Dwight Ambach passed away quietly at his home at Aldendale on Horn Harbor in Mathews County on June 12, 2012, surrounded by his loving family.
Dwight was widely known throughout Mathews County for his activities as a Master Gardener, musician, and board member and active participant in many community organizations.
Dwight is survived by his wife of more than 56 years, Betsy (Hunter) Ambach; son, Hunter M. Ambach and his wife Kathleen; daughter, Nancy C. Ambach; son, James G. Ambach and wife Kim; five grandchildren, Jimmy, Emily, Jack, Ali and Ben Ambach, and brother, Gordon M. Ambach and his wife Lucy.
Born Jan. 9, 1931 in Highland Park, Ill., son of Russell W. and Ethel (Repass) Ambach, Dwight received an AB degree from Brown University and an MA from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Before coming to Mathews County, Dwight had a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Foreign Service, retiring with the rank of Minister-Counselor. He served in diplomatic posts in Germany, Chile and Austria. His assignments in the U.S. included tours as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Export-Import Bank and Dean of the Foreign Area Studies Program of the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. While living in the Washington, D.C. area, Dwight was active in civic affairs and served a term as President of the Montgomery County (Md.) Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League.
In 1992, Dwight and Betsy were the first of four close-friend-couples from the Washington area to build a retirement home at Aldendale. Soon after arrival, Dwight became heavily involved in the life of Mathews County. Pursuing his love of music, Dwight took up the viola and played in every musical production of Courthouse Players for nearly 20 years. He also fiddled with the York River and Northern Neck orchestras. Last year he gave his beloved viola to the Virginia Symphony for use in its education and outreach programs.
Dwight was often seen tending public green spaces around Mathews County. He was a Master Gardener for many years and served two terms as the local chapter’s president. Last year he contributed 22 hanging flower baskets to the County, which have been installed on lamp posts around Mathews Courthouse Green, and made provision for replacement and watering the plants for years to come.
Continuing his interest in civic affairs, Dwight co-founded Mathews County Sustainable Economic and Environmental Development Committee (McSeed) where he worked to bring an affordable senior assisted-living facility to Mathews. He subsequently served six years as a board member of the Mathews Community Foundation and as chair of its grant making committee. Dwight’s broad interests included local history and he served two terms as president of the Mathews County Historical Society.
A celebration of Dwight’s life will be held at Central United Methodist Church in Mathews at a date to be determined.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Foster-Faulkner Funeral Home in Mathews.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Mathews Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1037, Mathews, Va. 23109 or Riverside Walter Reed Hospice, 7358 Main Street, Gloucester, Va. 23061.