They Make a Difference in Alexandria

They Make a Difference in Alexandria

Living Legends of Alexandria: 2008 nominees.

Living Legends of Alexandria is an ongoing program to identify, honor and chronicle the people who are making history in Alexandria today. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Alexandria and the Alexandria Gazette Packet, the project was conceived and is directed by Nina Tisara. Over the last year, a dozen of the nominees, The Legends of 2008, were selected for feature articles in the Gazette Packet. They are Engin Artemel, Donna and Mel Bergheim, Bernard M. Fagelson, Lillie Finklea and Louise Massoud, Carlton Funn, Arlene Hewitt, Eula and Melvin Miller, George Pera, Elbert Ransom, Jane Ring and Charlene Schiff.

All of the nominees will be honored at a reception, Sunday, Feb. 8, 3-5 p.m. at the Carlyle Club, 411 John Carlyle Street. Here are their biographical sketches:


Engin Artemel sees the 1982 Waterfront Plan as the highlight of his 10 years as director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Alexandria. He has degrees in architecture, urban planning and civil engineering, and has used all of them in his long career. While he worked for the City, he and then-mayor Chuck Beatley set in motion a plan to improve Alexandria’s waterfront. To educate leaders, and through them a wider public, Artemel took a group to Europe and later to other parts of the United States to study how other waterfront cities used these important locations. Under his leadership, the City began the long and continuing process of relocating and removing industrial uses from prime waterfront land, providing open space and increased public access, and planning new and better uses. Artemel is married to Agnes Artemel, a partner in his international planning and economic development firm. He has four children.


Donna and Mel Bergheim have been partners for 50 years, working together and individually to enrich the civic and cultural life of Alexandria. Donna Bergheim served five years on the Virginia Commission for the Arts and advocated for arts education in public schools and for festivals such as the Alexandria Arts Safari. She helped transform an old lumber warehouse in Old Town North into MetroStage’s 150-seat professional theater, which is named for her. Donna Bergheim was a Foreign Service Information Officer when she married Mel Bergheim in Mexico in 1959. They raised four children in Alexandria. Donna Bergheim was an active volunteer in civic and school groups. Professionally, Mel Bergheim was a Washington Post reporter, an Alexandria Gazette Packet op-ed columnist and an editor or writer for several other publications. He also held senior positions serving federal and local governments. As a city councilman and vice mayor, Mel Bergheim led the way in protecting consumers and human rights, abating air pollution, soil erosion and noise, acquiring Dora Kelly Nature Park, and providing primary health care for the poor. He was founding president of the Alexandria Federation of Civic Associations, headed citizen efforts to establish an adolescent health clinic and was influential in requiring Alexandria restaurants to set aside non-smoking areas.


Photographer Kathryn A. Brown has long worked to advance artistic opportunities in Alexandria. A former member of the Visual Arts Panel of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts, Brown is also a founding member and leader of the Del Ray Artisans, the Alexandria Arts Forum and the King Street Gardens Park Foundation. She helped these organizations achieve financial growth and stability and remains an active board member. She regularly exhibits her work at Del Ray Artisans’ shows and other locations, and has participated in the biannual Art in City Hall exhibits, which she helped make a reality through her work on the committee that developed the program. She has been active in planning and promoting Candidates Nights for the Arts Forum as a way of focusing politicians on the importance of art in civic life. She has run a successful photography business specializing in architectural and event photography for more than 25 years. Brown is an affiliate member of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, who presented her with the Honor Award for Allied Professional. She is a recipient of the Cultural Affairs Award from the Alexandria Commission for Women.


William D. Euille made history in 2003 by becoming the first African American to serve as mayor in Alexandria’s 254 years of history. A City Council member from 1994 to 2003, he served as vice mayor from 1997 to 2000. A former chairman of the Northern Virginia Urban League, Euille also served on the Alexandria School Board from 1974 to 1984, and has been a member of the boards of the YMCA of Alexandria, NAACP, the Alexandria Boys & Girls Club, League of Women Voters, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Northern Virginia Transportation Commission. Euille was born and raised in Alexandria and has a degree in accounting from Quinnipiac College in Connecticut, awarded in 1972. He is the owner of William D. Euille and Associates, a general contracting firm. With the goals of prizing diversity and respecting differences, he has made his vision of "One Alexandria," a working reality in the city.


Sometimes a business is so much more. Over the decades, the Royal Restaurant has been Alexandria’s prime gathering spot, a place where families come for Sunday brunch and old friends meet for lunch, where weddings are planned and city council campaigns are hashed out. The door is always open at St. Asaph and Madison. Credit big-hearted proprietor Charlie Euripides, who has worked at the Royal since he left Cyprus as a teenager in the 1950s. Eventually, he took over for two weary uncles when the restaurant was still on Royal Street. Charlie’s philosophy is simple: work hard, treat everybody like family, and serve "the kind of food your mother would put down on the table for you:" homemade soup, turkey dinners and, by popular vote over the years, the best breakfast in town. Euripides and his wife, Barbara, who died in 2001, helped a half-dozen immigrants settle in Alexandria, employing them at the restaurant and coaching them with naturalization studies. One of them still works in the kitchen. "I love my work. I love my life. I love Alexandria," said Euripides, who at 75 still puts in 12- hours days, seven days a week. "I wish I could do more."


At 95, Bernard M. Fagelson, a native Alexandrian, still serves as senior counsel at his firm, Fagelson, Schonberger, Payne and Deichmeister, P.C. A land use attorney, Fagelson has represented builders, developers, investors and businesses in zoning, land use and development cases. Fagelson’s colleagues describe him as the dean of Alexandria’s land use attorneys. The son of an Alexandria dairy farmer, Fagelson was the first member of his family to achieve higher education. He is a depression-era graduate of the George Washington University Law School, where he was both class president and the youngest member of his class. After serving as a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II, he returned to Alexandria to practice law in 1946, working for Judge Robinson Moncure during his first year of practice. He is a former president of the Alexandria Bar Association and a director emeritus of Burke and Herbert Bank. He takes pride in having helped Alexandria grow from a small southern town to a city where growth and land use are controlled by law. Attorney Lonnie Rich, who nominated him, said, "Fagelson is probably most noted for his sustained civility and graciousness while practicing in an area of law noted for its contentiousness."


Native Alexandrian TJ Fannon and his family have given major support to Inova Alexandria Hospital, the Alexandria Symphony, the foster care organization Alexandria’s Child, Senior Services of Alexandria, Bishop Ireton High School, St. Mary’s Academy, Alexandria youth baseball (continuous team sponsorship since inception, plus other support) and the Rotary Club of Alexandria. A private man, Fannon is reticent about receiving recognition and engages in many of his philanthropic acts without great fanfare. The Fannon family business, which has served Alexandrians for over 120 years, reflects his principles of honesty and fair dealing.


Lillie Finklea and Louise Massoud ensured that the Alexandria Freedmen’s Cemetery, a burial ground for African Americans, was recognized and restored after generations of neglect. Established by the U.S. Army in 1864, during the Civil War, the cemetery was directly across from St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, near where the George Washington Memorial Parkway (Washington Street) crosses over the Beltway today. More than 1,800 freedmen were buried there between 1864 and 1868, when the federal government abandoned it. Gradually it fell into disrepair and in time was largely destroyed by new construction, and then forgotten. In 1997, Finklea and Massoud read a Washington Post story about this site. Fearing that what remained of the cemetery would be destroyed and further desecrated during construction of the new, wider Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Finklea and Massoud formed the Friends of Freedmen’s Cemetery. For the next 10 years the group advocated for memorializing the sacred ground. They appealed to City officials, African-American churches, the NAACP and archaeological and historical preservation groups, slowly building support. In 2007, the City purchased the office building and the gas station, tore them down, and rededicated the site as a cemetery. Archaeologists have discovered nearly 500 graves and a memorial will be built to commemorate the Freedmen’s Cemetery for future generations.


Carlton Funn has devoted much of his life to promoting and preserving the history of African Americans and other minorities, particularly in Alexandria. Funn’s passion is teaching, whether in the classroom, in museums or other exhibition spaces, or in daily contacts with others. Born at 1005 Oronoco Street in 1932, Funn attended Lyles Crouch Elementary School in the days when it was a segregated school for black children. After he graduated from Storer College, a historically black school in Harper’s Ferry, W.Va., Funn became a teacher himself, specializing in history. He noted right away that the textbooks he was given had little accurate history about African Americans, and he made it his mission to supplement and improve the information he taught and to advocate for better textbooks. He also began collecting information on his own, creating an exhibit promoting African American heritage and awareness of 28 other cultures. It has been shown more than 500 times, traveling to school and community groups in 12 states over the past 51 years. He is chairman of the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage, and was honored in 2008 by the Alexandria Historical Society for a lifetime of service in promoting African American heritage through his cultural exhibits.


Arlene Hewitt has devoted more than 42 years to improving health services in Alexandria, both professionally and as a volunteer. The Boston native was hired as the first social worker at Alexandria Hospital in 1967. Always relishing a challenge, she has initiated or worked on programs for the well-being of her fellow citizens ever since. Among her achievements are Alexandria Hospital’s first patient discharge plan, counseling patients, a treatment program for alcoholic patients, a fitness program for seniors, and a city regulation requiring children under 14 to wear bicycle helmets (the program provided an initial supply for police officers to distribute from squad cars). She wrote brochures to educate seniors and new mothers and the indigent on resources available in the City, chaired the task force resulting in the Flora Krause Casey Clinic and is still working on the executive committee of the Mayor’s Task Force, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy. She raised awareness of stroke symptoms and accident prevention for children and succeeded in doubling the number of infants immunized. Now 78 and retired, Hewitt continues her volunteer efforts, serving on the Alexandria Public Health Advisory Commission, First Night Alexandria, and as a trustee of the Beth El Hebrew Congregation Permanent Endowment Fund.


Susan B. Kellom gives generously of her time to organize and involve Alexandrians in politics and advocacy for youth, women, and families. A retired U.S. Army Reserve Military Police officer, Susan Kellom is married to Ben Kellom, also a retired military officer. A native of Southampton, Pa., and Dover, Del., Kellom learned her organizing skills through extracurricular activities in high school and college and in the U.S. Army. She has been a member of the Alexandria Commission for Women since 1997 and served on the Youth Policy Commission from 1997 to 2004. She was a member of the Alexandria Human Rights Commission from 1985 until 2004, serving two terms as chair. She has served on the Resource Development Board of Healthy Families Alexandria for nearly eight years. She has been chairman of the Alexandria Democratic Committee since 1999, organizing voter forums, debates, outreach activities to youth and other groups, and achieving a long string of electoral victories. If she knows of a member of the community who is ill, she organizes circles of caring friends to provide meals and transportation, to shop and run errands, and to stay in touch via phone, visits, and writing.

<b>JOHN D. KLING</b>

Dr. John D. Kling grew up in Alexandria, attended George Mason Elementary School and graduated from St. Stephen’s School. He graduated from Wake Forest University and in 1984 earned a dental degree from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, where he volunteered at a free dental clinic associated with the Cleveland Clinic. During a residency in Buffalo, New York, he volunteered to treat children with special needs and patients at a Veterans Administration Hospital. His 25-year private practice in Alexandria emphasizes reconstructive and cosmetic dentistry, expertise he has voluntarily provided, through the Give Back A Smile Program, to women needing reconstructive dentistry after spousal abuse. Dr. Kling is a past Chair of the Alexandria Public Health Advisory Commission. He worked with the Health Department to place protective dental sealants on the teeth of disadvantaged Alexandria youth and has provided pro bono work for low-income patients in his office and at the Northern Virginia Dental Clinic. He has been an annual sponsor of the Alexandria Walk to Fight Breast Cancer, a Cub Scout master, and a coach for Little League Baseball and CYO basketball. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Alexandria, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, and the Alexandria Dental Society, of which he is a past president.

<b>MARLIN G. LORD </b>

Marlin G. Lord is an architect, artist and civic activist. A former chairman and 20-year member of the Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission, Lord has worked to maximize parkland citywide, including in Potomac Yard. He created a plan and led a campaign to replace the Monroe Avenue Bridge with a new, straightened structure, resulting in added contiguous parkland for Simpson Field and elimination of a traffic hazard. Lord is a founding member of the Del Ray Artisans, the Potomac West Business Association (now Del Ray Business Association), King Street Gardens Park Foundation and the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. A native of Minnesota, Lord received a bachelor of arts in architecture (1960) and a bachelor of architecture (1962) from the University of Minnesota. He has owned his own architectural firm since 1986. He has been an active, contributing resident of Alexandria for 42 years, serving on numerous City committees and always striving to improve the quality of life of citizens and benefit the community as a whole. As an artist, he has exhibited his work in juried shows at the Art League, the Campagna Center, the Alexandria Festival of the Arts, Art in City Hall and Del Ray Artisans.


Eula Miller has been working to improve the lives of children and fighting for justice and equality since she was 19 years old. Born in Maxton, N.C. in 1933, Eula graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro in 1953. She later earned a master’s degree in education from the George Washington University. Moving to Alexandria in 1958 with her husband, she worked as a schoolteacher until her children were born. When she returned to teaching, she became involved in early childhood education, working to improve daycare centers and the education of childcare providers. As a liaison between Alexandria City Public Schools and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) she helped put together a degree program for classroom instructional aides. She stayed at NOVA and became the head of the Early Childhood Education Program, a position she still holds. She also created a program to help teenage mothers continue their education, become better mothers, and learn to become childcare providers. She helped Alexandria’s city-run daycare centers for low-income families achieve national accreditation, and continues to recruit and train people from disadvantaged backgrounds to become better childcare providers.


A former attorney at the Federal Housing Administration, which later became the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), A. Melvin Miller rose to become director of HUD’s Metropolitan Washington Office and became a deputy undersecretary in 1977. He was appointed to the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority in 1970, serving as chair until 1977. He served on the Alexandria School Board from 1986 to 1993, and as chair from 1990 to 1992. He was appointed to ARHA again in 2000, and in 2001 became chair, a position he still holds. He is recognized for his innovative leadership in finding ways to incorporate replacement public housing in new development projects that mix market value housing with public housing. He was also a leader and spokesman for the Secret Seven, a group of African American leaders who advocated for equality for all people in this community during the period of school integration and the civil rights movement. He often provided pro bono behind-the-scenes legal advice to civil rights activists involved in court cases. He served on the State Council of Higher Education for eight years beginning in 1971.

<b>JAMES P. MORAN </b>

U.S. Rep. James P. "Jim" Moran is in his 10th term as a member of Congress, where he represents the 8th District of Virginia. He is a member of the Appropriations Committee, where he serves on the Defense, Interior, and Labor, Health and Human Services subcommittees. Moran began his political career in Alexandria, where he was elected to City Council in 1979. He served as vice mayor from 1982 to 1984 and was elected mayor in 1986. In Congress, he has supported regional transportation solutions, and has led the way on environmental and women’s issues, technology, fair trade, and fiscal discipline. He has worked to protect federal employees and military retirees. He supported authorizing the replacement of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, closing Lorton prison and preventing drug dealers from living in public housing. He has also been a strong advocate for reducing harmful emissions from the region’s aging coal-fired power plants, preserving green space and restoring local streams such as Four Mile Run.


Mike Oliver thoroughly enjoys living and volunteering in Alexandria. He supports T.C. Williams sports teams, cultural and community events, and nonprofit organizations such as Friends of the Alexandria Mental Health Center, the Alexandria 250th Birthday Celebration, the George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee and ALIVE! (ALexandrians InVolved Ecumenically). Oliver is a past president of ALIVE!, a 40-year-old organization of volunteers from religious congregations and the community. ALIVE! provides a 16-bed shelter, low-cost early childhood education, financial assistance for rent, utilities, medical care and other critical needs; emergency food and deliveries of donated furniture and housewares. Oliver and his wife, Linda, help make those deliveries, personifying the spirit of all those who make ALIVE! such a critical part of Alexandria’s safety net for the needy. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas morning, Oliver enjoys performing as Santa throughout Alexandria. He accepts no fees for this, but steers those who wish to make a donation to the ALIVE! Child Development Center. Mike and Linda Oliver graduated from West Virginia University in 1961. They have two daughters who attended Alexandria public schools, during which time Oliver presided over PTAs and, from 1984 to 1987, the PTA Council. He retired in 2000 from the U.S. Department of Education, where he was a student financial aid specialist.


Redella S. "Del" Pepper has served on City Council since 1985. She is the longest-serving council member in the City’s history. Pepper has served as vice mayor from 1996 to 1997, 2003 to 2006, and 2007 to the present. Pepper has always devoted herself full-time to council service, attending as many community events as possible and taking a first-hand look at issues of interest to her constituents. As a council member, she serves as co-chair of the Mirant Community Monitoring Group and the Norfolk Southern Community Monitoring Group and chair of the Facility Naming Committee. She is the mayor’s alternate on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). The immediate past president of COG, she serves on the COG Climate Change Steering Committee and is a board member of the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee. She represents City Council on the Alexandria Commission on Aging, the Commission on Information Technology, the Alexandria Environmental Action Plan Steering Committee, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Coordinating Committee, the Mayor’s BRAC Committee, Alexandria Works! Coalition, the Walk to Fight Breast Cancer Committee, and the Historic Alexandria Resource Commission Facilities Committee. She is treasurer and Operations Committee chair of the Northern Virginia Regional Committee. Former City Manager Vola Lawson, who nominated her, credits Pepper with leading the way in the City’s adoption of information technology advances. Pepper also serves on many nonprofit community boards and is affiliated with service and environmental organizations. A graduate of Grinnell College, she and her husband, Dr. F.J. Pepper, live in the West End.


George Pera came to Alexandria to serve as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in 1980 and quickly became involved in the community, following his belief in service to others. "You can’t just point to what needs doing," he believes. "You lead by doing." Twenty-five years ago, Pera created a staff position at his church to advocate for and assist senior adults, a fairly novel idea then. As the population has aged, this idea has spread, and in his retirement, Pera, still serving as pastor emeritus of Westminster Presbyterian, has remained active in working with seniors. He is a past president of Senior Services of Alexandria, an organization that promotes independence and self-sufficiency through providing accessible, comprehensive and affordable services that permit people to age with dignity while remaining in their community. He was also a co-founder of Agenda Alexandria, an organization that presents public forums on issues of import to citizens. He is a trustee of the Inova Alexandria Hospital Foundation, has served as president of the board of Elder Crafters, and chairs the Inova Alexandria Hospital Pastoral Care Fund. Pera and his wife, Nancy, have two grown children. They have been married 48 years.


A native of Philadelphia, Alice Quint first came to Northern Virginia as an Army wife in 1944, living in Arlington with her new husband. In the next 20 years, she moved 26 times, finally coming to roost in Alexandria in 1959 after a military tour in Korea. The couple has two sons and five grandchildren. Now 87, Quint has been an active volunteer for most of her adult life. She was a Pink Lady the first year Alexandria Hospital opened in its new home on Seminary Road. She volunteered at Whitman Walker Clinic in Washington, working as their food purchaser for three years, good experience for her work with ALIVE! (ALexandrians Involved Ecumenically) in the 1980s and ’90s. She was the food purchaser for ALIVE! for 18 years, and also organized, collected and delivered food and other necessities from local individuals, businesses and food banks to the City’s neediest. Active in her place of worship, Agudas Achim Congregation, she has served as president of the temple sisterhood. She knit scarves and hats for Carpenter’s Shelter clients, and now knits warm hats for premature babies. A painter since she was a young girl, Quint took up sculpture on her 72nd birthday.


The Rev. Elbert Ransom Jr. has spent a lifetime working for civil rights and equal access, beginning with his student days in Alabama, where he studied for two years at the Alabama State College for Negroes. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University in New Orleans in 1959. He came to Washington and worked for the National Urban Coalition from 1967 to 1970 and for the District of Columbia government on urban renewal and housing issues from 1970 to 1991. In time he went back to school, earning a master’s degree in divinity from Howard University in 1989 and a doctor of divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in 1995. He served as associate pastor of the Alfred Street Baptist Church from 1984 to 1997. He worked in various positions in Alexandria city government from 1997 to 2002, including serving as special assistant to the City Manager. His biggest challenge was coordinating the Call to Community initiative, a forum for racial and cultural dialogue to encourage cohesion in this diverse community. He also ran a mentoring support program for prison inmates at the Alexandria Adult and Juvenile Detention Centers. He is the author of "I Shall Not Pass This Way Again," a book about his life, and is working on another book. He and his wife Louise have been married for 40 years and have three children.

<b>JANE RING </b>

Jane Ring doesn’t just join organizations. She works hard for them. As a lover of music, she joined the Symphony Orchestra League of Alexandria more than 20 years ago. One of its major fundraisers over the years, she has chaired SOLA’s symphony ball auction, served as co-president, maintained the SOLA database, run their peanut sale fundraiser, and helped run the organization’s scholarship competition. SOLA named her their Volunteer of the Year in 1997. At her church, Westminster Presbyterian, Ring sang in the choir, plays piano and organ duets with the music director, and has been a member of the English handbell choir since ‘70. She has served three terms as an elder, been co-superintendent of the church, president of the women’s group, and provided services to members through the Compassion Guild. She was the church’s business administrator for eight years, helps provide food each month for Carpenter’s Shelter, and has chaired countless committees. In the community, she is active in politics and has provided music activities at day care centers, schools and other groups. With her husband, Connie, she is a member of the Inova Alexandria Hospital Foundation, and she has been a member of the hospital’s auxiliary, the TWIG, since 1968. She and Connie have four grown children.


For more than 44 years, Charlotte Ross has helped protect Alexandria school children through her work as a school crossing guard for the Alexandria Police Department. She began her work in 1964 at MacArthur Elementary School but switched to Polk School, at the corner of Polk and Pegram streets, in 1965, when the new school opened, and has been there ever since. She not only makes sure that children, parents and grandparents cross safely to school, she is a role model for doing one’s best at whatever job one assumes in life. Now 82, Ross has seldom taken sick days, though she had to take three months off in 2005 when she suffered a hand amputation as the result of a car accident. Assaulted and knocked down the stairs by a thief on her own doorstep while returning from church in 2007, Ross got stitched up in the emergency room and went right back to work within a week. Ross is a deacon at Fairlington Presbyterian Church, has been a block captain in her Brookville-Seminary Valley Civic Association, worked on their Mile-Long Yard Sale, and participated in the Neighborhood Watch Program. She is an example of the many Alexandrians whose steadfast contributions make the city a good place to live.


Since 1988, when, with Mayor Jim Moran’s encouragement, Alexandria organized its first Days of Remembrance ceremony, Charlene Schiff has worked with the committee, Chairman Allan Labowitz and City staff on the annual commemoration. She has always found the keynote speakers. "I have a mandate, a duty, to honor the memory of the 11 million people lost in the Holocaust — 6 million Jews and 5 million others," she said. Schiff was born in Poland in 1929, the daughter of a professor. After the German invasion of Poland in 1941, she became an orphan; her father was arrested and killed in 1941, her mother and sister in 1942. She barely survived, hiding in the forests. When World War II ended, she spent three years in displaced person camps before being sent to Ohio to live with an aunt. She attended Ohio State University, where she met her future husband when he visited his cousins. He served 29 years as an Army officer. They had a son, Stephen, who became a physician. They lived in Europe and Asia as well as across the United States, and were often separated by hardship tours, including Vietnam. In 1979, Ed Schiff retired and they settled in Alexandria. In 1985, Charlene Schiff began telling her Holocaust memories — first to groups at the Children’s Museum in Washington, then to confirmation classes at Agudas Achim Congregation and elsewhere. The couple became actively involved with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum when it opened in 1993, and she continues to travel for its Speakers Bureau. Until his death in 2008, she and her husband regularly visited wounded soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts at Walter Reed Army Hospital. She has two grandsons.

<b>PAM ST. CLAIR </b>

Pam St. Clair was a guiding force in the creation of the King Street Gardens Park. The award-winning park provides a restful, history-filled gateway to the oldest section of the city. It offers places to sit and a space to hold a farmer’s market and other outdoor events that enliven upper King Street’s urban landscape. The first chair of the King Street Gardens Park Foundation, St. Clair helped set the course, always keeping the focus on the artists’ design. St. Clair also worked with Barbara Joseph and others to organize Christmas in April in Alexandria (now Rebuilding Together). This organization repairs housing for low-income and elderly homeowners, sustai