Published in The Washington Post on Sep. 20, 2020.
1930 - 2020 (90)
Born August 10,1930 left us September 10, 2020.
"Rainy" is survived by five of her six siblings, three of her
four sons, Frank Thorpe, Kenny (Nancy), Philip Thorpe,
daughter, Theresa Kulstad (John) and three grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her brother, Johnny Rowe and her son, Kerry Thorpe.
Born in Washington, DC, raised her family in Alexandria, passed away in Arlington.
She was retired from the Federal Government and will be missed by her large family
including many nieces, nephews, slew of cousins, her Chi Sigma Sorority sisters as well as
There will be a private, small, family service but a Celebration of Life scheduled and
announced in the future.
Please read more about her at www.cunninghamfuneralhome.net
September 18, 2020, By cunningham funeral home
Lorraine Thorpe was born Lorraine Rowe on the hottest day of the year, August 10, 1930
in Washington, DC.
She enjoyed growing up in a large and extended family in the area. The oldest of seven
children, Lorraine said her greatest luck was to have been born into a family she loved.
Lorraine was a proud graduate of St. Cecelia’s Academy (1948) in Washington DC. After
high school she went to work as a secretary and eventually expanded her skills allowing her
to enjoy a long career in the Federal Government, mostly in the Department of Defense. She
worked for a time at the Pentagon and several years at Cameron Station Military Post in
Lorraine continued her education and training throughout her career. She was awarded
dozens of certificates for her achievements and excellent performances. She retired from
DOD in 1993. Always a curious mind, she welcomed the advent of computers and was the
first in her family to have a home computer! She enjoyed crossword puzzles and line
dancing and all dancing, especially the jitterbug!
Lorraine married Louie Thorpe in 1951 and quickly had five children in five and a half years.
Then their family started to grow, they moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Unfortunately they
divorced but Lorraine carried on and raised her children as a single parent and was a good
provider. Lorraine lost her son, Kerry, one of the twins, four years ago but Frank, Kenny,
Philip and Theresa remain in Virginia. Lorraine found great pride and joy as grandmother to
Paul, Tara and Roan Thorpe.
When she was 19 she joined Chi Sigma, a social sorority that raised funds for handicapped
children and adults. Her sorority sisterhood resulted in lifelong friendships, traveling to
conventions and conferences to different cities. They saw each other through thick and thin
for 60+ years. She treasured her time with them and was proud of the work they did.
Lorraine was a longtime Redskin fan and had the joy of attending the 1982 Super Bowl
victory in California. She was also a National’s baseball fan and loved watching with her
son, Frank. She was thrilled to share the 2019 World Series win with him and all of her
In spite of her Parkinson’s Disease, Lorraine never gave up. She always persevered,
valuing her Catholic faith.
Lorraine was predeceased by her parents John and Hazel, her brother Johnny Rowe and
beloved son Kerry Thorpe.
She is survived by her siblings Zee Rowe-Dankworth, Joseph Rowe, Michael Rowe, Donna
Rowe-Seher, Veronica Englert, sons Frank, Kenny (Nancy), Philip Thorpe and Theresa
Kulstad (John); also grandchildren Paul, Tara and Roan Thorpe. “Aunt Rainy” will also be
missed by numerous nieces and nephews she loved dearly.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Parkinson’s Foundation of the National Capital
Area. Also soon, the Chi Sigma Sorority’s National Charity recipient will soon be announced.
A safe Celebration of Life event will be scheduled in the future. Details will be given to family