A piece of artwork unveiled during a ceremony in the Culpeper Circuit Courtroom on Dec. 16 became a part of the courtroom and history.
“In reflecting about today, I think it is more than just a ceremony to unveil my portrait,” said Judge Susan L. Whitlock. “I think it is a testimony to the history of this court.”
The now retired Culpeper Circuit Court of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit was honored with a portrait done by Gordonsville artist Becky Parrish.
Whitlock graduated law school in 1991. She served as Commonwealth’s attorney in Louisa and became a judge in 1999. She was appointed to Culpeper Circuit Court in 2012 and retired in 2020.
Before the dedication, numerous former colleagues spoke about Whitlock and her dedication to the bench.
Judge Dale Durrer, who presided over the ceremony, spoke first.
“We honor Judge Whitlock’s service and hope that she appreciates just how high in regard she is held by all of us in the circuit (court) and all of her colleagues in the legal profession,” he said.
Durrer spent time telling attendees about the origin of the project. He remembered how he got a message from long-time friend Zan Nelson about the possibility of adding more portraits to the circuit court.
“The immediate thought that went through my mind was, ‘Susan Whitlock ought to be the first portrait that gets added,’” he continued.
Durrer relaunched the portrait committee, whose members all agreed to move forward with honoring Whitlock.
“We unanimously decided that there is no more fitting portrait that ought to be displayed than Judge Susan Whitlock,” he said. “Judge Whitlock was an easy choice, at least for me and the rest of the portrait committee.”
The Culpeper County Bar Association approved the funding for the portrait to be completed
The ceremony was attended by upwards of 50 people followed by a reception at The Refinery.
“Today, we’re unveiling a portrait of her person but the portrait stands for what Becky Parrish captured her as, but it also stands for her values and her qualities that made her such an excellent judge and excellent person such as diligence, humility, integrity and decisiveness,” Durrer said.