obits

December 7, 2013
Eugene H. Prange
Navy officer, pilot

Eugene H. Prange, a retired Navy commander and flight instructor at Warrenton-Fauquier Airport in Fauquier County, died Nov. 11 at the Fairfax Nursing Home. He was 85.

The cause was complications from pneumonia, said his son, Robert Prange.

Cmdr. Prange, an Annandale resident, earned his private pilot license at 17 and a year later joined the Navy’s aviation program. He flew anti-submarine-warfare aircraft in the Korean War and was a flight instructor of the P4Y-2 Privateer, a patrol bomber.

He flew 28 different aircraft types during his time in the Navy, his son said. Cmdr. Prange’s military decorations included three Air Medals and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

After his military retirement in 1976, he was a flight instructor at the Quantico Flying Club and a tow pilot at the Warrenton Soaring Center in Warrenton, Va., until 1982. He then worked as a flight instructor at Warrenton-Fauquier Airport until his second retirement in 2003.

Eugene Hanly Prange was a native of Clear Lake, S.D., and a 1966 graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He received a master’s degree in accounting in 1980 and a law degree in 1988, both from George Mason University.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Helen Paulson Prange of Annandale; three sons, Robert Prange of Ashburn, Va., Eugene Prange Jr. of Covington, Va., and Mark Prange of Port Isabel, Tex.; and two grandsons.

— Megan McDonough

Attila Karaosmanoglu
World Bank executive

Attila Karaosmanoglu, a Turkish-born economist who became managing director at the World Bank in Washington, died Nov. 10 at a hospital in Istanbul. He was 81.

The cause was complications from pneumonia, said his son, Ozgur Karaosmanoglu.

Dr. Karaosmanoglu worked at the World Bank from 1966 to 1994, taking a leave in 1971 and 1972 to serve as Turkey’s deputy prime minister in charge of economic policy.

Announcing that Turkey had been “living beyond its means for some time,” Dr. Karaosmanoglu struggled to institute economic reforms while serving in the short-lived military-backed government of Prime Minister Nihat Erim; Dr. Karaosmanoglu and 10 other ministers resigned because the economic plans were rejected. Erim, a leading figure in politics and the law, was assassinated in 1980.

Dr. Karaosmanoglu returned to the World Bank and was named chief economist for the Europe, Middle East and North Africa region. He was vice president for the East Asia and Pacific region from 1983 to 1987, and then vice president of the Asia region until 1991.

After retiring as managing director in 1994, he moved to Istanbul from Bethesda.

Attila Karaosmanoglu, a native of Manisa, Turkey, was a 1954 graduate of Ankara University and received a doctorate in economics from Istanbul University in 1956. He did postdoctoral studies in economics at Harvard University and New York University.

Early in his career, he was a founder and manager of the State Planning Organization in Turkey.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Sukriye Ozyet Karaosmanoglu, and their son, Ozgur Karaosmanoglu, both of Bethesda; a sister; and three grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein

Elise B. Hardy
volunteer

Elise B. Hardy, who volunteered in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s with the Women’s Committee of the National Symphony Orchestra, died Nov. 8 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. She was 98.

The cause was renal failure, said her daughter, Janise Hawkins. Mrs. Hardy had lived in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Fairfax County for more than 60 years.

Alice Elise Barnes was a native of Portsmouth, Va., and a 1935 graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. In the early years of her career, she was a high school librarian in the Roanoke City and Roanoke County public school systems.

During World War II, she worked in the District as a secretary and librarian at the Volta Bureau for the deaf. She later worked for several years as a librarian in the Arlington County school system.

Mrs. Hardy was a charter member and past president of the Mount Vernon branch of the American Association of University Women and the Northern Virginia Delta Delta Delta alumnae chapter, her daughter said.

In 1978, she received the first Ernestine Block Grigsby Award for her contributions to her Delta Delta Delta chapter.

Her husband of 69 years, James I. Hardy, died in 2008. Survivors include her daughter, Janise Hawkins of Strasburg, Va.; two grandsons; and three great-grandchildren.

— Emily Langer

Kenneth F. Gerken
engineer

Kenneth F. Gerken, an engineer who founded and ran businesses related to electricity and energy, died Nov. 19 at Sunrise at Fox Hill health-care center in Bethesda, where he had lived since 2010. Earlier he had lived in Brookeville. He was 63.

The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease, said his wife, Karen Gerken.

Mr. Gerken was the president and co-founder of Integrated Power in Rockville from 1983 to 1993. While there, he invented a method of battery charging that led to a U.S. patent. Integrated Power was sold to Westinghouse in 1990.

In 1993, he was co-founder of Morningstar in Jessup, where he was president until 2007, when he retired for medical reasons. The company supplied equipment to assist in the conversion of solar power into electricity.

Kenneth Frederick Gerken was a native of Ithaca, N.Y., and a 1972 graduate of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.

He was project manager for a gear company in King of Prussia, Pa., before moving to the Washington area in 1980.

He moved to the nursing center from Brookeville in 2010.

Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Karen Grinchis Gerken of Gaithersburg; two children, Alison Gerken of Davis, Calif., and Mark Gerken of Philadelphia; a sister, Patricia Sandercock of McLean; and a brother, Richard Gerken of Horsham, Pa.

— Bart Barnes

Suzanne G. Kominski
government employee

  Suzanne G. Kominski, who as a young woman was an assistant at the State Department, the CIA and the Brookings Institution public policy organization, died Nov. 10 at George Washington University Hospital. She was 92. She lived in Alexandria.

She died of head injuries suffered earlier that day when she was struck by an automobile while walking in the 1200 block of Key Drive in Alexandria. According to Alexandria police, the auto was backing out of a driveway when it hit her.

Suzanne Green was a native of Princeton, N.J., and a 1942 graduate of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

At the State Department, she was an assistant to future Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche in 1944 and 1945. She ­also worked on the United Nations organizing conference in San Francisco.

In the 1950s, she worked at the Brookings Institution on matters concerning the post-World War II economic recovery of Europe and after that as administrative assistant at the CIA.

With her husband, John Kominski, she helped maintain trails in Shenandoah National Park as a volunteer with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. She enjoyed hiking.

In addition to her husband of 50 years, of Alexandria, survivors include a brother.

— Bart Barnes

Mary E. Edmondson
Artist

Mary E. Edmondson, a local artist who displayed her paintings, drawings and woodcut prints at the Art League in Alexandria in the 1970s and ’80s, died Nov. 18 at her home in McLean. She was 94.

The cause was a bowel obstruction, said her nephew Thomas D. Edmondson.

Mary Ellen Edmondson was born in McLean. She later lived in Union Bridge, Md., and then in Arlington, where she graduated from Washington-Lee High School in 1938. She was a 1943 graduate of the old Abbott Art School in Washington and received awards from miniature art societies in the District, Georgia and New Jersey, her nephew said.

In the 1940s, she was an artist and illustrator for the Farm Security Administration, the Petroleum Administration for War and the Bureau of Reclamation.

She was active in the Democratic Party and was a precinct and poll worker in McLean for many years. She was a member of the Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington and the Franklin Area Citizens Association in McLean.

She had no immediate survivors.

— Emily Langer

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