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Obituaries

Friday, August 10, 2007

Joseph R. WhaleyRockville Lawyer

Joseph Randall Whaley, 61, a Rockville lawyer and resident whose general practice specialized in technology law and consulting to small-business ventures, died July 18 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital after a heart attack. He had cancer.

For many years, Mr. Whaley's Rockville practice was called Chadwick and Whaley. He was a sole practitioner for more than the past decade.

He was a native of Lafayette, Ind., a 1968 graduate of Antioch College in Ohio and a 1975 graduate of Catholic University's law school.

He served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines as a volunteer teacher and trainer from 1969 to 1971.

Survivors include his wife, Lois Orndorff Whaley of Pennsylvania, from whom he was separated; two children, David Whaley of Rockville and Alison Whaley of Narberth, Pa.; and two sisters.

-- Adam Bernstein

Steven E. AlscherLaw Enforcement Official

Steven Edward Alscher, 63, a native Washingtonian who became a National Park Service law enforcement official and a senior instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., died July 11 at his home in St. Simons Island, Ga. He had lung cancer.

Mr. Alscher spent the past decade at the Georgia training center.

Before that, he worked 26 years with the National Park Service. He became a regional law enforcement adviser, first in Philadelphia for national parks in the Mid-Atlantic area and then in Atlanta for national parks in the Southeast.

He was a 1962 graduate of Gonzaga College High School and attended several colleges before teaching at parochial schools in Florida and the Washington area. During summers, he was a seasonal ranger with the U.S. Park Police.

A son, Richard B. Alscher, died in 1991.

Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Helen Holloway Alscher of St. Simons Island; a son, Christopher J. Alscher of Savannah, Ga.; a sister; and a brother.

-- Adam Bernstein

Mary E. JarrellBusiness President

Mary Elizabeth Shoemaker Jarrell, 100, who was president of a Washington real estate and insurance company, died July 27 of a stroke at Holy Cross Hospital. She lived in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Jarrell was a busy housewife and mother when her husband of 27 years, Karl E. Jarrell, died in 1953. She then assumed the presidency of the family business that he ran, the Thos. E. Jarrell Co., which was founded by her father-in-law in the early 1920s.

She managed the small business until 1987, when she retired at 80 and sold it.

A Washington native, she graduated from old Central High School in 1924 and attended George Washington University.

Mrs. Jarrell was a member of Woodside United Methodist Church in Silver Spring and Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase. She had been a member of Zonta International.

In later years, she was known for making poundcakes to give to family members, friends and stranger alike. The cakes were one of the ways Mrs. Jarrell used to help anyone with a problem and those she liked a lot, a daughter said.

"She probably made hundreds of them every year, until about four years ago," said a daughter, Mary J. Smith of Denton, Tex. "After she retired, it filled her time."

In 2002, Mrs. Jarrell was named Silver Spring Senior Citizen of the Year by the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce for her many acts of kindness.

Survivors, in addition to her daughter, include three children, Thomas E. Jarrell II of Laurel, Margaret Madert of Silver Spring and Anna K. Jarrell of Upper Marlboro; 10 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

-- Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb

William T. 'Buck' Collins Jr.AFL-CIO Comptroller

William Thomas "Buck" Collins Jr., 82, who spent nearly 45 years with what became the AFL-CIO and retired in 1996 as the agency's comptroller and director of accounting, died Aug. 2 at Montgomery General Hospital near his home in Olney. He had congestive heart failure.

Mr. Collins was also a former secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO's Human Resources Development Institute, which provides job training programs nationwide.

He was a native Washingtonian and graduated from Western High School. He attended George Washington University and graduated from Benjamin Franklin University.

He served in the Marine Corps in the Pacific during World War II.

He was a member of D.C. Friends of Ireland and a former board member of the AFL-CIO Employees Federal Credit Union.

Survivors include his wife, Michiko Miura Collins, whom he married in 1968, of Olney; and two sons, Matthew S. Collins and Stephen T. Collins, both of Atlanta.

-- Adam Bernstein

Thomas H. BrylawskiUNC Math Professor

Thomas H. Brylawski, 63, a mathematics professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, died of esophageal cancer July 18 at the Duke Hospice inpatient facility in Hillsborough, N.C.

Dr. Brylawski, a native Washingtonian, had taught at UNC-CH since 1970. He was known as a lively and passionate conversationalist whose love of mathematics and art led him to lecture twice at the National Gallery of Art.

He was also a conceptual artist. An early work, "The Flag of Liechtenstein," depicted the flag of the tiny principality in Benday dots, the trademark of artist Roy Lichtenstein. He also created a rug that depicted a solution to the squared-square problem.

He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1962, where he won the first and grand prizes in the District's science fair in 1959. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a master's degree in math from Dartmouth College in 1968. In 1970, he received a doctorate in math from Dartmouth.

Dr. Brylawski taught hundreds of students during his career at UNC-CH but tried his best to schedule class times late in the day. A former student, posting a remembrance of him on a UNC-CH memorial site, said that when Dr. Brylawski began teaching, he was assigned an 8 a.m. class. Rather than get up early for it, he stayed up all night. So when the next semester brought a class time set an hour later, he said: "Oh, please don't give me a 9 a.m. class. I can't stay up that late!"

He published at least 44 professional articles. He lectured on his field of combinatorics, a branch of pure mathematics that deals with combinations and permutations. While Dr. Brylawski spent a year as director of the Bologna Cooperative Studies Program in Italy, he lectured to the class taught by Italian semiotician and philosopher Umberto Eco. He fell in love with Italy, teaching himself the language and visiting each of the country's provinces.

He also collected every rock-and-roll song in the Top 40 between 1958 and 1966 and recorded and catalogued thousands of movies on videotape and DVD. Friends said they thought he was the only recognized authority in both the art of Jasper Johns and the Andy Griffith TV show.

His marriage to Joan Mills ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Bruna Brylawski of Durham, N.C.; two sons from his first marriage, David Brylawski of New York and Michael Brylawski of Snowmass, Colo.; his parents, Henry H. and Molly S. Brylawski of Washington; a sister, Kathleen B. Miller of Bethesda; a brother, Samuel Brylawski of Washington; and a grandson.

-- Patricia Sullivan

Bruce Jorge AmmermanNeurosurgeon

Bruce Jorge Ammerman, 60, chief of neurosurgery at Sibley Memorial Hospital for many years and neurologist to numerous Washington Redskins and Maryland Terrapins football players, died of a heart attack Aug. 7 at Sibley. He lived in Bethesda.

Dr. Ammerman, a native Washingtonian whose father was also a neurosurgeon, graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He received a medical degree from George Washington University, where he was the Class of 1972's valedictorian.

He did his neurosurgical training at GWU and entered private practice in Washington. Two of his sons also became neurosurgeons, and one later joined him in his practice.

Dr. Ammerman also was a clinical professor of neurosurgery at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He was a past president of the Washington Academy of Neurosurgery and a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He was also named in Washingtonian magazine's "Top Doctors" issues in 2002 and 2005.

He volunteered with the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and the Izaak Walton League of America. He was a supporter of Hebrew Union College and the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

Survivors include his wife of 38 years, Joy Ammerman of Bethesda; three children, Dr. Joshua Ammerman of Bethesda and Dr. Matthew Ammerman and Rebecca Shpigel, both of New York; a brother, Dr. Seth Ammerman of San Francisco; a sister, Elaine Ammerman of McLean; and three grandchildren.

-- Patricia Sullivan

Hazel Steenberg WhittleRegistered Nurse

Hazel Steenberg Whittle, 91, a registered nurse who worked at the National Institutes of Health, died July 30 at her home in Columbia of complications of Parkinson's disease and vascular disease.

Mrs. Whittle, who was also known as Ardyce and Tommie, was born in West St. Paul, Minn. She began her nursing career in 1937 after graduating from the Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, Minn. She later attended a modeling school in Chicago and worked as a flight attendant for TWA in the early 1940s.

In 1943, she joined the Navy nursing corps, serving at Great Lakes Naval Air Station near Chicago. She was ill with scarlet fever for several years after World War II and recuperated at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, among other hospitals.

After her recovery, Mrs. Whittle resumed her nursing career in the 1950s at a veterans hospital in Boston before joining NIH in 1958. She worked as a psychiatric nurse at NIH until retiring in 1972.

In the late 1940s, while recovering at the National Naval Medical Center, she met Sir Frank Whittle, who had patented the jet engine in the 1930s and was also recuperating from an illness. Because of his invention, Whittle is considered a founder of the jet age.

She later married Virgil L. Hall and had a daughter. That marriage ended in divorce in the early 1950s.

She later became reacquainted with Whittle, and they were married in Washington in 1976. They lived in Annapolis and Alexandria before settling in Columbia. Mrs. Whittle, who was known as Lady Whittle because of her husband's knighthood, enjoyed traveling with her husband. He died in 1996.

Survivors include a daughter from her first marriage, Carla Hall Clavelle of Columbia; two stepsons, David Whittle of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Ian Whittle of Woking, England; a brother; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

-- Matt Schudel

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