Forwood Wiser Jr., 66, a Navy pilot and aviation buff who became president of TWA, Pan American and Northeast airlines, died Nov. 23 at a nursing home in Neshanic, N.J. He had Alzheimer's disease.
Mr. Wiser found his life's interest -- aviation -- after graduating from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. He was a Navy officer in the Pacific during World War II and trained as a pilot in an experimental aircraft testing program in Albuquerque, N.M.
Fascinated with aviation research and development, he became a pioneer in jet-age commercial aviation, bringing innovations to several of the nation's best-known airlines. He joined American Airlines and became vice president of operations for the carrier in 1957. Over the next nine years, he led American in its transition from propeller-driven aircraft to jetliners.
Mr. Wiser was credited with rejuvenating Boston's Northeast Airlines through innovations in technology and management during three years as the carrier's president and chief executive officer. He was president of Trans World Airlines from 1969 to 1975, then was president of Pan American World Airways until 1978.
Mr. Wiser was born in Chester, Pa., and attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., before entering the Naval Academy. He later attended the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard University and worked at jobs in the electrical and container industries.
He had served on the national board of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and on the academic board of the Naval Academy. He had served on several corporate boards including that of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.
Survivors include his wife, Martha, of Princeton, N.J.; a son, a daughter, a sister and a grandchild.
94, an Army veteran of World War I and an elevator operator at the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home in Washington, died of cardiopulmonary arrest Nov. 26 at the Veterans Hospital in Washington.
Mr. Chanka, who lived in Washington, was born in the Ukraine. He moved to the United States in 1911 and settled near Greensburg, Pa., where he worked in the coal-mining industry.
After World War I, he remained in the service, retiring in 1944 as a technical sergeant. He worked in Alabama before moving to the Washington area in 1954. For the next 15 years, he operated an elevator at the Soldiers' Home, where he lived until his death.
Mr. Chanka was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
His wife, Ludie Mae Chanka, died in 1981. Survivors include one son, Frank Chanka of Fairfax.
ALEXANDER K. PHILLIPS JR.,
87, retired owner and operator of an Arlington insurance business, died of cardiopulmonary arrest Nov. 25 at Arlington Hospital.
Mr. Phillips, a resident of Falls Church, was born in Washington. He graduated from Western High School and from George Washington University with a degree in engineering. During the 1920s and 1930s he was an engineer in Petersburg and Hopewell, Va.
In 1937 he opened an Arlington branch of his father's business, Alexander K. Phillips Insurance. He retired in 1965.
Survivors include his wife, Frances Fauntleroy Phillips of Falls Church; one son, Alexander K. Phillips IV of Chantilly; one daughter, Frances Fox Phillips Hoffman of McLean; and four grandchildren.