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Obituaries

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Peter A. Samp Student, Sportswriter

Peter A. Samp, 18, a lifelong Arlingtonian and 2008 graduate of St. Anselm's Abbey School in Washington who planned to enter Harvard University in September, died Feb. 18 at Virginia Medical Center in Arlington County. He had hydrocephalus, a condition in which the brain swells with excess fluid.

At the time of his death, Mr. Samp was working as a sports reporter for the Montgomery Gazette newspaper, as a tutor for Peer2Peer Tutors and as a volunteer with the Arlington Food Assistance Center.

In high school, he lettered in cross-country and track and was captain of the It's Academic quiz team. He was honored at graduation as the top student in mathematics and the classics, and he was a finalist in both the National Merit and Presidential scholarship competitions. In middle school, he represented Washington for three years at the national Math Counts competition.

For the past 11 years, Mr. Samp swam for the Holy Mackerels swim team of the Arlington Knights of Columbus. He served as a junior coach and lifeguard for the past two summers.

Survivors include his parents, Jo Ella and Richard Samp of Arlington; a sister, Lucinda Samp of Williamsburg, Va.; and his grandmothers, Mary Samp of Cambridge, Mass., and Gloria M. Schneider of Wexford, Pa.

-- Patricia Sullivan

Paul Eugene Atwood Army Department Executive

Paul Eugene Atwood, 96, a civilian executive with the Army Department who retired in 1973 as assistant deputy for materiel acquisition, died March 11 of coronary artery disease at his home in Arlington County.

Mr. Atwood was born in Boca Grande, Fla., and grew up in New York, Texas, Puerto Rico and Georgia as the son of an Army doctor.

He received a bachelor's degree, with honors, from Georgia Tech in 1939. Not long after, he was commissioned in the Army Ordnance Corps. He was a veteran of World War II.

Because of his expertise at building munitions plants, he was called back to active duty during the Korean War. He was assigned to the office of chief ordnance in Washington.

He left active duty in 1953 but remained with the Department of the Army Materiel Command as a civilian. In 1959-60, he was one of two civilians from the Army who attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Mr. Atwood was a member of Washington Golf and Country Club in Arlington and a yacht club in Delray Beach, Fla., a community where he spent winters.

His first wife, Margaret Lincoln Atwood, died in 1972.

Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Virginia Carrier Atwood of Arlington; a son from his first marriage, John L. Atwood of Denver; a stepdaughter, Elizabeth Vaughan Romaine of Arlington and Lexington, Ky.; and a granddaughter.

-- Joe Holley

Margaret Fristoe Beckwith Air Force Wife, Volunteer

Margaret "Maggie" Beckwith, 87, a volunteer with the American Red Cross and the widow of President Abraham Lincoln's last heir, died March 10 of lung cancer at the Orchard, an assisted living facility in Warsaw, Va. She was a resident of the District until last year.

She was born Margaret Hogan in Charlotte and as a young woman was a dancer and singer with orchestras in Charlotte. She later moved to Dayton, Ohio, and then to the District, where she worked as a manicurist at the old Statler Hilton Hotel.

In 1950, she married James Poor Fristoe, an Air Force officer. Her husband's career took them to postings across the country before the couple settled in the District. In the 1950s, she volunteered with the Red Cross at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. During the 1960s, she volunteered with the American Cancer Society.

Mrs. Beckwith's first marriage ended in divorce.

In 1979, she married Robert "Bob" Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the great-grandson of the president and the last Lincoln heir. She enjoyed accompanying her husband on Lincoln-related trips throughout the country and researching the family's heritage. Her husband, the grandson of Robert Todd Lincoln, died in 1985.

Survivors include a daughter from her first marriage, Lenora Hoverson of Hartfield, Va.; and three grandchildren.

-- Joe Holley

Melvin G. Catlett Masonry Contractor

Melvin G. Catlett, 87, a partner in his family's masonry contracting firm for more than 50 years, died of heart disease Feb. 26 at Suburban Hospital. He lived in Bethesda.

Mr. Catlett, who never retired, joined George Seidl and Sons in 1940, four years after his father-in-law established the firm in Bethesda. Until recently, he continued to report to work every day to handle the payroll and taxes for the business.

He was a native of Hedgesville, W.Va. During World War II, he served in the Army as a communications specialist in the 35th Infantry Division of the Third Army, and he took part in the Battle of the Bulge and the Allied drive to the Rhine River.

He graduated from Montgomery College and attended American University. He was a life member of the Concord Club and the Freemasons, and he volunteered with Bethesda Meals on Wheels until a few days before his death.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Catherine Seidl Catlett of Bethesda; two daughters, Nancy Magill of Marietta, Ga., and Catherine Collins of Dade City, Fla.; three brothers; a sister; and a grandson.

-- Patricia Sullivan

Bruce T. Cunningham Financial Adviser

Bruce T. Cunningham, 77, who from 1963 to 1980 was president of the American Finance Co., a loan company in Silver Spring, died March 4 at the Casey House hospice in Rockville. He had colon cancer.

From 1980 to 1983, Mr. Cunningham was the deputy director of the United Mine Workers pension fund before moving to Albany, N.Y., to work for Ayco Co., a financial services subsidiary of American Express. He retired in 1993 and moved back to the Washington area.

Bruce Thomas Cunningham, a Bethesda resident, was a native of Utica, N.Y., and a 1954 graduate of Manhattan College in New York City. He served in the Air Force as a pilot from 1954 to 1963.

He was a member of the Bethesda Country Club and St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church in Bethesda.

He served on the board of the Benedictine School, a Catholic school for disabled children, in Ridgely, Md., and was a member of the finance advisory board for the Benedictine Sisters.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Madeline Bean Cunningham of Bethesda; seven children, Bruce T. Cunningham Jr. of Washington, Brian Cunningham of Brookeville, Brent Cunningham of Rockville, Cathy Casagrande and Timothy Cunningham, both of Ijamsville, and Jeffrey Cunningham and Daniel Cunningham, both of Silver Spring; a brother; a sister; and 19 grandchildren.

-- Lauren Wiseman

Anne R. Dolan Native Washingtonian

Anne R. Dolan, 70, a native Washingtonian and Junior League volunteer who later started a horse-breeding farm in Nebraska, died March 11 at her home in Yutan, Neb. She had lung cancer.

Mrs. Dolan founded Jimando Farms in Yutan, where she raised champion-quality quarter horses for the past 20 years. Before opening the farm, Mrs. Dolan was a homemaker in the Washington area and volunteered through the Junior League giving tours of the C&O Canal. She wrote a 1924-84 history of Congressional Country Club in Bethesda.

A fifth-generation Washingtonian, Anne Reilly graduated from Bethesda's Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in 1956 and Rosemont College in Pennsylvania in 1960. Her maternal grandfather was an owner of Johnson and Wimsatt, a lumber and millwork company in Washington.

She was involved in several charitable organizations, including the Washington Antiques Show, and served as a volunteer at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha as a docent giving tours to children for nearly 20 years.

Survivors include her husband of 48 years, James V. Dolan of Yutan; two children, Caroline Dolan Ormand of New Orleans and James R. Dolan of Washington; and three grandsons.

-- Rebekah Davis

John D. Dunnett Bricklayer, Mason

John D. Dunnett, 85, who spent 20 years doing masonry work for the National Park Service before retiring in 1985, died of an aortic aneurysm March 7 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He was an Alexandria resident.

When he worked for the Park Service, Mr. Dunnett once fixed fireplace bricks in the White House's Lincoln Bedroom, his family said. He spent much of his early career on assignments for the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers.

John Donald Dunnett was born in Nitro, W.Va., and raised in Alexandria. He served in the Army in Italy during World War II.

His memberships included the Masons and the Scottish Rite.

A daughter, Linda D. Andahazy, died in 1989.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Louise Caldwell Dunnett of Alexandria; three daughters, Tamara D. Updegraff of Chesapeake, Va., Rhonda K. Vest of Englewood, Fla., and Donna D. Wion of Alexandria; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

-- Adam Bernstein

Harold H. Freeland Navy Captain

Harold H. Freeland, 82, a retired Navy captain who served with the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, died March 10 of cancer at his home in Falls Church.

Capt. Freeland, who was born Harold Homer Freeland in Reading, Pa., became a commissioned officer in 1946 after graduating from the University of Virginia. He taught naval science at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., early in his career.

In 1960, he received a second bachelor's degree, in communications engineering, from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He then assumed command of the minesweeper USS Notable in the Atlantic fleet.

After graduating from the Naval War College in 1965, Capt. Freeland served in the Vietnam War as communications officer for the 7th Fleet, based in Japan. He then became commanding officer of the destroyer USS Eversole, based in Long Beach, Calif.

He later commanded a Navy communication station in Australia and served on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He retired in 1974.

After his military service, Capt. Freeland worked for Electrospace Systems and its successor companies in Arlington County before retiring in 1991.

He had a second home in Chincoteague, Va., and enjoyed deep-sea fishing.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Carol Frenz Freeland of Falls Church; two sons, Steven Freeland of Springfield and Jeffrey Freeland of Port Angeles, Wash.; a sister; and three grandchildren.

-- Matt Schudel

Richard D. Friichtenicht Navy Rear Admiral

Richard D. Friichtenicht, 76, a Navy rear admiral who retired in 1990 as vice commander of the Naval Air Systems Command in Washington, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease March 4 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. A longtime resident of Alexandria, he had recently lived in Annandale.

Adm. Friichtenicht became a naval aviator in 1957 and rose through the ranks with operational flying tours in electronic intelligence collection, photographic reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. He served in Vietnam and had more than 5,000 pilot hours flying fixed-wing aircraft.

He was commanding officer at the Naval Air Engineering Center in Lakehurst, N.J., from 1978 to 1981 and later was deputy commander for programs at the Naval Air Systems Command and acquisition executive and deputy for operations.

Adm. Friichtenicht was born in Matherville, Ill., and graduated from Western Illinois University. He taught junior high school in Aledo, Ill., before joining the Navy.

His military decorations included two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal.

He received two master's degrees, one in electronics engineering in 1964 from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and the other in systems management in 1974 from the University of Southern California.

After his military retirement, Adm. Friichtenicht worked with Slay Enterprises, Burdeshaw Associates and the Institute for Defense Analyses. He also consulted for Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

He was a longtime member of the Army Navy Country Club and also was a member of the Rotary Club in Alexandria. He enjoyed travel and Jack Russell terriers.

His wife of 51 years, Dixie Lee Friichtenicht, died in 2007.

Survivors include two daughters, Kristin Allshouse of Annandale and Karey Handrahan of Fairfax County; a brother; and five grandchildren.

-- Patricia Sullivan

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