Remembering Jock Pumphrey

September 2nd, 2011

Below you will find a joint letter to the editor of the Leesburg Today by myself and Joe T. May on the passing of our friend and patriot, Jock Pumphrey.


Dear Editor,

In 1998, NBC journalist Tom Brokaw wrote a book entitled The Greatest Generation. In this book, Brokaw chronicles and celebrates the lives of those great American men and women born in the first few decades of the 20th Century, who steeled themselves through the Great Depression learning the ethics of hard work and perseverance, who fought in and won the Second World War, who contributed mightily toward making American the world’s only superpower respecting human rights and operative moral principles, and who then returned to their families, jobs, and communities to continue their work without bragging about their accomplishments. Brokaw called them “the greatest generation any society has ever produced.”

This past week, we lost a paradigm of The Greatest Generation when John William “Big Jock” Pumphrey, Jr. was called home. Jock served four terms on the Leesburg Town Council during which he played a key leadership role in many important civic undertakings from helping the town establish a permanent water source to protecting the viability of the Leesburg Executive Airport. Jock’s civic service did not end with elective service. He served his community as Chief Engineer for the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Department for over a decade and led a host of community betterment groups from the Leesburg Host Lion’s Club, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to the Odd Fellows Lodge, to St. James Episcopal Church. He was an incredible man, a worthy friend, father, and husband, an outstanding civic leader, and a true exemplar. A few years ago, the Boy Scouts of Loudoun County honored Jock and named him its “Good Scout of the Year” due to the fact that his life and service makes him a worthy role model for young leaders in our community.

As Seward said of Lincoln, “he now belongs to the ages.” The three of us will miss Jock Pumphrey’s friendship and will cherish our memories of our departed friend who gave so much to his community.

Joe May, Leesburg

Randy Minchew, Leesburg



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