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OBITUARY: Alexandria Native, Paramedic Erin Marie McPherson (Garner), Age 30

Erin Marie McPherson (Garner) on her wedding day, January 12, 2019. (Family photo)

ALEXANDRIA, Erin Marie McPherson (Garner), age 30, passed away on Sept. 13, 2019, from complications related to her heart. She was a newlywed, having met her soulmate, Fairfax County Police Officer Andrew James McPherson. They were married January 12 of this year. She was proud to be a police officer’s wife. Their only source of conflict was that Andrew, being a Canadian, was a Winnipeg Jets fan, while Erin was a die hard Washington Capitals fan. Excited parents to be, Erin and Andrew were expecting a child on March 17, 2020.

Erin was born and raised in Alexandria by Jim and Christine Garner.  The oldest of three girls, she had two loving sisters, Taylor and Morgan. The water was her happy place! Her endless days in the family pool propelled her into competitive swimming. She would often say it was fitting that she was born under the sign of Aquarius (water sign) and her chosen confirmation name was Adjutor, the patron saint of swimmers. She loved animals and was practically a one person pet adoption agency, having brought many dogs and cats into her and her family’s homes. She had an infectious laugh, an adventurous streak a mile wide, and was enthusiastically nonjudgmental. Erin was very creative and loved arts & crafts especially if GLITTER was involved! Her mantra was to “make every day count.”

Erin’s passion in life was caring for and helping people. She graduated from Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School in Arlington in 2007 and from Radford University in 2011, where she majored in Criminal Justice and minored in Forensic Anthropology. Her interest in forensics took her abroad to archaeological digs in Israel and Egypt and back home to internships at the Washington D.C. Office of the Medical Examiner and Greene’s Funeral Home in Alexandria. Erin completed the VCU Medical Program in 2013 and became a paramedic and began working at Southside VA Emergency Crew in Petersburg, VA and Lifecare Medical Transport.

A mass celebrating Erin’s life will be held on Saturday, September 28 at 1:30 p.m. at the Basilica of Saint Mary, 310 South Royal Street in Old Town. Erin will be interred in a private ceremony at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Animal Welfare League at or to, which is an organization dedicated to aid families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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