Washington-area obituaries of note

August 15

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

Joseph F. Bader,
nuclear engineer

Joseph F. Bader, 74, a nuclear engineer who since 2004 had served on the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, a federal watchdog agency, died July 24 at his home in Warrenton, Va. The cause was cancer, said a friend and colleague, Andrew Thibodeau.

Mr. Bader was born in New York City. Before his appointment to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, he held positions with Westinghouse’s nuclear fuel division in Washington and elsewhere, and with several other private nuclear companies.

Jamie L. Paterson,
homemaker

Jamie L. Paterson, 84, a homemaker in Bowie, Md., whose grandfather was Confederate Gen. James Longstreet, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Falls Church, Va. The cause was respiratory failure, said her son, William Dan Paterson Jr.

Mrs. Paterson was born Jamie Longstreet in Gainesville, Ga. She was an administrator at the Gainesville Midland Railroad before moving to the Washington area in 1958.

Jefferson P. Rogers,
pastor, civil rights activist

Jefferson P. Rogers, 97, founding pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Redeemer in Washington from 1958 until 1970, died Aug. 1 at a hospice in Port Orange, Fla. The cause was dementia, said a son, Qasim Abdul-Tawwab.

Rev. Rogers, a resident of Daytona Beach, Fla., was born in Quincy, Fla. He was pastor of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington from 1953 to 1957. Active in the civil rights movement, he was a leader of the Washington chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Since the 1980s, he had been founder and president of the New Birth Corp., which preserves the Daytona Beach childhood home of African American theologian and author Howard Thurman.

Alan W. Postlethwaite,
Smithsonian official

Alan W. Postlethwaite, 89, a metallurgic scientist who retired in 1994 as deputy director of what is now the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Conservation Institute, a center for conservation science and understanding cultural history, died Aug. 7 at his home in Arlington County. The cause was a heart ailment, said a daughter, Andrea Riedy.

Mr. Postlethwaite was born in Margate, England, and spent his early career with companies such as Gillette, Raytheon and Sylvania. He settled in the Washington area in 1974 and conducted research in solar panels, among other technologies, at what became the Energy Department. In 1982, he joined the Smithsonian’s Conservation Analytical Laboratory. In retirement, he was a volunteer in President Bill Clinton’s White House.

Mary C.D. Smith,
D.C. teacher

Mary C.D. Smith, 88, who taught in Washington public schools for 34 years until retiring in 1980 as a counselor at John Tyler Elementary School, died Aug. 4 at a hospital in Annapolis. The cause was a ruptured intestinal hernia, said a daughter, Blanche Brownley.

Mrs. Smith, a resident of Bowie, Md., was born Mary Dorsey in Washington. During her career, she had been an elementary school teacher, guidance counselor and summer school principal. In retirement, she was a volunteer with an emeritus teachers program and spent summers as a monitor for the D.C. mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. She was an advisory neighborhood commissioner and a eucharistic minister at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, both in the District.

Margo T. Heegeman,
office manager

Margo T. Heegeman, 76, the office manager for real estate agent Sue Goodhart in Alexandria, Va., from 1998 to 2010, died Aug. 6 at a hospice center in Arlington County. The cause was cancer, said her husband, retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Heegeman.

Mrs. Heegeman, an Arlington resident, was born Margo Twiss in Chicago. She accompanied her husband on Navy assignments before settling in the Washington area in 1977. She was a project manager for Amtrak’s real estate department from 1985 to 1995. She was a volunteer with what is now the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

Edward Chen,
lawyer

Edward Chen, 82, who had a general law practice in Washington in the 1980s and 1990s and served as deputy chief administrative officer in Prince George’s County from 1968 to 1981, died July 27 at a hospital in Bethesda. The cause was aspiration pneumonia, said a daughter, Bessie Chen.

Mr. Chen, a Rockville resident, was born in Suzhou, China. He was the founding D.C. chapter president of the Taiwan-based National Chengchi University alumni association. He was on the board of the Chinese-American Professionals Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., among other organizations, and was a past principal of Potomac Chinese School in Bethesda.

Martin Van Buren Bostetter Jr.,
bankruptcy judge

Martin Van Buren Bostetter Jr., 88, who served for 40 years as an Alexandria-based U.S. bankruptcy judge for Virginia’s Eastern District before retiring in 1999 as chief judge, died Aug. 8 at a daughters’ home in Alexandria. The cause was renal failure, said that daughter, Lisa Tracy.

Judge Bostetter, an Alexandria resident, was born in Baltimore. He spent his early legal career in Alexandria, including service as city prosecutor and associate judge of the city’s municipal court. The federal courthouse in Alexandria was named in his honor. He was a past chairman of the Juvenile Detention Commission for Northern Virginia, past president of the Alexandria Bar Association and past board chairman of the charitable organization Food for the Hungry International.

— From staff reports

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