The obituary Monday of Choo-San Goh, 39, resident choreographer and associate artistic director of the Washington Ballet, incorrectly reported the illness that led to his death. He had acquired immune deficiency syndrome and died of viral colitis. (Published 12/1/87)
Choo San Goh, 39, the resident choreographer and associate artistic director of the Washington Ballet where he had worked since 1976 and where he became a major force in ballet composition and performance, died of viral colitis Nov. 28 at his home in New York City. He also had a home in Washington.
Mr. Goh had created more than a dozen major pieces for the ballet. Perhaps his best-known work was "Configurations," which was commissioned by Mikhail Baryshnikov for the American Ballet Theatre. Baryshnikov performed in this ballet at its premiere at Lisner Auditorium in 1981.
Featuring the music of Samuel Barber, that ballet and Baryshnikov's performance in it became the subject of a British television documentary and a best-selling videocassette, "Baryshnikov: The Dancer and the Dance."
His other works included "Fives" and "Double Contrasts," both of which were performed in 1978; "In the Glow of the Night" in 1982; "Moments Remembered" in 1985; and "Unknown Territory" in 1986.
Mr. Goh had created or staged ballets for such groups as the Alvin Ailey's American Dance Theater, the American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Danish Ballet, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
He was the recipient of the choreographic award of the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, in 1983. Earlier this year, he was given a Cultural Medallion Award for his contribution to the cultural life of his native Singapore.
Mr. Goh was born to Chinese parents. He received his dance training largely in the West. About 1970, he became a dancer with the Dutch National Ballet. During the years he spent with that company he began serious choreographic work.
Clint Farha, an American and a fellow dancer in that group, had received his early training from Mary Day, founder-director of Washington Ballet. Farha recommended Mr. Goh to Day as a choreographer. In 1976, Mr. Goh joined the Washington Ballet, and two years later had attracted the commission from Baryshnikov which was to become "Configurations."
He continued to achieve recognition. He appeared on the cover of Dancemagazine in July 1980 and had been featured in a three-page essay of People Magazine in May 1980.
Survivors include his mother, Siew Han Ch'ng of Singapore; five brothers, Goh Choo Chiat of Vancouver, Goh Choo Hwee of China, and Goh Choo Cheng, Goh Choo Eng, and Goh Choo Min, all of Singapore, and three sisters, Soo Nee Goh of Vancouver, and Soo Chin and Soo Khim Goh, both of Singapore.
LESLIE JACKSON LEE,
63, a former teacher and shop owner who was active in volunteer groups, died Nov. 27 at Holy Cross Hospital after a stroke. She lived in Washington.
Mrs. Lee was born in Leesburg and moved to Washington in 1946. She received a nursing degree at the Hampton Institute and a master's degree in adult education at Federal City College.
From 1946 to 1951, she was a private governess, then spent three years as a librarian with the Metropolitan Police Boys Clubs. After rearing her family, she returned to work in 1966 as a first grade teacher at Georgetown Day School. She left that post in 1970, then spent a year as director of Montclair State College's multimedia center in Washington. From 1976 to 1979, she owned and operated a card and gift shop in Washington.
Mrs. Lee had done volunteer work at La Salle Elementary School in Washington, where she had chaired a library group and served as president of the PTA. She also had been a life member and library service chairwoman of the D.C. Congress of Parents and Teachers.
She had been an assistant librarian with the Reading Is Fundamental volunteer organization and had served on the board of the Baker's Dozen, a women's volunteer organization. She had taught Sunday school at Plymouth Congregational Church in Washington.
Survivors include her husband, Norvel, whom she married in 1951, who lives in Washington; two daughters, Deborah Alston of Chillum, Md., and Denise Anderson of Washington; her mother, Margaret Gilbert Jackson of Leesburg; a brother, Robert E. Jackson of Washington; a sister, Margaret Louise Russell of Upper Marlboro; and four grandchildren.
OSCAR DRESSLER NOHOWEL,
63, a longtime Maryland builder and businessman who had served on the board of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, died Nov. 27 at Suburban Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in Bethesda.
He was president of the DCM Corp., a Bethesda design and construction concern, of which he was a founder in 1956. He also was a partner in area land ventures and had been managing director of office buildings in Bethesda that he had built.
Mr. Nohowel, who had lived in Montgomery County since 1949, was born in New York City. He moved to the Washington area in the late 1930s and graduated from St. Alban's School in 1943. He served with the Office of Strategic Services in Europe during World War II. After that, he began working in the area construction industry. From 1949 to 1956, he worked for L.E. Breuninger & Son construction firm.
He had served on the boards of the Goldsboro Homeowners Association and the Maryland Natural Resources Department's boat act advisory committee. He had been a senior judge of the American Water Ski Association, and a member of Columbia Country Club and St. John's Episcopal Church in Bethesda.
Survivors include his wife, Marjorie Rehm Nohowel, and a son, Stephen Rehm Nohowel, both of Bethesda; two daughters, Shelley Anne Nohowel of New York City, and Margaret Dressler Nohowel of Bethesda, and a stepbrother, Dr. Philip D. Wiedel of New York City.
WILLIAM E. PURSLEY JR.,
44, a former Capitol Hill staff member who had been a Senate lobbyist with Shell Oil Co. for the past five years, died Nov. 25 at his home in Arlington. He had acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
He came to Washington in 1970 and spent the next five years as a lawyer with the Senate Judiciary Committee and former senator Sam Ervin (D-N.C.). He was legislative director in the office of former senator Richard Stone (D-Fla.). He then spent a year on the staff of Sen. Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska) before joining Shell.
Mr. Pursley was a native of Little Rock, Ark. He received undergraduate and law degrees at Duke University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and also had studied at the London School of Economics.
Survivors include his parents, William and Thelma Pursley of Charlotte, N.C., and a sister, Louise Watt of Gaffney, S.C.
MARY HENDERSON WRIGHT,
85, a lifelong area resident who was a member of the Washington Heights Presbyterian Church in Washington, died of cardiac arrest Nov. 28 at the Carriage Hill nursing home in Bethesda.
Mrs. Wright, who lived in Bethesda, was a native of Washington. She was a graduate of Central High School and Mount Vernon Seminary. In the 1930s, she had worked in the family furniture store in Washington and as a librarian with the D.C. Public Library.
Her husband, James Warren Wright, died in 1957. Her survivors include a brother, James B. Henderson Jr., of Germantown, and a sister, Helen H. Henderson of Bethesda.