Notable deaths in the Washington area

May 10

Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Neil Putman, Navy captain

Neil Putman, 91, a retired Navy captain who as a pilot made 158 landings on aircraft carriers, died April 25 at his home in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. The cause was congestive heart failure, said a family friend, Judith Bruce.

Capt. Putman was born in Yuba City, Calif., and served in the Navy for 32 years before retiring in 1974. He was commanding officer of several ships, including the destroyer USS Haverfield, and later was project manager for programs concerning race, alcohol and drug rehabilitation. His final active-duty assignment was at the Pentagon. He was a past president of Springfield Golf and Country Club in Springfield, Va. He moved to Florida from West Springfield in the late 1980s.

Vernon G. Bohl, NOAA official

Vernon G. Bohl, 85, a meteorological forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who retired in 1986 as deputy chief of the heavy precipitation branch, died April 11 at a hospital in the District. The cause was congestive heart failure, said a daughter, Melissa Velasquez.

Mr. Bohl, a resident of Forestville, Md., was born in Hermann, Mo. During his 28 years with NOAA, he played a key role in forming a unit that evolved into NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center. The American Meteorological Society honored him for outstanding service during major snowstorms in the Northeast in 1978. He was a charter member of the National Weather Association and a member of Davies Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church in Camp Springs, Md.

Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt, FBI agent

Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt, 98, an FBI special agent who was a photographic expert and handwriting analyst and appeared before the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, died April 24 at a nursing home in Boston. The cause was a heart attack, pneumonia and congestive heart failure, said a daughter-in-law, Christine McDonnell.

Mr. Shaneyfelt was born in Hastings, Neb., and joined the FBI in 1940. During the Warren Commission hearings, he studied photographs and film to determine the timing and angle of the shots that killed the president; he testified that the shooting was the work of one gunman. After his retirement in the early 1970s, he worked as an independent document examiner and photographic specialist and testified as an expert witness across the country. He moved to Boston from Alexandria, Va., in 2007.

Gary D. Van Zee, Treasury Dept. employee

Gary D. Van Zee, 66, a bookkeeper at the Treasury Department in the 1980s and early 1990s, died April 25 at a hospice in Arlington, Va. The cause was oral and lung cancer, said a brother, James Van Zee.

Mr. Van Zee, a resident of Alexandria, Va., was born in Fairfield, Iowa, and raised in Falls Church, Va. After serving in the Air Force in the early 1970s, he did billing and record-keeping for hotels in Colorado before joining the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt. He later worked for Sato Travel, Target and other companies.

CORRECTION: The obituary for NOAA official Vernon G. Bohl incorrectly reported the name of the federal agency he worked for as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. It’s the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The obituary has been revised to reflect the change.

— From staff reports

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