Long-time local developer, civic leader and philanthropist Preston Caruthers has died.
Caruthers passed away on New Year’s Day at the age of 95.
Dubbed “Mr. Arlington” for “his tireless work to enhance the quality of life of his fellow residents,” Caruthers served in the Navy during World War II and then spent his life building, volunteering and donating.
His “contributions to the Arlington skyline include Dominion Towers, Shawnee and Rosslyn’s Ames Building,” the Falls Church News-Press’ Charlie Clark wrote in a 2015 biographical article. He made significant donations to the Virginia Hospital Center Foundation, Marymount University, Shenandoah University, and the David M. Brown Planetarium, among other institutions.
Caruthers also volunteered and served on numerous boards, including the Arlington School Board, the Virginia State Board of Education and the George Mason University Board of Visitors.
In 2007 Caruthers received the Arlington Community Foundation Spirit of Community Award. Ten years later, he was honored by the Virginia state legislature with the following joint resolution.
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, January 13, 2017
Agreed to by the Senate, January 16, 2017
WHEREAS, Preston C. Caruthers, a patriotic veteran and a successful entrepreneur, has supported and strengthened the Arlington community through his generosity and visionary leadership; and
WHEREAS, a native of Oklahoma, Preston Caruthers learned the value of hard work and responsibility at a young age as a child of the Great Depression, supporting his family through part-time summer jobs and by working on his uncle’s farm; and
WHEREAS, Preston Caruthers attended Will Rogers High School before he joined many of the other young men of his generation in service to the nation during World War II; as a member of the United States Navy, he served in the Pacific theater of the war; and
WHEREAS, after his honorable military service, Preston Caruthers returned to the United States, continued his education at George Washington University, and founded a construction business, which thrived thanks to his charisma, business acumen, and industrious nature; and
WHEREAS, Preston Caruthers’ company completed residential homes and communities, apartments, and commercial parks and office buildings; his proudest accomplishment was the creation of Belmont Bay, a unique waterfront community at the confluence of the Occoquan River and Potomac River; and
WHEREAS, after settling in Arlington, Preston Caruthers became a pillar of the community, holding leadership positions on the boards of the First Bank of Virginia, The Nature Conservancy, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Arlington Hospital Foundation and supporting the National Museum of the United States Army, the Virginia Hospital Center Foundation, and Marymount University; and
WHEREAS, Preston Caruthers was deeply committed to lifelong learning and worked to instill that passion in the youth of the community as a member of the Arlington County School Board and through leadership positions at George Mason University, the Virginia State Board of Education, and the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, Preston Caruthers received the Arlington Community Foundation Spirit of Community Award, and he earned the nickname “Mr. Arlington” for his tireless work to enhance the quality of life of his fellow residents; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend Preston C. Caruthers for his work as a developer, philanthropist, and community advocate; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Preston C. Caruthers for his decades of exceptional service to the residents of Arlington and the Commonwealth.
Caruthers was married to wife Jeanne for 66 years prior to her death in 2015, according to a past Sun Gazette article. They had five children, all raised locally.
Memorial service plans have so far not been announced publicly. Clark tells ARLnow that he’s working on an obituary for Caruthers, to be published later this week.
Update at 12:45 p.m. — Marymount University just released the following statement from President Irma Becerra.
Preston Caruthers was a valued and longtime friend of Marymount University. He was a true counselor and major philanthropic supporter, and we are honored to have a building named in his honor on campus. He greatly valued education in general, and private education and Marymount in particular. In fact, through his efforts Marymount joined the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, a group supporting scholarships for private institutions in Virginia — and our involvement continues to this day. He will be missed dearly, but we are truly blessed to continue our relationship with the Caruthers family.
Margaret Johnson Wilson (Age 90)
Margaret J. (Dorothy) Wilson, a lifelong fighter for minority youth in Arlington, died at The View Alexandria November 26, 2022. Educated in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, she received a BA from University of Pittsburgh. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She also earned a master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio with an internship at the University of Illinois Research and Educations Hospitals of Chicago, Illinois. She was a member of the Council of Representatives, the superior legislative body responsible for the oversight of the American Psychological Association. She joined Howard University as graduate faculty in the Urban Affairs and Research Institute. She reopened clinical services for the D.C. Mental Health Center and then began work at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital until retirement in 2007. In 1980 she began her civic life as the chair of the Education Committee of the Arlington NAACP. From this vantage point she began a decades-long involvement with Arlington Public Schools and Arlington County on behalf of African Americans. Dr. Wilson served on countless boards and committees for the school system and the County in a variety of civic enterprises for the benefit of Arlington citizens. She was a life member of the NAACP and the Urban League and served on the latter’s board. She was the recipient of the James L. Hunter Human Rights Award, a prior NAACP award for achievement, an Arlington Public School award for Outstanding Service and a Minority Achievement Office award for selfless dedication in saluting academic excellence in the community. Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, Leon. She is survived by a host of cousins and devoted friends.
The following memorial event is planned.
Celebration of Life
Saturday, January 28, 2:00 p.m. (previously posted as Jan 27)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
4444 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia 22204
Submitted by Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
Donald Vincent King (Age 80)
Memorial service info
Donald Vincent King (age 80) of Arlington, VA. On November 3, 2022, was born on June 6, 1942, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In around 6th grade his family moved to Geneva, New York, where his father worked for the local newspaper. Don developed an interest in photography at an early age and developed his own black and white photos in a dark room in the house. He also was interested in music and began taking trombone lessons from the next- door neighbor who was the high school band teacher. Having long enough arms was a requirement to begin trombone, and Don soon advanced to the high school band. The family moved to Rochester, New York, where Don’s father became an editorial writer for The Democrat & Chronicle. Don attended West High School (now Joseph C. Wilson High School). He received degrees of Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from Eastman School of Music in Rochester where he studied with world-known trombone teacher, Emory Remington (known by his students as The Chief). Don played in the United States Air Force Band, based in Washington, D.C., for 3 ½ years. He then performed in the orchestra of the National Ballet of Washington, D.C., a group whose home base was at Lisner Auditorium of George Washington University and which toured to bring ballet all over the country and to Canada and Mexico. Don liked to tell people he had visited all 50 states! Don was an active free-lance player in the D.C. area for many years, performing with the National Gallery Orchestra, the Washington Concert Opera, the National Symphony, and he played the very first concert at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. He was a member of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra for 38 years, performing for opera, ballet, and musicals. Don’s list of operas performed comprises 113 different operas!
Don married Linda Anne Wilhelm on August 6, 1988, in Rochester where they met. Don continued his pursuit of photography, and he had an avid interest in birds, even traveling to Ecuador with a friend for an intense birdwatching trip. Don and Linda explored many countries together, including: France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Japan and Peru, among others. However, the favorite spot they returned to 14 times was Covewood Lodge on Big Moose Lake in the western Adirondacks. They didn’t have human children, but together they cared for six cats, the present being beloved Patrick.
Don was predeceased in death by his parents, Homer W. King and Pauline Elizabeth (Painter) King; a brother, David A. King; two aunts, Isabelle Shockney and Kay Siniard. He is survived by two cousins, Philip (Diane) Shockney and Steve Shockney of Indiana, as well as their children and grandchildren. Services will be announced at a later date.
Fernando Galaviz (Age 87)
Memorial service info
Fernando Javier Campelle Galaviz, also known as Fernando Vincent Galaviz/FVG passed away peacefully surrounded by family on November 5th, 2022.
Fernando Galaviz, 87, was a successful American businessman who immigrated from Mexico at age 9 with his mother, Sara and his brother, Andre in 1944. Fernando’s love of people and life helped him overcome many challenges, including his being legally blind. He was happiest when he helped people achieve their dreams.
Fernando was a leader for most of his adult life. He was the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of THE CENTECH GROUP, Inc. (Centech), a national federal contractor headquartered in the Washington DC area. Since its inception in 1988, CENTECH earned an excellent reputation. Under Fernando Galaviz’s leadership, CENTECH successfully performed on over 4,800 federal contracts with an aggregate revenue of over $1.4 billion. Fernando sold CENTECH in 2020 and retired.
Mr. Galaviz was known nationally as a true advocate of small and minority-owned businesses since the 1960s and has been an effective volunteer and leader in national minority business development programs. His participation contributed to the creation of local, state, and federal programs that enhanced opportunities for minorities and women to participate in the entrepreneurial marketplace. His public service included serving as chief of Industry Trade and Market Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency, and as chief of Direct Contracting and Financial Assistance in the Office of the Secretary Small Business U.S. Department of Transportation. Fernando Galaviz played a key advocacy role in the start of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), and was chairman of the Board for Community Investment Opportunity Group, a community-based organization founded to encourage self-investment by minorities in community projects. His community service included serving on the board of United Way in Orange County, California, and as a fundraising chairman for American Cancer Society chapter in Los Angeles. He served as a vice chairman of the Anaheim City Council Advisory Committee and was the member of the Orange County Housing Authority Advisory Board.
As an advocate for entrepreneurs testified before Congressional committees as an advocate of small business and minority programs. He is also lectured on small and minority business issues, particularly addressing the challenges facing small, disadvantaged business community. Fernando Galaviz loved music and the arts. He founded GalaMusic Group, LLC to help budding musician artists record their songs and he built a recording studio for their use. In his younger adult years, Fernando Galaviz held senior-level management positions with major national retail, wholesale, and import-export firms that have ultimately merged into organizations that are part of well-known brands.
His father, Fernando Aguirre Campelle an attorney and social activist in Mexican labor law, and his mother, Sara Diez de Bonilla Galaviz a senior official with Secretary of Education, were role models for Fernando’s foundation of love and service. Fernando Galaviz was single when passed; he is survived by his sons, Adam, Matthew, Daniel, and Jonathan; and daughters, Linda and Karla. His son David passed earlier this year. Fernando has 12 grandchildren: David Jr., Jonathan, Chevelle, Chris, Russ, Kevin, Nico, Cameron, Melissia, Jordan, Zachary, and Sarah; and seven (7) great-grandchildren: Geniva, Parx, Leyla, Scarlett, Ava, Emily, and Daniel.
Fernando made friends with everyone he met. His list of “best friends” is too long to list. His smile, his humor, his dancing, and his love of tackling challenges is what people loved most about Fernando Galaviz. As he would say, he has “graduated”. His spirit and impact remains with so many.
A visitation for Fernando will be held Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 10am until 1pm at Murphy Funeral Homes in Arlington. A Mass of Christian Burial will occur at 1pm on Monday, November 21, 2022 at St James Catholic Church, 905 Park Ave, Falls Church, VA 22046 with the burial at Columbia Gardens Cemetery.
A celebration of life party will be held at 5pm on Monday, November 21, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency in Tysons, 7901 Tysons One Pl, Tysons, VA 22102