Thorpe, Jr., Roy Byron
On Sunday, August 11, 2019, Roy Byron Thorpe, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Culpeper, Virginia at the age of 73. A loving husband and father, Roy was born on May 18, 1946 to Roy Sr. and Gertrude Dietz Thorpe.
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. Roy and Karen became best friends at age 13 in Long Island, New York. They married in 1968 and celebrated their golden 50th anniversary in 2018.
A graduate of Wesleyan University and Washington & Lee Law School, Roy specialized in local government law for over 30 years in Virginia, serving as the City Attorney and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Bedford, County Attorney in Montgomery and Culpeper Counties and City Attorney of Falls Church. He also served as President of the Virginia Local Government Attorneys’ Association.
While serving Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, Thorpe further specialized in annexation and economic development. He negotiated land acquisition for the New River Valley area, and helped launch the “shell building” economic development concept to attract business to the Elliston area.
From an early age, Roy enjoyed sailing and traveling, traits that he inherited from his father, Roy Sr. who worked for SAS airlines. Roy sailed Smith Mountain Lake, the Chesapeake Bay and the British Virgin Islands with his co-captain Karen. His mother, Gertrude gifted him with an analytical mind and strong ethical code, which guided him professionally and personally.
He served his country in the Virginia National Guard in Lynchburg. He played lacrosse at Manhasset High School, NY, and at Wesleyan University. Roy also helped coach the Virginia Tech lacrosse team, and locally at Epiphany Catholic School in Culpeper. An Eagle Scout, Roy loved the outdoors, animals and nature. After he retired, Roy relished woodworking in his workshop (a.k.a. “Daddy Daycare”), creating wooden bowls, bluebird houses and furniture for family and friends. With a deadpan, dry wit, Roy appreciated bad puns and “Dad jokes.” He will be forever missed and remembered with love.
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.