StC Alumnus and Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin ’79 Dies at 61

Alumni and faculty remember Congressman Donald McEachin as a good friend and devoted to public service.
St. Christopher’s is saddened to hear the news that alumnus and Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin '79 died Monday. McEachin had represented Virginia’s 4th District since 2017 and was only the third African American to represent Virginia in the U.S. House. He passed away just weeks after his reelection victory to Congress. 

McEachin was defined by his integrity, his idealism, his belief in the common good and his respect for public service. Speaking at Memorial Chapel after his election win in 2017, McEachin acknowledged a contentious political climate and encouraged our boys to be civil and treat others with respect. "When you leave this campus, you'll run into folks that don't agree with you or agree with your values," he said. "At all times, continue to be the gentlemen that you are."

McEachin held an abiding loyalty and support for the School. He routinely checked in and kept up with our sports teams and Ampersand. The congressman even hosted StC's basketball team at the Capitol a few years ago, greeting them and welcoming them to Washington, D.C.
“Don was one of our great success stories,” said English Teacher Ron Smith. “He just got better and better as a human being and a force for society.”

Michael Grey ’79 remembers his classmate and friend as loyal, goodhearted, and as a focused basketball player. “Public service was Don’s calling,” said Grey. “The part of him that wanted to serve the underrepresented was a source of great joy and pride. And he was good at it.”

Grey kept in touch with McEachin over the years and followed his move from a career in law to a calling in public service. “When you watch your friends and loved ones reach those points of fulfillment, it’s really a joy to see,” said Grey.