Notable deaths in the Washington area

May 16

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

Catherine B. Carlston, librarian, editor

Catherine B. Carlston, 99, who worked at the Arlington County Public Library and the Library of Congress and served as an editor with the American Physiological Society, died April 24 at a retirement community in Springfield. The cause was respiratory failure and aortic valve stenosis, said a daughter, Sarah Ulis.

Mrs. Carlston, a former Arlington resident, was born Catherine Ball in Parkersburg, W.Va. From 1972 until she retired in 1985, she edited several editions of the Handbook of Physiology. Beginning in 1960, she was a librarian in Arlington and at the Library of Congress, then an editor with the National Academy of Sciences and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.

Patricia W. McDermott, civil engineer

Patricia W. McDermott, 57, a civil engineer and former project manager with the Fairfax County-based engineering and land-design firm of Dewberry & Davis, died May 6 at a hospital in Fairfax County. The cause was a stroke and gastrointestinal bleeding, said her husband, Brian McDermott.

Mrs. McDermott, a resident of Fairfax City, was born Patricia Wroth in St. Michaels, Md. She was employed at Dewberry & Davis from 1980 to 1998. She was a past president of the Mosby Woods ladies bowling league and served as team representative for the Mosby Woods swim team.

Robert D. Hammond, Army lieutenant general

Robert D. Hammond, 80, an Army lieutenant general who retired in 1992 as program executive officer for strategic defense systems at the Pentagon, where he had oversight of missile defense projects, died May 9 at hospital in Monterey, Calif. The cause was pneumonia, said a son, Scott Hammond.

Gen. Hammond, a native of Altadena, Calif., began his Army service in 1956 and was a veteran of the Vietnam War. Among other assignments, he was commanding general of the VII Corps artillery, then based in Augsburg, West Germany, and chief of the Studies, Analysis and Gaming Agency for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He moved to Carmel, Calif., from Annandale, Va., in 1995.

Donald P. Haspel, trade association executive

Donald P. Haspel, 80, who retired in the mid-1990s as executive vice president of the National Office Products Association after spending more than 30 years with the trade association, died May 12 at a hospital in Washington. The cause was complications from gastrointestinal bleeding, said a son, D. Paul Haspel Jr.

Mr. Haspel, a Bethesda resident, was born in North Platte, Neb., and raised in Washington. He was a member of the Catholic Church of the Little Flower and Congressional Country Club, both in Bethesda.

Sally Halvorson, photographer

Sally Halvorson, 73, a freelance photographer for almost 40 years and a volunteer photographer at the private Potomac School in McLean, Va., from the 1970s to 1990s, died May 12 at her home in Washington. The cause was cancer, said her husband, Newman “Thor” Halvorson.

Mrs. Halvorson was born Sally Stone in Upper Montclair, N.J. She was a photographer for a news agency in Washington in the 1960s before starting her freelance career. She was also a tutor for children with learning disabilities. She was a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants and a past volunteer at the charity Martha’s Table.

Robert ‘Bopper’ Gaynor, rock musician

Robert “Bopper” Gaynor, 63, a singer, guitarist and songwriter who was a founding member of the Northern Virginia-based southern-rock band the Roadducks, died May 14 at a nursing center in Leesburg, Va. The cause was pancreatic cancer, said bandmate Jon Buder.

Mr. Gaynor, a resident of Aldie, Va., was born in Norwalk, Conn. He formed the Roadducks in 1976 with drummer Jay Nedry and singer-guitarist Bill “The Senator” Schmidle, and the band drew a following at Jaxx nightclub in West Springfield, Va., among other venues in that area. The band also toured with Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Marshall Tucker Band and the Allman Brothers Band. The Roadducks received a Washington Area Music Association award in 1988 for the debut recording, “Get Ducked.” Starting in the mid-1990s, Mr. Gaynor worked as a manager at Jaxx and most recently at Sully’s nightclub in Chantilly, Va.

Thomas B. Lynch, defense scientist

Thomas B. Lynch, 76, a defense scientist whose specialties included designing sonar equipment as a consultant for the Navy, died May 8 at a hospital in Annapolis. The cause was Lewy body disease, a degenerative brain disorder, said his brother, Dan Lynch.

Mr. Lynch, a resident of Bowie, Md., was born in Elmira, N.Y. He came to the Washington area in the late 1960s and worked for defense contracting firms, including Tracor and ORC, where he retired in 2003. His work included supervision of undersea sonar equipment on submarines in oceans around the world.

Joan Sarah Michel, gardener

Joan Sarah Michel, 85, a gardener who volunteered at the U.S. National Arboretum and at the American Horticultural Society’s River Farm on the Potomac River in Alexandria, died April 14 at a hospital in Memphis. The cause was complications following abdominal surgery, said her daughter, Leslie Aldridge.

Mrs. Michel, a former Alexandria resident, was born Joan Sarah Sheldon in Hollywood, Calif., and came to live in the Washington area in 1968. Last December, she moved to Tennessee.

Gary D. Van Zee, bookkeeper

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’s Bureau of the Public Debt. He later worked for Sato Travel, Target and other companies.

Anna L. Lea, activist

Anna L. Lea, 85, an activist in women’s political and Greek cultural organizations in the Washington area, died May 1 at a hospital in Los Angeles. The cause was complications of a urinary tract infection, said a daughter, Helena Lea.

Mrs. Lea was born Anna Lambrinidou in Athens and settled in the Washington area in the mid-1950s. She was a past vice president of the Woman’s National Democratic Club and president of the Society for the Preservation of the Greek Heritage. In 2008, she received the Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award from the American Hellenic Institute. Last September, she relocated to Los Angeles from the District.

— From staff reports

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