1929 - 2021
Advent Funeral Home - Falls Church
7211 Lee Highway
Falls Church, VA

John Winston McDonnell  
July 19, 1929 - August 23, 2021  John Winston McDonnell of Fairfax, Virginia passed away on August 23, 2021, surrounded by his sons and wife. Born in 1929 in Tientsin, China, to Richard and Maude McDonnell, he grew up in Shanghai until moving back to the US in 1941. John attended Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. In 1946 John enrolled at Stanford University, and he graduated in 1951. He returned to Washington, DC in 1957 and then started working at Woodward & Lothrop, where he met many current friends and his wife, Patricia (Pat) Wells. John subsequently worked for the American Booksellers Associated, Penguin Books (later Viking Penguin) and Olsson's Books and Records. John and Pat were married in 1963 at the Falls Church Episcopal. They had three sons-Joseph "Joe", Richard and John "Jack". John served in many roles at the church, including Chief Usher, Lay Eucharistic Minister, Lay Reader and member of the Vestry. He also served as an official for the Northern Virginia Swimming League, was a soccer coach for the Fairfax Police Youth Club and volunteered with the local Boy Scouts. John relished time in Sag Harbor, New York, where the family spent their summer vacations. In addition to family and friends, John had a passion for books, especially military history. John is survived by his wife of 57 years, his sons, his two daughters-in-law, Julia (Hawthorne) and Sara (Scarlett), and his four beloved grandchildren, Grace, Maddie, Jackson and Emma. John will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace. A memorial service will be held to celebrate John's life on September 22, 2021 at 2 p.m. at the Falls Church Anglican, 6565 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22042.
Published by The Washington Post on Sep. 15, 2021.
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Memorial service
Falls Church Anglican
6565 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA
Funeral services provided by:
Advent Funeral Home - Falls Church
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Patricia, John was my favorite literate co-worker at Olsson's, along with Jim T., and I have always cherished those times, when I, more than a little rough around the edges, could always find calm and friendship in that gentle voice. He will always be in my heart, and I will try my best to hold you "in the Light", as I say a fond farewell to a dear man. Pax et Lux Craig Ritchie
September 16, 2021
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