The “V” in “VLTA” Also Stands for “Value”

Article written by Bill Amrhein in 2008
Sometimes it seems odd, but focusing on the end can be a good place to begin. Sometime on Saturday, June 7, 2008 I will end my tenure as a member of the Board of Directors of VLTA. Is that the end of my connection with VLTA? Absolutely not! It is simply the end of a chapter, but in ending one chapter, I can now refocus my energies and efforts on other areas that I have temporarily moved to the side while a Board member. The siren songs of the Education and Legislative committees have already begun, and I am eager to return.

You see, I first became involved with VLTA as a member when I was Branch Counsel for Chicago Title. It wasn’t long before I became active in Education and Legislation during the mid to late nineties. Then in 2004 I was elected to the Board. And on top of all this I work with the Chairperson of Membership and the former Chairperson of Activities (who I expect to be elected to the Board in June). Honestly, my twenty years in title insurance and working with VLTA have almost overshadowed my twenty some years of law practice.

More importantly, VLTA has helped me grow as a person – as an underwriter – as a lawyer – as a communicator – and most importantly as a listener. VLTA people are volunteers – they are dedicated to the Association but work to have the Association enhance the industry. My efforts have expanded my knowledge, my capabilities, my horizons, my perspectives and my values; more significantly, they have given me the confidence to reach within myself to do things, to see things and to express things that heretofore I had kept to myself.

The ambience and aura of VLTA and its members has added immensely to our industry. Whenever I finally say my final farewell to VLTA, I will always acknowledge a debt that may never adequately be repaid. I am a better person for the experience.

Tribute from Kay Creasman and others at Old Republic Title

Bill Amrhein was my friend. Of course, Bill never knew someone who wasn’t his friend. But he has a special place in my heart. He and I became active with VLTA about the same time in the middle 1990’s. One of our first times meeting in person was at an Education Committee meeting in the dark basement at an agent’s office in Fredericksburg. That time predated the use of email and internet communication, but for Bill that wouldn’t have mattered. Electronic communication wasn’t his “thing.” He was a man who loved to talk, to tell stories (mostly true maybe), to engage on a very personal level with everyone. He would give you a lengthy answer to any title question you asked, but he never would put anything in writing which (when I was a title agent and he was counsel at Chicago) used to drive me up the proverbial wall.  Regardless, he had a world of knowledge and could pull Code sections from memory quicker than anyone I have ever known. (I’m glad he retired before the recodification in 2019.) The VLTA Boot Camp was his brain child.

Bill and I began teaching VLTA classes together at the end of the 1990s. We developed a banter back and forth that was mostly entertaining as we didn’t always agree on every issue. That banter also existed between us on a personal level. When I joined him at Old Republic in 2008 until he retired in 2014 we spent a lot of hours either in the car traveling to visit agents throughout the state or to teach seminars or to Manassas for an office meeting or on the phone as we both lived in the Richmond area. It seems half my day was spent talking with Bill, sharing information, developing classes for VLTA or Old Republic, etc. Turns out he initiated the Old Republic continuing education classes in 2001 in Culpeper. That beginning has grown to monthly webinars and an annual live presentation in multiple locations.

Anyone who knew Bill knew of his love for the Dolphins in football and the St. Louis Cardinals in baseball.

Bill Amrhein has been a life-long resident of Richmond, Virginia. A graduate of The Catholic University of America in D.C. (1960), Bill completed his education at the University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law (1962). The first leg of his legal career was as corporate counsel for the former Seaboard Air Line Railroad Company handling corporate and real estate matters. In 1968 he entered private general practice in the Richmond area with several small firms with a fairly consistent residential and commercial real estate exposure. In 1988 he joined Chicago Title as Agency and Branch Counsel in Richmond. He moved to Old Republic Title in 2000 and remained as State Counsel until he retired in 2014. Bill passed away near the end of July 2023 from complications of bone cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. He is survived by his wife, Betsey Amrhein, three children and a number of grandchildren.

“He was a big sweetheart and he knew everything! He called me “GIRLFRIEND” and it was always followed by a big hug!”

– Rita Murray

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