Kerry Joseph Donley, of Alexandria, Virginia, died suddenly on July 13, 2022 at his home. The former Mayor of Alexandria, Kerry was born on February 1, 1956 to the late Owen and Carole Donley, and lived in Elk Point, South Dakota until 1963 when the entire family moved to Alexandria. He is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Eva, five daughters: Kristin, Kaitlin (James Wilson), Colleen, Cara, and Kelsey, and five grandchildren (with one more on the way): Jackson, Mason, and Jillian Dundon, and Graham and Bennett Wilson. His siblings Patricia, twin sister Kelly (Phil French), Scott (Chris), and Shannon Reed (Peter) also survive, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Kerry graduated from Bishop Ireton High School and Marquette University, after which he began a lifelong career in banking, community service, and politics, especially Democratic politics. His decades of service included being a member of Alexandria City Council, Vice Mayor of Alexandria, Mayor of Alexandria, and Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia. He took a brief career detour to become the athletic director of Alexandria City High School (the former T.C. Williams), which in many ways was an extension of his love for sports. Kerry retired in the summer of 2021 from a successful career in banking with his final position as Senior Vice President for John Marshall Bank.
Kerry’s leadership, character, and commitment to service were widely recognized and respected throughout the community. He was inducted as a Living Legend of Alexandria in 2017 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 from Volunteer Alexandria and the Elizabeth and David Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award from Metropolitan Washington Council of Government in 2002.
One can go anywhere in the city and see the legacies he left – building a new school and rebuilding old ones, creating more recreation fields, combating teenage pregnancy and homelessness, rebuilding a crumbling sewer system, strengthening economic development, and just about everything that was essential to Alexandria’s prosperity and caring for those in need. His leadership in the aftermath of 9/11 helped the city recover from the tragedy. One of his proudest accomplishments was attracting the Patent and Trademark Office to the city.
Notwithstanding those accomplishments, he always felt his greatest legacy was his family – his children and grandchildren and his partner for life, Eva. He was a loving husband, a proud dad, and an adoring grandpa and not a day went by that he wasn’t bragging about one of them.
A memorial gathering will be held on Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22302. The family will receive guests from 1pm to 3pm and in the evening from 5pm to 7pm, with a prayer service beginning at 6:30pm.
Funeral Mass will be held at 11am on Monday, July 25, 2022, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 1427 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22302. Private interment to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Kerry's name may be made to:
Senior Services of Alexandria, 206 N. Washington Street, Suite 301, Alexandria, VA 22314
Center for Alexandria’s Children, 1900 N. Beauregard Street #200, Alexandria, VA 22311
Marquette University- Bridge to the Future Fund, P.O. Box 7013, Carol Stream, IL 60197-7013