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Metro Crash Victims: David F. and Ann Wherley

D.C. National Guard Major Gen. David F. Wherley Jr. and his wife, Ann, were among the casualties in yesterday's Metro accident. If you knew the Wherleys, we'd love to hear your anecdotes and memories of the couple.

The entry date of this post does not reflect when it was written. It was written Tuesday, June 23.

By Adam Bernstein |  June 17, 2009; 3:36 PM ET
Previous: Controversial Afrocentric Scholar Dies | Next: Metro Crash Victim: Jeanice McMillan


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General Wherley was the best example of "get things done" that I have known in my military career. I served as a Commander in the DC Army NG under his leadership. His impact on our unit is timeless. Personally, I am in shock and deeply saddened - yet I find myself smiling as I am assured he and his wife are in heaven, rejoicing with their Saviour.

Posted by: Sklotz | June 23, 2009 6:54 PM

Ann worked with my dad for at least 21 years and over time, my parents became close family friends with the Wherley's. They were both incredibly kind and caring people. General Wherley wrote me my recommendation to the Naval Academy and was always around to help me. He invited me on base as a kid to see the air show and check out the flight simulator. This was obviously one of the coolest things I had ever seen as a 12 year old. In fact, General Wherley had even given my dad and I his tickets for the Sunday of the AT&T National on 4th of July weekend and we were planning our own golf outing soon after that. My parents told me last week that General Wherley had been spending a lot of time at Walter Reed helping out. Seeing where this accident took place, I would imagine he was on his way home from volunteering with Ann. My thoughts and prayers are with them and their family through this difficult time.

Posted by: jimlewis10 | June 24, 2009 1:21 AM

Dave Wherley was a thoughtful, compassionate, leader of leaders. I was a friend of Lt. Wherley when he first came to the DCANG as a pilot of F-105's back in the 70's around the time the military was encouraged to accept the Guard and Reserve as members of the "Total Force". Our unit had just returned from a tour in Vietnam when Dave came on board. He was a skilled pilot with a quiet bravery. He treated everyone that he contacted with respect and trust. He was extremely competitive on the Basketball court and took his beating from the old, out-of-shape, enlisted guys pretty hard up at Alpena, but he never disrespected any of us. A very good man, who flew fighters for over 30 years should not have died this way. I am proud to say I was a friend.

Posted by: Riverrat66 | June 24, 2009 7:43 AM

I knew and admired Dave Wherley as a humble person, a fine officer and truly a gentleman I will never forget. I recall some years ago as a new officer in the 113th trying to find my way, Dave Wherley was very approachable and helpful. I could see that he was different with a human quality you could learn from. Some how he found the time to listen and offer guidance despite the fast paced circumstances of the day. He simple did his job the best way he knew how, but with compassion and thoroughness. My sympathies to his family and friends.

Posted by: sabre2000 | June 24, 2009 8:57 AM

My family & I are deeply saddened by the loss of our sister, brother-in-law. Please keep us & all the families of the victims in your prayers. there are two more angels in heaven.

Posted by: kstrine13 | June 24, 2009 9:58 AM

Ann & Dave Wherley were my aunt and uncle. They were wonderful people, devoted to their work and their country. As we understand it, they were either on their way to or returning from Walter Reed Army Hospital when the accident occurred where they were volunteering. They were kind, generous, and loving people and will be missed terribly. I am happy to have seen them two weeks ago at a family reunion. They were both enamored with their new granddaughter. Ann and Dave were loved deeply and will be missed terribly.

Posted by: estrine04 | June 24, 2009 10:01 AM

One of the best general officers that I had the pleasure of serving under. Sir! You will be missed.

Posted by: kvonbatten | June 24, 2009 12:01 PM

Ann Strine Wherley and I were each sophomore transfers to Kutztown State College (now a university) where we met in January of 1967. We met in a hideously difficult physical geography class, bonded over the sheer misery of that course, and became friends for life. I am profoundly saddened by the loss of my friend and the love of her life, David. She was so kind, thoughtful, and desperately funny without really knowing it; the best straight face ever. We shared everything then, including the false cover stories to our parents that when she went to visit David at Fordham in the Bronx, and I went to visit my boyfriend at UVA we swore to our parents that either she was coming to my house, or I was going to hers for the weekend. There are many stories over the years and although we did not see each other much, we spoke, wrote, emailed and always picked up exactly where we left off, as good friends do. My heart goes out to David and Betsy, the granddaughter they loved so dearly, and the family and friends of this extraordinary couple.

Posted by: cookeh2 | June 24, 2009 4:54 PM

Ann and David were both neighbors and friends when we were all struggling to raise our families and build our careers. They were both committed to their family, friends and the community they lived in. Though they were easy going and comfortable folks, there was never any doubt about the values that guided their lives. They had much left to share with us all and will be missed.

Posted by: blicker | June 24, 2009 6:06 PM

Ann Strine Wherley was my first cousin. I am in shock to learn of her tragic death in the Metro train crash and of the death of her beloved husband, David.

Less than ten days ago, we had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with David and Ann, their daughter, Betsy, and their precious granddaughter at a Strine Family Reunion. We had not had such an event for a very long time, so I treasured the opportunity to reconnect with my cousins, Uncles, Aunts, and extended family. Both David and Ann were thrilled to introduce their new granddaughter to all of us.

David and Ann were both 1965 graduates of York Catholic High School (York, PA), and it obvious from what is now being remembered by all, that their Christian roots played a big part in their family and community values.

David and Ann, rest in peace!

My prayers are with everyone who had the pleasure to know David and Ann. We have all suffered a heart-wrenching loss, but rest assured they are in heaven praying for all of us until we meet again.

Carol Strine Tutino (York, PA)

Posted by: CarolStrineTutino | June 24, 2009 8:37 PM

I never personally met the General but spoke with him several times a few years ago before his retirement. I was trying to recruit him to join the Board of Directors for DC Vote. He was thrilled to be asked and fully understood the need for his fellow DC citizens to have representation in Congress. Unfortunately his superiors advised against it as "too political" despite our 501C3 status. Our city has lost an incredilbe leader.
May he and his wife rest in peace and my condolences to their family.

Posted by: johnklenert | June 24, 2009 10:53 PM

Loyal, honest, sincere, generous and modest friends. I have known Dave and Ann for 31 years and never have I met such ethical people like them. I feel privileged to be able to call them my friends. I just wish God didn't feel like He needed them now. What will all of us do without them? I can't imagine. Dave and Betsy, your parents loved you dearly and were proud of you, and the grandbaby.

Posted by: svhutchison | June 24, 2009 11:21 PM


Posted by: | June 25, 2009 2:31 AM


Posted by: | June 25, 2009 2:32 AM

I have had the honor, joy and love of knowing Dave and Ann due to the fact that their daughter is married to one of my sons. It was a joy to share our granddaughter and a pleasure to see the special love Dave and Ann had for our wonderful little Evann. My heart is broken for Elizabeth (Betsy) and David. There are no words to express my deep, personal feelings of loss and pain. I am extremely saddened that our granddaughter will not grow up to know the joy and love of Pop and Grannie. Good bye Dear Ones, Rest in Peace.

Posted by: evelynregan | June 25, 2009 5:12 AM

David Wherley, then a colonel, is mentioned several times in the book "Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11" by Lynn Spencer.

Posted by: suisse | June 25, 2009 5:33 AM

My prayers are with the Wherley family. It has been an honor to work with Gen Wherley in the DCANG. His encouragement to many junior enlisteds as well as officers to strive and achieve was empowering at best. Because of that some of us, when time to hang up the uniform, carried the same confidence and empowerment,into our second careers in the civilian sector. Gen Wherley and his wife will surely be missed here.

Posted by: chelle58 | June 25, 2009 12:48 PM

My heart is very full for the entire Wherley family. It is so difficult to grasp that two people who offered so very much to their family, their community and this country are gone. Elizabeth, I am so very sorry for your loss.

Posted by: jhezlitt | June 25, 2009 9:34 PM

General Wherley and his wife were both personal and professional friends of mine. While I had occassions to interact with the General, what matterd most was that we lived as neighbors on a quiet city block.

What struck me most was that both Dave and Ann shared a sense of sincerity rarely seen in stick-figure Washington. You see, they cared about their community and wanted to be part of a neighborhood. I am writing this from Ireland where I just learned of their passing. I hope that my wife and I are able to attend their services.

I can only find comfort, as I am sure their family can,and happiness in the knowledge that they were with each other until the very end. And will joyfully join together again in heaven.

To thier familes and friends, I ask you to remember finally the words of the Greek poet Aeschylus:

Even in our sleep, pain which we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the grace of God.

Posted by: davidsheldon | June 26, 2009 10:04 AM

On a military posting from Australia between 2004 and 2006, we were lucky enough to live next door to the Wherleys. Instantly welcoming, they became good friends who, for us, personified all that is great about the American character.

Immensely proud of their country, they went out of their way to ensure that we had an enriching time, showcasing the National Capital they loved so much.

It was immediately clear to us that they were great mates, who adored each other and their children. This strong partnership and sense of family enabled them to give so much of themselves to others. The generosity of spirit which defined them was evidenced by what they had been doing together on their final day, volunteering as mentors.

When people die in tragic circumstances, we tend to focus on the way they died rather than the way they lived. But how they lived is what’s important. The world is a much better place for the Wherleys having lived in it, for individually and together they made an enormous difference to everyone they touched.

Ann and Dave, we will continue to be inspired by your giving natures and the warmth of the positive memories you leave behind. We thank God that we were blessed with your friendship.

BRIGGEN Gary Hogan & Elizabeth O’Callaghan
Jakarta, Indonesia

Posted by: elizabethindon | June 27, 2009 5:42 AM

My husband and I met General Wherley at a promotion ceremony at the DC Armory several years ago. We were struck by his warmth and lack of pretention. So human for one of such rank! Two years hence, We were just faces in the crowd at a deployment send-off ceremony. He remembered us, approached us and struck up a conversation. I was deeply moved and honored. The news of his passing was extremely sad for my family. I regret that I will be unable to attend the memorial service and be one of the expected 5,000 mourners. I am sure it will be a fitting tribute to the people the Wherleys were. My thoughts are with Gen. & Mrs. Wherleys' family and friends, and my prayers will rise up like incense for their eternal lives with God.

Posted by: stilrlingsweetie | June 28, 2009 10:59 AM

In the blink of an eye.
MGen David F Wherely was one of the most personalbe Commanding Officers I have had the pleasure of working for in my 26 years of military service. Losing one parent is hard enough, but both at one time. May God bless and lift up both his son and daughter, and grandaughter.

When was the last time
That they heard you say
Mother or father, I love you
And when was the last time
That they heard you say
Daughter or son, I love you

Ones you say you cherish everyday
Can instantly be taken away
Then you'd say I know this can't be true
When you never took the time
To simply tell them "I love you"

When was the last time
That they heard you say
Sister or brother, I love you
And when was the last time
That they heard you say
Darling or best friend, I love you

The one for whom you'd give your very life
Could be taken in the twinkling of an eye
Through your tears you'd ask why did you go
Knowing you'd didn't always show
Just how much you loved them so

These three words
Sweet and simple
These three words
Short and kind
These three words
Always kindles
An aching heart to smile inside

I know a family
Who hasn't a cent to their name
And yet the joy and love they have between them
They always claim
And when one's called from life
The survived mourn the lost
And will never be the same
Yet they rejoice
In knowing they gave them their all

These three words
Sweet and simple
These three words
Short and kind
These three words

Posted by: MsEllie64 | June 29, 2009 2:42 PM

My very deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Major General David and Ann Wherley. What a very sad and tragic loss for our community and country. For it is people such as these, that make me proud to be an American.

And through the roughest path
You know the rocky, rocky road
You know that
Life and love is a
Heavy, heavy load

Posted by: anniem1 | June 29, 2009 4:37 PM

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