Dutch, as he was known by all was born July 1, 1932, in The Hague, Netherlands, where his father worked for the Texas Company in the 1930s. Dutch’s family came from Hampton but made their home on the cliffs above the James River at Mount Pleasant in Surry, Virginia. He attended St. Christopher’s School in Richmond and graduated with an engineering degree from Princeton University in 1954. Following Princeton, Dutch served as a Navy officer on a destroyer in the western Pacific. After his service, Dutch returned to the States and began a career with Texaco. His assignments took him to New York, Central America, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. On a trip home to Virginia in 1964, a St. Catherine’s friend introduced Dutch to her college roommate, Jean. They were married in 1965, and he became a wonderful father to two young boys, Ryan and James. Jean and Dutch were also blessed with two daughters, Christina and Sara. In the 1960’s Dutch’s parents, Franz and Elizabeth escaped the summer heat of Surry for their home in Dunn’s Gap at Sleepy Hollow. After many visits to the area, Dutch and Jean purchased Oakley Farm in 1968 and lived there for 50 years until Will, their grandson, took over the stewardship. Bath County remains an anchor for Dutch’s family and his sister’s children. After several more years with Texaco, Dutch retired to Oakley Farm, became a partner in Clarkson & Wallace, and then became the owner for the next 30 years. He lived by the belief that being in Bath County was such a gift that it was important to dedicate time and effort to the community. He served on the Bath County Hospital Board for over 30 years and attended St. Luke’s Episcopal Church since the 1960s. In an attempt to leave Bath County winters behind, Dutch and Jean moved to Boca Grande, Florida. In 2021, the mountains pulled them back to where they’d lived surrounded by family for more than half their lives. Dutch loved the community of friends he had here and always brought a smile and laughter to those who knew him. His legacy here continues through sons, daughters, grandchildren, a great-grandchild, nieces, and nephews. Dutch’s funeral service will be held on Thursday, December 28th, at 11 am at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Hot Springs. A reception will follow the service at the North Stable, Oakley Farm in Warm Springs. All are welcome. Memorial donation may be made to Bath Community Hospital, P.O. Drawer Z, Hot Springs, Virginia 24445.


  1. We will miss Dutch! So kind, funny and a good sense of humor. Though you are “gone”, you will not be forgotten. Rest in peace, my friend…and hope you & Ralphie meet up & go on another adventure.

  2. Will miss him in Warm Springs; especially at the post office where he always greeted me with a smile. Prayers for his family.

  3. Our deepest sympathy in the loss of of Mr. VonShilling. Always such a nice person.
    Peggy, Eddie Ryder
    & Family


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June 2024