July 13, 2013
Gertrude G. DeBlasis
judge’s wife

Gertrude G. DeBlasis, a former clerk for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon and widow of former Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Samuel DeBlasis, died June 23 at a hospice in West Palm Beach, Fla. She was 89.

The cause was a stroke, her son Samuel DeBlasis II said.

Gertrude Violetta Gallagher was born in Waukon, Iowa. She moved to the Washington area in the early 1940s to accept a clerical position with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, where she worked for about a decade before leaving to become a homemaker.

Mrs. DeBlasis’s memberships included the old lawyers’ wives association through the Prince George’s County Bar Association and what is now the National Golf Club in Fort Washington.

Since the late 1990s, she split her time between Fort Washington and a home on Jupiter Island in Palm Beach County, Fla.

Her husband of 49 years died in 1997.

Survivors include four children, Patricia DeBlasis of Boca Raton, Fla., Michael DeBlasis of Delray Beach, Fla., Mary Jo DeBlasis of Columbus, Ohio, and Samuel DeBlasis II of Fulton; and five grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough

Robert H. Wilbur
association management firm official

Robert H. Wilbur, the vice president of a Washington-based association management firm, died June 24 at home in Washington. He was 77.

He had prostate cancer, his daughter Alwynne Wilbur said.

For 34 years until his retirement in 2009, Mr. Wilbur was vice president of SmithBucklin, a management firm for small trade associations that do not have their own offices in Washington.

Mr. Wilbur moved to Washington in 1968 as special assistant to Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco.

Robert Hunter Wilbur was born in Chicago. He graduated from Harvard University in 1957 and received a doctorate in comparative literature at Columbia University in 1964. Before moving to Washington, he was a public relations staff member at Chrysler in Detroit and an assistant to U.N. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg in New York.

He had been a volunteer president of the Childhood Cancer Association and vice president for communications of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. He taught English as a second language and was a competitive sailor and bridge player.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Diane Alwine Wilbur of Washington; two daughters, Alwynne Wilbur of Washington and Kendall McCumber of Santa Fe; and five grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes

Cecil J. Olmstead
international lawyer

Cecil J. Olmstead, an international lawyer and retired Texaco executive who had been of counsel at the Washington law firm Steptoe & Johnson since 1980, died June 25 at a hospital in Norwalk, Conn. He was 92.

The cause was heart problems, said his daughter Jane Murphy.

Mr. Olmstead became the assistant to Texaco’s board chairman in 1961 and was the executive vice president of the oil company when he left in 1980. He then joined Steptoe & Johnson, where he mainly provided counsel on international law, trade and arbitration matters. He commuted to Washington every week from his home in Westport, Conn.

Early in his career, he was the assistant to State Department legal adviser Adrian S. Fisher and legal counsel to the Hoover commissions on governmental reorganization.

Cecil Jay Olmstead was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and served in the Army Air Forces in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. He was a 1950 graduate of the University of Georgia and a 1952 graduate of Yale University law school. He received a doctor of law degree from University of Hull in England in 1978.

He served as president of the International Law Association and its American branch. He received ILA’s first distinguished service award in 2004.

Mr. Olmstead was a former delegate to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea and the U.N. Conference on the Code of Conduct for Transnational Corporations.

In 1990, he was named a commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

His wife of 63 years, Frances Hughes Olmstead, died in 2006. Survivors include four children, Cecil Olmstead III of Houston, Frank Olmstead of Norwich, Vt., Jane Murphy of Greenville, S.C., and Amy Vanecek of Fort Worth; a brother; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough

Mary McGuire Baeschlin
secretary

Mary McGuire Baeschlin, a secretary who worked in Wheaton High School’s guidance department in the 1970s, died June 22 at a hospice in Cape Coral, Fla. She was 88.

The cause was lung cancer, her daughter Joan McGuire Stanfield said.

Mrs. Baeschlin lived in Wheaton for about 25 years before moving to the Delmarva Peninsula and then to North Fort Myers, Fla., about two decades ago.

Mary Ellen Lanham was born in Landover, and she graduated from Bladensburg High School in 1940. Before working for Wheaton High School, she did secretarial work for what is now the Government Accountability Office and in the private sector.

Her husband of 23 years, John F. McGuire, died in 1970. Survivors include her husband of 27 years, Robert Baeschlin of North Fort Myers; five children from her first marriage, Joan McGuire Stanfield and Noel Bettinger, both of Damascus, Ellen Morton of Laconia, N.H., Brigid McGuire of Woodbine, Md., and John McGuire of Derwood; a sister; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

— Emily Langer

Richmond F. Allan
lawyer

Richmond F. Allan, a former solicitor at the Interior Department who later worked for the Washington law firm Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke, died June 14 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. He was 83.

The cause was complications from renal failure, said his son Dr. Richmond Allan.

Mr. Allan, a Rockville resident, joined Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke in 1979. He specialized in public land issues and Indian affairs cases. After his retirement in 2002, he continued to work with the firm as a consultant.

Earlier in his career, he was a partner at the now-defunct law firms Weissbrodt & Weissbrodt and Casey, Lane & Mittendorf. From 1965 to 1969, he was a solicitor for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior.

Richmond Frederick Allan was born in Billings, Mont. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1955 and a law degree in 1957, both from the University of Montana. He was a Fulbright scholar in London in the late 1950s and was an assistant U.S. attorney in Montana before moving to the Washington area in 1965.

He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and the Izaak Walton League of America conservation group.

His wife of 55 years, Dorothy Frost Allan, died in 2009.

Survivors include three sons, Richmond Allan of Spartanburg, S.C., David Allan of Lititz, Pa., and Michael Allan of Bethesda; a sister; and four grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough

Jennie Loosararian
porcelain painter

Jennie Loosararian, a painter of porcelain and china who taught the art at her home studio, died June 19 at her home in Silver Spring. She was 87.

She had pulmonary fibrosis, her husband, Armen Loosararian, said.

Mrs. Loosararian learned the art of china painting while living in Taiwan, where her husband was stationed with the National Security Agency from 1972 to 1974. She painted vases, dishes, ornaments and other objects and won awards for her work in competitions and art shows.

She gave lessons in china painting for many years and sold painting supplies through a home-based business.

Hripsme Yerchanig Antreasin was born in Indianapolis and grew up in New York City. She went by Jennie since childhood.

She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Hunter College in New York. She settled in the Washington area in 1948 and had lived in Silver Spring since 1954.

Mrs. Loosararian and her husband were instrumental in creating Soorp Khatch Armenian Apostolic Church in Bethesda.

She was a member of Armenian cultural and charitable organizations, the Eastern Star fraternal organization and groups devoted to china painting.

Survivors include her husband of 66 years, Armen Loosararian of Silver Spring; three sons, Lawrence Loosararian of Hanover, Gregory Loosararian of Gambrills and Alan Loosararian of Westminster, Md.; a sister; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

— Matt Schudel

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