The Fauquier Historical Society chose retired historian and teacher Richard Deardoff as the recipient of the Douglas Lamborne Educator of the Year award.

The award will be presented at the Fauquier Historical Society’s annual meeting on Thursday Jan. 10, in the John Barton Payne Building, 2 Courthouse Square, Warrenton, Virginia. The location is directly across from the Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail museum.

This year’s guest speaker is Jennifer Moore, executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association. She will speak on preserving our historic roads. Light refreshments will be served, and all are welcome to attend. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Deardoff, a native of the Flushing-Queens section of New York City, spent four years in the Coast Guard following college graduation. Upon completing his military experience in 1975, he was drawn to Fauquier County because of its rich history and the centralized location for side trips to historical sites in any direction.

More than 40 years ago that job search led him to the Fauquier County school system, where he taught United States government, Civil War history, sociology and economics for 40 years – 34 at Fauquier High School and six at Kettle Run High School. He is best remembered for his rich lectures and quick wit among a legion of students who took his history classes. “I’ve seen generations of students come and go through my classrooms,” Deardoff reflected, “and former students have approached me to be introduced to their children.”

Over the years, Deardoff would spend part of his summers exploring battlefields or following the path of various military campaigns. Now retired, Deardoff serves as a docent and battlefield guide for the Brandy Station Foundation at Brandy Station, the site of the largest cavalry battle in North America on June 9, 1863. This past summer, Deardoff and his dog, Max, traveled the Lewis and Clark Trail, camping and visiting the same sites as the great explorers.

One of his favorite quotes comes from President Harry Truman: “The only real surprise in life is the history you don’t know.” This is an apt insight for the man whose passion for history has led him to share broadly the joys of discovery. The Society’s Educator of the Year Award is named for the late Douglas Lamborne, a long-time newspaperman and teacher, who served on the FHS board and led its education programs. The first recipient of the award was Jimmie Eustace, in 2016, and the second recipient was Rich Gillespie in 2018.

“With this award to Richard Deardoff, the Historical Society has achieved a full trifecta in its first three recipients; there are not three more deserving individuals to be so honored by Fauquier County,” said Fauquier Historical Society President Yakir Lubowsky.

Please direct questions, or requests for additional information, to 540-347-5525 or to info@fauquierhistory.org.

This article first appeared in the January 2019 Issue of Middleburg Life.