MIDLOTHIAN - Claude White Milam, 87, died on June 18, 2011, at Brandermill Woods Nursing Home. He was born July 21, 1923, to devoted parents Lon and Gladys Milam in Big Island, Va.
At the age of 17, Claude joined the United States Navy serving his country proudly. Deployed to Hawaii and the surrounding Pacific Regions from 1942-44, Milam was wounded in action. Upon returning home he received a medal recognizing his exemplary service to his country.
He was a student at Lynchburg College for one year, where he and older brother, Winston, played on the college basketball team and were a formidable force against Lynchburg opponents. After a year, he transferred to Hampden-Sydney College, where he was an accomplished athlete in basketball and football. He graduated in 1949, and furthered his education with a Degree of Master of Arts in Education from Madison College (now James Madison University), and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from Old Dominion College.
He began a lifelong career as teacher, coach and principal at Harrisonburg High School, and a lifelong commitment as a husband and father when he met and wed Ann Hoover in 1950.Three years later, Milam accepted an offer for a professional position at his alma mater, Hampden-Sydney, serving as head basketball coach, head baseball coach, and assistant football coach. During this time, he also found great pleasure in coaching the New Market Rebels, a team in the Valley Baseball League. He and his brother formed one of the state's premier baseball umpiring teams. He was inducted into the HS-C Hall of Fame in 1996, a special honor that recognized his service as an athlete and coach.
The next chapter of his life and career took Milam and his family to Yorktown, Va., where he served briefly as principal at Yorktown Intermediate, and soon thereafter at York High School. He will be remembered fondly by YHS colleagues and students as an educator, friend and mentor for more than 27 years.
Claude Milam was a compassionate, brilliant man, both outspoken and introspective. He taught others the importance of perseverance, fairness and self-confidence, which left indelible imprints on all those whose lives he touched. A strong man of faith, Claude served actively in several churches, especially Yorkminster Presbyterian Church.
Claude was predeceased by his parents and older brother, Winston Milam.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Hoover Milam; one daughter, Vicki Milam Regetz and husband, Gerry; one son, Jeffrey Lynn Milam and wife, Seng; nine grandchildren, Kyle, Casey, and Hunter Regetz; Jason, Ben, Lindsay, Grace, Faith and Abi Milam; one brother, William Milam and wife, Shirley; one sister, Garnett Becouvarakis and husband, Stanley. Claude also leaves behind a legacy of devotion to his extended family of nieces, nephews, classmates, dear friend, Wallace Borum, and Barbara Rumph, his faithful caregiver for 11 years.
Special thanks to the Hampden-Sydney "boys", colleagues, students, neighbors and friends who have continued to bless our family with love and support over the years. The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the staff at Brandermill Woods Nursing Home for the care, love and support extended to Mr. Milam and also to his family. Special gratitude is also extended to the ministers and congregation at Brandermill Church and the caregivers from Bon Secours Hospice.
The family will receive friends at Woody Funeral Home, 1020 Huguenot Road, Midlothian, from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 23. A celebration of Mr. Milam's life will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at The Brandermill Church, 4500 Millridge Parkway, Midlothian, officiated by the Rev. Sandra Bottoms. Interment will be private.
Remembrances in honor of Claude may be made to The Brandermill Church, Brandermill Woods Retirement Home, or Hampden-Sydney College. Condolences may be made at www.woodyfuneralhomehuguenot.com
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