Perseverance

After Unthinkable Tragedy, Widow Honors Husband’s Life by Completing His Book

Andrea Chamblee, widow of John McNamara, who was murdered in last year's shooting at the Capital Gazette, is pictured in her Silver Spring home. After John died, Andrea decided to pick up a book project that he never had a chance to complete and finish wri
SILVER SPRING, MD - JULY 10: Andrea Chamblee, widow of John McNamara, who was murdered in last year's shooting at the Capital Gazette, is pictured in her Silver Spring home that she shared with her husband of 30 years. She is looking at notes from his book project. On her arm is a temporary tattoo. on the other one she has warrior. She has started wearing them after the death of her husband. After John died, Andrea decided to pick up a book project that he never had a chance to complete and finish writing it. It is titled, The Capital of Basketball: A History of DC Area High School Hoops. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Over a year since her tragic loss, Andrea Chamblee is finishing an important and poignant chapter in her life—quite literally. Chamblee’s husband of 30 years, John McNamara, was one of the five victims gunned down in the Capital Gazette mass shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 28, 2018. McNamara, who devoted 24 years of his life writing for the sports section of the Capital Gazette, passed away with a single chapter remaining unfinished in a book he’d been working on for more than 13 years. Chamblee is upholding her final promise to her husband by ensuring that his work will not go unpublished or unappreciated. To honor her husband’s legacy and ensure that he’ll go down in history as more than the victim of a mass shooting, she’s recently finished the last chapter of his book titled “The Capital of Basketball.”

Chamblee, like almost anyone suffering from loss, has experienced great difficulty coming to terms with the shooting and the destruction it left in the lives of so many. She’s constantly reminded of her husband’s death—whether it’s seeing pictures around the house or hearing about the delay of the jury trial on television.

While Chamblee doesn’t necessarily believe in closure, telling WAMU that she thinks closure is “very elusive and never really exists at all,” she’s attempting to heal by honoring her husband’s life work through this concluding chapter. While the community of Annapolis waits for the trial of the alleged shooter, who is currently undergoing mental evaluation tests after a plea of insanity, it is also patiently anticipating a new book by the community’s beloved sports reporter. Chamblee hopes to publish “The Capital of Basketball,” by November, around the same time that the court will resume trial.

McNamara’s passion for D.C. sports are kept alive through his book and the love of his wife, helping the community of Annapolis to heal after this devastating event.

For more about Chamblee’s journey in honoring her husband’s legacy, go to: https://wamu.org/story/19/06/27/a-year-later-wife-of-capital-gazette-shooting-victim-moves-forward-with-her-grief/

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