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Obituaries

Howard T. Wickert Army Officer, College Professor

Howard T. Wickert, 83, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army and college English professor, died of a heart attack April 20 at the Fairfax retirement community at Fort Belvoir, where he lived.

Col. Wickert was born at Fort Myer, the son of an Army officer, and graduated from the old Western High School in Washington. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1943.

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He served 22 years as an artillery officer, fighting in Europe during World War II and in Korea. His decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

After his military retirement, he was an English instructor at Catholic University and a professor of English at Montgomery College in Rockville.

Col. Wickert was a member of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Fairfax.

Survivors include two brothers, John Wickert of Pflugerville, Tex., and Thomas Wickert of Alexandria.

Mildred Roberson Fairman Office Manager

Mildred Roberson Fairman, 76, who spent 35 years working at the Pentagon, died April 20 at Sudley Manor House, a nursing home in Manassas. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Fairman was born on her family's farm in Centreville and lived on the property until 2002, when she moved to the nursing home. She graduated from Fairfax High School and from what is now Strayer University.

She worked as a secretary with the Defense Department and spent the final 29 years of her career as an administrative assistant and office manager with the Air National Guard. She retired in 1984, having received many awards for meritorious service.

She was a member of the auxiliary of the Centreville Volunteer Fire Department and was a lifelong member of Manassas Baptist Church.

Mrs. Fairman collected glassware, china and ceramics and traveled to craft shows around the world. Her elaborate interior holiday decorations were featured in a newspaper article.

For more than 20 years, she and her husband spent winters in Lakeland, Fla.

Her husband of 51 years, Edward Fairman, died in 2002.

Survivors include a brother, Marvin Roberson of Manassas.

Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen Jazz Bassist

Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, 58, the Danish bassist whose virtuosity and flawless sense of time made him a favorite accompanist for many of the leading names in jazz, most notably pianist Oscar Peterson, died of a heart attack April 19 at his home near Copenhagen.

Born in Osted, Denmark, he learned piano as a child but switched to double bass at an early age. By his mid-teens, he was astonishingly proficient and was a fixture in the house band at Copenhagen's Montmartre jazz club. While a teen, he was offered an opportunity to come to the United States to play in Count Basie's band but was unable to obtain a work permit.

Through the 1960s, word of his prowess spread, and he became a sought-after sideman for American jazz players in Scandinavia. Before he was 20, he toured Europe with Bill Evans and recorded with Bud Powell. He later played with Chet Baker, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. In the late 1960s, he started a collaboration with saxophonist Dexter Gordon that lasted into the mid-1970s.

His international reputation soared in 1973 when Cold War politics gave him an opportunity to play with Peterson, with whom he played through much of the 1970s and '80s.

"His virtuosity on the bass surpasses anyone else that I have known," Peterson wrote in his autobiography. "His melodic sense is impeccable, his choice of harmonic sequences is a pure delight to play with, and his time is flawless."

Mr. Pedersen also recorded with Catalonian pianist Tete Montoliu, pianist Kenny Drew and guitarists Philip Catherine Joe Pass.

Survivors include his wife and three children.


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