Donna DiRicco

Obituary of Donna McLaughlin DiRicco

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“Have the courage to be truly happy!” – Pope Francis

Donna McLaughlin DiRicco, 78, of Ashburn, VA passed away peacefully after suffering from metastatic breast cancer.  She was in hospice care at her residence at Ashby Ponds Community.

Donna was preceded in death by her parents Robert E. McLaughlin, Sr. and Mary Louise McLaughlin.  She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Lawrence, her daughter Maura DiRicco Bourasseau (Nicolas), and her 3 grandchildren Elisabeth, David and Louise.  She is also survived by her brothers Robert E. McLaughlin, Jr. (Victoria) and Patrick McLaughlin (Tracey), her nieces Heather McLaughlin Kauffman (Peter) and Erin McLaughlin Gallion (Jim) and nephew Robert Jeremy McLaughlin (Kim).

Donna grew up in Alexandria, VA and attended St. Mary’s Academy. She graduated from the University of Dayton in 1967 and obtained a Master’s degree in Public Administration from American University in 1974.  In 1975, she joined the National Endowment for the Arts where she would work until her retirement as a Grants Officer in 1999 after 32 years of government service. During her time there she made many lifelong friends and thoroughly enjoyed being associated with local performance art programs, especially those that got children and students across the nation involved in the arts.

In 1981 she married Lawrence and moved to Prince William County; their daughter Maura was born in 1985 and they resided in a wonderful neighborhood in Lake Ridge for over 30 years. Donna enjoyed hosting – from her annual Tea Party to the May Wine, to family Christmases, she always took welcoming new friends and neighbors to heart (and often brought along her famous zucchini bread or pumpkin bread to boot). But she also loved joining in the festivities –the neighborhood chili cook-off, block parties, caroling, the neighborhood book club; she built lasting friendships and strong ties with those around her. Donna was also actively involved in the Catholic Church, first as a Religious Education teacher, a Fellowship Committee head, a member of the Contemporary Choir, and then as a Eucharistic Minister.

Donna truly loved life, and retirement was seen as a new opportunity to get involved, meet new people, and continue giving back to the community. After retiring she became an active volunteer: she worked in the ACTS food pantry, volunteered at the local library, and became a docent at Gunston Hall – and even started taking piano lessons and learning Italian! She and Larry traveled abroad, especially enjoying river cruising in France and Germany and visiting Italy, Venice being a particular favorite. They would also go to see Maura and Nicolas in France quite often and Donna relished spending time with her grandchildren - they made so many wonderful memories together (Mimi’s visits were always a special occasion). Donna and Larry’s final trip together was a summer 2022 escapade along the Norman coast to Mont St-Michel. 

After moving to Ashby Ponds in 2018, she became involved in many activities, including the Bocci team, the Knitters Group and editing the weekly campus newsletter. But she also spent time getting to know people, welcoming new arrivals, and building a community. She will be greatly missed.

A Funeral Mass and reception will be held at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston, VA on Thursday, May 18th at 11:00 AM. Donna expressed her desire for an upbeat celebration of life; if possible, we invite you to wear bright colors – her favorites were red, yellow, and orange - in her memory.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Donna’s name to a local library, a non-profit that takes care of the poor in your area or sponsoring a child in a developing country.

Also, a special thank you to the hospice staff, especially her nurse, Abby, who cared for Donna while at home.


Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Thursday, May 18, 2023
St. John Neumann Catholic Church
11900 Lawyers Road
Reston, Virginia, United States
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Donna DiRicco

In Loving Memory

Donna DiRicco

1944 - 2023

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