Washington-area obituaries of note

August 21

Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia

John D. Reilly, businessman

John D. Reilly, 71, the president since 1971 of Reilly Investment, a financial advising firm based in Washington, died Aug. 12 at a hospital in the District. The cause was pneumonia, said a daughter, Katie Reilly.

Mr. Reilly, a Washington resident, was born in Pittsburgh. In addition to his company, he worked in a variety of real estate investment, lending and mortgage businesses. He was a trustee of the private Maret and Sheridan schools.

Joseph L. Herson, auto dealer

Joseph L. Herson, 85, president and owner of his family’s Rockville-based auto dealership chain, Manhattan Auto, died Aug. 8 at his home in Washington. The cause was heart disease, said a granddaughter, Katie Cox.

Mr. Herson was born in Washington. For 41 years, until he sold the company in 2000, he worked in the family business, which was started by his father in 1920. He helped expand the former used-auto-parts store into a five-dealership chain and received Time magazine’s dealer of the year award in 1986. He sat on the boards of the Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education at Montgomery College and several automobile dealers associations. He was a founding member of the Marlboro Motor Raceway in Upper Marlboro, Md., and established a charitable organization, the Herson-Stirman Family Foundation, in 2009.

Katharine K. McDonald, editor

Katharine K. McDonald, 92, who worked at the Agriculture Research Service for 42 years and retired as editor of research monographs in 1989, died Aug. 3 at an assisted-living center in Laurel, Md. The cause was complications from diabetes, said a daughter, Mary Ladouceur.

Mrs. McDonald was born Katharine Klinar in Pittsburgh. She moved to the Washington area in 1945 to work as a data input clerk at the Census Bureau. Two years later, she joined the Agriculture Research Service. She moved to Selbyville, Del., from District Heights, Md., in the early 1990s and returned to the Washington area in 2012 to live with family.

John R. Peaslee, NSA engineer

John R. Peaslee, 80, an electrical engineer who retired from the National Security Agency in 1994, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Bangor, Maine. His wife, Jean Peaslee, said he had suffered broken vertebrae in an accidental fall in July from a deck at his summer home in Vanceboro, Maine.

Mr. Peaslee was a lifelong Washingtonian. He was an NSA engineer for 37 years before retiring. He built his Maine summer home himself.

— From staff reports

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