Bascom Timmons, 97, a Washington correspondent for newspapers in the South, West and Midwest for nearly 60 years before retiring in 1976, and a past president of the National Press Club, died June 7 at his home in Washington. He had pneumonia.
Mr. Timmons came to Washington in 1912 and worked for a year for The Washington Post. After a stint as owner and editor of a paper in his native Texas, he returned here in 1917 and opened a news service. Over the years, his news service prospered and he gained the respect of clients, colleagues and sources alike.
Perhaps one measure of his popularity was that he received votes at the Democratic National Conventions of 1940 and 1944 for the vice presidential nomination. One indication that politics was not his true calling was that he received only a single vote each time. His 1940 "boomlet" received some national attention.
Somehow, a colleague managed to place his name in nomination, and a "demonstration" complete with "Time for Tim" signs added life to what had been a drab and stage-managed conclave. Mr. Timmons' most memorable quote of the event was his somewhat Shermanesque plea, "If I am nominated, please forget to notify me."
The 1940 convention nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt to run for a third consecutive presidential term with Henry Wallace as his running mate.
The Post, in a 1940 editorial, said that many in Washington knew Mr. Timmons and admired him profoundly.
It went on to say: "That Mr. Timmons would relish the idea of being vice president we greatly doubt. But we have not the least doubt that he would fill the office admirably. Certainly as a nominee he would have lifted the approaching campaign to a higher level of intelligence, humor and common sense than it now seems likely to attain."
He certainly had experience in politics. In addition to serving as National Press Club president in 1932, he had attended every Democratic National Convention since 1908 and every Republican Party national gathering since 1912.
Mr. Timmons was born on a ranch in Collin County, Tex. He began his career in journalism as a reporter with the Fort Worth Record in 1906. He also worked for The Dallas Times Herald and The Milwaukee Sentinel, and was managing editor of The Amarillo (Tex.) News before coming to Washington. From 1914 to 1916, he owned and edited the Daily Panhandle in Amarillo.
Returning to Washington, he wrote for some of the nation's leading newspapers, including the old Chicago Sun, for which he helped establish a large and prestigious Washington bureau, The Houston Chronicle, and papers from North Carolina to Nebraska and from Ohio to Louisiana. Along the way, he met, and often became friends with, some of the great figures of the day. He was a close friend of John Nance Garner, the Texan who was a former House speaker and who was vice president from 1933 to 1941, and wrote his biography.
Mr. Timmons' other friends included humorist Will Rogers and the controversial apostle of air power, Army Brig. Gen. William (Billy) Mitchell, who worked closely with him on articles concerning the importance of an air force. Mitchell once told Mr. Timmons, "You helped get me court-martialed."
Mr. Timmons replied that he simply helped the general appear more literate.
Another friend was Gen. Peyton March, who ended World War I as this country's Army chief of staff. Toward the end of the war, March received a call from his old friend Mr. Timmons. The general said how happy he was to hear from Mr. Timmons, and how could he help him?
Mr. Timmons replied that he was a private stationed at Fort Meade and that he wanted help in getting out of the Army and back into civilian work. Mr. Timmons later told a reporter of a period of silence, followed by a series of barks that in no uncertain terms conveyed to him that Army privates did not telephone the Army chief of staff with such requests.
Needless to say, Mr. Timmons did return to civilian life and reporting. When interviewed, he always maintained that it was the life for him. He wrote human interest stories, pieces on national politics, and specialized stories for his clients -- and seemed to love it all.
He also loved animals, especially cats. One of his feline companions traveled to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for medical treatment. A local pet cemetery buried more than 100 of his cats.
But most of all, he seemed to love his work. He used to point out that he was a two-finger typist, and where else could you get a job where you worked with only two fingers?
In addition to his Garner biography, he wrote biographies of former vice president Charles G. Dawes and Texas financier and politician Jesse H. Jones, for whom he had tried to purchase The Post at a 1933 bankruptcy auction.
Also in the 1930s, the two men had worked out plans to rescue the financially strapped National Press Club. Roosevelt was persuaded to sign an amendment to the bankruptcy law that saved the Press Club building.
Mr. Timmons also was a member of the Gridiron Club. In 1971, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Sigma Delta Chi, the national journalism honor society.
His wife of 45 years, the former Ethel Boardman, died in 1970. He leaves no immediate survivors.
ARTHUR G. ESCH,
70, a retired Navy rear admiral and decorated combat veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War who was commandant of the Washington Naval District from 1971 to 1975, died of cardiac arrest June 5 at his home in Arlington.
After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1940, Adm. Esch reported to the heavy cruiser Louisville, on which he served throughout World War II. He commanded 7th Fleet destroyer-cruiser formations in Vietnamese waters during the war there.
Between those assignments, he commanded destroyers and destroyer divisions and squadrons, and served as flag lieutenant with the 7th Fleet and on the antisubmarine staff of the Atlantic Fleet. His shore assignments included the posts of congressional liaison in the Bureau of Naval Personnel and public affairs officer at the Naval Academy. He also served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and with NATO's Southern Command in Naples.
After retiring from active duty in 1975, he was a computer consultant to what is now the Informatics company in Arlington until retiring a second time about 1980. He also had held office in the Navy League's Washington council, was an officer of the Association for Naval Aviation and the Naval Historical Foundation.
Adm. Esch was born in Washington, Ill. He was a 1964 graduate of the National War College, and received a law degree and a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University. His decorations included the Bronze Star Medal and three awards of the Legion of Merit.
Survivors include his wife, Josephine Ireland Esch of Arlington; a son, Arthur G. Jr., of Leonardtown, Md.; a daughter, CeCelia Esch Castle of Sterling, Va., and two grandchildren.
ALINE STRICKLAND JOHNSON,
81, a retired retirement home administrator and former hotel school instructor who was active in organizations for the aging, died of a heart ailment June 2 at Alexandria Hospital.
Mrs. Johnson, who lived in the Washington House in Alexandria, was a native of Blackshear, Ga. She attended Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., before moving here in 1952.
From 1952 to 1962, she was affiliated with the old Lewis Hotel School in Washington, where she taught courses in the hospitality field, including cooking. She also had been a school registrar. She was assistant administrator of the Hermitage retirement house in Alexandria from 1962 to 1972. She spent the next three years with the Washington House, where she also was an assistant administrator.
Mrs. Johnson was appointed to the Arlington County Commission on Aging in 1961. She was a delegate to White House conferences on aging in 1961, 1971 and 1981.
She had been the charter president of both the Colonial chapter of the American Business Women's Association in Alexandria, which named her Woman of the Year in 1962, and the Pilot Club of Alexandria.
Mrs. Johnson was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the National Women's Highway Safety League. She was a charter member of the Arlington Temple United Methodist Church in Arlington.
Her husband, W.G. (Ben) Johnson, died in 1975. Her survivors include a son, John Baker Johnson of Los Angeles; a daughter, Leila Hendry Johnson (Lei) Elliott of Alexandria; three grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.
DANIEL E. GREENWALD,
46, who was fatally injured June 6 when he was struck by a car while jogging about two blocks from his Alexandria home, was a financial planner and vice president with the Washington office of Dean Witter Reynolds.
A Fairfax County police spokesman said a slow-moving car driven by a 16-year-old Alexandria girl apparently swerved and struck Mr. Greenwald while the girl was reaching for sunglasses. Mr. Greenwald was pronounced dead at Fairfax Hospital. Police said the accident is under investigation.
Mr. Greenwald was a native of Dubuque, Iowa, and a graduate of Wayne State University in Michigan. He moved to the Washington area in 1962. He worked for the Transportation and Treasury departments before joining what was then Dean Witter about 1970.
Survivors include his wife, Sheila, a son, David, and a daughter, Susan, all of Alexandria, and his mother, Ethel Greenwald of Detroit.
KENNETH R. McINTIRE,
80, a former FBI official who also had worked for the Agriculture and State departments, died of cancer June 6 at his home in Lorton.
Mr. McIntire was a Minnesota native and a graduate of the University of Minnesota and its law school. Mr. McIntire began his FBI career as a special agent in 1931. He worked in Oklahoma City; Portland, Ore.; Kansas City, Mo.; Chicago, and St. Paul, Minn., before transferring to Washington in 1935.
He was agent-in-charge of the Washington Field Office and worked on the bureau's major case desk, and was a supervisor in the security division and an inspector in the training division before retiring from the bureau in 1952.
He then served with the State Department's inspector general's office and was a training official with the old Capital Airlines before joining the Agriculture Department in the mid-1960s. He worked for its inspector general's office until retiring in 1971.
Mr. McIntire was a member of Dulin United Methodist Church in Falls Church. His hobbies included the cultivation of azaleas. He belonged to several gardening organizations.
Survivors include his wife, Harriet, of Lorton; three sons, Dr. K. Robert, of Falmouth, Mass., Dr. John A., of McLean, and James R., of Falls Church; 10 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
ARNO I. WINARD,
57, a retired specialist in poverty statistics with the Census Bureau where he worked from 1958 to 1986, who also was active in community organizations, died of cancer June 5 at his home in Temple Hills.
Mr. Winard, who had lived in the Washington area since 1958, was born in Gdansk, Poland. He survived Dachau concentration camp during World War II. He came to the United States in 1946 and settled in New York. He graduated from Brooklyn College.
Mr. Winard had served on the Blue Ribbon Citizens Panel of the Prince George's County Board of Education. He was a past president of the Prince George's County Fellowship for Equal Rights and a past chairman of the zoning committee of the Allentown Citizens Association.
He had served on the boards of both the Prince George's County and the National Capital Area American Civil Liberties Unions. He had been honored by the ACLU for his work in civil liberties. He also was a member of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Friends of Washington, D.C.
Survivors include his wife, Rosyln Grand Winard, and two sons, Michael and David, all of Temple Hills, and a daughter, Tanya Trombly of Stoneham, Mass.
DR. IDA MOLA CONNOR,
72, a former foreign relations adviser with the State Department who later taught Spanish in Washington area schools, died of cancer June 6 at North Arundel Hospital in Glen Burnie. She lived in Crofton.
Dr. Connor was born in Havana. She graduated from the University of Havana, where she earned a degree in foreign service and and a doctorate in political science.
She came to this country in 1942 and joined the State Department's Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. From 1946 to 1948, she was the Spanish editor for the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization in Washington.
In later years, she taught Spanish at Washington area schools, including Holy Cross Academy, Dunbarton College, Eastern High School, and the Cynthia Warner School.
Survivors include her husband, John Connor of Crofton, and one brother, Oscar Mola of Washington.
BLANCHE A. NELSON,
77, a former retirement claims adjudicator who worked for the government 35 years before retiring in 1969 from the old U.S. Civil Service Commission, died of cancer June 5 at the Althea Woodland nursing home in Silver Spring.
She also had worked for the Treasury and Navy departments, the Railroad Retirement Board and the Executive Office of the President.
Miss Nelson, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in Tioga, N.D. She had been a member of Luther Place Memorial Lutheran Church in Washington since moving to this area in 1934.
Survivors include three brothers, Lloyd, of Silver Spring; Raymond, of Everett, Wash., and Ferdinand, of Minot, N.D.