Notable deaths in the Washington area

April 12

Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia

William H. Harves, VA division chief

William H. Harves, 96, who retired in 1979 as chief of the Veterans Administration’s supply management division and was a founding member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Arlington County, died March 28 at a retirement community in Falls Church, Va. The cause was complications from a stroke, said a son, John Harves.

Mr. Harves, a native of Birmingham, Ala., spent 32 years at what is now the Department of Veterans Affairs and worked for its supply service, which provides VA facilities with everything from medicines to technical equipment. He helped plan and implement the electronic automation of the supply service and received agency honors for distinguished service. At St. Michael’s, he was a trustee and vestryman, sang in the adult choir and ran the Meals on Wheels program with his wife for 25 years.

Katherine Panagos, NIST employee

Katherine Panagos, 85, who retired in 1991 after 20 years as an administrator with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s materials reference laboratory, died April 7 at her home in Gaithersburg, Md. The cause was breast cancer, said a daughter, Maria Carr.

Mrs. Panagos was born Katherine Mathas in Milwaukee. She was a high school teacher in Wisconsin, Missouri and Florida before settling in the Washington area in 1972. She was a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda, where she was an organist and choir member for years and started two junior choirs.

Evelyn K. Hier, ethnic culture activist

Evelyn K. Hier, 88, who advocated awareness and inclusion of Washington’s Lebanese American community in the city’s Cultural Tourism Heritage Trails project, died April 3 at her home in the District. The cause was dementia, said a son, Thomas Hier.

Mrs. Hier was born Evelyn Kogok in Washington. She was a former president of the board of trustees of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in the District and a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Potomac, Md.

John J. Riordan, restaurateur

John J. Riordan, 89, who owned Riordan’s Restaurant and Raw Bar in Silver Hill, Md., from 1968 to 1986, died March 29 at the home of a daughter in Edgewater, Md. The cause was cancer, said a daughter, Margie Riordan.

Mr. Riordan, a resident of Camp Springs, Md., was born in Washington. He served in the Navy during World War II and received the Silver Star in combat operations in the Pacific, his family said. After the war, he managed Riordan’s Restaurant, a D.C. eatery owned by his father, until the early 1960s.

Carolyn C. Onufrak, Treasury Dept. official

Carolyn C. Onufrak, 93, a Treasury Department worker from 1941 to 1982 who retired as deputy personnel director, died April 3 at a retirement community in Springfield, Va. The cause was complications from heart-valve surgery, said a daughter, Helen Onufrak.

Mrs. Onufrak was born Carolyn Cunningham in Minneapolis. A former resident of Annandale, Va., she was a member of the Virginia Genealogical Society.

Thomas R. Byrne, ambassador

Thomas R. Byrne, 91, a Foreign Service officer who was ambassador to Norway from 1973 to 1976 and to Czechoslovakia from 1976 to 1979, died March 20 at his home in Bethesda. The cause was congestive heart failure, said his daughter, Therese Klay.

Dr. Byrne, who was born in Montclair, N.J., worked in the Foreign Service from 1959 to 1979. He also served on diplomatic assignments in England, Tanzania and Ghana. From 2000 to 2005, he was chairman of the board of Private Agencies Collaborating Together, an organization of non-governmental, nonprofit agencies specializing in foreign assistance.

— From staff reports