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Falls Church’s Brian M. Clukey Dies at 53

brianBrian was born in Syracuse, NY on April 20, 1963. Brian accomplished many firsts: at the age of three, he was the first child with Down Syndrome accepted in the ARC preschool for developmentally disabled children in Syracuse, N.Y.; Brian enrolled in a Special Ed class in an elementary school in 1969; transferred to the first grade in Nov. 1969; was the first to participate in a work study program, training as a library assistant. Brian was the first Down’s Syndrome child to graduate in the North Syracuse, N.Y. School District. There was a standing ovation from his 465 classmates. In 1983, Brian received a flag which was flown over the United States Capitol in his honor.

After graduation, Brian worked at the Marriott Hotel, moving with his family to Northern Virginia in 1987. He was employed at the Passport Department, Fedor and Associates Law Firm as a mail clerk in charge of the copy room, the National Association for Social Workers as a membership clerk, and part-time at the Mary Styles Library in Falls Church and the Falls Church Giant for six years.

Brian was a strong advocate for services for the developmentally disabled community. He made presentations to the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, lobbied our representatives in Richmond and the United States Senate. Brian was President of People First, serving as Conference Chair for the 1994 Self-Advocacy Conference. He served as board member of the Arc of Northern Virginia; President Clinton’s Council for People with Disabilities; American Association of Mentally Retarded; and was appointed by Govs. Tim Kaine and Bob McDonnell to two four-year terms on the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities where he served on the Executive Committee. He also represented Northern Virginia at the celebration of the fifth Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on the South Lawn of the White House.

In 1990, Brian moved to an apartment with roommates and had drop-in support. In 1998, he purchased a condo in Falls Church City with drop-in support, where he lived until 2015. He was very visible in the Falls Church community and made many friends.

Brian was not all work and no play. He belonged to the Fairfax Adult Social Club and Meet and Mingle. He loved to travel and vacationed yearly with The Guided Tours. He traveled to London, Aruba, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Alaska, Nashville, Dollywood, and Disney World, Nassau. He cruised the Caribbean, Disney Cruise and on the Mississippi. He loved dancing, bowling and golf.

He is survived by his parents, John and Marcia Clukey; sister, Denise Mayar (Kevin); brother, John (Christa); nephew Corey Mayar and niece Stacey Mayer; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A mass will be held at the historical St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church (5222 Sideburn Rd, Fairfax) on Friday, January 13th, 2016 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donation to the Arc of Northern Virginia (2755 Hartland Road, St. 200, Falls Church).