HOME ABOUT CAMPAIGNS CRISIS CENTER ACTIVIST CENTER MEDIA CENTER HUNTING ACCIDENTS C.A.S.H. NEWSLETTER

Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting > 2008

VA: Two hunters die while duck hunting

Brookville High School principal dies in boating accident

By Dave Thompson
Lynchburg News & Advance
Published: December 27, 2008

Updated 1:59 p.m. with News and Advance Article

Brookville High School Principal Jim Whorley — who started at the school as a teacher in 1970 and has led it for nearly 15 years — died Saturday in a boating accident along with a Lynchburg man.

Julia Dixon, spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said Whorley, 60, of Forest, and Terry Reid, 61, were found dead in Buggs Island Lake in Mecklenburg County after their boat capsized early in the morning.

Word spread quickly through the Brookville community on Saturday. School administrators and Campbell County education officials expressed a deep sense of loss for a colleague whose name was synonymous with the school.

“Everybody loved him, everybody admired him and he’s going to be deeply missed,” said School Board Vice Chairman R. Leon Brandt Jr., who has a son on the school’s football team and visited with Whorley’s family Saturday after learning of the accident.

“He’s going to leave a lasting legacy that is going to be long remembered.”

Debbie Guthrie, Brookville High School’s assistant principal, said administrators contacted faculty and staff on Saturday. She said students she ran into already had heard the news.

“I’m kind of at a loss for words to describe how we’re all feeling,” Guthrie said. “He loved Brookville. He loved students.”

“It’s just a loss we can’t replace.”

Whorley and Reid were on a duck-hunting expedition this weekend, a tradition for them, according to the principal’s stepson Sid Martin.

“They’ve been duck hunting down there for 30 years,” he said.

Dixon said their boat was found capsized around 10 a.m. by a landowner. The two men were found in the water about a quarter-mile from the boat. She said the johnboat belonged to Reid, an experienced boater who was very familiar with the lake.

Dixon said Whorley and Reid’s hunting companions also discovered the overturned boat around that time.

The hull had a gash almost the full length of the boat, which conservation police officers determined came from a stump, Dixon said. There were no eyewitnesses to the accident, although Dixon said officers determined that the boat may have capsized around 5 a.m.

Martin said the family was devastated when they heard the news.

“He cared so much about his family,” Martin said.

“So many people looked up to him whether it was family or the school, or just people in the community. He just always seemed to be that steady, stable person.”

Martin said the family’s phone has been ringing nonstop as news of the accident spread.

“I’ve never seen more grown men cry in my life,” Martin said, choking up himself.

Former Brookville athletic director John Vasvary said Whorley’s wife called him with the news before noon on Saturday.

“I couldn’t remember anything after that,” Vasvary said.

The two had known each other since 1971, when they coached together at Brookville. Vasvary, who retired as athletic director last year, worked just down the hall from Whorley for the past 14 years.

“He loved Brookville High School,” Vasvary recalled. “It’s come a long way since he’s taken over. He’s a true leader. … He gave you a kick in the butt if you needed it, but he was also the first to help you.”

Brandt, the school board member, said Vasvary called him with the news.

“It certainly is a tremendous loss for our Brookville community,” he said, “not only for the Brookville community but for the state of Virginia.”

Campbell County Schools Superintendent George Nolley also learned of the tragedy from Vasvary.

“It’s a rough day for all of us because he was an important person for all of us,” Nolley said, later adding, “We’re all in a state of shock.”

Nolley said it’s been difficult to notify all Brookville staffers since so many people are still out of town because of the holidays.

“He’s one of the finest people I’ve ever known,” Nolley said.

Whorley took the reins as Brookville’s principal in 1994 after having served as a math teacher, a football coach and an assistant principal since 1970.

He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and signed on as Brookville’s assistant football coach — his first job after graduating college, Martin said.

He also served in the military for a short time, Martin said, and for a while owned a sporting goods store in Bedford.

“His passion was duck hunting,” Martin said. “He was doing something that he loved.”

Whorley’s biography on Brookville’s Web site listed hunting, fishing and gardening among his interests.

He is survived by his mother Eleanor, wife Peggy, brother Ashby Lee, son Vince and his wife Rhonda, their daughter Carolanne, his stepson Martin and his wife Cathy, and their three children.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete on Saturday; Tharp Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Updated 5:22p.m. with News and Advance Article

Brookville High School Principal Jim Whorley died Saturday in a boating accident, according to Campbell County School Board Vice Chairman R. Leon Brandt Jr.

Brandt said he received a call Saturday afternoon from former Athletic Director John Vasvary, who said that Whorley had died after an accident on a lake. He said Terrell Reid, of Lynchburg, also died.

Julia Dixon, spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, confirmed that two bodies had been found Saturday at Buggs Island Lake in Mecklenburg County.

“It certainly is a tremendous loss for our Brookville community … not only for the Brookville community but for the state of Virginia,” said Brandt.

Brandt said he and his wife had visited with Whorley’s family to offer them their support.

“The family’s definitely in shock,” he said.

Whorley took the reins as Brookville’s principal in 1994, after having served as a math teacher, a football coach and an assistant principal since 1970.

“Everybody loved him, everybody admired him and he’s going to be deeply missed,” Brandt said. “He’s going to leave a lasting legacy that is going to be long remembered.”

Whorley’s biography on Brookville’s Web site listed hunting, fishing and gardening among his interests.

Brookville High School principal Jim Whorley died this morning in a boating accident, according to Campbell County School Board Vice Chairman R. Leon Brandt Jr.

Whorley has been principal at the school since 1994. He started teaching at the school in 1970.

Return to Hunting Accident Index


Fair Use Notice: This document may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 
 

Home  |  About  |  Campaigns  |  Crisis Center  |  Activists  |  Media  |  Hunting Accidents  |  Newsletter

C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 13815, Las Cruces, NM 88013
Phone: 575-640-7372
E-mail: CASH@AbolishSportHunting.com  
Joe Miele - President

 

C.A.S.H. is a committee of Wildlife Watch, Inc.
a 501(c)3 Not-for-Profit Corporation.
Contributions are tax-deductible.

All content copyright C.A.S.H. unless otherwise noted.

We welcome your comments
   

Thank you for visiting all-creatures.org

Sponsored & Maintained by The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation