Obituaries » James Aurich Vest

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James Aurich Vest

August 21, 1939 - August 14, 2020

U.S. Veteran

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James Aurich Vest died on August 14, 2020.  Mr. Vest was born on August 21, 1939 in Salem, Virginia.  He was the son of the late Frank Harris Vest, Sr. and the late Viola Woodson Vest.

Mr. Vest was predeceased by his first wife Martha Twark Vest, his son James Aurich (Jay) Vest, Jr., his step-son Kirk Roland Fisher, and his brother, the Rt. Rev. Frank Harris Vest, Jr.

He is survived by his wife Renee Collet Vest, his daughter Catherine Vest Olson and her husband Kyle, his step-daughter Collet Green (Landon), step-son Lee Fisher, and his grandchildren Laney Green, Riley Green, Emary Green and Spencer Fisher and his sister-in-law Ann Jarvis Vest.  His niece the Rev. Dr. Nina Vest Salmon and her husband Gerard Edward Salmon.  His nephews Frank Harris Vest, III and his wife Legare Davis Vest, and Robert Alexander Vest and his wife Katherine Fowler Vest.

Mr. Vest was a 1958 graduate of Bedford High School and a 1962 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute.

He served two years on active duty in the United States Infantry.  Upon his return from active duty, Mr. Vest was company commander of A Company 116th Infantry, “The Bedford Boys.”  Being Company Commander of A Company was one of his finest honors.

Mr. Vest spent his 43-year working career at the Piedmont Label Company, which was bought by Smyth Companies of St. Paul, MN in 1998.  He served as president of the Label Printing Industries of America.  Mr. Vest was President and C.E.O. of Smyth Companies, Bedford when he retired in 2002.

Mr. Vest was very active in the civic affairs of Bedford. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of The National D-Day Memorial Foundation, which in 2005, retired its debt and came out of bankruptcy. Chairman of the Board of Bedford Memorial Hospital. Served on the Board at Central Virginia Community College.

Mr. Vest served on Bedford’s City and Town Council for 22 years. His greatest satisfaction from serving on Council was the reversion from the City of Bedford to the Town of Bedford in 2013.

A lifelong Episcopalian, Mr. Vest was active at St. John’s Episcopal Church Bedford, serving on the Vestry and as Senior Warden several times, and from 2017, St. John’s Lynchburg, VA.

The interment for Mr. Vest will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bedford, with the Rev. Chris Roussell officiating. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Please consider memorial gifts in his honor to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 200 Boston Avenue, Lynchburg, VA, 24503, The National D-Day Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 77 Bedford, VA, 24523 or the VMI Foundation P.O. Box 932 Lexington, VA 24450.

“You may be whatever you resolve to be.”

Stonewall Jackson

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.


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