Notable deaths in the Washington area

June 17

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

Jorge E. Rodriguez,
OAS official

Jorge E. Rodriguez, 85, a retired Organization of American States senior financial specialist, died May 29 at a hospice in Arlington. The cause was cancer, said a daughter, Patricia Navarrete.

Mr. Rodriguez was born in Bogota, Colombia, moved to the United States in 1958, and had been an Annandale, Va., resident since 1974. He worked for the OAS in Washington from 1959 to 1988, serving several years as the acting deputy director of the Office of Financial Services. His later career included financial work at the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission. He was past treasurer of the Association of Retirees of the Organization of American States.

Christopher Fitzsimmons Eve, NIH physicist

Christopher Fitzsimmons Eve, 102, a physicist with the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the National Institutes of Health from 1960 until his retirement in 1993, died June 7 at a veteran’s medical center in Lebanon, Pa. The cause was congestive heart failure, said a niece, Nina Graybill.

Mr. Eve was born in Charleston, S.C. He lived in Washington from the early 1930s until 1999 and most recently was a resident of Myerstown, Pa. He served as a medic in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression.

Constance H. Cole,
volunteer

Constance H. Cole, 92, a volunteer at Chevy Chase Methodist Church, the old Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the American Red Cross, died June 2 a hospital in Rockville, Md. The cause was complications from pneumonia, said a granddaughter, Jennifer Krimm.

Mrs. Cole was born Constance Harris in New York City and grew up in Washington. She lived in Chevy Chase for 47 years before moving to Gaithersburg, Md., in 2005.

Finette Walker Shupe,
lawyer

Finette Walker Shupe, 66, a former Washington-area lawyer who specialized in family law, adoption and immigration, died May 31 at her home in Granbury, Tex. The cause was metaplastic breast cancer, said her brother, Myron Walker.

Finette Dow Walker was a District native and practiced in Washington and in Maryland in the 1980s. She later did legal and administrative work with the Marriott Corp. She volunteered through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was a longtime Bethesda resident before moving to Texas about a decade ago.

Rosemary K. Blechschmidt,
homemaker

Rosemary K. Blechschmidt, 79, a longtime resident of Potomac, Md., died May 29 at a hospital in Gettysburg, Pa. The cause was cardiac arrhythmia following a February stroke, said a daughter, Annette Painter.

Rosemary Kennedy was born in West Lafayette, Ind., and settled in the Washington area in 1971. In 2012, she moved to Waynesboro, Pa.

William H. Armstrong,
business & IT consultant

William H. Armstrong, 68, the owner-operator of MicroPro, a business and information technology consulting company in Northern Virginia, died June 7 at his home in The Plains, Va. The cause was multiple myeloma, said a son, Will Armstrong.

Mr. Armstrong was born in Rocky Mount, Va. He was an Air Force officer and real estate broker in Blacksburg, Va. before settling in the Washington area 31 years ago. He worked in personnel services before opening his company. He was a former president of Alexandria Kiwanis and a deacon and Bible studies teacher at the First Baptist Church of Alexandria.

Mariam F. Masé,
artist and cataloguer

Mariam F. Masé, 96, an artist and cataloguer of Russian books at the Library of Congress, died May 10 at a hospital in Columbia, Mo. The cause was pneumonia, a daughter, Jean Ispa, said.

Mariam Fix was born in Harbin, Manchuria, the daughter of Ukrainian and Belarusian parents, and came to the United States in 1939. During World War II, she compiled a dictionary of spoken Russian and taught Russian to U.S. soldiers. She worked at the Library of Congress from 1945 to 1977, then devoted herself to painting, with studios at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria and later at her home in Silver Spring, Md. In 2012, she moved to Missouri.

Charles L. Franklin Jr.,
physician

Charles L. Franklin Jr., 68, a family physician who practiced in Silver Spring, Md., for nearly four decades, died June 2 at a hospital in Washington. The cause was multiple myeloma, said his wife, Alexis Herman, who served as U.S. labor secretary during President Bill Clinton’s second term.

Dr. Franklin was a District native and a graduate of Howard University, where he was student body president and led campus activism efforts. He served in the U.S. Public Health Service before opening his family practice in 1976 and retired in December. Dr. Franklin was a McLean, Va., resident, and belonged to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and numerous medical organizations.

Vernon Lewis,
stuntman

Vernon Lewis, 36, a native Washingtonian and entertainment show stuntman who had performed at Six Flags America theme park in Upper Marlboro, Md., and in Los Angeles and Singapore, died May 11 at a Singapore hospital. The cause was a heart attack, his mother, Gwendolyn Lewis, said. She said he had suffered heart arrhythmias about a year ago.

At Six Flags, Mr. Lewis performed in Wild West shows, where his acts included falling from high places, going into mines that exploded and close encounters with fire. He moved to Los Angeles seven years ago and performed stunts in a number of movies and television shows, including “CSI: NY” and “Heroes.” He moved in 2011 to Singapore, where he developed a comedy act and helped set up a Waterworld Stunt Show with New Universal Studios Singapore.

Clara J. Walsh,
artist

Clara J. Walsh, 86, an artist who specialized in miniature paintings and watercolors, died June 5 at a nursing home in North Conway, N.H. She had Alzheimer’s disease, said a daughter, Laura Dobrzykowski.

Mrs. Walsh was born Clara Judkins in Boston, lived in Laurel, Md., from 1970 to 1997 and settled in North Conway in 2010. She was a past member of the Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington, and a founding member of the Montpelier Cultural Arts Center in Laurel, Md. In 2004, one of her miniature paintings was exhibited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington.

John Terry Chase,
historian, teacher

John Terry Chase, 79, a historian who taught American history at the French International School in Bethesda, Md., from 1989 until 1995, died June 1 at a retirement community in Mitchellville, Md. The cause was a stroke, said a son, Robert Chase.

Mr. Chase was born in Deerfield, Mass., and was an Arlington resident. During the Carter Administration, he served as a speech writer for the Environmental Protection Agency. He authored a number of history books, including “Gum Springs: Triumph of a Black Community (1990)”, and co-edited poetry anthologies with his wife, Sara Hannum Chase.

Correction: The obituary for Mariam F. Masé has been corrected to reflect the year she moved to Missouri. It was 2012, not 2010.

— From staff reports