Merlin Robert Olson, 70, a retired Marine Corps colonel and a former registrar at Marymount College of Virginia in Arlington, died Jan. 2 at his home in San Diego after a heart attack.
Col. Olson, who moved from the Washington area to California in 1986, was born in Parshall, N.D. He graduated from the University of North Dakota and received a master's degree in public administration from George Washington University.
During World War II, he served in the Marine Corps in the Pacific. He served in Korea during the war there as executive officer of the 5th Marine Regiment. He was transferred to the Washington area in 1964 and became a special assistant on counterinsurgency with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired in 1967.
For the next three years, he worked for the Controlled Data Corp. He was the registrar of Marymount College from 1972 until he retired for the second time in 1983.
Survivors include his wife, Genevieve P. Olson of San Diego; two sons, Robert A. Olson of Los Angeles and David M. Olson of Davis, Calif.; two daughters, Karen O. Studley of Menlo Park, Calif., and Kristine O. White of Barcelona, Spain; two sisters, Grace M. Bartelson of Seattle and Bea Pisar of Bakersfield, Calif.; one brother, Rubin Olson of Parshall, and two grandchildren.
JUNE A. SEWARD,
58, a former resident of Bethesda, died Jan. 4 at her home in Ocean Pines, Md., after a heart attack.
Mrs. Seward was born in Gloversville, N.Y.
She lived in Bethesda from 1955 until she moved to Ocean Pines four years ago.
Survivors include her husband, Dr. William H. Seward of Ocean Pines; one daughter, Mary A. Jicha of Plain City, Ohio; four sons, James K. Seward of Hanover, N.H., William H. Seward of Gaithersburg, Thomas B. Seward of Germantown and Timothy M. Seward of Rockville; and nine grandchildren.
WILLIAM F. O'DONNELL,
85, a retired employe of the Central Intelligence Agency and its credit union, died of pneumonia Jan. 6 at his home in Alexandria.
He joined the CIA when it was formed in 1947. He worked in its personnel office before retiring in the early 1960s and joining its Northwest Federal Credit Union in Vienna. He did personnel work there until retiring a second time in 1986.
Mr. O'Donnell was a native of Pennsylvania. He attended St. Bonaventure University in New York and the University of Michigan. He was an outfielder for the New York Yankees baseball organization and served with the Navy in World War II before moving here.
He was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria and the Knights of Columbus.
His wife, the former Catherine Walsh, died in 1973.
Survivors include three sons, Frank, of Irvine, Calif., Joseph, of Manhasset, N.Y., and Bill, of Columbia; two daughters, Karen Ranger of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Marilyn Alls of Alexandria; two brothers, Joseph and John O'Donnell, and four sisters, Mary Mahon, Anna Reagan, Helen Judge and Alice Diskin, all of Scranton, Pa., and nine grandchildren.
ALBERT J. VADA,
66, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who later worked as a civilian security and intelligence specialist, died of a heart ailment Jan. 5 at Collingswood Nursing Center in Rockville.
Since 1982, Col. Vada had been an independent consultant on matters involving nuclear security for federal government agencies and for private businesses.
For three years before that, he was chief of internal security with the Department of Energy in Germantown. He came to this area in 1973 as a Defense Department industrial security specialist and later was assigned to matters involving NATO.
A resident of Rockville, Col. Vada served 21 years in the Army before his retirement in 1963, and he was an intelligence officer for most of his military career. His World War II service included participation in the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944, and he was wounded in action there. Other assignments included interrogating Italian and German prisoners of war.
Postwar assignments included duty as an intelligence officer in Italy and study at the University of Maryland, the Army War College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While in Italy, he formed and coached an Italian baseball team.
Col. Vada retired from the Army as commander of an intelligence unit assigned to the Defense Atomic Support Agency at Albuquerque.
Before moving to this area, he was a Defense Department civilian intelligence and industrial security specialist in Hartford, Conn., and in Wiesbaden, Germany.
His mariage to the former Pauline Linder ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife, Ilse Vada of Rockville; one son by his first marriage, Jay Vada of West Carrollton, Ohio, and two grandchildren.
ROBERT MELVIN ZIMMERS,
74, a retired special agent with the FBI, where he worked for 30 years, died Jan. 5 at his home in Arlington. He had emphysema and cancer.
Mr. Zimmers was born in Hamilton, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati. He moved to the Washington area in 1942 and joined the FBI, where he became a ballistics expert. He retired in 1972.
He was a member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI.
His wife, Loretta E. Zimmers, died in 1982. Survivors include two sons, Robert F. and Thomas F. Zimmers, both of Arlington; one sister, Mary Ellen Fitzgerald of Hamilton, and two grandchildren.
CATHERINE VERONICA PORTER,
88, a retired administrator with the National Cancer Institute, died of pulmonary arrest Jan. 3 at the Carroll Manor Nursing Home in Hyattsville, where she had lived for five years.
Mrs. Porter was born in Fall River, Mass. She was a yeomanette in the Navy during World War I. She went to work in 1933 at the Institute of Pathology at Harvard University.
She moved to the Washington area in 1939. She joined the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and became the administrator of a laboratory in the pathologic anatomy branch. She retired in 1964.
Mrs. Porter was a past president of the Fitzgerald-Cantrell Auxiliary of the American Legion and a past secretary and treasurer of the Washington Society of Pathologists.
She was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bethesda, where she was a past grand regent of the local chapter of the Catholic Daughters of America. She also was a past president of Christobelles, a Catholic women's organization.
Survivors include her husband, Edward A. Porter of Bethesda; two daughters, Helen Jackson of Pittsburgh and Kay White of Nashville; one sister, Anna Connors of Worthington, Ohio; four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
VIRGINIA GARDNER WILSON,
57, a former teacher with the Fairfax County public schools who was active in church organizations, died of cancer Jan. 4 at her home in Clarksville, Md.
Mrs. Wilson was born in Tunstell, Va. She graduated from the College of William and Mary. She moved to the Washington area about 1953 and taught in the Fairfax County public school system for five years.
She was a founding member of the Ashton Baptist Church and had been a member of the Baptist Women's Missionary Union and the Missionary Program of the Montgomery Baptist Association.
Survivors include her husband, David Lee Wilson Jr. of Clarksville; three daughters, Mrs. Stephen Walker of Burtonsville, Mrs. Michael Carpenter of Silver Spring, and Virginia Lee Wilson of Clarksville; her mother, Mrs. Stanley Gardner of Richmond; one sister, Mrs. Steve Homza of Richmond; one brother, Stanley C. Gardner of Williamsburg, and three grandchildren.
MICHAEL JOHN LEE,
50, an advance coordinator with the Admiral Limousine Service in Washington since 1980 who had been a D.C. firefighter, a real estate salesman and an employe of the Washington Redskins, died Jan. 4 at the Washington Adventist Hospital after a heart attack.
Mr. Lee was a member of the D.C. Fire Department from 1959 to 1980. He drove a hook-and-ladder truck for the station at 13th and K streets NW. From 1975 to 1979, he was a Redskins gateman supervisor at RFK Stadium. He sold real estate for a number of firms for about 20 years before retiring about 1980.
Mr. Lee was born in Washington and reared in Bethesda. He was a 1955 graduate of Gonzaga College High School where he was named a tackle on all-prep football teams.
He was a member of St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring, the Retired Catholic Firefighters Association and the Gonzaga Alumni Association.
Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Anne C. Lee of Silver Spring; three sons, J. Douglas Lee of Washington and Vincent E. and Michael G. Lee, both of Silver Spring; three daughters, Eileen M. Baughan of Fairbanks, Alaska, Therese A. LaMoure of Burtonsville, and Mary Ellen Lee of Columbia; his mother, Catherine M. Lee of Bethesda, and two brothers, Patrick B. Lee of Cabin John and Montgomery County Police Lt. James D. Lee of Silver Spring.
ANNE M. GREENE,
89, a longtime Washington area resident who was active in community organizations, died Jan. 4 at Howard University Hospital. She had cancer.
Mrs. Greene, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in Savannah, Ga. She graduated from Fisk University. She moved to the Washington area in 1923. During World War II, she worked as a clerk in the federal government.
She was a member of the NAACP and the Episcopal Church of the Atonement. She also had been a volunteer with the local Democratic Party.
Her husband, Joseph H. Greene Sr., died in 196l. Survivors include one son, Joseph H. Greene Jr. of Silver Spring, and one granddaughter.