Thomas Jay Burgess (Age 83)
Memorial service info
Thomas Jay Burgess, 83, of Naples, FL, passed away peacefully on July 11, 2023. He was born in Harrisburg, IL to John and Leah Burgess. Tom grew up in Fairfield, IL where he attended Fairfield Community High School and graduated in 1958. He attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana where he earned his BA in History and Political Science and met his future wife, Leslie.
Tom and Leslie married in September 1963 in Annapolis, MD while Tom was serving in the Army.
They later relocated to Lawrence, KS where Tom earned his MA in Public Administration from University of Kansas. Tom spent the bulk of his professional career as the Executive Director of the Reston Association (1972-1992), in Reston, VA. He directed community operations and advised the board on setting policies for the use of the community’s recreation facilities and open space. During his tenure, Reston grew from 11,000 residents to a community of 56,000. In 1989 Reston Land Corporation and the Urban Land Institute honored Tom as one of 10 people who contributed the most to making Reston what it is today. Tom and Leslie raised their family in Reston, instilling in their three children a love of nature and a great appreciation for open space and outdoor recreation.
They later moved to Florida, and Tom served as head of the Sun City Center Community Association south of Tampa, and the Bonita Bay Community Association (1998-2009) in Bonita Springs. Tom was an active member of Rotary International throughout his professional career. After retirement, he stayed involved with fundraising efforts and volunteered with the Rotaract Club at Florida Gulf Coast University, mentoring college students.
Tom was an avid baseball fan, following the St. Louis Cardinals in his youth, then the Baltimore Orioles in the D.C. metro area, and finally the Tampa Bay Rays. His other interests and lifelong passions included world history, current events, travel—both domestic and international, architecture, cuisine, reading, and
time with family.
Tom is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Leslie Burgess, children Joanna Burgess, Galen Burgess, and Jennifer Burgess Welham (husband Wally Welham), and grandchildren, Blake and Jack Burgess and Allison and Nicholas Welham. Tom was preceded in death by his parents John and Leah and his brother John (“Johnny”).
The family will have a private celebration of life and scattering of ashes
Sheila Pauline Comstock (Age 71)
Sheila Pauline Comstock, 71, unexpectedly passed away on June 10th, 2023 at her home in Nags Head, NC. She will be deeply missed by her friends and family. Sheila was born in Toledo, Ohio. She was raised in a large family with 6 brothers and sisters and would go on to have five children of her own and raise them with her husband, Robert “Bobby” Comstock, in Woodbridge, Virginia.
She was happiest when caring for others, always making sure every mouth was fed and head had a roof. She fostered three children in addition to her five, and she would become a grandmother to 13 and great grandmother to 4. She was a skilled event planner and manager, but she took pride in being a mother most.
She loved being surrounded by her family most of all. Sheila is survived by her husband, Robert “Bobby” Comstock; her children, John David Deardorff Jr. (Fiona Deardorff), Ian Michael Comstock (Lisa Molina), Torey Lhe Ossman (Phil Watson), Robert “Keith” Comstock, Andrew Jones; her grandchildren, John Deardorff III (Alexandra McMahon), Cassandra Deardorff-Villare (Jason Villare) Mikaila Caggese (Sonny Caggese), Brandon Deardorff (Alesha Martinec), Collin Ossman, Luke Gapinski, Taylor Comstock, Kyle Ossman, Brooke Comstock, Aden Comstock, Kaiden Comstock, James Boice, Luke Boice, Arabella McCalla; her great-grandchildren Bradley Deardorff, Sebastian Deardorff, Colton Deardorff, and Sienna Caggese, and her siblings Jean Overly, Janet Ludwig, Kathleen Cook (William Cook), Dewey “Butch” Kessler (Deb Kessler), Kerri Kessler, Patricia & Kenneth Swecker as well as a long list of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Preceded in death by her sons Travis Kelly Deardorff, Marcus Thompson, and her brother Keith Kelvin Kessler.
Sheila will be missed but her legacy will live on through all of the lives she’s touched during her time on earth.
Donations can be made to Mane & Tail Horsemanship Academy for children and adults with disabilities in Sheila’s honor:
117 Buster Newbern Rd
Jarvisburg NC 27947
Gaetano (Guy) Rando (Age 87)
On Tuesday, January 10th, Gaetano Rando, loving father of four children, passed away at 86.
Gaetano (Guy) was born on Sept. 4, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York, to Domenico and Constantina (Iannacone) Rando. He received his Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University in 1959. He went on to earn his master’s in landscape architecture at Harvard University in 1961.
Soon after, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, which launched his practice in Italy and abroad. He would endeavor in landscape architecture for 44 years along with following his passion to create art.
On Jan. 23, 1960, he married Josephine Penizotto, they raised three boys Guy, Marco, and Tony. In 1980, he partnered with Meda Ling, and they raised one boy Gaetano Ling.
Guy had a passion for design, art, and nature and seamlessly intertwined the three throughout his life and practice. He pioneered work with Whittlesey & Conklin on the master plan for the New Town of Reston, including the creation of Lake Anne & Washington Plaza. Throughout his career he advocated and was committed to Robert E. Simon’s vision of Reston and its diverse community.
He is an author of Golf Course Development & Real Estate for ULI-The Urban Land Institute. His work history also included inventing new ways of designing golf courses for prestigious firms like Robert Trent Jones.
However, he took immense joy in smaller more playful family projects that were personal and challenged his creative spirit. A design for the National Arboretum appropriately titled “National Country Garden” was a sustainable garden concept a head of its time.
Guy was preceded in death by his father, Domenico, mother, Constantina, sister Concetta, and brothers Anthony and Johnny. He is survived by his three children, Marco, Tony, and Gaetano; their respective spouses, Elle, LeeAnne, and Yoon; and grandchildren, Brooklyn, Zen, Teo, and Iro. He’s also survived by his brother, Domenic Rando.
Guy’s celebration of life party will be held this spring at the end of April. The exact date will be posted on social media. In lieu of gifts, we wish to spread more love by suggesting donations to charities of choice.
The McLean Symphony’s founder Dingwall Fleary Jr., a conductor described by friends and colleagues as “larger than life,” has died.
Fleary, 82, had been the conductor of The McLean Symphony since 1972 and the Reston Community Orchestra since 1996. He died after experiencing a heart attack on Friday, Dec. 30, according to a message from the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bethesda, where he served as a music director.
“He was absolutely larger than life,” said Mary Bramley, a member of the McLean Symphony’s Board of Directors. “We thought he’d be here forever with the amount of energy and passion he had for music and the community and music education.”
On the McLean Symphony’s Facebook page, tributes to Fleary poured in from current and former orchestra members remembering his kindness and encouragement, with many noting his energetic personality and patience with the musicians in the symphony.
“It’s very interesting. A lot of times when you have a conductor with that much showiness, they take away from the orchestra, but it was never like that,” said Bramley. “He kept it in. When you watched him conduct, that wasn’t the show, it was all about the orchestra. He knew where that limit was. He was passionate, but also patient.”
Several commenters credited Dingwall with instilling a love for music in themselves or their family.
Bramley said Dingwall’s passion was for music education. During concerts, Dingwall would deliberately choose at least one more obscure piece or composer.
“At least one piece was probably a piece you’d never heard of before,” Bramley said. “There would be one composer, someone you’ve never heard of, then it becomes your favorite…You always hear about Bach and Beethoven, but we were playing pieces you’d never heard before.”
A celebration of Fleary’s life is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the McLean High School auditorium (1633 Davidson Road) on Sunday, Jan. 8.
The McLean Symphony, which celebrated its 50th season last year, is expected to begin searching for a new conductor in the coming weeks. Its next concert isn’t until March, giving the group some time for the search, Bramley noted.
Lynn Langman Lilienthal (Age 81)
It is with the utmost sadness that we say goodbye to Lynn Langman Lilienthal who passed away on October 30 with family by her bedside.
Her family: husband and partner for 59 years, Phil Lilienthal, of Reston, VA; her three children; Andy Lilienthal, Cathy Deutchman and Ben Lilienthal, and their respective partners, Laura Lilienthal Blaisdell, Josh Deutchman and Abbey Lilienthal, and seven grandchildren whom Lynn loved deeply; Ella, Maya, Zev, Levi, Rafe, Leah, and Simon.
Lynn was born in New York City. Her parents were Louis Langman and Anne Wertheim Langman. She was the third of four siblings, all of whom she predeceases: Thomas Langman, of Gaithersburg, MD, Deborah Lesser, of Berkeley, CA, and Betsy Schulberg, of New York City.
Although Lynn grew up in a cradle of comfort, her spirit for adventure, social development, and exploration began at an early age. In high school, she traveled to Sweden with The Experiment for International Living, and later, to Kenya with Operations Crossroads Africa. Lynn studied at the University of Wisconsin and the New School in New York City, where she graduated with a degree in Social Work. She then received a degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University nee; Richmond Professional Institute After receiving a master’s degree in social work, she and Phil served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Ethiopia for two years. Lynn worked in a mental hospital, a juvenile remand home, and an orphanage for children with mental and/or physical disabilities. A few years later, she and Phil, along with her three children lived in the Philippines and Thailand. Lynn established deep connections with the Yakan weavers on Basilan Island in the Philippines, helping them market their crafts. In Thailand, she volunteered at Jim Thompson’s House and enjoyed becoming an expert on a single room which she would explain to guests.
Her zest for travel never waned as she and Phil experienced the world both with friends and family, and shared with her children and grandchildren the opportunity to explore new and remote regions; whether in Morocco, Ethiopia, Bhutan, the Amazon, or a remote Costa Rican peninsula.
A resident of Reston, Virginia since 1967, Lynn, along with her dear friend, Peggy Jansons, established and directed PALS Child Care Center, the first licensed infant day care center in Virginia. Lynn was a beloved networker and volunteer in the Reston community and beyond, and was a mentor for many who she encouraged to follow their dreams. She served on the Board of the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), Public Arts Reston, was a key figure in the creation of the Reston Museum, was president of Waterview Cluster, and influenced many to continue to make her adopted hometown a connected, thoughtful, and inclusive place for all to enjoy. She also worked for over two decades with Phil directing Camp Winnebago, a boy’s summer camp in Maine, helping to empower and sensitize thousands of boys and young men to societal issues.
Apart from her many organizational successes, Lynn was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and loving people. She especially loved children and had a knack for making them feel valued and loved. This special power was especially evident with her grandchildren as she always accepted an invitation to celebrate a birthday, graduation or any other excuse to be with them. When a dear friend’s health failed, Lynn selflessly became her advocate in getting the best services for her. Lynn’s default was both to empower those around her and to volunteer for whatever was needed.
Lynn also appreciated art and nature. Whether it was a work of art, sublime sculpture, or finding simple delicate shells on the beach, Lynn connected with the profound wonder that surrounded her. In her later years, Lynn took up painting and taught us all how to express ourselves through her outrageous and wonderful “intuitive art.” She especially loved Martha’s Vineyard where she spent time almost every year since her childhood.
We grieve her loss and honor her memory and the immense positive impact that Lynn had on so many. A service will be held at the Reston Community Center in Reston, VA on November 12 at 2:00 PM. There will be a reception following the service.
Kevin Iglesias didn’t have much time to make an impact at Glasgow Middle School, but he managed to leave a deeply felt impression nonetheless.
Known for his friendliness and dedication to students, the special education instructional assistant died unexpectedly from a head injury on Aug. 21, leaving his family, friends and the Bailey’s Crossroads-area middle school reeling. He was 28 years old.
“The sudden loss has hit our whole community like a punch to the gut because of who Kevin was, the community he was striving to foster around him, and the very young age he was taken from us,” said Abby Ponce, who had been a close friend of Iglesias since they grew up in West Falls Church together.
Ponce says she and Iglesias had especially fond memories of their experience attending Westlawn Elementary School, and he sought to recreate that environment of “care, love and acceptance” for Glasgow students as a staff member.
Iglesias’s commitment to supporting students and attention to their wellbeing was instantly evident to parent Jenna White when she first met him in 2018.
At the time, Iglesias was working on Glasgow’s security team, and White’s younger son, David, a special education student, was new to the school as an incoming sixth grader.
On that particular day, White stopped by the school to take care of some work she had as an officer in the Glasgow Parent Teacher Association. When Iglesias introduced himself and started talking to David, she asked if he could help show her son around the school so he could get more comfortable with the new setting.
“My son spent the next two hours just kind of hanging out with [Iglesias] and helping him, and that turned out to be a really great experience, getting to know Kevin and learning his way around the building,” White recalled.
Once school started, White says Iglesias continued to check up on David to make sure he was settling in, and she would catch up with him whenever they ran into each other.
Iglesias’s ability to connect with students inspired White to nominate him for the “Outstanding Support Staff” award that the Fairfax County Public Schools Special Education PTA (SEPTA) gave out at the end of that school year.
“It was clear that he was really, really a special person who had great interest in making sure all the students felt safe and felt welcome and were doing well in school,” she told FFXnow. “…I was happy to nominate him for that award to recognize all the effort and skill that he put in as an educator.” Read More