Clarice E. Shorter Bright, 76, a retired principal of Margaret Murray Washington Vocational High School in Washington, died Dec. 8 at Howard University Hospital after a heart attack.

Mrs. Bright, a lifelong Washington resident, was a graduate of Dunbar High School and Howard University. She received a master's degree in vocational education administration from New York University.

She served 32 years on the staff of Washington Vocational High before she retired in 1970, and she had been assistant principal and principal of the night school there before she was named principal in the early 1960s.

She had taught summer courses in industrial education at South Carolina A&M at Orangeburg and been an instructor at the summer institute at Tennessee A&I College at Nashville.

Mrs. Bright had served on the budget committee, the deaconess board, the Helping Hand Circle and the child development board of Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington. She was a former chairman of the MOLES social club.

Her husband, Raymond E. Bright, died in 1968.

Survivors include one brother, Charles Allen Shorter of Pemberton, N.J.


64, a retired Air Force colonel who later became a senior marketing manager with the Boeing Aerospace Co., died Dec. 8 at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs of injuries he received in an automobile accident on Nov. 30.

A spokesman for the Prince George's County Police Department said Col. Pica was making a left turn from Allentown Road onto an access ramp to I-95 in Camp Springs when he was struck by another car. Charges are pending in the case, police said.

Col. Pica, who lived in Camp Springs, was born in Abingdon, Ill. He graduated from the University of Nebraska.

He began his military career in World War II in the old Army Air Forces. He was a navigator in a bomber crew and flew 14 combat missions in Europe. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

He transferred to the Air Force when it became a separate service in 1947. His subsequent assignments included duty at bases in this country and abroad. He was director of operational requirements for U.S. Air Forces in Europe when he retired in 1974.

For the past 13 years, Col. Pica had been senior marketing manager for Boeing's Information Systems Division. He specialized in the AWACS, the airborne warning and control system.

He was a member of the Air Force Association and the Associaton of the Old Crows, a group of military electronics specialists. He also was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Virginia Ann Pica of Camp Springs; four sons, Joseph, of Accokeek, Md., Michael, of Memphis, Richard, of Fort Washington and Gregory, of Waldorf; three daughters, Pamela Fahey of Fort Washington, Christina Pica of Fairfax, and Teresa Woodruff of Deale, Md.; three sisters, Agnes Costa of Toms River, N.J., Mary Williamson of McCook, Neb., and Katherine Salyards of Williamsburg; one brother, Gabriel Pica of Abingdon, and 13 grandchildren.


75, a retired official of the Commerce Department who later was a vice president of the Skill Service Center Institute, died Dec. 8 at Arlington Hospital. He had cancer.

Mr. Bertsch was born in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated from Loras College in Iowa and earned a law degree at Georgetown University. He also graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

In 1935 he moved to the Washington area and went to work for the Agriculture Department. During the 1940s he worked for the old War Production Board and the old Philippine Alien Property Administration.

Mr. Bertsch joined the Commerce Department during the early 1950s and became the assistant administrator of the agency's Business and Defense Services Administration. He was the director of industrial mobilization when he retired in 1974.

For the next nine years he worked for the Washington offices of the Skill Service Center Institute.

Mr. Bertsch was awarded the Commerce Department's Gold Medal for outstanding service.

He also had been chairman of the NATO Industrial Planning Committee and had served on President Kennedy's Committee on Purchases of Blind-Made Products.

Survivors include his wife, Marjorie Bertsch, and two sons, Richard and Randall Bertsch, all of Arlington; a sister, Esther Wessel of Miami Beach, and a granddaughter.


79, a former saleswoman in the millinery department of the Hecht Co., died of emphysema and congestive heart failure Nov. 30 at the Carriage Hill Nursing Home in Silver Spring. She lived in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Exler was born in Riga, Latvia. She moved to this country in 1911 and settled in Baltimore. She moved to the Washington area in 1931 and married Jack Exler, a Washington businessman. He died in 1948.

She joined the Hecht Co. during the late 1960s and was named the store's "woman of the year" in 1968. She retired about 1981.

Mrs. Exler was a member of Beth Sholom Congregation in Washington. She was a past president of the Sisterhood of Beth El Congregation and had been a member of Hadassah and the Temple Israel Sisterhood.

Survivors include two sons, Herbert Exler of Silver Spring and Gil Exler of Radnor, Pa.; two sisters, Fannie Marquess and Lillian Oseroff, and one brother, Louis Yaffe, all of Baltimore; four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


82, a former Washington area resident and a founder of Carl Vinson Hall, a home in McLean for the wives of retired Navy and Marine Corps officers, died of cardiovascular disease Dec. 8 at a hospital in Boynton Beach, Fla. She lived in Delray Beach, Fla.

Mrs. Pirie, who moved to Florida in 1972, was born in Chicago. She moved to the Washington area in 1931. She married Robert Pirie, a Naval officer who retired as a vice admiral, and accompanied him on various military assignments.

She was a member of the Naval Officers Wives Club and the Army-Navy Country Club.

In addition to her husband, of Delray Beach, survivors include one son, Robert B. Pirie Jr. of Bethesda; one daughter, Sandra Abel of Alexandria; seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


98, a retired New York City physician who had lived in the Washington area for the last 15 years, died of pneumonia Dec. 9 at the National Orthopaedic Hospital and Rehabilitation Center.

Dr. Gray, who lived at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville, was born in New York City. He graduated from New York University Medical School. He was in private practice in New York before he retired and moved to this area in the early 1970s.

His wife, Mae Gray, died in 1965.

Survivors include three daughters, Vita Berzak and Shirley Panzer, both of Delray Beach, Fla., and Pearl Poretz of Alexandria; 11 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.


58, retired chief of the budget programs division at the Department of Transportation, died of cancer Dec. 10 at his home in Rockville.

Mr. Read was born in Oakland. He was a page in the U.S. Senate from 1941 to 1943 under the sponsorship of Sen. Harry S Truman (D-Mo.).

After serving in the Army in Korea during the war there, he graduated from Tufts University and did graduate study in political science at Stanford University.

In 1961, Mr. Read moved to the Washington area. He worked at the old Post Office Department and at the old Bureau of the Budget and the Office of Emergency Planning before joining the Department of Transportation in 1969. He retired in January.

When his children were in school, he participated in parent-teacher organizations in Montgomery County.

Survivors include his wife, Sara Morrill Read of Rockville; one daughter, Janet Hamilton of Rockville; one son, John M. Read of Baltimore; his mother and adoptive father, Mr. and Mrs. Earle Erickson of Burlingame, Calif., and one grandson.