Ronald Clayton Gordon Virginia Official
Ronald Clayton Gordon, 71, the former Virginia commissioner of rehabilitative services, died Aug. 14 at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park from lack of oxygen to the brain and pneumonia. He lived in Silver Spring.
Born in Petersburg, Va., Dr. Gordon received a bachelor's degree in physics in 1955 from Virginia State University.
After serving with the 8th Army in Korea from 1955 to 1957, Dr. Gordon worked as a research physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Washington and then as an engineering supervisor and executive with McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, Calif. He received a master's degree in physics from Virginia State University in 1968.
An automobile accident that year left Dr. Gordon a quadriplegic, but after a period of rehabilitation, he began a second career. He pursued doctoral study in physics at the University of California at Riverside and completed his doctorate in 1978 in biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia as a National Institutes of Health fellow. Dr. Gordon then served in three academic departments at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
Dr. Gordon left the university to become an expert scientific analyst at the U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center. He briefly returned to the university before accepting an appointment to serve as the state's commissioner of rehabilitative services in 1994 under then-Gov. George Allen. Dr. Gordon retired from the Allen administration as human services program director at the Department of Rehabilitative Services in 1997.
In retirement, Dr. Gordon and his wife moved to Ghana, in West Africa, to design and build a religious sanctuary. They returned to the United States in 2003.
His first marriage to Vivian Susan Verdell ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Zarina Anne Gordon of Silver Spring; two children from his first marriage, Ronald C. Gordon Jr. of Ridgefield, Conn., and Susan Gordon Akkad of New York City; two stepdaughters, Yasmin Sidi of Washington and Taslim Sidi McDonald of Nairobi; two sisters, LaVerne Goodridge of Petersburg and Sarah Weathersby of Raleigh, N.C.; and three brothers, Robert L. Gordon Jr. of Colorado Springs, George F. Gordon of Washington and Michael V.W. Gordon of Raleigh.
Francis S. Lancetti Foreign Service Officer
Francis S. Lancetti, 80, a retired Foreign Service officer, died of cancer Aug. 18 at his home in Alexandria.
Mr. Lancetti was born in Rome and graduated from the University of Rome. During World War II, he was an interpreter for the British Allied Command. He moved to Washington in 1953 and began working for the State Department in 1958, later becoming a Foreign Service officer. He retired in 1985.
After retirement, Mr. Lancetti became a language teacher and escort interpreter for the federal government. His many interests included U.S. history, Thomas Jefferson, art, literature, music and gardening.
His wife of 47 years, Ruth Warnke Lancetti, died in 2001.
Survivors include three children, Luisa Lancetti of Alexandria, Laura Nicolaides of London and Thomas Lancetti of Alexandria; a brother; and five grandchildren.
Lucille Evelyn Ferguson Homemaker, Girl Scout Leader
Lucille Evelyn Ferguson, 97, a homemaker who served as a Girl Scout leader, died of a heart attack Aug. 14 at her home in Vienna.
Mrs. Ferguson was born in St. Paul, Minn., and attended the University of Minnesota, where she met her future husband, George E. Ferguson, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. After they wed in 1928, they lived in McAllen, Tex., for three years and then in Hawaii for six years, living in Honolulu and on Kauai.
Subsequently, the USGS transferred them to Washington for a few months, then to Ocala, Fla., and in 1946, back to the Washington area.
A frugal woman, she refinished many pieces of used furniture for her home. During her daughter's school years, she was on the PTA board. Since her college days, she had been a member of Delta Zeta sorority and, later, the Professional Engineers' Wives. She also enjoyed world travel with her family.
Survivors include her husband of 75 years, George E. Ferguson, and a daughter, Joan K. Ferguson, both of Vienna.
David Readyhough Fairfax Principal
David Readyhough, 58, a retired principal with Fairfax County Public Schools, died of complications from multiple myeloma Aug. 12 at Inova Fairfax Hospital.
A Springfield resident, Mr. Readyhough was born in North Adams, Mass. He graduated from Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria and received a bachelor's degree from George Mason University and a master's degree in 1972 from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Readyhough started his 30-year career as an educator teaching in Gloucester, Va. He moved to Northern Virginia in 1971 and began his 28-year career with Fairfax schools, working as a teacher at Fort Hunt Elementary and White Oaks Elementary, an assistant principal at Cardinal Forest Elementary and principal at Stratford Landing Elementary and Bush Hill Elementary. He retired in 1999.
His marriage to Pam McClelland ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of seven years, Shirley Readyhough of Springfield; four children from his first marriage, David A. Readyhough of Santa Fe, N.M., Jen Fallert of Alexandria, Eric Readyhough of Leonardtown and Ted Readyhough of Phoenix; four stepchildren, Kimberly Burnell of Manassas, Bonnie Rose of Rome, Jennifer Heiserman of Easton, Pa., and Joshua Rose of Centreville; a brother; two sisters; and 14 grandchildren.
Alvin Barnett Peck Real Estate Agent
Alvin Barnett Peck, 88, a longtime real estate agent in the District, died of cancer Aug. 19 at Mariner Health of Bethesda.
Mr. Peck, a native of the District, attended the University of Maryland from 1934 to 1937. During World War II, he was an Army ambulance driver in Europe and the Pacific. After the war, he was a home builder for Brill & Peck from 1945 to 1955. In 1955, he became a commercial real estate agent with Pollinger, Shannon & Luchs Realtors. He was with the company 52 years.
He was a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, the Selby Bay Yacht Club and Tifereth Israel Congregation in the District. In 2003, he and his wife, Stella Peck, were recognized by Dade County, Fla., for Peck's Landing, property the Pecks donated for low-cost housing.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, of Bethesda; two children, Roy Peck of Rockville and Carol Peck of Winterport, Maine; a sister, Lucille Wallshein of Falls Church; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Leonard Plotkin Telecommunications Manager
Leonard Plotkin, 76, a retired telecommunications senior manager, died of a heart attack Aug. 20 at his home in Rockville.
Mr. Plotkin was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and served in the Army during World War II. He moved to Washington after the war and received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in engineering from George Washington University.
He worked for the federal government for 34 years, first with the Defense Department and then for the General Services Administration. He retired from the Senior Executive Service in 1982 as an assistant commissioner in telecommunications.
Mr. Plotkin then worked in the private sector as a senior telecommunications manager at ITT, Metromedia, LDDS and WorldCom, retiring in 1996.
He enjoyed duplicate bridge, travel and his garden.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Harriette Plotkin of Rockville; four children, Charles Plotkin of Greenville, N.C., Judy Keller of Rye, N.Y., and David Plotkin and Joel Plotkin, both of Bethesda; and five grandchildren.
Annie Fogleman Benham Administrative Specialist
Annie Fogleman Benham, 68, an administrative specialist with the Department of Defense, died Aug. 15 at Capital Hospice in Arlington. She had Parkinson's disease.
She moved to the Washington area in 1959, working first as a secretary with the FBI. She moved to the Defense Department in the 1960s. After taking time off to raise her family, she returned to the Defense Department as an administrative services specialist in the personnel section, retiring in 1996 after more than 20 years with Defense.
Mrs. Benham was born in Birmingham. She received an associate's degree from Peace College in Raleigh, N.C., in 1955. Fulfilling a lifelong goal, she received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Averett University in Virginia in 1997.
She lived in Springfield for 39 years. She was a charter member of Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Springfield, founded in 1965, and was a church elder and Sunday school teacher. She also was a leader and committee chairwoman for the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
She volunteered with Ecumenical Community for Helping Others and at the Northern Virginia Training Center, where in the 1970s she had also worked as a secretary.
She enjoyed travel, music and board games.
Survivors include her husband of 43 years, Wallace E. Benham Jr. of Springfield; three children, Ruth Benham and Richard Benham, both of Springfield, and Elliott Benham of Burke; three brothers, James W. Fogleman of Bellevue, Wash., William F. Fogleman of Gulf Shores, Ala., and George Wesley Fogleman of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; and six sisters, Virginia McRoy of Birmingham, Mary Largue of Pensacola, Fla., Irene Townsend of Lake Ridge, Kate Wylly of Charleston, S.C., Jean Harned of Louisville and Margaret Osborn of Chattanooga.
Nikki Odelle Young McKee Military Spouse
Nikki Odelle Young McKee, 82, a military spouse, died Aug. 19 at her home in Potomac Falls. She had Alzheimer's disease.
Mrs. McKee was born in Lakeland, Fla., and worked at the Lodwick School of Aeronautics.
She married an Air Force pilot in 1944 and accompanied him on 22 assignments overseas and in the United States. After his retirement, they settled in Washington, where her husband was governor of U.S. Armed Forces Retirement Home from 1978 to 1990.
She worked for charity events and youth groups and sang in church choirs. Her duties as a military spouse often required hosting dignitaries, including three U.S. presidents, and their entourages.
The McKees moved to the Air Force Officers Retirement Community in Potomac Falls after she became ill with Alzheimer's disease.
Survivors include her husband of 61 years, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. George H. McKee of Potomac Falls; a daughter, Beverly Sue Wilson of Clayton, Ga.; a son, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Mike McKee of Alta Loma, Calif.; a sister; five grandchildren; and three great-granddaughters.
Barbara Robinson Allen Hospital Volunteer
Barbara Robinson Allen, 87, a volunteer from the early 1960s until recent years at Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington, died of cardiac arrest Aug. 21 at the hospital. She lived in Arlington.
Mrs. Allen was a native of New Haven, Conn., and a 1940 graduate of Yale University's fine arts school.
She settled in the Washington area in the mid-1940s, and her chief hobby was making art in various media.
Survivors include her husband, C. Stanley Allen, whom she married in 1941, of Arlington; four children, Barbara A. "Bobbi" Beck of Falls Church, Peter Allen of New Haven, Christopher Allen of Sterling and Kip Allen of Laconia, N.H.; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.