Notable deaths in the Washington area

March 29

Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia

Ralph Vallone, grocery employee

Ralph Vallone, 79, a deli manager at Giant Food stores in suburban Maryland from the late 1950s to the late 1980s, died March 8 at a hospital in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was renal failure, said his wife, Helen Vallone.

Mr. Vallone, who lived in Wheaton, Md., was born in Washington and served in the Marine Corps in the mid-1950s. He was a member of St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church in Wheaton and served as chief usher at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the District. He was a past grand knight with the Knights of Columbus and a volunteer with the organization.

Joseph D. Barksdale, NASA administrator

Joseph D. Barksdale, 79, who worked for 42 years at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., initially as a mathematician and later as an information technology administrator, died March 15 at his home in Laurel, Md. The cause was complications from a fall, said a daughter, Maryn Rosenberg.

Mr. Barksdale was born in Summit, Miss. He served in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps in the late 1950s and joined NASA in the early 1960s. Through the Maryland Citizens Review Board for Children, he was a foster parent to more than 25 children. He also played Santa Claus at Goddard’s Christmas parties.

Jonas Morris, mental health policy expert

Jonas Morris, 80, a former executive director of the National Council of Community Mental Health Centers and publisher of a newsletter on federal health policy, died March 22 at a nursing center in the District. The cause was complications from Parkinson’s disease, said his wife, Judy Morris.

Mr. Morris, a D.C. resident, was born in Boston and raised in Washington. He spent much of his career involved in efforts to de-institutionalize the mentally ill and provide better settings for their care. He was executive director of the National Council of Community Mental Health Centers from 1969 to 1975 and publisher of the Morris Reports newsletters from 1969 to 1982. He later was a principal planner for the D.C. Commission on Mental Health Services.

Patricia Larkin, speech pathologist

Patricia Larkin, 77, a speech pathologist with the Montgomery County public school system from 1962 to 1986, died March 27 at a hospital in Bethesda. The cause was congestive heart failure, said her husband, Peter Larkin

Mrs. Larkin was born Patricia Foeckler in the District. She provided speech, language and voice therapy services to students in at least 25 schools in Montgomery County, often several schools in the same day. She was a resident of Kensington, Md., and a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Garrett Park, Md.

Patrick J. McEvaddy, mathematician

Patrick J. McEvaddy, 63, a mathematician and scientific analyst at the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for 31 years before retiring in 2009, died Feb  20 at his home in the District. The cause was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said a brother, Hank McEvaddy.

Mr. McEvaddy was born in Brooklyn. During his tenure at APL, he worked on a satellite program that collected data for missile defense systems. He was a lecturer at Johns Hopkins’s school of engineering.

Denise C. McQuighan, database engineer

Denise C. McQuighan, 55, a database engineer for defense and technology companies, died March 5 at her home in Gaithersburg, Md. The cause was cancer, said her husband, Thomas McQuighan.

Denise Charrier was born in Cincinnati and moved to the Washington area in 1983. She had worked at what is now Lockheed Martin and other companies since 1984. She volunteered with political campaigns in Gaithersburg and with the Children’s Chorus of Washington.

John R. Heidemann, CIA analyst

John R. Heidemann, 92, who worked for the CIA from the early 1950s until his retirement in 1976 and who worked on the president’s daily intelligence briefing, died March 11 at a nursing home in Bethesda. He had coronary artery disease, said his daughter, Kris Heidemann.

Mr. Heidemann, a Chevy Chase resident, was born in Le Sueur, Minn., and served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II. He joined the CIA initially as an Asia specialist. His memberships included the Canoe Cruisers Association, whose newsletter he edited, and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Jeanie Dunnington, cataloguer

Jeanie Dunnington, 63, a retired cataloguer at the Folger Shakespeare Library and an advocate for people with disabilities, died Feb. 5 at a hospital in the District. The cause was uterine cancer, said a sister, Betty Thompson.

Jean Marie Dunnington, a fifth-generation Washingtonian, overcame lifelong problems with poor vision to work for about 25 years as a cataloguer for the Folger Library, retiring in 1997. She was a member of St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Silver Spring, Md., and was active in Montgomery County library groups assisting people with disabilities. She chaired the Disability Resource Center’s Library Advisory Committee.

— From staff reports

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