HJ248: Celebrating the life of Henry Jackson Darst, Jr.


Offered February 18, 2020
Celebrating the life of Henry Jackson Darst, Jr.
Patron-- Batten

WHEREAS, Henry Jackson Darst, Jr., a passionate educator, accomplished horse breeder, and devoted local historian who committed his life to both the prosperity and study of Virginia, died on October 28, 2019; and

WHEREAS, raised in Dublin, where his ancestors had settled as frontiersmen centuries prior, Henry Darst’s life was imbued with a sense of heritage from an early age; and

WHEREAS, earning a doctorate in history from the University of Virginia, Henry Darst taught at both his alma mater and Lynchburg College, imparting his wisdom and knowledge of Virginia’s history to countless students; and

WHEREAS, a proud patriot dedicated to the nation’s armed services, Henry Darst was senior educational advisor to the United States Army Transportation School and contributed to both the graduate civilian education of regular army officers and the overall operation of the United States Army’s service schools; and

WHEREAS, embracing the agricultural spirit that is characteristic of both Virginia’s past and present, Henry Darst operated two successful farms, “Bird Hill” in James City County and “Heron Hill” in York County, breeding and raising thoroughbred and quarter horses for many years; and

WHEREAS, valued for his expertise in land and resource management, Henry Darst served as chairman of the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District for over 25 years and was a gubernatorial appointee to the Regional Open-Space Preservation Advisory Board-Region III; and

WHEREAS, a respected leader of the agricultural community, Henry Darst served as president of both the Charles City-James City-New Kent-York Farm Bureau and the Four Rivers Agricultural Services Corporation, the former for over 30 years, and was active in the Southern States Cooperative on both the local and corporate levels; and

WHEREAS, an author of three books and a member of several prestigious lineage societies, including the Society of the Cincinnati, for which he served as registrar for over 30 years, Henry Darst contributed greatly to the investigation and preservation of Virginia’s local history and genealogy; and

WHEREAS, inspired by his abiding faith to serve others, Henry Darst was Rector of Jerusalem Christian Church in King William County, where he enjoyed worship and fellowship with his community; and

WHEREAS, Henry Darst will be dearly remembered and sorely missed by his wife of 25 years, Ann; his stepchildren, Dandridge and Jonathan, and their families; his sister, Joan; and numerous other family members and friends; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of Henry Jackson Darst, Jr., an illustrious citizen of the Commonwealth who contributed greatly to the state as an educator, agriculturalist, and historian; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Henry Jackson Darst, Jr., as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for his memory.