The 40th anniversary of the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame awards ceremony that took place at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House on Saturday, November 3rd. This year’s inductees included Ron Gatewood, Evelyn Marshall and Governor Gerald Baliles.
Ronald L. Gatewood, Colonel USMC (Retired) served from the United States Marine Corps from 1964 to 1991 as a Naval aviator, retiring as colonial. After his retirement from the military, Ron established several aviation-related businesses, including SkyWorld Aviation, Tracey Corporation and Midland Development Corporation and managed the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport (W66). He was instrumental in transforming the small country airport into a robust aviation hub. Ron has demonstrated an unmatched spirit of service to the local aviation community in Fauquier County. He has volunteered his time and pilot skills through AirServ International, a Virginia-based global disaster relief organization. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Aviation Business Association. And he has been the standard bearer for the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society for the Warrenton Chapter.
Evelyn Marshall began her career of service on her 20th birthday, when she was sworn into the U.S. Naval Reserves as a Navy Wave in World War II. While assigned to the Navy Department in Washington, DC, Evelyn met Frank Marshall, and they were married in 1945. In 1959, they formed Airport Management, Inc., and assumed management of the Manassas Airport. Five years later, they were vital to efforts to ‘save’ the previous Manassas Airport, which ultimately led to the establishment/relocation of the airport to its current location. After Frank’s death, Evelyn has continued her interest and support of general aviation in Virginia, and has been both supporter and activist. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Aviation Trades Association. She also has been a long-standing member of the Flying Circus Airshows in Bealeton, Virginia, and a lifetime member of the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society. All-in-all, Evelyn has served Virginia aviation for more than 58 years.
Gerald Baliles, former Governor of Virginia in 1986 and under his leadership, the Virginia General Assembly passed what was until then the largest transportation funding package in Virginia history. The benefits of that program remain in place today. In answering questions of why he supported funding for small, General Aviation airports, he explained that these airports provide important access to the air transport system, no matter where they are located. He was tremendously supportive of the National Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center and his direct involvement was integral to the Center’s creation. His personal efforts and intervention also helped ensure passage by the Virginia General Assembly of the legislation to enact The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Governor Baliles worked hard to attract NASA’s space station headquarters to Reston, VA, and he was a strong advocate and pioneer in making Virginia an integral part of the nation’s space program. His leadership positively and importantly influenced the future of aviation in the Commonwealth, as well as nationally and internationally.
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