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News > Fondly Remembered > LORD, Alan (Class of 1951)

LORD, Alan (Class of 1951)

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories, and celebrate the life of Alan Lord who we sadly lost in 2022

LORD, Alan (Class of 1951)

This obituary was provided by Alan's son.

Alan James Lord, 87, of Reston, Virginia passed away peacefully on February 6, 2022 surrounded by his family.  Alan leaves behind his loving wife of 59 years, Margaret Ann Lord of Reston, Virginia, sons, Peter John Lord (Ismeta) and Robert Michael Lord (Gretchen) of Ashburn, Virginia, and his six grandchildren, Robert Michael Lord, Jr., Matthew Schuster Lord, Benjamin James Lord, Nicolas Dylan Lord, Dylan Colin Lord, and Emma Hope Lord.  Born in London, England on June 9, 1934, he was the oldest son of Dennis Thornhill Lord and Annie Kershaw Lord.  He is also survived by his younger brother, Michael Lord of Nailsea, England.  

Alan’s Early Years Abroad

After relocating from London to Manchester as a child to escape the blitz during WWII, Alan attended Cheadle Hulme School in Manchester where he played rugby and excelled in his studies.  He went on to study at  the University of Manchester, followed by national service in the British Army, during which time he served in the Artillery near Salisbury Plain, England.  Following his time in the Military, Alan applied to and was accepted into the British Colonial Service where he was deployed to Nyasaland (now Malawi) in Africa to survey large portions of the country.  His work was used to create detailed maps of the country which were a foundation for economic development in the years to come.  It was also during this time that Alan became a Catholic and met his beloved wife Margaret, who was working as a missionary nurse in the country at the same time.  

Marriage and Moving to the US

After marrying at the Lakuni Mission in Lilonge in 1963, Alan and Margaret returned briefly to England before moving to Pennsylvania where he earned a Masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.  Following graduation from UPenn, Alan and Margaret moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico where Alan worked on a local planning project.  It was also during this time their first son Peter was born.  After returning to the United States Alan lived and worked as a Planner in Fairfax County, Virginia, during which time his second son Robert (Bob) was born.  Upon arriving in Fairfax County the family initially lived in the City of Fairfax, followed by a move to Reston, Virginia in the early 1970’s.  It was in Reston where Alan would put down his roots.  While living in Reston, Alan worked for the Appalachian Regional Commission of the US Federal Government, where he was responsible for economic development in a number of States.  Alan then worked for the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission in Upper Marlborough, Maryland until his retirement.

The Reston Years

Alan truly loved living in Reston.  As the first planned community in the country it held a special place in his heart.  While living there he enjoyed coaching soccer, cycling,  gardening, stamp collecting and following his son’s (and later his grandchildren's) athletic and academic pursuits.  He was an active member of St. John Neumann Parish where he helped count Sunday collections for many years.  As a Parishioner at St. John Neumann he enjoyed attending seminars and lectures in pursuit of expanding his knowledge.  Alan was motivated to explore his faith and immensely curious about the world around him. He was also very partial to challenging jigsaw puzzles in his later years.

Though Alan will be missed tremendously by his family as well as all who knew him, his life should be celebrated for the joy and beauty that it represents.  His legacy will continue on through his two boys and his six grandchildren.

May he rest in peace.

Funeral Information

There will be a memorial mass at St. John Neumann Catholic Church on Friday, March 4, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.  with a reception immediately following at the church.   All are welcome. There will be a private service later in the spring at Fairfax Memorial Park in Fairfax, Virginia. 

Flower arrangements  can be sent to St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston, Va. (for delivery the day of the funeral mass prior to noon).  In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to one of Alan’s favorite charities, the Covenant House.  The Covenant House is an organization that provides housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness.  Donations can be made online at https://www.covenanthouse.org/ 

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