EMCAC Chair Donna Scheeder Dies Peacefully at Home

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Donna Scheeder speaks at the 2009 reopening of Eastern Market. Photo: Andrew Lightman

Community advocate and noted librarian Donna Scheeder died in her Capitol Hill home Monday, Mar. 7, 2022. The cause of death was cancer. She was 74 years old.

Scheeder was born in Buffalo, New York and came to Washington DC to study for the Foreign Service. Instead, she found her first job at the Congressional Research Service where she rose to Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO) by the time of her retirement in 2015. She was president of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) from 2000-01 and President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) from 2010-2015.

Scheeder moved to the Hill in 1971, and the neighborhood and Eastern Market in particular became beneficiaries of her ability to organize and manage. Scheeder dedicated a tremendous amount of time to work in the community. She was an advocate for the community throughout the development of the Hine School Project and the renovation of Eastern Market Plaza. She was also on the Board of Directors for the Hill Center, and was elected President of the Board in June 2020.

 Scheeder was Chair of the the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) from 2004 until her death. She was tremendously dedicated to Eastern Market and to the community anchored there. She chaired the Jan. 26, 2022 meeting of EMCAC but was unable to facilitate the February meeting, which had to be postponed.

 “Our friend Donna Scheeder has peacefully passed today at home,” wrote EMCAC Vice-Chair Chuck Burger in an email announcing the news. “Personally, I can only say that I am grateful to have known her. She was irreplaceable as a friend and an advocate for so many in so many ways. She will be missed but greatly remembered.”

A full memoriam will be published in the Hill Rag. A celebration will be announced in coming weeks.