|STRATFORD, VA, (August 23, 2015) – Representatives from the museum community, historic sites, the tourism community, cycling community, family, friends and the extended Stratford Hall family gathered on the Oval at Stratford Hall on Friday morning, August 21, to honor the memory of Dr. Paul C. Reber, Stratford’s Executive Director for the past nine years. Dr. Reber, 56, passed away July 23, 2015, at VCU Hospital in Richmond as a result of injuries he received while riding his bicycle near his home in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He had been an avid cyclist. Dr. Reber had 25 years of experience in museum management with an emphasis on history and historic house museums.
Speakers at the service included Brian F. Boland, Esq., a long-time college friend of Paul’s; W. Jay Abbott, a long-time cycling friend; Beverly M. Bridger, Past Executive Director of Great Camp Sagamore, Raquette Lake, New York; William E. Garner, Executive Director, George Washington Foundation, Fredericksburg, Virginia; Custis S. Glover, President, Board of Directors, Robert E. Lee Memorial Association; Martha Anne Jackson, Past President, Board of Directors, Robert E. Lee Memorial Association; and Alexander W. Reber, Paul’s son. The Reverend R. Ellen White, Rector, Cople Episcopal Parish, Hague, Virginia, officiated. Members of the Shiloh Baptist Church Choir and the Cople Episcopal Parish Choir sang several songs with music provided by Ms. Betsy Ficklin, Organist, Cople Episcopal Parish.
In her remarks during the service, Custis Glover, President of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, which owns and operates Stratford Hall, said, “We are in a good place to honor Paul and remember the impact his life, his talents, his incredible intellect and his integrity had on Stratford and on all of us here today. Just like the men, women and children who lived and worked here, those who were born here and died here, those who laughed and cried here, Paul will always be a part of this place…and this place will always be a part of him.”
Following the service, a reception was held on the Oval for all those who had attended the service. Stratford Hall wishes to thank everyone who assisted with the service, as well as those who have offered their thoughts, prayers, and support during this difficult time.