James J. Delaney, 86, a combative Queens Democrat who served a total of 32 years in the House of Representatives before retiring in 1979 as chairman of the Rules Committee, died May 24 at the home of his son in Tenafly, N.J.
The immediate cause of death was not reported, but he had undergone several operations for arthritis of the hip in recent years.
Rep. Delaney was the sponsor of a famous 1958 amendment to the Food and Drug Act. The Delaney amendment outlawed the sale of any food additive found to cause cancer in man or animal.
First elected to the House in 1944, he was defeated for reelection in the Republican landslide of 1946. Two years later, he won his seat back and held it until retiring on Jan. 3, 1979. He was succeeded as congressman from New York's 9th District by Geraldine A. Ferraro, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 1984.
During Rep. Delaney's career, his voting reflected the changes time wrought in his party and district. First elected as a liberal with strong ties to organized labor, he became more conservative as the years wore on. He fought with his state party over education bills, his opposition to school busing and his support for the war in Southeast Asia.
About half of his Queens district held white-collar jobs and a third worked in factories. A typical constituent was a socially conservative Roman Catholic. The "All in the Family" television show was set in this district, and Archie Bunker was a not entirely inaccurate caricature of the average head-of-household.
Though the district had enthusiastically supported Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy for president, it voted for President Nixon over Sen. George S. McGovern in the 1972 presidential election by nearly a 3-to-1 ratio.
Rep. Delaney endorsed the Conservative Party nominee for U.S. Senate, James Buckley, in 1970. In 1972, the state Democratic Party, led by Queens Democratic Party Chairman Matthew Troy, ran a candidate against Rep. Delaney. The challenger, City Councilman Thomas J. Manton, got 46 percent of the vote.
Soon after this, Rep. Delaney reconciled with the more liberal party organization and was elected chairman of the state's House delegation. As delegation chairman and as a friend of several conservative House barons, he was instrumental in shaping federal legislation that helped rescue the city from its financial crisis with a $2.3 billion low-interest loan.
During most of his years in the House, he was a loyal supporter of the House Democratic Party leadership. His great dissent was over the Kennedy administration's federal aid-to-education bill in 1961. Rep. Delaney, a Catholic, opposed it because it excluded aid to parochial schools. For years, he was instrumental in keeping aid-to-education bills locked in committee.
He became Rules Committee chairman in 1977 after the 1976 primary defeat of then-Chairman Ray Madden (D-Ind.). The Rules Committee plays the crucial role of House "traffic cop," regulating the flow of legislation from other committees to the House floor. It determines not only what goes to the floor but under what conditions, setting such details as the amount of debate allowed and the amendment procedure to be followed.
Rep. Delaney was born in New York City and received a law degree from St. John's University in 1932. He was an assistant district attorney for Queens County from 1936 to 1944. Since retiring from public office, he had lived in Key Biscayne, Fla.
His wife, the former Lola Mathis, whom he married in 1939, died in 1972. In addition to his son, Patrick J. Delaney, his survivors include a sister, Maude Ryan of Scottsdale, Ariz., and three grandchildren.
GEORGE W. LUKE,
65, a retired principal staff engineer and associate department supervisor with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, died May 23 at Holy Cross Hospital. He had a heart ailment and emphysema.
Mr. Luke came to the Washington area and joined the laboratory in 1951. He held several supervisory posts in the lab's fleet systems department before becoming its associate supervisor in 1983. He retired the following year.
He was a member of the Navy Advanced Surface Missile System Assessment Group in the mid-1960s. He was a 1975 recipient of the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award for his work in helping originate and develop the Navy's sophisticated AEGIS missile defense program.
Mr. Luke, who lived in Silver Spring, was a native of Georgia. He graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and received a master's degree in engineering from Northwestern University.
He was an Army Air Forces bomber pilot in Europe during World War II. In 1943, while flying his fifth mission, he was shot down. He was a prisoner of war for two years.
Mr. Luke was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the American Society of Naval Engineers.
Survivors include his wife Mary, of Silver Spring; two sons, Michael, of Lisbon, Md., and Robert, of Frederick; a daughter, Kathleen Ann Cooper of Glenwood, Md.; a brother, Elton, of New Orleans; a sister, Peggy Frye of Oregon, and six grandchildren.
LOUISE L. WALSTROM,
79, a retired Food and Drug Administration employe who was a past president of the Beverly Hills Women's Club of Alexandria, died of a kidney ailment May 25 at Alexandria Hospital. She lived in Alexandria.
Mrs. Walstrom was born in Texas and moved here about 50 years ago. She attended George Washington University. She spent 20 years with the FDA before retiring in 1971 as an administrative assistant.
She was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Alexandria.
Survivors include her husband of 49 years, Charles B. Walstrom of Alexandria; a son, Charles L., of Fort Washington, Md.; and two sisters, Mary F. Leslie of Alexandria and Virginia Carson of Jefferson City, Mo.
BARBARA LEE BORCHARDT,
68, a Washington legal secretary with the firm of Ross, Marsh & Foster for 20 years before retiring in 1983, died of emphysema May 24 at Suburban Hospital. She lived in Washington.
Mrs. Borchardt was born in Sac City, Iowa, and lived in Pittsburgh for 10 years before moving here in 1963. She had studied art.
Her marriage to Harvard G. Borchardt ended in divorce.
Survivors include four sons, Pete, of Easton, Md., Bruce, of Washington, Lee, of Takoma Park, and Navy Capt. Curt Borchardt of Newport, R.I.; a daughter, Anne B. Exler of Columbia, and five grandchildren.