Remembering Joseph Wholey, APAH Co-Founder, 1935-2023

Joe Wholey at APAH’s 20th
anniversary celebration in 2009.

Joe Wholey passed away on August 24, 2023. We honor Joe as one of the eight co-founders of APAH. Read the obituary on Digital Memorial.

Still nearly newlyweds, Joe and Midge Wholey arrived in Arlington in the early 1960s and quickly jumped into community life, focusing their energy on civil rights and reducing poverty in Arlington. By 1970, Joe’s activism fueled a successful run for the Arlington County Board. So much of what Arlington residents know today is the direct result of the Long Range County Improvement Program initiative created by Joe Wholey. Joe fought for a better community for all Arlington families.

A prayer group was formed with three other couples and dear friends, Tom and Dolores Leckey, Rhoda and Bill Nary, and Jean and Jack Sweeney. The four couples studied literature such as Economic Justice for All: A Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy. Over dinner and discussion, they contemplated what the readings called them to do, and from these convenings, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing was born.

Joe and Midge Wholey at the
Columbia Hills grand opening in 2019.

Joe and Midge continued their service to the community and work towards an inclusive Arlington. They were integral to the founding of Alliance for Housing Solutions, a nonprofit organization working to increase the supply of affordable housing in Arlington County and Northern Virginia through public education, policy development, advocacy and innovation.

APAH is proud to continue the work that Joe and the other APAH founders started; advancing affordable housing, creating equitable communities, and striving for justice.

Please join us in remembering and honoring Joe and his wife, Midge, who passed away earlier this year in March. APAH is working with current and former Board Members to honor the founders’ legacy in the months to come. Learn more about Joe’s life and legacy by reading a profile from January 2021 below:

Learn more about Joe and Midge Wholey

The wake will be from 4-6 PM on Tuesday, September 5th at Murphy Funeral Homes, Arlington.

There will be additional visitation from 1-2 PM and a funeral mass beginning at 2 PM on Wednesday, September 6th at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Arlington.

All are invited thereafter to the burial and reception/sharing time, Columbia Gardens Cemetery, Arlington.