By PAUL SULLIVAN FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR Nov 10, 2018
Former Gov. Gerald Baliles was among three state residents inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame on Nov. 3 for their contributions to the commonwealth’s aviation industry.
Sharing the stage with Baliles at the Hospitality House in Fredericksburg were Evelyn M. Marshall of Manassas and Ronald L. Gatewood of Fauquier County.
Marshall, 94, has been active in many aspects of the aviation business for more than half a century and, with her husband, the late Frank Marshall, developed and expanded general aviation businesses and facilities in Manassas, as well as Fauquier County, Winchester, West Virginia and Maryland.
After losing Frank in 1975, Marshall continued her role in general aviation, and retired last year from Dulles Aviation.
Worth noting, too, is that this World War II veteran (U.S. Navy WAVES) and mother of four decided to celebrate her 70th, 80th and 90th birthdays by skydiving, and vows to do the same to mark her 100th birthday.
Ronald Gatewood, 78, is a decorated Marine Corps pilot who, after 27 years in the service, including combat in Vietnam, “retired” to Fauquier, where he launched a new career in general aviation. He was cited for “transforming the small county airport into a robust aviation hub.
Gov. Baliles, also 78, of Charlottesville and Patrick County, was cited for service to aviation in Virginia in numerous ways, not least of which was a sustained effort to establish the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. That body, a joint effort of Virginia, Washington and Maryland, operates both Dulles International and Washington National airports from the Federal government under an 80-year lease.
During Baliles’ tenure as governor from 1986–90, he played a key role in projects that helped to advance Virginia’s education and transportation networks.
He was also chairman of the National Governors Association and a member of the Virginia General Assembly from the House of Delegates and the state’s Attorney General.
The former governor said he has been enamored of aviation since childhood and as a young man once intended to make a career in the field.
The Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame is an ongoing effort of the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society, now in its 40th year.
Artifacts of the Hall of Fame, including citations to each recipient with their photographs, are displayed in the Shannon Air Museum at Shannon Airport in Spotsylvania County. Ask to see them, if necessary.