Jonathan Newell Achilles
© Fauquier Times
Jonathan Achilles Jonathan Newell Achilles, 63, a longtime resident of Rappahannock County, Virginia, died on Monday, January 7, after an extended illness. Born on May 19, 1949 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to the late Henry Laurence Achilles Jr. and Virginia Lee Goodwill, he spend most of his childhood years in Middleburg, Virginia, where his father was the head of the English Department at Foxcroft School. He also spent many of his summers in Weekapaug, Rhode Island. He was a student at Hill School in Middleburg and Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, before graduating from Darrow School, a boarding school in New York, in 1967. After a stint at the University of Denver, Achilles spent his time travelling the country before coming back to Middleburg where he had a tree surgery service. He then took his travels abroad, searching for gold in Nicaragua and working on the oilrigs in the North Sea off the coast of England. He made his way down through Africa and eventually settled in Cape Town, South Africa, where he was a partner for Avance Inc. Returning to the states, Achilles moved to Rappahannock Country in 1989 with his wife, the former Nancy Sheffield Gerrity of Loudonville, New York, whom he had married three years earlier. They reconstructed an 18th century log cabin located on a mountain right beneath Shenandoah National Park, where he and his family made their livelihood. He worked a variety of jobs, including as a carrier for the Post Office, the manager for the Naked Mountain Vineyard, and as a worker at the Williams Apple Orchard. His interests included working outside, socializing, and his family. He was also passionate about current events, and spent many hours of the day watching and listening to the news while reading one of his five daily newspapers. In addition to his wife, he is survived by their two sons, Colin Van Buren Achilles and Trevor McKee Achilles; two sisters, Cynthia Achilles Coldren of Maine and Pamela Achilles Gould of Claremont, California; a brother, Henry Laurence Achilles III of Silver Springs, Maryland; several in-laws, nieces, and nephews. A previous marriage to Beverly Bryant of Middleburg ended in divorce. Instead of flowers, please send donations to HHT Foundation International or the Headwaters Foundation of Virginia. Memorial service will be at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington, Virginia on January 19th at 2:00 p.m.