Virginia Rep. McEachin dies at 61 after battle with cancer

US Rep. A. Donald McEachin, D-Va., died Monday after a battle with colorectal cancer, his office said. He was 61 years old.

Tara Rountree, McEachin’s chief of staff, said in a statement Monday night: “Courageously, for years, we have watched him fight and triumph over the side effects of his 2013 colorectal cancer. Tonight, he lost that battle.”

McEachin represented Virginia’s 4th Congressional District, which includes part of Richmond and extends south to the North Carolina border. He was re-elected for a fourth term earlier this month.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called her late colleague “a tireless advocate for Virginia families and a force for economic opportunity and environmental justice.”

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., issued a statement saying: “Until the end, Don was a fighter. Although he battled cancer and faced other trials in recent years, he never lost his focus on social and environmental justice. Tonight, Virginia has lost a great leader and I have lost a great friend.”

Rep. Gerry Connelly, D-Va., called McEachin an “environmentalist, civil rights advocate, faithful public servant and a man of importance. He had no better ally to have”.

Aston Donald McEachin was born on October 10, 1961 in Nuremberg, Germany. His father was an Army veteran and his mother was a schoolteacher.

He graduated from St. Christopher School in Richmond in 1979, then earned a bachelor’s degree from American University in 1982 and a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1986. He earned a master of divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Divinity in Virginia. University of the Union in 2008.

A lawyer in private practice during his career, he served in the House of Delegates from 1996-2002 and 2006-2008 and then in the State Senate from 2008-2016. He was elected to his first term in the United States House of Representatives in 2016.

McEachin and his wife, Richmond Commonwealth attorney Colette McEachin, raised three children, Mac, Briana and Alexandra.