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Obituaries

Sunday, January 10, 2010; C08

Barry M. Flax Telecommunications Manager

Barry M. Flax, 71, a telecommunications manager for Verizon who had been a Vienna resident for more than 30 years, died Nov. 16 at Inova Commonwealth Care Center in Fairfax. He had Parkinson's disease.

Mr. Flax moved to the Washington area in the early 1970s, and he got his start in the communications industry as a project manager for AT&T and Singer Business Machines. In 2004, he retired from Verizon after eight years of service.

Barry Melvin Flax, a native of Boston, was a graduate of Northeastern University. After moving to Vienna in 1976, Mr. Flax worked as a project manager for Nortel.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Florence Polinsky Flax of Vienna; two children; and three grandchildren.

-- T. Rees Shapiro

Mary E. 'Polly' Brown State Department employee

Mary E. "Polly" Brown, 86, a communications analyst supervisor at the State Department from 1963 to 1988, died Dec. 30 at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg. She had emphysema.

Mrs. Brown volunteered at what is now Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, a social service organization, and the soup kitchen Martha's Table. She was on the volunteer board of the Episcopal Center for Children, a treatment facility for emotionally disturbed children.

She was a former longtime parishioner of the Episcopal All Saints' Church in Chevy Chase. Since 2000, she had been a member of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Gaithersburg.

Mary Elizabeth Palmer was born in Long Branch, N.J., and raised in Dedham, Mass. She was a 1944 graduate of Boston University.

Her husband of 32 years, James C.v.D. Brown, died in 1979.

Survivors include six children, Elizabeth F. "Betsy" Brown of Washington, James C.L. "Jamie" Brown of Milton, Del., Helen A. "Lexie" May of North Potomac, Clinton B.P. Brown of Portland, Ore., David A.P. Brown of Staten Island, N.Y., and Nona L.U. "Nikki" Brown of Germantown; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

-- Adam Bernstein

Linda B. Powell Volunteer

Linda B. Powell, 69, who volunteered for several organizations in Alexandria and the District, died Dec. 21 of esophageal cancer at Capital Hospice in Arlington County.

Mrs. Powell, who lived in Alexandria for 40 years, was a member of the old Junior Friends of Alexandria, a women's community service group, and volunteered with the Historic Alexandria Foundation. She was a member of Alexandria's Hunting Creek Garden Club and the Junior League of Washington.

She was a docent at the historic Stabler-Leadbeter Apothecary Museum in Alexandria and at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Linda Paxton Byrd was born in Glen Cove, N.Y., and attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia.

Her husband of 44 years, Carleton D. Powell, died in 2007.

Survivors include two daughters, Catherine C. Powell and Alden B. Powell, both of Alexandria.

-- Matt Schudel

John F. Ryan ITT lobbyist

John F. Ryan, 84, who retired in 1987 as head of the Washington office for the conglomerate International Telephone and Telegraph, died Dec. 16 at his home in McLean. He had lung cancer.

Mr. Ryan did sales work for the computing company IBM and the chemical company DuPont before joining ITT in 1960. He became ITT's director of corporate relations in 1972 and began to oversee the Washington office in 1981.

John Franklin Ryan was a native of Huntington, W.Va., where he was a 1948 graduate of Marshall University. He was a Navy veteran of World War II.

He was a past president of the Business-Government Relations Council, an organization of Washington representatives of major U.S. corporations. His memberships included the Public Affairs Council, the Federal City Council and Burning Tree Club in Bethesda.

His wife, Renee Bourn Ryan, whom he married in 1948, died in 2000.

Survivors include three daughters, Carolyn Sharp of Columbus, Ohio, Linda Barnes of Centreville, Va., and Elizabeth Homan of Sterling; and four grandchildren.

-- Adam Bernstein

Leonor E. 'Lee' Sullivan CIA Secretary, Translator

Leonor E. "Lee" Sullivan, 70, a retired secretary and translator with the Central Intelligence Agency, died Dec. 29 of colon cancer at Inova Cameron Glen Care Center in Reston. She was a Reston resident.

Mrs. Sullivan, who was fluent in Spanish, joined the CIA in 1963 as a secretary and was assigned to Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. Her final overseas assignment, from 1971 to 1975, was in Vietnam. She continued to work at the CIA until retiring in 1991.

Leonor Estela Tijerina was born in Laredo, Tex., and attended what is now Texas A&M University at Kingsville. In retirement, she helped edit two books that her husband, John F. Sullivan, wrote about his experiences in the CIA.

In addition to her husband of 39 years, of Reston, survivors include two sons, John F. "Johnny" Sullivan of Waldorf and Jimmy Sullivan of Brooklyn, N.Y.; three sisters; three brothers; and two grandchildren.

-- Matt Schudel

Paul E. Towle Sr. FBI Agent

Paul E. Towle Sr., 94, an FBI special agent from 1947 to 1977, died Dec. 26 at a care center in Milford, Ohio. He had cerebrovascular disease.

After retiring from the FBI, Mr. Towle worked for two years as a special investigator for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Paul Eaton Towle was born in Lawrence, Mass., and grew up near Boston. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1939. He was a Navy veteran of World War II and survived a bombing on the cruiser USS Savannah during the invasion of Salerno, Italy.

Mr. Towle, a former Kensington resident, enjoyed playing golf and was a Redskins fan who held season tickets from 1962 until he left the Washington area in 2001.

His marriage to Hazel Lott Towle ended in divorce.

Survivors include three children, Martha A. Dismer of St. Simons Island, Ga., Carolyn L. Stone of Santa Fe, N.M., and Paul E. Towle Jr. of Loveland, Ohio; and six grandchildren.

-- Emma Brown

Teri Richman Association Executive

Teri Richman, 54, who was a top executive at the National Association of Convenience Stores, died Dec. 19 of pancreatic cancer at Capital Hospice in Fairfax County.

Ms. Richman worked at the National Restaurant Association before joining the convenience stores association in 1982. She was the organization's first staff lobbyist and later became senior vice president of research and development.

She was deeply involved in legislative initiatives nationwide and worked on efforts to reduce credit card fees and improve security for convenience stores. She produced several studies on the future of the industry and helped introduce the Internet as a business tool in convenience stores. She appeared several times on national news broadcasts.

After leaving the association in 2005, Ms. Richman worked as a consultant on matters related to health-care reform.

Teri Fay Liebowitz was born in Washington, grew up in Oxon Hill and was a graduate of Oxon Hill High School. She attended Georgetown University and graduated from Boston University.

Before moving to Fairfax County, she lived in the Adams Morgan section of the District. She volunteered with the Adams Morgan Mainstreet Group, a neighborhood revitalization organization, and was a member of the Adams Morgan Business and Professional Association and Community Supported Agriculture.

Her marriages to Sam Richman and John Allen ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children from her first marriage, Nathan Richman of Fairfax County and Katharine Richman of Alexandria; a sister, Sheri Langford of Fairfax; and three stepbrothers, Gary Siegel and Eric Siegel, both of Potomac, and Marc Siegel of Alexandria.

-- Matt Schudel

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