Washington area obituaries of note

July 29

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

Julian B. Self Jr.,
Treasury Department clerk

Julian B. Self Jr., 85, who worked as a clerk at the Treasury Department for 35 years, died July 22 at a hospice in Fairfax County. The cause was renal failure, said a sister, G. Berniece Harward.

Mr. Self, a native Washingtonian and longtime resident, was a Wilson High School football player when he suffered a serious concussion in a game with Central High School in 1947. Upon regaining consciousness after nearly a month, he was left with a permanent brain injury that caused severe short-term memory loss, partial vision impairment and some loss of dexterity. He retired from the Treasury Department in 1999.

Virginia R. Downey,
interior designer

Virginia R. Downey, 88, who worked in interior design for several decades, died July 10 at her home in McLean, Va. The cause was Alzheimer’s disease and a heart ailment, said her son, Mark Downey.

Mrs. Downey, a Detroit native, was born Virginia Rose Grohola. She worked in Michigan before settling in Northern Virginia in the late 1960s. Her employers and clients included Sears department stores, churches, apartment buildings and the family of industrialist Henry Ford, according to her son. After retiring in the 1980s, she became a real estate investor.

Ann Curtiss Scoville,
artist

Ann Curtiss Scoville, 95, a figurative painter and sculptor of welded steel figures, died July 17 at her home in Salisbury, Conn. The cause was gastrointestinal bleeding, said a son, Thomas Scoville.

Mrs. Scoville was born Ann Curtiss in Winchester, Conn., and grew up in Norfolk, Conn. As a young woman, she learned to fly, leading her to serve briefly as a flight instructor for pilots during World War II. After the war, she was a homemaker and artist in the Washington area until she moved to Connecticut in 1985 from McLean, Va. Her work was shown in private collections, museums, galleries and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, her family said.

Janice L. Moncier,
financial planner

Janice L. Moncier, 68, a financial planner and consultant for the firm ICMA-RC in Washington for more than 10 years until her retirement in 2008, died July 16 at a hospice in the District. The cause was breast cancer, said her spouse, Ann Norwood.

Ms. Moncier, a D.C. resident, was born on a tobacco and dairy farm in Greeneville, Tenn. She taught high school in Defense Department schools in Iceland and Germany and was a broker with E.F. Hutton in San Francisco before settling in the Washington area in 1988. She was a volunteer with the Mautner Project, a lesbian health organization affiliated with Whitman-Walker Health in the District.

Bill Fleisher,
jeweler

Bill Fleisher, 90, who founded Fleisher’s Jewelers of Maryland and operated the store for five decades until retiring in 1999, died July 3 at his home in Hyattsville, Md. The cause was a heart attack, said his son Fred Fleisher.

Mr. Fleisher, a Baltimore native, worked in retail jewelry sales before opening his shop in Mount Rainier, Md., in 1949. In 1962, he moved the business to Hyattsville, where it remained until the family closed the store in 2012. He belonged to the Freemasons and the Lions Club and was a past president of the region’s Tri-State Jewelers Association.

Chung-wen Shih,
GWU professor

Chung-wen Shih, 91, a professor emeritus of Chinese language and literature at George Washington University, where she spent about 20 years as head of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, died July 6 at a hospital in Baltimore. The cause was complications from a fall, said a niece, Catherine Shih.

Dr. Shih was born in Nanking, China, and became a U.S. citizen in 1960. She taught at Princeton and Stanford universities before serving on the GWU faculty from 1965 to 1993. Her books included “The Golden Age of Chinese Drama: Yuan Tsa-Chu” (1976), and she wrote, directed and produced two television documentaries on China that were broadcast on public television stations and on Chinese television. She moved from Washington to a retirement community in Gaithersburg, Md., in 2012.

Thomas F. Rowan,
newspaper editor

Thomas F. Rowan, 88, who retired in 1991 as top editor of the Catholic Standard, a newspaper published by the Archdiocese of Washington, died June 28 at a hospital in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was a stroke, said a son, Kevin Rowan.

Mr. Rowan, a Silver Spring resident, was born in Tulsa. He joined the Catholic Standard in 1952 and held several jobs before being named managing editor in 1961 and editor in 1983. He was a past member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Washington, and his memberships included the National Press Club. He received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award for distinguished service to the church from Pope John Paul II.

William J. Zukel,
Public Health Service officer

William J. Zukel, 92, a Public Health Service officer in Washington from 1949 until he retired in 1988 as a captain, died July 10 at a military hospital in Bethesda. The cause was pneumonia, said a great-niece, Monica Lester.

Dr. Zukel, a resident of McLean, Va., was born in Northampton, Mass. He was a heart specialist and helped direct studies that provided important research on heart-disease prevention, including the Framingham Heart Study in Massachusetts. He was past deputy director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as well as a former associate clinical professor at George Washington University’s medical school. His honors included the Paul Dudley White Award from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, and the Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award of the Public Health Service.

James L. Foy,
psychiatry professor

James L. Foy, 88, a professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University’s medical school for nearly 40 years until his retirement in 1996, died July 15 at his home in Kensington, Md. The cause was complications from prostate cancer, said his daughter Monica Foy.

Dr. Foy was a Chicago native and began his career in Washington at D.C. General Hospital, where he served as chief of psychiatry. An expert in forensic psychiatry, he was an expert witness in court cases and helped oversee a psychological study in the 1960s of attempted White House intruders. He taught classes at Georgetown on medical literature, among other subjects, and wrote poetry that appeared in publications including the 1998 anthology “Blood and Bone: Poems by Physicians.”

Neil W. Copp,
Washington Post employee

Neil W. Copp, 87, who joined The Washington Post in 1952 as a printer and retired 30 years later as a data-processing manager, died July 13 at a hospice in Callaway, Md. The cause was multiple myeloma, said a son, Victor Copp.

Mr. Copp was born in Lake City, Minn. He belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Loyal Order of Moose. As a golfer, he twice hit a hole in one. He fished in nearly every state. He moved to Hollywood, Md., from Silver Spring, Md., in 2005

Virginia Moser,
tour guide

Virginia Moser, 77, a Washington-area tour guide for more than 25 years who once served as president of the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, D.C., died July 8 at a hospice in Arlington, Va. The cause was leukemia, said a daughter, Beth Ellis.

Mrs. Moser, a resident of Springfield, Va., was born Virginia Wenger in Wadsworth, Ohio. She settled in the Washington area in 1965 and spent several years as an editor with the Center for Naval Analyses, a federally financed research group. She was a founding member of Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church in Burke, Va., and belonged to the League of Women Voters, Toastmasters International and the Lifetime Learning Institute of Northern Virginia.

Frederick R. Anderson,
environmental lawyer

Frederick R. Anderson, 73, an environmental law specialist who was dean of American University’s law school in the late 1980s and retired in 2013 from the firm of McKenna, Long and Aldridge, died July 14 at a hospital in Fairfax County. The cause was pulmonary failure caused by a complication from a medicine he was taking, said his wife, Barbara Alison Rose.

Mr. Anderson, a Chevy Chase, Md., resident, was born in Rutherfordton, N.C. He was the founding president of the Environmental Law Institute in Washington in the 1970s and later taught at the University of Utah and American University law schools and practiced in Washington with the firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft. Mr. Anderson was a co-author of books including “Environmental Protection: Law and Policy” and held appointments with the National Academy of Sciences. He was honored in 2010 by the American Bar Association for his work in environmental law.

Robert R. Leyshon,
teacher, technology adviser

Robert R. Leyshon, 65, a Montgomery County public-school teacher, special-education instructor and technology adviser for more than 30 years, died July 9 at his sister’s home in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said his daughter, Anna Leyshon.

Mr. Leyshon, a Silver Spring native and resident, was a National Park Service land surveyor and topographic drafter before he joined the staff of Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, Md., in 1977. He was a teacher and adviser at the John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents in Rockville, Md., from 1980 to 1995 and then offered technology support at the Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Silver Spring for nine years. From 2004 to 2007, he was a team leader for vocational support services at Longview School in Germantown, Md. He received community awards for his work with special-needs students.

Mary Alice Edwards,
professor, author

Mary Alice Edwards, 100, a professor at the Wesley Theological Seminary in the District from 1957 until her retirement as interim dean of the seminary in 1983, died July 9 at her home in Annapolis. The cause was chronic pulmonary disease, said a close friend, the Rev. Jeanne Klauda.

Dr. Edwards was born Mary Alice Douty in Rochester, N.Y., and raised in Baltimore. She taught at the old Westminster Theological Seminary in Westminster, Md., before the school moved to Washington and was renamed in 1958. She published textbooks on seminary education and taught courses on human development, ministry to the aging and religious drama. She served on the Montgomery County Commission on Aging, led a sleepover camp for senior church members near West River, Md., and was a former member of Coppin State University’s spiritual life committee in Baltimore. She lived in Washington before moving to Annapolis in 1999.

Marcella P. O’Neill,
psychiatrist

Marcella P. O’Neill, 83, a psychiatrist who had a private practice in Washington from 1978 until her retirement in 1998, died July 9 at her home in Bethesda. The cause was a heart ailment, said a son, Michael J. O’Neill.

Dr. O’Neill was born Marcella Pecora in Weehawken, N.J., and moved to Washington in 1952. Before opening her practice, she was chief of the alcohol treatment unit and acting chief of psychiatry at the VA Medical Center in Washington. She was a supervisor of Georgetown University’s Department of Psychiatry from the early 1970s until the early 1990s and received GW’s Bene Merenti Medal for her volunteer work. She was a member of the Washington Psychiatric Society and chaired a medical committee at her home, the retirement community Maplewood Park Place in Bethesda.

Barry E. Hoffman,
performing-arts executive

Barry E. Hoffman, 81, a performing-arts executive and Kennedy Center Concert Hall manager from 1971 to 1974, died July 25 at his home in Paducah, Ky. The cause was multiple myeloma, said his wife, Suzi Hoffman.

Mr. Hoffman, a Philadelphia native, was a manager for touring theater companies in New York City before he moved to Washington in 1970 to help manage the Washington Shakespeare Summer Festival. After leaving the Kennedy Center in 1974, he had a number of postings, including as interim chief of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and executive director of the Studio Arena Theater in Buffalo before he returned to Washington in 1990. He was the producing artistic director of Potomac Theatre Company and president of Silver Spring Stage before moving to Paducah in 2012.

Walter F. Oakley Jr.,
restaurant owner

Walter F. Oakley Jr., 65, a former restaurant proprietor who had a second career as a security supervisor, died July 1 at his home in Severna Park, Md. The cause was a heart attack, said his companion, Betty Whitwer.

Mr. Oakley was born in Washington. He owned Chessies, a sub-and-pizza shop in Huntingtown, Md., from 1996 to 2001. He was a site supervisor at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington from 2004 until 2007 and a program manager with Frontier Systems Integrator in Fairfax County from 2007 to 2012. He continued to work there as a consultant. He was a board member of the Twelfth Precinct Pistol and Archery Club in Harwood, Md.

— From staff reports

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