A garden fit for the queen of Del Ray

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A garden fit for the queen of Del Ray
Nancy Dunning
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By Derrick Perkins (File photo)

A section of the neighborhood Nancy Dunning once championed may soon bear her name.

Before her high profile murder, Dunning was best known for leading Del Ray’s revitalization. Then married to Sheriff Jim Dunning, Nancy Dunning took a special interest in the — at the time — down on its luck neighborhood.

For her work in helping revitalize the community, Nancy Dunning earned the nickname “The Queen of Del Ray.”

Dunning did not live to see Mount Vernon Avenue become one of Alexandria’s main retail drags and culinary hotspots. Her family found the proud Del Ray resident dead in her home in December 2003.

Though local law enforcement delved into the case, no suspect was identified until police announced earlier this year that they suspected former fringe mayoral candidate Charles Severance had a hand in the killing.

He also is charged with the shooting deaths of Ron Kirby and Ruthanne Lodato.

Members of the Del Ray Business Association recently approached City Hall to gauge whether they could name the park parcel at the intersections of Mount Vernon and Commonwealth avenues the Nancy Dunning Garden. City officials will be collecting comments on the proposal from the public through November 28.

Anyone interested in weighing in should contact Jack Browand at the recreation department. He can be reached at jack.browand@alexandriava.gov or by mailing a letter to him at 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, Va., 22314.

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