Albert Anthony Mehlbaum passed away on July 31, 2020 in Fredericksburg, Virginia at the age of 74 after a long battle with lymphoma. He was born in Washington D.C. on June 11, 1946 and moved to “the country,” Camp Springs, MD, at the age of five where he developed a life-long love of the outdoors. Throughout his life, tramps through the woods always brought back happy memories of the years spent playing in the woods as a child.
After graduating from Surrattsville High School in 1964, Al was working and attending college part-time when he was drafted into the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division and sent to the central highlands in Vietnam as a radio teletype operator. He married Susan before shipping out and honorably completed his two year obligation before returning home. Unfortunately, during his tour, he had extensive Agent Orange exposure that had an impact on his later life.
On his return, Al studied computer programming with the help of the GI Bill and began his career with the Central Intelligence Agency. His career at the agency provided an opportunity to serve his country, finish his education at the University of Maryland, and rise through the ranks to senior management. In 1969 he welcomed his son, John and in 1974, daughter Amy. He married Debbie in 1980 and in 1988, his son Matthew joined the older siblings. These were busy years as Al worked long hours in Washington, raised his children and served in various church and community volunteer roles in Golden Beach and La Plata, Maryland. A hobbyist with many interests, Al looked forward to retirement and eagerly moved on to the happiest phase of his life at 53, after nearly 30 years with the agency. For the next 21 years, Al had the freedom to do what interested him and his interests were many. He collected and restored pre-war Lionel trains, fixed anything and everything, ran and exercised faithfully, traveled extensively, brewed beer, made wine, gardened and built a house on the ‘family farm’ in Meherrin, VA next to his daughter, Amy and her husband Steve. During these years he finished raising his youngest son Matt and spent priceless hours with his grandson Eric at the farm. In 2015, Al and Debbie moved from La Plata, MD to Fredericksburg to a community that provided even more opportunities for friendship, travel and fun. In particular, Al enjoyed hours of laughter and companionship as a founding member of the Distinguished Gentlemen of the Chancellorsville Single Malt Scotch Society. The group will sorely miss Al’s humor and amazing memory for facts. Al was smart without a trace of arrogance, kind and balanced in his thinking, sincere, and responsible. He was a devout Christian who repeatedly read the Bible, but was always inquisitive and kept an open mind. Along with his studies of the Bible, he read the Qur’an, The Book of Mormon, the teachings of Buddha, the writings of the Dali Lama, the Apocrypha, and many others.
Al is survived by his wife Debbie; son John (Barbara) of Mechanicsville, MD; daughter Amy (Steve); and grandson, Eric of Meherrin, VA; and son Matt, of Arlington, VA. He had favorite brother status with his siblings and leaves behind Pat Wolfgang of Delaware; Bernie Mehlbaum of Palm Springs, CA; Paul (Camille) Miller of Montrose, CO; Mark Mehlbaum of Parkersburg, WV, Ann (Charles) Robinson, Phillip Mehlbaum of Anchorage, AK; and niece April (Kenny) Adams of Oxon Hill, MD. Al was pre-deceased by his father, Bernard Mehlbaum and mother, Angelina DeGaetano Mehlbaum; and sister-in-law, Mary Mehlbaum.
The family will receive friends from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at Covenant Funeral Service, 4801 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, VA 22408. A service will follow at 11:00 am. Due to COVID, the service will also be live streamed. To view the service, CLICK HERE.
Interment will follow in Quantico National Cemetery on Tuesday, August 11 at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John Children Village at 219 Daniel Dr., Hendersonville, NC 28739 to support clean water in Beaufort, Haiti or ChildFund International, PO Box 26507, Richmond VA 23261.