DATE: Thursday, March 6, 1997               TAG: 9703060382

SECTION: LOCAL                   PAGE: B7   EDITION: FINAL 


DATELINE: WILLIAMSBURG                      LENGTH:   35 lines


Parke Shepherd Rouse Jr., a newspaperman and historian who wrote 22 books and countless columns celebrating Virginia's past, died at his home Wednesday. He was 81.

Rouse, who never lived far from the James River, oversaw the state's celebration of the 350th anniversary of the English settlement at Jamestown in 1957.

Among his books are a biography of James Blair, founder and first president of the College of William and Mary, and a history of the college's President's House.

Guy Friddell, a Virginian-Pilot columnist, said Rouse explained Virginians to themselves - and did it ``with grace and good humor.''

Rouse was a 1937 graduate of Washington and Lee University and served in the Navy in World War II. He worked for both The Times-Herald, the afternoon newspaper in Newport News, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He joined the staff of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce in 1950. In 1953, he came to Williamsburg to become director of publications for Colonial Williamsburg.

Rouse is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Gayle Rouse; two daughters, Elizabeth Marshall Rouse McClure of Norfolk and Sarah Dashiell Rouse Sheehan of Washington, D.C.; a son, Parke Shepherd Rouse III of Raphine; and a brother, Randolph D. Rouse of Washington, D.C.

A private burial service will be conducted Saturday in the family cemetery in Smithfield. A memorial service tentatively was scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg. KEYWORDS: DEATH OBITUARY

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