Return to story
J. R. Arthur, who has portrayed Santa Claus for years, holds his great-granddaughter Lindsey Heitman.
BY JIM HALL
Santa and Mrs. Claus caused quite a stir when they showed up this week at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.
Christmas is more than a month away, yet the couple paid a surprise visit to the hospital, dressed in full holiday gear.
"Everyone in the lobby was in awe," said Jeanne Burkett, hospital spokeswoman. "They looked like the real Santa and Mrs. Claus."
The couple dropped in Tuesday to visit the newest of their elves, tiny Lindsey Heitman, their great-granddaughter.
Lindsey was born Monday evening at the hospital. She weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces, and is the fourth child and second daughter of Brian and Allie Heitman of Spotsylvania County.
Lindsey's famous relatives are also known as J.R. and Sharon Arthur. For half the year, the Arthurs live in Pensacola, Fla., but for the rest of the year, they live with their daughter in Spotsylvania.
They're retired, but they appear professionally as the Christmas couple. Next month they'll be in Old Town Alexandria on weekends, and they'll be the guests of honor on VRE's Santa Trains on the Manassas Line.
J.R. Arthur is a former computer science professor at the University of West Florida and a former Navy pilot.
"I like to say that landing on carrier decks is what truly prepared me for landing on housetops," he said.
Jim Hall: 540/374-5433