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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Alice M. Clark Journalist

Alice M. Clark, 83, a journalist who most recently wrote summaries of federal court cases for a crime newsletter, died March 29 at her home in Charlotte, N.C., of multiple organ failure.

Mrs. Clark, who lived in Bethesda from 1969 until 2006, worked for the Thompson Publishing Group and the Bureau of National Affairs during the 1970s and 1980s, writing about labor and environmental policy. She also worked for a congressional commission, writing several chapters of a report on American Indians living on isolated reservations.

Alice Dorothy Manley was born in Farmington, Mo., and received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1947. She moved to New York, where she was a writer and editor for Radio Free Europe, which broadcasts in countries where a free press is banned.

Later, while living in California, she wrote an article for the Saturday Review magazine about a grass-roots effort to desegregate the Bellagio Road Elementary School in Los Angeles.

She volunteered for the Altar Guild at Washington National Cathedral from the early 1980s until 2004.

Survivors include her husband of 57 years, William L. Clark of Charlotte; four daughters, Madia Barber of Charlotte, Margaret Clark of Bethesda, Amy Hitt of Arlington County and Ann Espuelas of Los Angeles; two brothers; two sisters; and eight grandchildren.

-- Lauren Wiseman

William B. 'Robbie' Robertson Pentagon Computer Expert

William B. "Robbie" Robertson, 92, a retired Pentagon computer expert who developed a standardized language used in Defense Department computer systems, died March 23 at his home in Falls Church of congestive heart failure.

Mr. Robertson joined the Defense Department in 1950 and retired in 1982. In the 1960s, he was a key person in helping establish a standardized computer language for the Defense Department.

He also was familiar with the Y2K issue and insisted that computer manufacturers had solved the problem more than 30 years before the turn of the 20th century by setting a standard computer algorithm for zero rollover. He wanted the system adopted nationally.

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