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Obituaries

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ella Edwina Dodson BaggettHomemaker, Child-Care Provider

Ella Edwina Dodson Baggett, 97, an Alexandria homemaker, child-care provider and cafeteria employee, died Dec. 2 of respiratory failure at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital.

Mrs. Baggett was born in Culpeper County, Va., and moved with her parents as a 6-year-old to Alexandria. She attended the two-room Snowden Elementary School and graduated from Alexandria High School in 1929. In high school, she was known as "Coontz" and in later years as "Cooney."

After her marriage in 1933, Mrs. Baggett was a homemaker until her children were grown. She then provided child-care services to Alexandria families from 1949 to 1998. She also worked in the cafeterias of Fort Hunt and Groveton high schools from 1967 to 1979.

She was one of the first six people to be baptized at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, on March 23, 1930, and was considered one of the founding members of the Alexandria congregation.

A dedicated fan of the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Orioles, she rarely missed a televised game. She also was an enthusiastic bingo player and was a regular at bingo games held at the Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus and the Franconia Fire Department.

Her husband, Benjamin Townsend Baggett, died in 1963.

Survivors include three children, Sarah Daniel of Fairfax County and Georgia Zuro and Benjamin T. Baggett Jr., both of Mount Vernon; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

-- Joe Holley

Carol J. LoiryBusinesswoman

Carol J. Loiry, 74, a speech and hearing specialist who co-wrote a book with her husband and co-founded two businesses with her son, died of cancer Dec. 10 at the Bay Center nursing and rehabilitative facility in Panama City, Fla. She lived in Lynn Haven, Fla.

She worked with children who had speech and learning disabilities in more than 50 schools in Alabama and Florida.

With her husband, she co-wrote "A Time to Live" (1982), a book about personal growth and relationships.

Mrs. Loiry, a survivor of five major cancers, worked with her son in establishing business relationships with companies in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. She also was a co-founder of Equity International, a business development firm that works on post-disaster reconstruction, homeland security and economic development.

A native Washingtonian, Mrs. Loiry graduated from Wilson High School and the University of Maryland. She received a master's degree in speech and hearing pathology from the University of Alabama in 1963.

She left the Washington area in 1958.

Survivors include her husband of 51 years, David Loiry of Lynn Haven; two children, William Loiry of Arlington and Jeanette Loiry of Panama City; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

-- Patricia Sullivan

A. Regina Hurley GuayMontgomery County Librarian

A. Regina Hurley Guay, 86, a retired Montgomery County librarian, died Dec. 11 of congestive heart failure at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She was a resident of Kensington.

Born in the District, Mrs. Guay won a scholarship to attend the Academy of the Holy Cross. After graduating in 1939, she received an undergraduate degree in English from Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross in 1943. In 1950, she received a master's degree in library science from Catholic University.

During World War II, Mrs. Guay worked as a secretary for the Federal Reserve. While attending graduate school at night, she worked as a librarian for the World Bank/International Monetary Fund.

She was a homemaker during the 1950s and then returned to the workforce in the 1960s as a reference librarian for Montgomery library branches in Gaithersburg, Kensington and Silver Spring. She retired in 1984.

Mrs. Guay was also an election judge in Montgomery. A member of the Montgomery County Historical Society, she was proud of her Irish heritage and her family's roots in the Washington area. She also attended every presidential inaugural parade since Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of office in 1933.

She loved the Garrett Park community pool and was an early advocate of the Montgomery County Swim League. She also took her family on numerous camping trips, including a month-long journey to California with six children, ranging in age from 2 to 16, in a station wagon reliable only for breaking down throughout the trip.

Mrs. Guay was an avid reader and bowler and was a member of several book clubs and bridge groups. She also was a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church and the Holy Redeemer Sodality in Kensington.

Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Raymond J. Guay of Kensington; seven children, Thomas A. Guay of Annapolis, J. Gary Guay of Clarksville, Margaret Sullivan of Kensington, Maryrita E. Dunlavey of Rockville, Moira K. Abernethy of College Park, Regina A. Gretschel of Silver Spring and Patricia C. Guay-Berry of Garrett Park; 21 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

-- Joe Holley

Paul A. FisherJournalist

Paul A. Fisher, 86, a journalist who wrote for a number of Catholic publications, died of complications of a stroke Dec. 5 at the Westminster Care of Clermont (Fla.) skilled nursing facility. He had been a Clermont resident since 1993 and formerly lived in Bowie.

Mr. Fisher was born in Indianapolis. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1943. During World War II and the Korean War, he served in the Army.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. James J. Delaney (D-N.Y.). He retired to Ireland briefly and then returned to the United States to pursue a career as a journalist. He was a feature editor for Triumph Magazine and the Washington bureau chief for Twin Circle magazine, the National Catholic Register and The Wanderer. Assignments included covering the conflict in Northern Ireland and traveling with Pope John Paul II.

Mr. Fisher, who also wrote "Behind the Lodge Door: Church, State and Freemasonry in America" (1988), was a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a longtime member of Sacred Heart Parish in Bowie.

His first wife, Ruth Morey Fisher, died in 1989.

Survivors include his wife of 13 years, Irene Bock Fisher of Clermont; nine children from his first marriage, Maureen Fisher and Matt Fisher, both of Edgewater, Kathleen Bishop of Bowie, Sean Fisher of San Francisco, Ann Chapman of Bowie, Margaret Fisher of Annapolis, Megan Grogard of Chesapeake Beach, Trish Liebe of Upper Marlboro and Terry Fisher of the District, and six stepdaughters from his second marriage, Susan Kicinski, Karen Kaminski, Eileen Broderick and Bobbie Cox, all of Bayonne, N.J., and Beth Sawicki and Carolyn White, both of Clermont; a brother; 18 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

-- Joe Holley

Patricia G. PurcellMontgomery County Teacher

Patricia Gleeson Purcell, 61, who spent most of her educational career as a seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher at Earle B. Wood Middle School in Rockville, died Dec. 12 at Casey House hospice in Rockville. She had lung cancer.

Mrs. Purcell, a Rockville resident, worked for Montgomery County Public Schools from 1970 until last year.

She was born in Baltimore. She graduated from what is now Salisbury University in Maryland and completed a master's degree in education from what is now McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.

Survivors include her husband of 41 years, John Purcell of Rockville; three daughters, Karen Gray of Hebron, Md., Gretchen Straczewski of Alexandria and Bridget Dongarra of Lexington, Va.; a sister; and three grandchildren.

-- Adam Bernstein

Leon E. LundenLabor Department Research Director

Leon Emmanuel Lunden, 79, an economist who spent 34 years at the Labor Department and specialized in giving grants to universities to research labor-management relations, died Dec. 10 at Holy Cross Hospital after a heart attack.

Dr. Lunden held the position of research director for many years and retired from the Labor Department in 1994. The department honored him with a distinguished service award.

Early in his career, he did research in Washington with the Eastern Conference of Teamsters and in Camden, N.J., with the Amalgamated Food and Allied Workers Union, Local 56.

Dr. Lunden was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He served in the Army in Italy after World War II.

He was a 1951 cum laude American history graduate of Queens College and received a master's degree in economics (1952) and a doctorate in labor economics (1967) from the University of Wisconsin. His doctoral thesis was about labor relations at major symphony orchestras.

He published articles in labor journals, served on professional committees and was a former board member of the Industrial Relations Research Association, now the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

Dr. Lunden was a Silver Spring resident and in retirement volunteered with the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Montgomery County as well as Travelers Aid at Reagan National Airport.

In 1999, he received the Nancy Dworkin Award for outstanding volunteer service from Montgomery County's Commission on Children and Youth.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Liane Winrow Lunden of Silver Spring; two sons, Jeffrey Lunden and Glenn Lunden, both of Brooklyn; and a brother.

-- Adam Bernstein

Robert Franklin AitConstruction Company Co-Owner

Robert Franklin Ait, 72, who was a co-owner of several construction companies in Northern Virginia, died Dec. 10 at Inova Fairfax Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in Gainesville.

Mr. Ait was born in Elk Garden, W.Va., and was one of 14 children. He began working in construction in Washington in his teens.

From 1964 to 1978, he and his twin brother, Benjamin Ait, owned Big 8 Construction Co. From 1978 to 1984, he and his sons, Daniel and Robert Ait, owned and operated Triple B Construction Co.

Mr. Ait then took two years away from his business to attend RHEMA Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Okla. In recent years, he was a member of the Lighthouse Assembly of God Church in Manassas. Throughout his life, Mr. Ait supported overseas missions and other ministries.

From 1986 to 1991, Mr. Ait worked in a construction business with a nephew, Joseph Ait. Since 1991, he and his son Robert had owned and operated Bison Inc., a Gainesville company that specializes in laying gas lines and fiber-optic cable.

He lived in Herndon before moving to Gainesville 12 years ago.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Doris Ait of Gainesville; five children, Diane Beachy of Springfield, Daniel Ait of Richmond, Mary Ait of Herndon, Robert Ait of Gainesville and Jo Temple of Leesburg; a brother, Albert Ait of Warrenton; two sisters, Rosalie Ait of Reston and Helen Sorrell of Mechanicsville; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

-- Matt Schudel

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