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Obituaries

She was born Audrey Willia Benson in Bayou Teche, La., and moved to Havana at 3, when her father was transferred there for business. She was educated by private tutors in Havana and became fluent in Spanish. She graduated from what is now Averett University in Danville, Va.

Mrs. Oliphant lived in Montana and Seattle for several years, following her husband's assignments with the U.S. Public Health Service. She settled in Washington in 1950.

She followed politics closely and donated to various causes supporting American Indians. She enjoyed reading and working jigsaw and crossword puzzles.

Her husband of 15 years, Dr. John W. Oliphant, died in 1951.

Survivors include three children, James P. Oliphant of Queens Village, N.Y., John B. Oliphant of Davie, Fla., and Mary C. Oliphant of Walnut Creek, Calif.; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

-- Matt Schudel

Jeanne E. Schlesinger Synagogue Member

Jeanne E. Schlesinger, 74, a member of Congregation Har Shalom, a conservative synagogue in her home town of Potomac, died July 6 at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville after a heart attack.

Mrs. Schlesinger did volunteer work at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda in the 1970s and worked in the purchasing department at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda in the early 1980s.

Jeanne Evelyn Walker was a Detroit native and accompanied her first husband on his assignments as a U.S. Public Health Service dentist. She settled in the Washington area in 1970.

She exhibited her watercolor paintings at area galleries and museums.

Her first marriage, to Dr. Selvin Sonken, ended in divorce. Her second husband, Melvin Schlesinger, died in 1993.

Survivors include two children from her first marriage, Sherry Hodges of Englewood, Colo., and Dr. Ron Sonken of Celebration, Fla.; two brothers; and five grandchildren.

-- Adam Bernstein

Louise Smith Singer

Louise Smith, 83, who as a young woman was a singing comedienne and jazz vocalist, died June 16 at Inova Fairfax Hospital of respiratory failure. She was a Springfield resident.

Starting in the mid-1940s, Mrs. Smith worked for many years under the stage name Donna Brooks. She performed with a U.S.O. troupe that entertained military personnel in Panama and on the Borscht Belt circuit of Jewish clubs and resorts. One specialty of her act was rendering pop standards with Yiddish lyrics.

She began a career as a jazz singer by the early 1950s and joined her future husband, pianist Alex Smith, on a tour of nightclubs in the Northeast. They married in 1956 and settled in the Washington area in 1959 after he joined the U.S. Army Band. Through the early 1970s, she continued to perform with him in small jazz groups at military clubs in the area.

She was born Louise Angert in Philadelphia, where she attended the Curtis Institute of Music and trained as an operatic soprano.

Survivors include her husband, a retired Army sergeant major, of Springfield; a daughter, Jennifer Smith of Leesburg; and two grandchildren.

A daughter, Susan Smith, died in 1978.

-- Adam Bernstein

Louise Hardy Schindel Radio , TV Station Assistant

Louise Hardy Schindel, 81, a WTOP radio researcher in the 1940s who became the assistant to local radio and television personality Mark Evans, died July 3 at her home in Bethesda of heart disease.

She was born Louise Ann Hardy in Washington and was a graduate of the old Western High School. She attended the now-defunct Blackstone College for Girls in Blackstone, Va., and Strayer University in the District.

In 1946, she joined WTOP radio as a researcher for the "Factfinder" program. Two years later, she became the personal assistant to Evans, who was a popular figure on radio and television in Washington.

A 1954 Washington Post article said she "dubs tape recordings (that means transferring what is on a tape recording to a permanent record, with the help of an engineer); talks with sponsors ... arranges for displays in stores, takes care of Mark's TV merchandising schedules and helps to answer his mail."

She resigned in 1955 to raise her family.

Mrs. Schindel was a Montgomery County election judge for many years and a volunteer at Suburban Hospital. She was a 50-year member of Bethesda United Methodist Church and volunteered for 30 years with Community Bible Study, a nationwide interdenominational religious study group.

She had been a member of Kenwood Golf and Country Club since 1965.

Survivors include her husband of 55 years, Jack Schindel of Bethesda; two daughters, Leisa Schultz of Great Falls and Leslie Ponder of Bethesda; and three grandchildren.

-- Matt Schudel

Katherine A.W. Tyson Student

Katherine A.W. "Katie" Tyson, 21, a 2006 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, died July 2 near Virginia Dale, Colo., of injuries sustained during a car accident, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

During the summers of 2004 through 2007, Ms. Tyson interned at Economic Systems Inc., a research and consulting firm in Falls Church.

Katherine Anne Windau "Katie" Tyson, a native of Fairfax, received a bachelor's degree in mathematics and statistics from Boston University in May. She was planning to return to the university in the fall to study for a doctorate in biostatistics.

In 2008, she was a public education intern at the Boston office of the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. During college, she tutored other students in math and statistics.

She was a member of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church and a volunteer with the Bryant Early Learning Center, both in the Alexandria section of Fairfax.

She was a member of the Girl Scouts from 1993 to 2006.

In 2006, she was a National Merit Scholar.

Survivors include her parents, Karen and Herb Tyson of the Alexandria section of Fairfax, and her partner of a year, Elizabeth Weber of Boston.

-- Lauren Wiseman


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