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James R. McKenry

Longtime Virginia Beach lawyer James R. McKenry died July 10 at his home. He was 77.

A native of Richmond, he grew up in Lynchburg and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1959. He earned his law degree from the U.Va. law school three years later.

Mr. McKenry practiced law in Virginia Beach and Norfolk for 50 years; he was a founding partner in his firm, McKenry, Dancigers, Dawson, and Lake.

He chaired the Public Defender Commission, which created the pilot Public Defender program.

Mr. McKenry was a past president of the Virginia Law Foundation, and he was a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He served on two different Virginia State Bar panels — the Committee of Lawyer Discipline and on the Committee on Legal Ethics.

He was a founding trustee of the Cape Henry Collegiate School, served on the boards of CASA and the Judeo Christian Outreach Center. He was a member of the Vicar’s Advisory Committee at Saint Simon’s By The Sea Episcopal Church. He was a former vestry member of Galilee Episcopal Church.

Survivors include his wife of 38 years, Susan Winters McKenry, and their children, Chamie Grandy Valentine and her husband, Henry; James R. McKenry, Jr. and his wife, Lele; Christina Selden Grandy; Cole McKenry Johnson and her husband, Thomas; and Margaret McClure McKenry; and four grandchildren.

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