Thursday, January 15, 2009

Joan G. Buchanan Association Executive

Joan G. Buchanan, 62, who directed the American Psychological Association's international affairs office from the late 1980s until her retirement in 2005, died Dec. 26 at her home in Washington. She had ovarian cancer.

Ms. Buchanan joined the association in the early 1980s. In the international affairs office, she researched and co-wrote publications on the field of psychology, and planned and organized international conferences.

Joan Graf Buchanan was born in Pittsburgh and earned a bachelor's degree in classics from Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., in 1968. She moved to Washington during the late 1970s and worked on the staff of the 1981 White House Conference on Aging.

During retirement, she volunteered as a tutor for the Washington Literacy Council and served as recording secretary of the Cleveland Park Citizens Association.

In 2002, shortly after she received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, she contracted West Nile virus from a mosquito bite. Subsequently, The Washington Post wrote two articles chronicling her battle with West Nile.

Her marriage to Conrad Christian Arensberg ended in divorce. Her husband of 14 years, Joost Polak, died in 2005.

Survivors include two stepchildren, Stephanie Grefsheim of Twickenham, England, and Adam Polak of San Diego; her mother, Myra Ann Pearson-Goddard of Paradise Valley, Ariz.; a brother, John Buchanan of Washington; and six grandchildren.

-- Lauren Wiseman

Elizabeth A. Chase Lawyer

Elizabeth A. Chase, 87, a lawyer with the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare, died Dec. 28 from cardiomyopathy at Hillhaven Assisted Living, Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Adelphi.

Ms. Chase worked for HEW from 1955 until her retirement in 1973. She started on the policy planning and legislative staff for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and in the 1960s was a consultant and adviser to the surgeon general on legislative issues. She also worked for the Bureau of Health Manpower.

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