L. Laszlo Ecker-Racz, 80, a retired government economist who was chairman of the Arlington County School Board in the mid-1960s, died Aug. 5 at Holy Cross Hospital after a stroke. He had lived in Silver Spring since 1982.
Dr. Ecker-Racz was appointed to the School Board in 1961 by the Arlington County Board. He served as School Board chairman from 1964 to 1966, when he retired from it.
During his service, the annual school budget increased from $16 million to $24 million. Dr. Ecker-Racz pushed for improved schools and unveiled plans for higher pay for better and more qualified teachers.
A maverick, he frequently ran afoul of his colleagues with blunt statements on what they considered politically sensitive issues. Perhapsthe best example of this was his involvement in a lawsuit in 1964 and 1965.
He bluntly told a hostile audience that "morally, legally and fiscally" there was no alternative to desegregating an all-black school. Two dozen white parents sued the board to block the desegregation. Dr. Ecker-Racz was vindicated in court.
Dr. Ecker-Racz was born in Hungary and came to this country in 1921. He lived in Pennsylvania before moving here in 1934. He lived in Arlington from 1938 to 1982. He was a graduate of Harvard University and earned a doctorate there in economics. He served in the Army in Europe during World War II.
He began his government career with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and later worked for the Works Progress Administration . By the late 1930s, he was working in the Treasury Department where he held a variety of posts dealing with fiscal economics and taxation. He also spent two years after World War II as an economics adviser in the U.S. Embassy in Hungary.
From 1960 until retiring from the government in 1967, he worked with the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, where he was assistant director for finance and taxation.
Dr. Ecker-Racz was president of the Group Health Association of Washington from 1969 to 1972. After that, he was a consultant with the National Education Association until 1981. He was the author of numerous technical works and had taught at several universities. He had been a trustee of the Arlington Historical Society and a member of the Cosmos Club.
In the 1950s, he was chairman of a special study group of the Northern Virginia Regional Fiscal Survey Committee. In the 1960s, he was a principal consultant to a District government commission investigating taxation matters.
His wife, the former Cornelia Bruere Rose Jr., died in 1976. Survivors include one son, Nicholas Mor Ecker-Racz of Glover, Vt.; one daughter, Maria Teresza Sheetz of Silver Spring, and one grandchild.
72, a former Washington area resident and a retired teacher with the Baltimore schools, died July 30 at a nursing home in Plantation, Fla., of the complications of Alzheimer's disease.
Mr. Samuelson, who had lived in Plantation since 1974, was born in Baltimore. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University. He began his teaching career in Baltimore in 1935. He moved to the Washington area in 1946 and continued to work in Baltimore. He retired in 1971.
In 1947, he also opened Camp Ramblewood, a children's residential camp in Darlington, Md. He retired for health reasons in 1973 and moved to Florida a year later.
He had participated in an Alzheimer's research group at the National Institutes of Health since about 1976.
Survivors include his wife, Claire Samuelson of Plantation; two daughters, Judy Brandman of Strongsville, Ohio, and Susan Aziz of Toronto; one son, Bruce Samuelson of Germantown, and two grandchildren.
ELMER VAN CLARK,
58, a retired postal clerk who was a trustee of the Bunton Institutional CME Church in Washington, died of cancer Aug. 4 at Arlington Hospital.
Mr. Clark was born in Washington and lived in the city at the time of his death. He graduated from Armstrong High School in Washington and Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. From 1953 to 1955 he served in the Army in Korea. He then taught in the Raleigh schools.
About 1957 he returned to Washington and went to work at the post office. He retired in 1983.
Mr. Clark was a past president of the Washington chapter of the Shaw University Alumni Association and he was a member of the Metroplitan Men's Club.
His marriage to the former Shirley Shannon ended in divorce.
Survivors include two children, Sheila Clark of Silver Spring and Elmer Van Clark Jr. of Mount Rainier; his mother, Mabel B. Clark of Washington, and three sisters, Thelma C. Duncan of Columbia, and Shirley C. Stone and Evelyn C. Sellers, both of Washington.
DR. ROBERT R. WILLIAMS,
73, a retired physician with the National Institutes of Health, where he specialized in studies of rheumatoid arthritis, was killed July 30 in an automobile accident in Lusby, Md.
A spokesman for the Calvert County Police Department said Dr. Williams failed to stop at a stop sign at Rte. 2-4 and Coster Road and was struck by a second vehicle. No one was charged in the accident, police said.
Dr. Williams, who lived in Lusby, was born in the Philippines, where his father was a chemist employed by the U.S. Bureau of Standards. He grew up in Summit, N.J. He graduated from Brown University and earned his degree in medicine from Columbia University.
He moved to the Washington area in the early 1940s and worked on the staff of Montgomery General Hospital. He went to work for the NIH in the late 1940s. He retired in 1961 from the old National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
During the late 1960s, Dr. Williams was an emergency room physician at Montgomery General. He continued to live in Ashton, during the 1970s while he worked for the Pennsylvania Health Department and the Delaware State Hospital in New Castle.
Dr. Williams joined the staff at Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick in about 1980 and retired in 1982.
He had been a member of the Montgomery County Medical Association and was a volunteer with the Jefferson Patterson Memorial Park and the Calvert Hospice in Calvert County.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret Monson Williams of Lusby; one daughter, Joan W. Burleyson of Silver Spring; one son, Robert C. Williams of Greenbelt; three sisters, Jean Watson of Kilmarnock, Va., Elizabeth Waterman of Morristown, N.J., and June Webber of Asheville, N.C., and one granddaughter.