Edwin M. Wright, 90, a Middle East expert who was a founder and assistant dean of the School of International Studies at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, died of cardiac arrest Oct. 28 at his home in Wooster, Ohio.
Mr. Wright served in the State Department from 1946 to 1966. His initial assignments there involved organizing the first Turkish, Persian and Arab language broadcasts on the Voice of America. Later he served as desk officer for several Middle East countries. His duties at the School of International Studies involved conducting orientation programs on Middle East issues for thousands of State Department, military and security officials.
He was born in Tabriz, Iran, of missionary parents, graduated from the College of Wooster and received a degree in divinity at McCormick Theological Seminary.
An ordained Presbyterian minister, Mr. Wright worked with World War I refugees in Iraq during the early 1920s, then spent 13 years in Iran as a teacher and headmaster. He received a master's degree in Middle East history and languages at Columbia University in 1938.
During World War II Mr. Wright served in the Office of Strategic Services, and he was instrumental in planning and negotiating the passage through Iran of arms and equipment for use by the Red Army against the Germans.
He joined the State Department in Washington after the war and moved to Wooster upon his retirement in 1966. Until a few months before his death he had lectured regularly on Middle East issues in Ohio.
He was a recipient of the State Department's Superior Honor Award and the Defense Department's Legion of Merit.
His wife, Marjorie Wilson Wright, died in the early 1970s.
Survivors include a son, Wilson P. Wright of Oak Park, Ill.; a brother, Dr. Paul Wright of Portland, Ore.; and two granddaughters.
THE REV. CARL V. BRUMBACK JR.,
70, an Assemblies of God clergyman who was an author and pastor of Ida Grove Gospel Chapel in Luray, Va., died of cancer Oct. 27 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Mr. Brumback, who lived in Luray, had been pastor of Ida Grove Chapel for about the last 15 years. He had written a history of the Assemblies of God denomination, "Suddenly From Heaven," a text on speaking in tongues, "What Meaneth This?" an examination of the Trinity, "God in Three Persons," and "Accent on the Ascension."
He also had spoken at conferences and teaching missions throughout the country.
Mr. Brumback, a native of Cape Girardeau, Mo., graduated from Central Bible Seminary in Springfield, Mo.
He had been the pastor of Assemblies of God churches in Sperryville, Va., Florida and Ohio. During the 1960s he was pastor of the Silver Spring Assembly of God before moving to Luray.
Although debilitated with cancer, Mr. Brumback preached his last sermon Sunday at Ida Grove Gospel Chapel.
Survivors include his wife, Peggy, of Luray; two sons, David Brumback of Potomac and Douglas Brumback of San Diego; two daughters, Sharon Radford of Annapolis and Cynthia Spengler of Malibu, Calif.; one brother, Robert Brumback of Charlottesville; and five grandchildren.
PHILIP V. McGANCE,
49, a former administrative assistant to then-Sen. Jennings Randolph (D-W.Va.), died Oct. 22 at his office in Washington after a heart attack. He lived in Washington.
Mr. McGance was born in Clarksburg, W.Va. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1960. For the next three years, he served in the Army in Washington.
He joined Randolph's staff in 1963 and became an administrative assistant. After Randolph retired in 1984, Mr. McGance worked briefly as transition director for the staff of the newly-elected Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.).
Mr. McGance and Randolph opened the political consulting firm of Randolph & McGance in 1985 and Mr. McGance remained active in it until his death.
He was a member of the West Virginia Society of Washington.
His marriage to the former Anne West ended in divorce.
Survivors include his mother, Phyllis Gango Cody, and his stepfather, Russel Cody, both of Weston, W.Va.
JAY STANLEY WOLF,
58, a Washington native who owned and operated a leather apparel manufacturing firm in Boston, was killed Oct. 26 in a single-car accident near Middletown, Conn. He lived in Beverly, Mass.
A spokesman for the Connecticut State Police said Mr. Wolf was southbound on Rte. 91 when his car left the road and struck a tree.
Mr. Wolf graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington. A resident of Massachusetts since the early 1950s, he was a graduate of Boston University. He manufactured leather clothing for men and women from the late 1950s until his death.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret Wolf of Beverly; one son, Marc Wolf of Huntington Beach, Calif.; one daughter, Debra Wolf of Cambridge, Mass.; his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Morris Wolf of Washington; one sister, Brenda Price of Great Neck, N.Y.; one brother, Franklin Wolf of Livingston, N.J., and one granddaughter.
MARIAN KUTZ ROSS,
87, a longtime Washington area resident and the widow of retired Army Brig. Gen. Lewis Tenney Ross, died of cardiac arrest Oct. 25 at Lynn House, a retirement home in Alexandria.
Mrs. Ross was born into an Army family in Reading, Pa. She grew up in the Washington area and graduated from Western High School. She also attended Wilson Normal School. She later worked as an assistant nursery school teacher in St. Louis.
She accompanied her husband to military assignments in Central America, the South Pacific and elsewhere. He died in 1958.
Mrs. Ross returned to the Washington area in the late 1960s.
She was a member of the Daughters of the U.S. Army and the Army Engineers Officers' Wives Club. She also was a member of the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist.
Survivors include two daughters, Katharine Crichton of St. Paul, Minn., and Marian Karrick of Arlington; six grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
MARGARET WARNER ROBERTSON,
73, an owner and retired vice president of Robertson's 5 & 10 Cents Stores in Falls Church, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 28 at Fairfax Hospital. She lived in Falls Church.
Mrs. Robertson took charge of the family business during World War II and operated three stores while her husband, William F. Robertson, served in the Army. He died in April.
During the 1960s, Mrs. Robertson also had managed and operated Fashion Fabrics in Arlington. She retired from her fabric store in about 1968 and from her position with Robertson's 5 & 10 Cents Stores in about 1972.
Mrs. Robertson was a native Washingtonian and graduated from Eastern High School.
She had been a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.
Survivors include one daughter, Joy Kramer of Great Falls, Va.; two sons, William F. Robertson Jr. of Springfield and Richard M. Robertson of Falls Church; two brothers, Edward P. Warner of Gulf Shores, Ala., and Elmer Warner of Bethesda, and five grandchildren.
MARIE ROY (MOLLIE) COFIELD,
56, a Washington area resident since 1970 who was active in community organizations, died of cancer Oct. 27 at her home in McLean.
Mrs. Cofield was born in New Roads, La. She graduated from Tulane University.
She was a member and "1985 Woman of the Year" of Achievement Awards for College Sciences, a nonprofit foundation.
Mrs. Cofield was a member of the Northern Virginia League of Women Voters and had been a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and the Children's Hospital National Medical Center. She was also an avid bridge player.
Survivors include her husband, retired Air Force Col. William B. Cofield of McLean; one daughter, Karen Cofield Guevara of Fort Belvoir; one son, Kenneth Roy Cofield of Falls Church; one brother, John Overton Roy Jr. of New Orleans; one half-brother, Walter Gordon Heffron of St. Thomas, V.I., and one grandson.
LEO C. LEVITT,
68, a retired physicist with the Harry Diamond Laboratories research facility in Woodbridge, died Oct. 25 at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville. He had Parkinson's disease.
Dr. Levitt was born in New York City. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology, where he later earned a doctorate in physics. He also earned a master's degree in physics at Princeton University.
He moved to the Washington area about 1966 and taught physics at Georgetown University for the next three years. He taught briefly at Drexel University in Philadelphia before returning to Washington in 1972 and joining Harry Diamond Laboratories. He retired in 1982.
Dr. Levitt was an amateur photographer and radio operator.
He leaves no immediate survivors.
THOMAS F. BURKE,
90, a retired lawyer who practiced 57 years in Washington, died Oct. 27 at Carriage Hill Nursing Center in Silver Spring after a stroke.
Mr. Burke, who lived in Washington, was born in Woburn, Mass. He served in the Army in France during World War I.
He moved to the Washington area as a young man and worked at the National Geographic before graduating from National Law School in 1925.
From 1925 until he retired in 1982, Mr. Burke had an independent general law practice here, and he specialized in such matters as real estate and mortgage law, estates and wills. He was a former director of the old National Permanent Savings & Loan Association.
His wife, Margaret Downey Burke, died in 1972.
Survivors include one brother, John E. Burke Jr. of Lynn, Mass.
MARTIN JOSEPH FORMAN,
62, director of the office of nutrition of the Agency for International Development for the past 20 years, died of cancer Oct. 27 at George Washington University Hospital. He lived in Potomac.
Dr. Forman joined AID in 1961 in Taiwan, and became a social welfare adviser responsible for food distribution, refugee relocation and disaster relief programs.
He transferred to the Washington area in 1962, and was named director of Food for Development, where he supervised the distribution of more than $500 million in food to 92 countries and territories.
During the 1960s, Dr. Forman helped organize the United Nations' World Food Program and "Operation Ninos," a program sponsored by Lady Bird Johnson to help feed children in Latin America. He became director of AID's office of nutrition in 1967.
A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Forman graduated from Temple University. He earned a master's degree and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces.
During the early 1950s, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania and was executive director of the Samuel G. Freedman Vacation Camp for needy boys near Philadelphia.
He moved to Taipei, Taiwan, in 1957, and became the first director of International House, a residence and cultural center for university students. In 1960, Dr. Forman served as an education adviser for a U.S.-sponsored program in Taipei for students from mainland China. He joined the AID staff a year later.
He received AID's Superior Honor Award in 1965 and its Distinguished Honor Award in 1975.
Survivors include his wife, Elaine B. Forman, one daughter, Sidra L. Forman, and one son, Kenan M. Forman, all of Potomac; two brothers, Michael Forman of Marlton, N.J., and Harry Forman of Los Angeles, and one sister, Faye Zerofsky of Holland, Pa.
WILLIAM E. POLING,
56, a retired Navy captain who became a project manager with DDL Omni, a Defense Department contractor at Tysons Corner, died of cardiac arrest Oct. 24 at the Reston Hospital Center. He lived in Reston.
Capt. Poling, a resident of the Washington area since 1978, was a native of New York City. He graduated from Manhattan College and earned a master's degree in business administration at George Washington University.
He began his naval career in 1952. Over the next 30 years, he had staff and engineering assignments and also was a manpower and training specialist. In addition, he commanded guided-missile destroyers and cruisers in the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets. He served in Vietnam from 1971 to 1972.
Capt. Poling joined DDL Omni in 1983 and he was an Aegis Program project manager at the time of his death.
His military decorations included the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal and the Joint Services Commendation Medal.
Survivors include his wife, the former Mary Ann O'Byrne, of Reston; two sons, William Poling of Severna Park, Md., and James Richard Poling of Reston; two daughters, Mary Dellospidale of Sterling, Va., and Patricia Ann Pierce of Houston; a brother, retired Navy Capt. John D. Poling of Peekskill, N.Y., and three grandchildren.
DONALD MASON TWITTY,
56, director of the Denver regional office of the Veterans Administration who had been associate director of the VA's budget staff in Washington, died Oct. 27 at a hospital in Orlando, Fla., after a heart attack. He had been attending a business meeting when he was stricken.
Mr. Twitty was born in Buena Vista, Va. He graduated from Hampton Institute. He earned a master's degree in public administration at the University of Southern California, and he served in the Army during the early 1960s.
He joined the VA in 1962 as an accounting technician at the Tuskegee, Ala., medical center and in 1964 he transferred to the VA's medical center at Hampton, Va., where he was assistant fiscal officer.
In 1967 he transferred to Washington as a systems accountant in the controller's office, and he remained here until he became director of the Denver office of the VA in 1985.
A former resident of Silver Spring, Mr. Twitty was president of the Montgomery County chapter of the Hampton Alumni Association from 1983 to 1985.
Survivors include his wife, Geraldine W. Twitty, and two daughters, Andrea D. Twitty and Angela Twitty Adams, all of Silver Spring, and two sisters, Juanita T. Lucas and Edith T. Ford, both of Philadelphia. MORE OBITUARIES, C12