Mr. J. William Etheridge

b. 4 Mar 1922 - Portsmouth, VA
d. 18 April 2005 - Norfolk, VA

1964 Anchor, p. 44 Diane Winkler ('67), Mr. Etheridge,
and Cheryl Mays ('66)
Saturday, October 23, 2005
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 05/10/03
Thanks, Dave!
Courtesy of Cheryl Mays Howard ('66)
of VA - 08/01/07
Thanks, Cheryl!
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 03/07/05
Thanks, Dave!


I assume that J. William Etheridge was your principal in '65 as he had been ours in '64.  When we were planning our 35th,
I found him in Chesapeake, and he was invited to the Reunion in 1999. He could not attend due to a conflicting engagement,
but was very appreciative that we had thought to invite him.

Sorry, I have no amusing Etheridge stories. Indeed, I tried very hard to minimize, if not eliminate altogether, any interaction
with The Principal. Little good could come of it.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/10/03
Thanks, Dave!

It is with great sadness that I send you Mr. Etheridge's obituary. Please give it widest dissemination very quickly.
Many may wish to attend the memorial service on Sunday. Tom Flax ('64 - of VA) called me at work and told me he had seen
the obituary in this morning's paper. Most mornings I read the paper early, but had not today.
I am SO glad we invited him to the Reunion and that he received such a warm welcome. His passing is a reminder that
one cannot defer such things in the misguided belief that there will always be a tomorrow.

There is a web site on which to share memories; I would hope that hundreds of Typhoons will flood this site
with their fond memories of this wonderful man.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/20/05
Thanks so much, Dave.

   J. William Etheridge

CHESAPEAKE - J. William Etheridge, 83, of the 1300 block of Bunker Ridge Arch, died April 18, 2005, in Norfolk.
A native of Portsmouth, he was the son of the late John Cecil and Nora Marie Cherry Etheridge. After 40 years of service in education, he retired in 1984 from Newport News public schools as director of staff development, after serving as a principal of the former Newport News High School and supervisor of English.

An Army veteran of World War II, he served in the European Theatre. He was a member and Sunday school teacher of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, former member of Chesapeake Avenue United Methodist Church and former member and Sunday school teacher of Warwick Memorial United Methodist Church, Newport News.

He is survived by a sister, Julia E. Small and husband Oliver; a niece, Karen Dale Small, all of Chesapeake; and a nephew, Conan Bent Small of Bedford, Va.

A private graveside service will be held in Chesapeake Memorial Gardens with the Rev. Robert Weeks officiating. A memorial service will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. in Aldersgate United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Larry Adams officiating. Memorial contributions should be made to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 4320 Bruce Road, Chesapeake, VA 23321 or a charity of one’s choice. Please share a memory with the family at

Published in the Virginian-Pilot on 4/20/2005.



I arrived about 25 minutes early and stood in the back near the door so I could spot any Typhoons who arrived.

Miss (Ettalea) Kanter (Hampton HS - '55) was already there when I arrived, so I said hello.

I learned that he was diagnosed with cancer in February and declined chemo and radiation ... choosing to die
with dignity and on his own terms. By all accounts, he was ready and made it easy for his friends to let him go
though his courage and good spirits.  There was so much more to this man than we ever knew at NNHS, and I
learned all about it today.

One of the speakers who is listed on the program,
Dr. Larry Mercer ('67 - of VA), is a church member and
spoke about his remembrances of Mr. E.  Mr. Etheridge was still principal when he was there. Most of his
thoughts were of more recent times in the church.

It was indeed a celebration of his life. There was much laughter and good memories. It is clear that he touched
so many people. The church was filled; I estimate about 350-400 people  were in attendance.

  Here is a scan
of the Program:
Of course I did not take any images during the service, but waited until the attendees cleared. Here is a shot of the altar showing the Class
of 1964 Arrangement I sent.  Incidentally, I did not see any other flowers for the service:
Behind the pews was a photo
of Mr. E on a table with some flowers:
  Sunday, April 24, 2005 - Chesapeake, VA  
  Images by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/24/05
Thank you, Dave.

Notice near the end of the program the entry "Special Music" and a chorus for the attendees to sing. The soloist
sang this song. I found the lyrics on the Web (  
There was nary a dry eye as it ended:

Thank You for Giving to The Lord

(Words and Music by Ray Boltz)

I dreamed I went to heaven
and You were there with me
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea.

We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name.
You turned and saw this young man
And he was smiling as he came.

And he said, "Friend, you may not know me now"
And then he said, "But wait"
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight.

And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start.
And one day when you said that prayer
I asked Jesus in my heart."

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave.

Then another man stood before you
And said, "Remember the time
A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry.

You didn't have much money
But you gave it anyway.
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that's why I am here today."

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave.

One by one they came
Far as the eye could see
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity.

Little things that you had done
Sacrifices made.
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven now proclaimed.

And I know up in heaven
You're not supposed to cry.
But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes.

As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord.
He said, "My child look around you.
Great is your reward."

(Chorus twice)
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave.

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave.

© Copyright 1988 Gather Music/ASCAP All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/24/05  

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us, David.  I'm so glad you were able to attend this service,
as so many of us were regrettably unable to do.

Animated Army Flag courtesy of - 06/18/03

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