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Former Falls Church City Attorney Roy Thorpe Dies at Age 73

Roy Byron Thorpe Jr., a former City Attorney for the City of Falls Church, died at age 73 on Sunday, Aug. 11, at his home in Culpeper, Virginia. Thorpe was a critical stabilizing influence at City Hall in Falls Church, serving as the City Attorney from 1996 to 2008 for the longest period in the history of City, a period that covered the terms of six City Managers and interim managers, five mayors and dozens of City Council members and many a contentious local election and referenda.     

Born May 18, 1946, he is survived by his wife of 50 years, Karen O’Donnell Thorpe, daughters Jennifer and Laura, son George, sisters Barbara and Bettie, and six grandchildren. Thorpe and his wife became best friends at age 13 in Long Island, New York, and married in 1968, celebrating their 50th anniversary last year. Thorpe graduated from Wesleyan University and the Washington and Lee Law School. He served as the city attorney and assistant commonwealth attorney in Bedford County, and the county attorney in Montgomery and Culpepper counties before coming to Falls Church. He served a term as president of the Virginia Local Government Attorneys Association.       

Thorpe was an avid sailor and traveler. He served in the Virginia National Guard in Lynchburg and was a lacrosse player in high school and college and an Eagle Scout. Following his retirement, he relished woodworking, creating furniture for family and friends, and appreciated bad puns and “Dad jokes.”       

In lieu of a funeral, his family will hold a private celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory to local charities are appreciated.   

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