A dedicated municipal attorney who left an indelible mark on local utility cooperation has died.
Former Culpeper County Attorney Roy Thorpe Jr. died peacefully at his home in Culpeper on Sunday. He was 73.
A graduate of Washington & Lee Law School, Thorpe served as county attorney here from 2008 to 2012 and as interim attorney in Culpeper in 2015. He specialized in local government law for more than 30 years in Virginia with stints as city and assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Bedford, county attorney in Montgomery and city attorney of Falls Church.
Thorpe was also past president of the Virginia Local Government Attorneys’ Association.
During his time in Culpeper, he was instrumental in helping to craft what County Administrator John Egertson called “a landmark agreement” with the town of Culpeper. Decades in the making, the 2012 Voluntary Settlement Agreement on Water & Sewer and Boundary Line Adjustment allowed the town to grow its borders in the busy commercial corridor around Target and for the county to access the town’s water and sewer utility.
Thorpe told the Star-Exponent in 2012, “The agreement speaks for itself. It not only meets the needs of the community, but is in the best interests of the town and county. This is an example of good local government.”
Thorpe cared deeply about the community, Egertson said.
“The news of Roy’s passing is very sad. He was such a pleasure to work with and will definitely be missed,” the county administrator said.
Thorpe leaves behind a wife of 50 years, Karen, daughters Jennifer and Laura, a son, George, sisters, Barbara and Bettie, and six grandchildren.
“Roy was devoted to his family,” Karen Thorpe said. “We met when we were 13 years old on Long Island and remained best friends through good times and hard times. We shared a love of sailing, nature and celebrated our 50th anniversary last December.”
Since retiring from Culpeper County, Thorpe pursued woodworking in his shop, his wife said, and storytelling with everyone he met.
“On his bucket list was one last trip to our condo in Akumal, Mexico, which he made two weeks ago,” Mrs. Thorpe said. “His final wish was to spend his remaining time in Culpeper with family and friends.”
His family will hold a private celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory to local charities are appreciated.