MADRID -- Carmen Polo de Franco, 87, widow of the late Spanish ruler Gen. Francisco Franco and a major force behind the heavy censorship imposed during his 36-year rule, died of kidney failure and pneumonia Feb. 6 at her home here.
Queen Sofia went to Mrs. Franco's home to deliver condolences to the Francos' only child, Carmen Franco de Martinez-Bordiu, 60, on behalf of King Juan Carlos and herself. In 1969, Franco designated Juan Carlos to be his successor. Juan Carlos reestablished the Spanish monarchy two days after Franco's death on Nov. 20, 1975, and soon began dismantling the authoritarian state.
During Franco's dictatorship, the Spanish press doted on "Dona Carmen," showing her at the general's side, towering several inches above her stern-faced husband and smiling radiantly. She often appeared in public wearing the traditional Spanish high comb and black, lace mantilla, visiting Roman Catholic schools and charities and handing out awards to deserving youngsters.
But she did not gain wide popularity and many Spaniards viewed her as a haughty woman. Her reported love of jewelry earned her the nicknames "Dona Pearls" and "Dona Necklaces."
Mrs. Franco, daughter of a wealthy businessman, was born Carmen Polo on July 9, 1900, in the northern city of Oviedo. She was educated by Salesian nuns. She married Franco, then an army lieutenant colonel, on Oct. 22, 1923, and the couple left soon after for Spanish Morocco, where Franco fought in the Riff Wars.
Mrs. Franco was believed to have exercised a strong influence on her husband, particularly in connection with affairs of the Roman Catholic Church and public morality. Social historians say her puritanical upbringing was responsible for the heavy censorship of anything touching on sex or sexual matters in Spanish literature, theater and cinema during the most repressive years of the Franco regime.
Ramon Garriga, a biographer of Mrs. Franco, said she was instrumental in having conservative lawyer Carlos Arias Navarro named prime minister in the last Franco government and in the first government of Juan Carlos' monarchy from November 1975 to July 1976.
A 1986 Spanish film, "Dragon Rapide" -- the first to depict Franco as a historical figure -- portrayed Mrs. Franco as an attractive, strong-willed woman whom Franco consulted before deciding to assume control of an army revolt in Spanish Morocco that eventually led to the outbreak of the Civil War and ultimately to Franco's takeover.
In recent years, Mrs. Franco appeared in public only once a year; on the anniversary of Franco's death she joined groups of Franquists to lay wreaths at the Valley of the Fallen, a monumental crypt carved in a granite mountain outside Madrid where Franco is buried. A frail figure wrapped up in a fur coat, she was seen waving back to fascist salutes from supporters at these gatherings.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Franco is survived by seven grandchildren.
40, a Department of Energy official and a veteran of the war in Vietnam, in which he served as a B-52 bomber pilot, died of leukemia Feb. 5 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.
Mr. Smiley had been with the Department of Energy and its predecessor agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, since 1975. Much of his work involved management of radioactive wastes. For the last three years he had been manager of the commercial low-level radioactive waste management program.
A resident of Gaithersburg, he was born in Oak Ridge, Tenn. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1969 and later became a pilot. In 1972, he was stationed on Guam where he flew B-52s against targets in Vietnam. Other Air Force assignments included duty in Louisiana and California.
Mr. Smiley left active duty in 1974 but remained in the Air Force Reserve, and at his death was a lieutenant colonel.
His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross and five Air Medals.
Since moving to this area in 1975, Mr. Smiley had received a master's degree in political administration at George Washington University.
Survivors include his wife, Minnie S. Smiley, and two children, Sean Howard and Julie Felice Smiley, all of Gaithersburg; his mother, Ruth Wilensky Smiley of Rockville, and one sister, Sherry Smiley of Garberville, Calif.
66, who worked for B'nai B'rith for nearly 20 years before retiring in 1979 as its national membership director, died of cancer Feb. 5 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He lived in Silver Spring.
Mr. Brenner was born in the Bronx, N.Y. He attended Fordham University and New York University. During World War II he served in the Army. He worked for his family's millinery business and owned a book store in New York before moving to the Washington area and joining the B'nai B'rith staff in 1960. In 1979 he joined the Postal Instant Press printing company, from which he retired in 1983 as national franchise director.
Mr. Brenner was a Mason and a member of the Montgomery Lodge of B'nai B'rith.
Survivors include his wife, Sydelle Brenner of Silver Spring, and one daughter, Marjorie Bohi of Bethesda.
IRMA STARK WHIPPLE,
73, a former government personnel officer who had been active in volunteer and political organizations, died Feb. 3 at George Washington University Hospital after a stroke.
Mrs. Whipple, who lived in Washington, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She graduated from Hunter College and received a master's degree in education and psychology from City College of New York.
In 1939 she moved to the Washington area and worked briefly in the office of Rep. Emanuel Celler (D-N.Y.). Later she worked with the Library of Congress, the Social Security Board, the Civil Service Commission, the Commerce Department, the National Bureau of Standards, the Navy Department, the Veterans Administration and the President's Commission on Scientific Manpower Resources, mostly as a personnel officer.
In 1952 Mrs. Whipple left government service to raise a family.
More recently she had been active in the League of Women Voters, the Woman's National Democratic Club and the D.C. Mayor's Advisory Committee on Resources and Budget, and she had done volunteer work for the public schools.
Survivors include her husband of 39 years, Paul Whipple of Washington; two daughters, Sara Whipple-Marmo of Arlington and Laura Whipple of Somerville, Mass., and one brother, Morton Stark of New York City.
EDYTHE HOWARD HICKEY,
96, a fourth-generation Washingtonian who was active in community organizations, died of cardiopulmonary arrest Feb. 2 at her home in Washington.
Mrs. Hickey graduated from the Holton Arms School. During World War II, she was active in French and Turkish relief programs. In 1954 she was presented the Turkish Red Crescent decoration by the Turkish ambassador to Washington for her relief work.
She was a member of the Chevy Chase Club and the Sulgrave Club.
Her husband, Harry Kendall Hickey, died in 1969. Survivors include one daughter, Mary Manning Cleveland of Washington; three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
57, a retired financial analyst and accountant with the Department of Transportation, died of cancer Feb. 5 at his home in Springfield.
Mr. Bordas was born in Roebling, N.J., and he graduated from Rider College in New Jersey. He joined the Federal Aviation Administration in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1953.
In 1966 he moved to the Washington area and went to work for the Department of Transportation. He retired in 1984.
Mr. Bordas had been a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Holy Name Society, and Epiphany Byzantine Catholic Church in Annandale, where he was a past treasurer and board member and a member of the Epiphany of Our Lord Men's Club.
Survivors include his wife, Amelia Bordas of Springfield; three daughters, Ida Smith of Annandale, Mary McKay of Burke, and Theresa Rogers of Springfield; one brother, Joseph Bordas, and one sister, Mary Zahorsky, both of Roebling, and five grandchildren.
MARY ELLEN (MAYME) RANSOME,
93, a retired teacher with Charles County public schools, where she worked for 47 years, died of cardiac arrest Feb. 3 at her home in Accokeek, Md.
Miss Ransome was born in Pomonkey, Md. She graduated from the Miner Teachers College and Howard University. She also had attended the University of Maryland. She joined the Charles County public school system in 1918 and was assigned to the Pomonkey Elementary School when she retired about 1965.
She was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Accokeek.
She leaves no immediate survivors.
HELEN OUSEY HERRMAN,
68, an owner of the Rand Real Estate Corp. in Alexandria, died of cardiopulmonary arrest Jan. 28 at her home in Alexandria.
Mrs. Herrman was born in Austin, Minn. She graduated from Lindenwood College in Missouri. She married George Ross Herrman, an Air Force officer who retired as a colonel, and accompanied him on various military assignments. They established their residence in the Washington area in 1952.
Mrs. Herrman began her real estate career in 1967 when she helped found the Rand company. She was a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Northern Virginia Board of Realtors.
In addition to her husband of 46 years, survivors include one daughter, Nancy J. Herrman, and two sons, George R. Herrman II and John O. Herrman, all of Alexandria; one brother, retired Air Force Col. Arthur T. Ousley of Huntsville, Ala., and three grandchildren.
72, a former reporter for suburban Maryland weekly newspapers who was a founder of the Francesca pizza and sub restaurant chain in suburban Maryland, died of cancer Feb. 5 at her home in Wheaton.
There are five Francesca restaurants, the first of which opened in 1977.
Mrs. Plaia, who moved here in 1938, was a native of New York City. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, she was a reporter with the Kensington News and the Wheaton News. She also had been a Montgomery County election judge and was active in church and volunteer groups.
She was a member of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Wheaton and its sodality. She also had been a volunteer substitute teacher at the church's elementary school in the 1960s and 1970s. She belonged to the Merri Knights of the Rosensteel Council of the Knights of Columbus and had been secretary of its retired men's club bowling league.
Mrs. Plaia had been a volunteer worker at the Rockingham Clinic in Rockville in the 1950s and 1960s and a member of the Glenmont PTA, the Glenmont Garden Club and the Glenmont Homemakers.
Survivors include her husband of 53 years, Paul Plaia of Wheaton; a son, Paul, of Potomac; six daughters, Jean Algier of Baltimore, Anne Nye of Salina, Kan., Maria Moxley of Bowie, Bernice Durbin of Rockville, Frances Johnson of Germantown, and Rose Hubbard of Wheaton, and 17 grandchildren.
BURTON WALLACE MARSH,
90, who became the nation's first full-time city traffic engineer in 1924 and was a retired director of the traffic engineering and safety department of the American Automobile Association, died of pneumonia Feb. 4 at the Bethesda Retirement and Nursing Home. He lived in Washington.
Mr. Marsh was traffic engineer in Pittsburgh from 1924 to 1930, and then held the same position in Philadelphia for the next three years.
He moved to the Washington area in 1933 and joined the AAA, where he was the director of traffic engineering and safety for 31 years before retiring in 1964. For the next two years, he was the executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
While with the AAA, Mr. Marsh helped establish the organization's school safety patrol program and helped to set up traffic safety and driver education programs for elementary and high school students.
He was a founder and a past president of the Institute of Traffic Engineers, which became the Institute of Transportation Engineers. He served as the executive director of the organization from 1967 to 1970.
Mr. Marsh was a native of Worcester, Mass. He graduated from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and attended Yale University. He served in the Army during World War I.
In 1970, he received the Arthur William Memorial Award from the World Safety Research Institute, which cited him for his contributions as the first full-time city traffic engineer. He also had received the Highway Research Board's Roy W. Crum Award for distinguished service.
Mr. Marsh was a member of Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church and the Cosmos Club.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Mary Allison Marsh, and one son, Alan Burton Marsh, both of Washington; two daughters, Jean A. Marsh Adams of Arlington, and Betsy Marsh McCartor of Portland, Ore., and seven grandchildren.
THOMAS DIXON BAILEY,
97, a retired member of the D.C. police department where he worked for 25 years before retiring in 1945, died of pneumonia Feb. 1 at Holy Cross Hospital. He lived in Hyattsville.
Mr. Bailey was born in St. Mary's County, Md. He moved to the Washington area in about 1906 and worked for St. Elizabeths Hospital before joining the police department in 1920.
His wife, Frances Bailey, died in 1953. Survivors include two sons, Edward Bailey of Hyattsville and James R. Bailey of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; three grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.