Written by Jim Mullen
Richard Murdoch will tell you one thing for certain. He is deeply conscious of local history, born in Frederick MD, with ancestors in Maryland and Virginia dating back before the Rev- olutionary War. He was raised in College Park and is a gradu- ate of the University of Maryland where he was enrolled in AFROTC, then was commissioned in the Navy in 1962 and served for three years including duty aboard ship as part of the Cuban Blockade. In 1964 he married Jane Helm who was “the girl across the street” and they have been married for 53 years. They have two sons and four grandchildren.
Richard says that his passions are history, genealogy and classi- cal civilization. From our discussions it is clear he knows which shore of the Potomac is Maryland and which is Virginia (trick question - any Terrapin knows the waters are in Mary- land).
In 1965 he left the Navy. Thereafter followed a 13-year break in military service during which time he entered the seminary, becoming a deacon and then an Episcopal priest. After graduation from the seminary, he served three parishes in the area. However, in 1979 he returned to active duty as a chaplain in the Army; first stationed at Ft Polk, LA.
Richard served two tours in Germany as a unit chaplain ministering to the troops, taught at the chaplains school for three years and also had two tours with units in the United States at Fort Campbell and at Ft Riley, which also included some time in Guantanamo (which was sort of full circle to his initial assignment in the Navy) be- fore finally retiring in 1995.
In 1992 Richard and Jane moved to Williamsburg where they have lived for the past 25 years. Richard served for several years as a docent at Colonial Williamsburg in keeping with his deep interest in history. As he joins us here at Falcons Landing he is struck by the warmth of reception and at the many opportunities for following his interests which include hiking, physical fitness and, of course, history. At this time Jane has remained in Williamsburg for family reasons. In meeting Richard in Building 1, one also meets “Wolfie” (aka Beowulf), his Keeshond dog. Welcome Richard and Wolfie.