William Whitfield Stephenson, 85, a retired home improvement contractor who also was a former minister and a founder of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Washington, died of renal failure Oct. 4 at Holy Cross Hospital. He lived in Fairmount Heights.
Mr. Stephenson was born in Orangeburg, S.C., and attended South Carolina State College. He moved to the Washington area in 1922 and became a founder of New Mount Olive Baptist Church. He later was an associate minister of First Baptist Church in Fairmount Heights. During the 1940s, he was the assistant pastor of Matthews Memorial Baptist Church in Washington.
In 1950, he went to work for Barber & Ross, a building materials firm. He later was employed by Galliher & Huguely Lumber Co. in Washington. During the 1960s, he drove a school bus and was the transportation coordinator for Harvey's Parklands Nursery School in Washington. He opened his own home improvement business about 1970 and retired in 1982.
Mr. Stephenson was a member of the NAACP and the Association for the Study of Afro-American History and Life.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Ella L. Stephenson of Fairmount Heights; four daughters, Frances L. Smith of Detroit, Maxine C. Upshur of Fairmount Heights, Barbara S. Harvey-Davis of Washington and Edith Frazier of Landover Hills; one son, Lawrence D. Stephenson of Fairmount Heights; 26 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren.
JOHN A. DOUGLAS, 64, a former State Department official who was a supply and commissary officer and motor pool manager at U.S. missions overseas, died Oct. 4 of a fractured skull suffered when he fell from the roof of his home in Baguio City in the Philippines. He had been painting on the roof when he fell. He was dead on arrival at a hospital in Baguio City.
Mr. Douglas was with the State Department from 1948 until he retired in 1974, and he was assigned in Washington, France, Ceylon, Morocco, Cameroon, South Vietnam and Laos.
He was born in Onawa, Iowa, and attended the University of South Dakota. During World War II he served in the Army. Since his retirement he had lived in Reno, Nev., Thailand, and for the last 1 1/2 years in the Philippines.
His marriages to Huguette Douglas and Susie Douglas ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife, Nida Douglas of Baguio City; five children by his first marriage, Marine Niewald of Alexandria, Hugh Douglas of Arlington, Derek Douglas of San Francisco, Robin Douglas of Paris, and Brice Douglas of Washington; one son by his second marriage, Laddie Douglas of San Francisco; two sisters, Sue Parman and Margaret Stauch, both of Florida, and one grandchild.
BRUCE W. KEELING, 40, a retired State Department Foreign Service officer and a former Washington resident, died of cancer Oct. 6 at a hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. He had moved to Parma, Mich., earlier this year.
Mr. Keeling was born in South Haven, Mich. He graduated from Albion College in Michigan and received a master's degree in public affairs at Princeton University. He later studied at Cambridge University in England.
He moved to the Washington area in about 1975 and joined the State Department's Foreign Service. He had been on assignments in Guyana, Ecuador and New Zealand. He was second secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa before retiring for health reasons last year.
Survivors include his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Orrin H. Keeling, and a sister, Mary Hunsicker, all of Parma.