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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Margaret M. Derr Secretary

Margaret McGinty Derr, 93, a secretary with the Office of War Information and the National Slag Association trade group during World War II, died April 17 at Virginia Hospital Center of complications from a fall at her home in Arlington County.

Mrs. Derr, a native of Osceola Mills, Pa., was a stenographer and administrative assistant in Pennsylvania during the late 1930s before moving to Arlington in 1940.

She was a member of St. Agnes Catholic Church in Arlington.

Her husband of 51 years, Vincent Derr, died in 1995.

Survivors include four children, Ellen D. McCausland and Kathryn E. Derr, both of Arlington, Thomas E. Derr of Bristol and Vincent H. Derr of Charlottesville, Va.; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

-- Lauren Wiseman

Claude B. 'Cliff' Groce Program Director

Claude B. "Cliff" Groce, 84, a deputy program director at Voice of America from 1968 until 1982, died April 14 at his home in Washington. He had Parkinson's disease.

Mr. Groce started working at the government-funded broadcast network in Washington in the early 1950s as an editor, writer and broadcaster. Later, he produced several radio shows, including "Music USA," a jazz program hosted by Willis Conover, and "Panorama USA," a cultural program about life in the United States.

In the late 1950s, he worked for Voice of America in Munich, supervising reporters who covered international conferences, before returning to Washington as deputy chief of VOA's worldwide English division. He wrote and produced documentaries, including one on the desegregation of public schools in Dallas.

In the 1970s, he led a group that advocated for the separation of VOA from its parent, the U.S. Information Agency.

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