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Jack McDonnell -- father of Virginia governor, longtime Fairfax resident -- dies at 94

Mount Vernon 2006.jpg

John F. "Jack" McDonnell, father to Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), died this morning at a Fairfax County nursing home after a lengthy illness, the governor's office announced this evening. He was 94.

A Massachusetts native and son of Irish immigrants, Jack McDonnell was a World War II veteran who went on to serve 23 years on active duty with the Air Force. He then worked with the U.S. Naval Investigative Service.

McDonnell had five children -- Bob McDonnell is the eldest. After three overseas tours of duty, the family settled in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County, where the governor grew up. Jack McDonnell was a member of the Governor's Board of Visitors of Mt. Vernon.

He will be buried at Arlington Cemetery.

Gov. McDonnell will be altering his public schedule in coming days to spend time with his family. He has canceled several planned television interviews Wednesday to discuss the election results.

Updated, 7:45 p.m. The governor issued a brief statement Tuesday night: "My father is the one who encouraged me to work hard, dream big, and not make excuses in life and all things are possible,'' he said. "As the son of an Irish immigrant he lived the American Dream. I thank God he lived to attend my Inauguration."

By Rosalind Helderman  | November 2, 2010; 6:08 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell  
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Damn. I'm not a McD fan by any stretch, but it sounds like his father was a pretty awesome guy. Heartfelt condolences.

Posted by: TomCadorette | November 2, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

may the peace of the lord be with our governor and his family at this hour. god bless

Posted by: dem4evr | November 2, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

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