Former Virginia Sen. Clive DuVal II dies at 89

Former Virginia Sen. Clive DuVal II dies at 89

Sen. Clive L. DuVal, II, died Feb. 25 at historic Salona, his home in McLean. He was 89. The family plans a private memorial service.

DuVal served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1965 until 1971 and was elected to the Virginia Senate in 1971, where he served for 20 years until his retirement in 1991. During his later terms in the Senate, DuVal chaired the Northern Virginia delegation.

DuVal served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy during W.W. II, serving with the 16th Air Group aboard the USS Lexington in the Pacific. After the war, he served as special assistant to the under secretary of the Army from 1951 to 1953, as assistant general counsel for international affairs in the Department of Defense from 1953 to 1955 and as general counsel of the U. S. Information Agency from 1955 to 1959

DuVal began his political career in response to a proposed rezoning of Merrywood, the 47-acre childhood home of former first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. A developer wanted to build high-rise residential apartment buildings on the banks of the Potomac. DuVal was instrumental in securing scenic easements on the property and defeating the proposed development.

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Stuart Udall helped free up federal money to buy the conservation easement to Merrywood estate, inducing the developer to abandon plans for the high-rise, according to author Jan Pottker.

That exercise in citizen resistance to development became a paradigm for citizens in McLean. In 1970, they preserved an even larger tract, the 320-acre Burling Tract on Georgetown Pike, now Scott’s Run Nature Preserve.

In 1965, DuVal was nominated and won election to the Virginia House of Delegates as a member of the Democratic Party. DuVal came into the General Assembly with other citizens interested in protecting the environment. In 1969, DuVal received the National Wildlife Federation’s National Conservation Achievement Legislative Award and throughout his career was an ardent proponent of environmental conservation.

The McLean Citizens Association will honor DuVal at its annual awards dinner on March 15. He will be the first recipient of the Clive L. DuVal Environmental Protection Award, which acknowledges DuVal's protection of historic Salona, his McLean residence, which is listed on both the Virginia and the National Register of Historic Places.

It will be the second time for DuVal to be honored by the MCA. In 1995, he was one of the first people to receive that group’s Citizen of the Year award.

“He contributed selflessly and tirelessly for his community, for the county and for the state,” said former MCA president Merrily Pierce,

who instituted the MCA’s Citizen of the Year awards. “He was a champion for the environment.”

DuVal was also named Citizen of the Year by the McLean Business and Professional Association in 1992.

Born in New York on June 20, 1912, DuVal graduated from Groton School in Groton, Mass. in 1931, and received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University in 1935 and 1938, respectively. He graduated summa cum laude, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He married Susan Holdrege Bontecou, of Millbrook, N.Y, in June 1940. He and his family moved to Virginia in 1951, where they bought and restored the Salona property in McLean.

DuVal is survived by three children: Susan Phipps, Clive DuVal and Daniel DuVal, all of McLean; three grandchildren, Cristina Phipps, William DuVal and Katherine DuVal; and his brother, Phillip L. R. DuVal of New Canaan, Conn. His son, David DuVal, died in 1988, and his wife, Susan DuVal, died in 1997.

In her name, the DuVal family created a wing for art classrooms and exhibit space at the McLean Community Center.