Denise Charrier McQuighan, a database engineer and Johns Hopkins University graduate, died of cancer March 5 at her Gaithersburg home. She was 55.
Born Denise Anne Charrier in Cincinnati, she was the daughter of George Charrier, an engineer who lives in Cody, Wyo., and Jacqueline Watson Charrier, a Hunt Valley resident.
Mrs. McQuighan was a 1976 graduate of Cincinnati's Western Hills High School and earned a bachelor's degree in mathematical sciences from the Johns Hopkins University. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and a Delta Phi Alpha honor society. She was also a swimming team member and received a varsity letter. She was a statistician for the Hopkins lacrosse and basketball teams, and a teaching assistant for the Hopkins mathematics department.
While a Hopkins student, she lived with her grandfather on Bretton Place in Guilford.
Mrs. McQuighan was a database engineer with Lockheed Martin in Gaithersburg from 2004 until this February.
Family members said she enjoyed completing the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle as well as KenKen puzzles.
She contributed essays on local school and consumer issues to The Washington Post. She was the author of "Turning More Women into Scientists," published in The New York Times in 2010.
She was a timer for the Montgomery County Swim League. She volunteered at the Children's Chorus of Washington and with the Montgomery Blair High School marching band and its athletic booster association.
She was a volunteer coordinator for Mary Boergers' 1994 campaign for Maryland governor. She testified before the Montgomery County Council and the Gaithersburg City Council.
She was a fan of Tim Russert and often viewed "Meet the Press."
"Denise considered herself a moderate although most people would say her views were progressive," said her husband of nearly 33 years, Thomas P. McQuighan. "Women's rights were important to her. "
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. May 9 at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, 11701 Clopper Road in Gaithersburg.
In addition to her parents and husband, survivors include a son, Patrick McQuighan of Seattle; two daughters, Kelly McQuighan of Providence, R.I., and Megan McQuighan of Gaithersburg; three brothers, Michael Charrier of Shanghai, China, Joseph Charrier of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Edward Charrier of Austin, Texas; and a sister, Dr. Patricia Attman of Pikesville.