Francis Leo Witkege, 71, a retired official of the U.S. Geological Survey who later worked for the Smithsonian Science Information Exchange, died Dec. 8 at Arlington Hospital after a heart attack.

Mr. Witkege, who lived in Arlington, was born in Worcester, Mass., and he graduated from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In 1939, he joined the Geological Survey in Columbia, S.C.

During World War II, he served in the Navy as a communications officer in the Pacific. He returned to his career with the Geological Survey after the war and transferred to the Washington area in 1949. He was deputy assistant chief topographic engineer for plans and program development when he retired in 1972.

From 1974 to 1981, he was chief of the earth science branch of the Smithsonian Science Information Exchange.

Mr. Witkege received the Interior Department's Meritorious Service Award in 1969 and the Special Achievement Award from the Geological Survey in 1972.

He was a past national president of the Geological Survey Topographic Division Retirees Association. He was a fellow of the American Society of Engineers and a member of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping and the Geological Society of America. He also was a member of St. Agnes Catholic Church in Arlington.

Survivors include his wife, Lorraine Witkege of Arlington; one daughter, Sally Sue Beachy, and one son, David Witkege, both of Roanoke; one sister, Emily Horton of Worcester, and eight grandchildren.


81, a retired Foreign Service officer and a former senior research adviser for the Arctic Institute of North America, died Dec. 5 at a hospital in Missoula, Mont. He had emphysema and heart ailments.

Mr. Ronhovde served in the Foreign Service from 1947 to 1966, specializing in northern and western Europe. In addition to desk assignments in Washington, he served in Stockholm, The Hague and Oslo, where he was counselor of the U.S. Embassy and deputy chief of mission from 1963 to 1965.

He joined the Arctic Institute of North America as a Washington-based senior adviser after his retirement from the Foreign Service, and he retired from that position in 1980. He was the author of two books, "Arctic Laboratory" and "Arctic Environment and Resources."

A resident of Missoula and Washington, Mr. Ronhovde was born in Barrett, Minn. He graduated from St. Olaf's College. He received a master's degree in political science from the University of North Dakota.

He was a Carnegie Fellow in International Law at Columbia University from 1932 to 1934 and taught international law at Rutgers University from 1934 to 1939.

In 1940 he was a fellow of the American-Scandinavian Foundation in Norway, and he returned to the United States from that country with his family on the Trans-Siberian railroad after the German invasion of Norway.

Mr. Ronhovde was a member of the American Geographic Society and the Cosmos Club.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Virginia Rankin Sedman Ronhovde of Washington and Missoula; two sons, Erik and Kent Ronhovde, and two daughters, Andrea Ronhovde and Nora Hohenlohe, all of Washington; two sisters, Lorna Getz and Dorothy Olson, both of Minnesota, and five grandchildren.


49, president of Washington Realty Company, died Dec. 8 of complications of dysentery and dehydration and heart ailments while on vacation in Cancun, Mexico.

Mr. Podrog had worked at Washington Realty, a D.C. property management firm started by his father, since 1960. He also had developed commercial and residential property in the area.

A resident of Potomac and Annapolis, Mr. Podrog was born in Washington and graduated from Coolidge High School and West Virginia Wesleyan University.

He was a yachtsman and a former president of the District of Columbia Jaycees.

Survivors include his wife, Judy Podrog, and one son, David Podrog, both of Potomac; his parents, Sylvia and Walter Podrog of Hallendale, Fla., and one sister, Arlene Canas of Boulder, Colo.


48, deputy director of safety standards for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, died of cancer Dec. 9 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Higgins had worked at OSHA since 1971. He moved to the Washington area in 1965 and before joining OSHA had worked at the Office of Economic Opportunity and in Labor Department job training programs.

He was born in Yonkers, N.Y., and graduated from Fordham University.

Before moving to this area, Mr. Higgins served two years with the Peace Corps in Colombia.

Survivors include his wife, Kitty Higgins, and two sons, Liam and Kevan Higgins, all of Washington; a brother, Michael Higgins of New York City, and two sisters, Esther Higgins and Marian Colicchia, both of St. Petersburg, Fla.


60, a retired registered nurse with the Washington Hospital Center, died of cancer Dec. 10 at the Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital. She lived in Laurel.

Mrs. Stepowany was born in Parkersburg, W.Va. She earned a degree in nursing from the Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Parkersburg.

She moved to the Washington area about 1948 and worked briefly for the Veterans Administration Hospital. She joined the Washington Hospital Center in 1966 and retired in 1980. Since then she had been a private duty nurse.

Mrs. Stepowany lived in Mount Rainier until she moved to Laurel in 1986.

She was a member of the women's auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus in College Park.

Her marriage to Albert C. Stepowany ended in divorce.

Survivors include four daughters, Joanne Olsen of Waldorf, Sharon M. Kelchner of Las Cruces, N.M., Marysusan Forsythe of Silver Spring, and Victoria J. Stepowany of Laurel; three sons, Michael C. Stepowany of Glenn Dale, Md., Albin T. Stepowany of Columbia, and James J. Stepowany of Laurel; a brother, Howard C. Pflug of Dayton, Ohio, and three grandchildren.


69, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who became a civilian language analyst with the National Security Agency, died of cancer Dec. 9 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He lived in Odenton, Md.

Col. Hines was born in Great Neck, N.Y. He graduated from Fordham University. During World War II, he served in the Panama Canal Zone and in the Pacific. After the war, he had a period of civilian life before he was called back to active duty in 1948. He was assigned to the NSA in 1952 as a senior intelligence officer.

He retired from the Army in 1964 and went to work for the NSA as a civilian. He retired for the second time in 1984.

Col. Hines was a member of the Retired Officers Association and the Association of the U.S. Army. He also belonged to St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Odenton and the Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Ruth E. Hines of Odenton; three daughters, Noni H. Pye of Charleston, S.C., Sally Lindlaw of Glen Burnie, Md., and Deidre V. Hines of Catonsville, Md.; three sons, Jeffrey C. Hines and Frank M. (Bud) Hines Jr., both of Baltimore, and Michael J. Hines of Finksburg, Md.; a sister, Alice Hines Smith of Levittown, N.Y., and three grandchildren.


78, the founder and former owner of the old Jewler Champlain Grocery Market, died Dec. 9 at Washington Adventist Hospital after a heart attack. He lived at Leisure World in Silver Spring.

Mr. Jewler was born in Russia. He moved to the United States in 1913 and settled in Detroit. He grew up in the Washington area and graduated from the old Central High School.

He started his grocery business in 1930. During World War II, he served in the Army. He operated his store until he sold it in 1970. For the next 12 years, he worked as a salesman with Mart Liquors in Washington.

He was a Mason and a member of the Leisure World Lodge of B'nai B'rith, the Jewish Residents of Leisure World and Tifereth Israel Congregation.

Survivors include his wife, Esther Jewler of Silver Spring; one son, Leonard A., of Washington; one daughter, Barbara Sarah, of New York City; one sister, Frances Footer of Coconut Creek, Fla., and one brother, Nathan Jewler of Tampa, Fla.