Honoring A Legend in Historic Preservation 

  Jack Zehmer served as a trustee of the Menokin Foundation; one of many important roles he had in the field of historic preservation. 

His son, James D. W. Zehmer, serves on the Advisory Council of the Menokin Foundation, and is a co-chair of the Foundation’s Building and Grounds Committee. He completed his first term as a trustee in January 2016. 

Menokin is proud to have the Zehmer legacy in its history. Our condolences go out to the Zehmer family and especially to Calder Loth, honorary trustee and close friend of the Zehmer family. 

His obituary from the Richmond Times Dispatch follows:

ZEHMER, John G. “Jack” Jr., 73, died February 7, 2016, after a long illness. He was the son of the late John Granderson Zehmer and Emily Butterworth Zehmer, and grew up in McKenney, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in architectural history from the University of Virginia, and served in the Peace Corps in Malaysia. He began his career in historic preservation in 1970 for the state of North Carolina, where he served as director of Historic Sites and Museums. He returned to Virginia in 1974 to become the City of Richmond’s first senior planner for historic preservation. He became director of the Valentine Museum in 1981, where he undertook research that led to the restoration of the Wickham-Valentine house interior. He was the Executive Director of Historic Richmond Foundation from 1984 to 1998 and was instrumental in expanding the foundation’s real estate projects and advocacy programs, and founding its publications program. He also chaired the Citizens Advisory Council for the Virginia Executive Mansion which oversaw the restoration of the mansion’s exterior. He joined the staff of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in 1999, serving as director of the Capital Region Office, which provided services to 30 counties in south central Virginia. He retired in 2004 and continued to publish books on architectural preservation. Organizations for which he served as a board member include the Virginia Art and Architectural Review Board, the Virginia Board of Historic Resources, the Preservation Alliance of Virginia, APVA, the Menokin Foundation, the Battersea Foundation and the Edenton Historical Commission. He was also a member of the advisory boards of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Mount Vernon, an honorary member of the Garden Club of Virginia, and a past president of the Antiquarian Society of Richmond. He was involved in many preservation projects including Monumental Church, the National Theatre, the restoration of Linden Row and the Bolling Haxall House, and the establishment of the Monument Avenue Historic District and the Broad Street Historic District. He also served as Senior Warden of the Church of the Good Shepherd in McKenney, where he was a lifelong member. Jack Zehmer is particularly remembered by his friends for his knowledge and love of gardening. He was predeceased by his first wife, David Kathryn Wilborn Zehmer; his parents; and his sister, Emily W. Zehmer. He is survived by his wife, Frances N. Zehmer; his sons, John G. Zehmer III and wife, Andrea, of Ashland, Va., and James D. W. Zehmer and wife, Anne, of Gordonsville, Va.; his brother, Dr. Reynoldson B. Zehmer and wife, Nancy, of McKenney; his stepdaughter, Elizabeth J. Whitman and her husband, Bradley, of New York; and his stepson, Chester W. N. Johns and wife, Emily, of Chatham, Va. A grandson, John Franklin Zehmer; and three stepgrandchildren, Alexander Whitman, Catherine Whitman and Madeline Johns, also survive him. In addition, he is survived by his devoted friends, Estelle H. Lanier and Calder C. Loth. The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at The Hermitage in Richmond for their compassionate care during his illness. (Continued…) ZEHMER (Continued) The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, February 12, at the Petersburg Chapel of J.T. Morriss & Son Funeral Home at 103 South Adams Street, Petersburg. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2016, at 11 a.m., at The Church of the Good Shepherd, 7800 Lew Jones Road, McKenney, Va. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Richmond, 4600 Cox Rd., Glen Allen, Va. 23059; the Historic Richmond Foundation, 4 E. Main St., Richmond, Va. 23219; The Valentine, 1015 E. Clay St., Richmond, Va. 23219; or to Church of the Good Shepherd, c/o Allen Denmark, treasurer, 7728 Lew Jones Road, McKenney, Va. 23872.

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