Our valued colleague in the Imaging Services Section, Dwight Sunderlin, passed away on February 8 after a brief illness. He will be laid to rest this spring in his beloved hometown of Winchester, Virginia. During his lifetime, Dwight wore many hats as both a soldier and a civilian. He proudly served his country in the National Guard. Here at the Library of Virginia, Dwight was a methodical, trustworthy coworker who was willing to assist in any type of situation–from changing windshield wiper blades to implementing the operational procedures for a new software program.
Dwight was an avid hunter throughout his life. As a civilian, he always scheduled his annual vacation in November to go deer hunting. The yearly trip had a three-fold purpose. First, hunting allowed him to apply some of the training that he received in the military. Secondly, it allowed him to practice his marksmanship using weapons from his extensive firearms collection. Hunting was a contest between him and the deer; however, the deer usually won. If he was successful, Dwight acted like a little kid and bragged about his prize! He even took a picture of the trophy buck that he’d bagged and displayed it proudly on his desk. Finally, and most importantly, was the bonding time spent between Dwight and his brother, with few interruptions from the outside world.
Like any grandparent, Dwight took great pride in his grandkids. He had the types of stories that would make any grandparent laugh or cry. In one incident he shared, his granddaughter tried to find other alternatives to avoid taking an afternoon nap, showing the adults that she no longer required a nap! He would also chuckle at the grandchildren’s attempts to persuade their siblings that their ideas, leadership, or game plans were the ones to follow. The angelic looks that often appeared on his grandchildren’s faces brought back memories for him of raising his daughter.
Besides being a guiding and dependable presence in his family, he also was a source of advice and assistance to his grateful colleagues. From everyday usage of imaging equipment to the selection and implementation of collection management software, Dwight’s advice was always thoughtful and well-considered. He patiently took the time to train each staff member in the Imaging Services unit to ensure that he or she fully understood the process in question. He also did extensive work in compiling a written manual covering all aspects of the new software program, from scanning microfilm reels out of the system to retrieving data. Every step of this operational procedure has to be done a certain way, so his military background and discipline again served him well.
Dwight Sunderlin was and will always be remembered as a steadfast colleague and true friend. He may have been a private person, but he always got the job done, and you always knew that he was there for you when you needed him. We truly miss him.
– Suie Woo, Quality Assurance Supervisor
– Belinda Pillow, former Quality Assurance Specialist