Monthly Archives: June 2013

In Remembrance of Walter L. Mess

Walter L. Mess was born in Washington, DC on December 20, 1914 to Dr. Carl J. Mess and Anna A. Lansdale. He married Jean Ogle (deceased) in 1940. He passed away on May 26, 2013. He is survived by Jean Lewis (Gary), Patricia Urick (Charles), Walter Mess, Jr. (Deborah) and Margaret Vidumsky (John). Also survived by 11 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

 He was in the Army between 1941 – 1946 serving in the OSS (Europe as well as the China, Burma, and India theater).
Walter retired in 1983 as Senior Vice President, B.F. Saul Company. His community service achievements were many. Most notably, he was chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority from 1975 – 1996.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, June 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 2 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Murphy Funeral Home, 1102 W. Broad Street, Falls Church, VA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, June 3 at 10 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church, 905 Park Avenue, Falls Church, VA (Broad and Spring Street). Interment private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Foundation (, or the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (
Published in The Washington Post from May 31 to June 2, 2013
For a more information about the life of Walter Mess, please read the official media release by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
American Legion Post 130 recognizes Walter Mess as an outstanding example of military and community service.

Friends of the W&OD Trail Annual Picnic

Please come and join the Friends of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail picnic on Saturday, June 8th from 12 noon until 4 p.m. The location of the picnic will be at the American Legion Post 130 building at 400 N. Oak Street in Falls Church, VA 22046.  The American Legion building is located adjacent to mile marker 6 1/2 on the W&OD Trail.

Items on the menu will include hot dogs, crab legs, coconut shrimp/shrimp cocktail, pulled pork BBQ, BBQ chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, cookies, and assorted drinks including sodas, iced tea, lemonade, and bottled water.  The picnic is also part of the Friends of the W&OD Trail’s annual meeting about the state of the W&OD Trail.  It is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the trail and our Friends of the W&OD Trail volunteer group.

The picnic will also serve as a celebration of the life of Walter L. Mess who passed away on Sunday, May 26th, 2013.  Walter established the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) and was a member of its Board for more than 45 years.  During his time on the Board the agency preserved over 10,000 acres of land.  While Walter loved the many waterparks, golf courses, historic sites, campgrounds, marinas, and other facilities of NVRPA, he was most proud of the W&OD Trail.  Through his efforts he helped to create the trail and is known as the “Father of the W&OD.”  The first section of the trail was established in 1974 in his home town of Falls Church.  Over the next 10 years the trail expanded to its current 45-mile length.

Please RSVP for the picnic by e-mailing the Friends of W&OD Trail at or by contacting us by phone at (703) 729-0596.  You may also contact them for more information or for directions to the picnic.  We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!