Notable deaths in the Washington area

March 21
OF NOTE: Obituaries of residents from Washington, Maryland and Northern Virginia
Shirley Davis, store founder

Shirley Davis, 82, who co-founded Davis General Store in Fairfax Station, Va., in 1957 and ran it with her husband for 20 years, died Feb. 27 at a hospital in Fairfax County, Va. The cause was sepsis, said a daughter, Andrea Shimer.

Mrs. Davis, a resident of Clifton, Va., was born Shirley Dove in Alexandria, Va. She started Davis General Store with her husband, Leighton Davis, who died later. She was a founding member of the Franconia (Va.) Museum and a contributor to its exhibits and publications. As a volunteer, she also made pillows and stuffed bears for Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax County.

Charles F. Goldsmith, store manager

Charles F. Goldsmith, 91, who in the 1950s managed the Langley Park, Md., branch of Lansburgh’s, a now-defunct department store owned by his family, died March 1 at his home in Washington. The cause was cancer, said a son, Charles W. Goldsmith.

Mr. Goldsmith was born in Washington and served in the Army during World War II. After working at Lansburgh’s, he worked for the Williams Agency, a family-run real estate investment and management company. He supported Jewish philanthropic efforts in the Washington area.

John T. ‘Jack’ Walden, public affairs officer

John T. “Jack” Walden, 88, a public affairs officer and speechwriter for the Food and Drug Administration who later was director of public affairs for a drug industry trade association, died March 1 at a hospital in Fairfax County, Va. The cause was cardiac arrhythmia, said his wife, Susan Stephenson Walden.

Mr. Walden, a native of Meridian, Miss., served in the Marine Corps during World War II and was a Marine combat correspondent during the Korean War. While working for the surgeon general’s office, he helped write the landmark 1964 Report on Smoking and Health, which documented a link between smoking and cancer. After nine years at the FDA, Mr. Walden joined what is now the Consumer Healthcare Products Association in 1978 and served as an industry spokesman during tampering incidents involving Tylenol in the 1980s.

Robert W. Rafuse Jr., Treasury official

Robert W. Rafuse Jr., 77, an economist who worked at the Treasury Department from 1979 to 1994, first as a specialist in state and local finance and later as a senior economist in the Office of Economic Policy, died March 13 at his home in Rawley Springs, Va. The cause was a heart attack, a son, Ethan Rafuse, said.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Rafuse taught at George Washington University and held jobs in planning and economic research. He later worked overseas as an adviser to foreign governments and on development projects sponsored by the United Nations, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other organizations.

Kent G. Jones Jr., NSA division manager

Kent G. Jones Jr., 91, who spent his career with the National Security Agency and predecessor agencies and retired as a division manager in 1977, died March 1 at his home in Beltsville, Md. The cause was gastrointestinal bleeding, said a daughter-in-law, Mary Jones.

Mr. Jones was born in Wytheville, Va., and raised in Washington. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he became a machinist with the Naval Code and Signal Laboratory. In his retirement, he developed mechanical and computer devices for people with physical disabilities. He was a grand knight in the Knights of Columbus and, for many years, a youth baseball coach.

— From staff reports

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