IRVINGTON—Douglas Durrell Monroe Jr., 90, of Irvington passed away peacefully on August 31, 2023.
Doug was born on August 18, 1933, in Norfolk to Margaret Norvell Monroe and Douglas D. Monroe Sr. He was married and devoted to the love of his life, Katherine Willis (Kit) Monroe for 60 years, until her death in 2014.
Doug is survived by his five children, Douglas D. Monroe III (Beth) of Richmond, Margaret Monroe Barlow (Barry) of Louisville, Ky., Kathy Monroe Spotts (Court) of Richmond, Wende Monroe Szyperski (Jeff) of Weems and John Mark Monroe (Maura) of Irvington; 16 grandchildren, and 20 (soon to be 22) great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his two brothers, Harvey Norvell Monroe (Liz) and Samuel Edward Monroe II, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Doug spent most of his childhood years in Pelham, N.Y., and summers on a farm in Irvington. He graduated from The Lawrenceville School (N.J.). He then attended Washington and Lee University, earning a bachelor’s; Purdue University, obtaining a master’s in economics; and Rutgers University Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Doug met and married Kit in 1954 while at W&L, when Kit attended Hollins College. From 1955 to 1959, Doug proudly served as an officer in the United States Navy on the destroyers USS McNair and USS Pillsbury. During this time, his family lived in Newport, R.I., and in Lafayette, Ind., where he taught for the Navy at Purdue.
Following his military service, Doug embarked on a lengthy career in commercial banking and financial services, joining Wachovia Bank in Winston Salem, N.C. At age 32 in January 1965, he moved Kit and his now family of five children to Irvington, in the Northern Neck. There, he joined Lancaster National Bank, which soon became Chesapeake Bank.
Throughout much of his 58-year tenure with Chesapeake Bank, Doug held the positions of chief executive officer and chairman of the board. Doug was a constant innovator. Under his leadership, the bank introduced many new banking initiatives, including the “Boat-n-Bank” early on, the nation’s first bank branch on a boat designed to serve the community’s watermen. In addition to his time at Chesapeake Bank, Doug served on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. He was also a past president and director of the Virginia Bankers Association.
Doug was completely committed to God, his family and friends, and the community he so much loved. With Kit, he was especially proud of being a founding board member of Chesapeake Academy. He was also a founding board member of Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury (where he passed away) and Virginia Quality Life Inc. (which focused the effort to establish a permanent campus for the Northern Neck YMCA, the Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic, River Counties Chapter of the Red Cross, and RGH Rehabilitation Services and Sports Medicine Center).
Later, he served as chairman of the board of Rappahannock General Hospital. In 2008, the River Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross honored Doug with its “Community Hero” award. Doug served on numerous other boards and committees in the Northern Neck, including Historic Christ Church, Rappahannock Community College, Saint Margaret’s School and the Northern Neck Food Bank. He was also a former deacon and elder of Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Doug found great joy in playing golf, fishing and boating. He was a former club champion at Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club and achieved every golfer’s dream by shooting his age multiple times each year from age 68 to 87. In his final years, he played a vital role in working with the Tides Inn to preserve The Golden Eagle Golf Course.
Doug cherished the Northern Neck, its community and its unmatched beauty as a way of life. He especially loved his vocation because it continuously kept him in close contact with those who make the Northern Neck the exceptional home it is. His years after Kit’s death were filled with long drives to visit family scattered across Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and even driving the El Camino del Diablo (the Devil’s Highway) in Arizona with his brother Sam. Doug’s belief in the continuous presence and grace of God was fulfilled in returning to Kit last Thursday.
A memorial service to celebrate Doug’s life will be held at noon on September 23, at Chesapeake Academy in Irvington. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Chesapeake Academy in honor of Doug’s memory.
Currie Funeral Home LLC of Kilmarnock handled the arrangements.