moved to a group home operated by Community Alternatives. Later, he moved to a group home operated by the Virginia Beach Community Services Board’s Supported Living Program, where he has lived since. He spent his days participating in many community outings and scheduled activities at SkillQuest, Rusty’s day program provider.

Rusty was a wonderfully funny, quirky and loving person. To him, there were no strangers, no barriers to friendship and no one left unloved. Everyone who met Rusty felt his love—he was always truly excited to see friends and family at the door. He taught us about life itself—his strength to bounce-back, resilience and joyful attitude.

His favorite pastimes were watching The Price is Right, football, listening to music and sitting in the sun—he was very cold-blooded and loved the sun shining on him. He enjoyed french fries, hamburgers with nothing on it, and unsweet iced tea…a true meat and potatoes guy.

Rusty is survived by his father, Eddy H. Whichard; brother, Scott S. Whichard; sisters, Amanda K. Swisher and Emily V. Partlow and their families including six nieces and nephews; aunt, Janice W. Barber and her family; numerous cousins; and Sheila Hoffman Graham.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Aldene S. Whichard; aunt, Melanie A. Hitch; and grandparents, Joseph Whichard, Mildred Whichard, Marion Hoffman, Bernita Hoffman and Mamie Dunn, and is with them now.

A special thank you—Rusty and his family are grateful for the Virginia Beach Community Services Board and their Supported Living Program, along with SkillQuest for the time, caring attention and love shared by so many wonderful people who assisted Rusty in life.  Rusty and his family also thank Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and the group of incredible doctors, nurses and staff for the caring attention paid to Rusty during his last days.

Mildred, Rusty’s paternal grandmother, said many times, “Death is a part of life.” In other words, rejoice in the time you have with the people you care for, with the knowledge of and faith in what comes after. Rusty shared our lives for 54 years.  He’s now in a better place, and we will be together again.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Community Services Board, an organization with which Rusty spent significant time, and with a team that cared for Rusty in so many ways. The CSB’s trust account is: Virginia Beach Community Trust for Psychiatric Disabilities Exempt Fund, Attn: Judith Roth, 297 Independence Boulevard, Suite 218, Virginia Beach, VA 23462.

Rappahannock Record Staff
Rappahannock Record Staff
From the Rappahannock Record news team
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