D.H. Scarborough was more than just a longtime resident and certified public accountant in Vienna. She was a mentor and community supporter who left a legacy of good works in the town, friends and colleagues said.
Scarborough, who died of cancer Aug. 15 at age 85 at her Manassas home, “helped many people professionally regardless of their ability pay her for her accounting services,” said former Vienna Town Council member Michael Polychrones.
“She was one of those business owners that believed that if you give to your community, you will be richly rewarded in return – and she was correct,” he said, adding that Scarborough was the main accountant for three generations of his family.
Vienna resident Mike Davis said Scarborough was his family’s longtime CPA and good friend and a Vienna fixture.
“She knew just about everyone – if not on a personal level, on a professional one,” Davis said. “D.H. was someone you could trust and count on in any and all areas. She was always the first to jump in and volunteer to help whenever and wherever she was needed.”
Donna Helen Macdonald-Scarborough was born on April 18, 1936, in Norman, Okla., the first of Robert George and Beulah Helen Macdonald’s three daughters.
According to her family, she showed a strong intellect for many subjects, including music.
Scarborough’s family moved to Oahu, Hawaii, when she was young and she finished elementary and junior high school there. Scarborough later attended Salinas High School in Salinas, Calif., after the Boy Scouts of America transfered her father there.
Scarborough excelled at academics, but also was a gifted pianist, a skill that earned her a scholarship to Stanford University, her family said. Scarborough married U.S. Navy officer Robert Lee Scarborough Jr. They had four sons, whom she ended up raising by herself.
She became a CPA and partner in several successful accounting firms, her family said. She served as president and treasurer of Historic Vienna Inc. and president of the Vienna Halloween Parade Committee. Scarborough also received honors as Lady Fairfax, Business Owner of the Year and Business Person of the Year, and served on various Vienna commissions.
Scarborough formerly belonged to the Vienna-Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce, but when that group pulled up stakes, moved to Tysons and scrubbed Vienna out of its name, she and colleague Kathy Georgen co-founded the Vienna Business Association (VBA).
That group, for which Scarborough was the first board chairman, later assumed responsibility for events in town previously sponsored by the chamber.
“She has been a fabulous champion of the small-business community,” said VBA executive director Peggy James.
Georgen began working together with her in 1998 at Johnson & Scarborough CPA and said Scarborough “immediately took me under her tutelage to grow and expand my knowledge and expertise in the accounting world.”
One of Georgen’s favorite phrases of Scarborough’s was her response to people asking “What is your name again?”
“She would always respond, ‘D.H. – as in Designated Hitter,’” Georgen said. “How true that was, as she truly went to bat for everyone and everything she believed in and always hit it out of the park.”
Mayor Linda Colbert described Scarborough as a “sweet, smart lady who gave much to the town of Vienna.” Colbert also recalled the long friendship Scarborough shared with her late mother, Mayor M. Jane Seeman.
“D.H. was a smart, strong and caring person who made a very positive and lasting impact on the Vienna business community,” said former Mayor Laurie DiRocco. “Her service and contributions to the town of Vienna were substantial and far-reaching.”
Scarborough was “friendly and upbeat, always ready to lend a hand on town and chamber events,” said former Vienna Town Council member Edythe Kelleher.
Vienna Town Council member Howard Springsteen said he was impressed by Scarborough’s willingness to help out and serve others. She brought her accounting acumen to the Vienna employees’ retirement and personnel committee and worked with the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department for years to ensure its taxes were done correctly, he said.
“My most impressive memory was when she volunteered, with no questions asked, to help a homeless client I was working with get his federal tax return, which helped him greatly financially,” Springsteen said.
“D.H. was quick with a smile and quick to volunteer and always followed through on her promises,” said former Greater Merrifield Business Association president Billy Thompson.
Scarborough was the best friend of Polychrones’ late mother, Vienna Town Clerk Carol Orndorff. Both were single mothers raising teenage boys and set fine examples by “how they conducted themselves and mostly with patient, gentle, kind and loving hands to guide their sons into manhood,” he said.
“The biggest thing they both taught was to never take ‘no’ for an answer – unless no was the answer from them, and then it was really NO!” Polychrones recalled.
Scarborough is survived by her sisters, Marti Carlson (husband Richard) and Elaine Green (husband Robert); sons Robert Lee Scarborough (wife Caprice), Mark Randolph Scarborough (wife Michelle), David Christian Scarborough (wife Lisa) and Eric Stephen Scarborough; and Eric’s daughters Ashleigh Mary Scarborough and Madison Lee Scarborough and their mother, Janel.
The family will hold a memorial service Aug. 27 at 1 p.m. at Vienna Presbyterian Church, to be followed by a celebration of life at American Legion Post 180 in Vienna.