By Bart Barnes Washington Post Staff Writer
John A. Rothrock Jr., 63, retired chief judge of Fairfax General District Court and a former basketball coach at Arlington's Washington-Lee High School, died March 1 after a heart attack at his farm in Amissville in Rappahannock County, Va.
Judge Rothrock had served 26 years on the General District Court when he retired in 1980. Before he was named to the bench in 1954, he was a teacher and coach at Washington-Lee High School for five years, a period in which his teams won 80 games while losing 18 and captured a Northern Virginia championship.
His service at General District Court coincided with a period of explosive growth in Fairfax County, and at his retirement it was the busiest court in Northern Virginia, with seven judges and about 20,000 cases a year.
It had jurisdiction over misdemeanors, traffic offenses, civil suits up to $5,000 and preliminary hearings on felony charges and it was often called Fairfax County's court of first resort.
During his years on the bench, Judge Rothrock presided over hundreds of cases involving the likes of shoplifters, vandals, wife beaters, weekend drunks, violators of zoning ordinances and people unable or unwilling to control their dogs.
During the 1950s, he also served two days a week as judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, hearing up to 35 cases a day. In 1962, Judge Rothrock reorganized the court to establish separate divisions for juvenile and traffic cases.
Judge Rothrock was a former president of the Municipal and County Court Judges Association of Virginia. In 1972, he received an achievement award from the Fairfax County Council on Alcoholism for establishing a counseling program for drunk drivers.
A native of Monticello, Ind., Judge Rothrock served in the Navy during World War II. A graduate of Northwestern University, he received a degree in business administration from Purdue University. He moved to this area in 1948 and taught and coached basketball at Mount Vernon High School for one year before he became basketball coach at Washington-Lee.
While teaching and coaching at Washington-Lee, he attended George Washington University Law School at night, and passed the D.C. bar exam one year before receiving his law degree. He was named a judge shortly after completing law school.
In 1966, Judge Rothrock was named "Man of the Year" by the Fairfax City Chamber of Commerce. He was a former director of the National Bank of Fairfax, a Mason and a member of the Fairfax United Methodist Church.
A former resident of Fairfax City, Judge Rothrock moved to Amissville upon his retirement, and then traveled extensively in Mexico and the American Southwest.
His marriage to the former Ann Farr ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife, Nancy Rothrock, and one son by his second marriage, Sid Rothrock, both of Amissville; one son by his first marriage, Dr. John Rothrock of San Diego, and two brothers, Joe Rothrock of Albuquerque, and Judge Thomas Rothrock of Fairfax.
ROBERT VERNON HARRIS DUNCAN Real Estate Broker
Robert Vernon Harris Duncan, 79, a Northern Virginia real estate broker and civic activist, died of a heart ailment March 3 at the Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury retirement community in Irvington, Va.
Mr. Duncan founded the Alexandria-based Bob Duncan Real Estate firm shortly after World War II, and managed the business until he retired in the early 1980s. The company specialized in commercial and investment real estate throughout Northern Virginia and elsewhere in the state.
A native Alexandrian, he graduated from Mount Vernon High School and the College of William and Mary. He later received a law degree from George Washington University.
Mr. Duncan had been president of the Young Democrats of Virginia, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia State Society, Ameribanc Savings Bank and the Virginia Sons of the American Revolution.
He had been chairman of the Alexandria Red Cross and the Alexandria Board of Zoning Appeals, and a director of the Dulles International Airport Commission, the Alexandria Defense Bonds Committee and the economic development committee of the Washington Board of Trade.
He had lived in Alexandria until moving to Irvington last year.
His wife, Marion Moncure Duncan, died in 1977.
Survivors include three sons, Robinson Morton Duncan of Berryville, Va., Moncure Duncan of Alexandria and Bruce Griff Duncan of Irvington; one sister, Virginia Smith of Washington, Va., and five grandchildren.
LOUIS N. MARKWOOD Commerce Department Official
Louis N. Markwood, 92, a retired director of the chemical division of the Commerce Department's export control section and a two-term president of the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Chemists, died of pneumonia Feb. 28 at Suburban Hospital. He lived in Chevy Chase.
Mr. Markwood was born in New York City. He graduated from what became Case Western Reserve University. During World War I, he served in the Army. He moved to the Washington area in the 1930s and went to work for the old U.S. Tariff Commission.
He was a chemist with the Agriculture Department before joining Commerce in the late 1940s. He retired in 1953. He later worked for an electronics firm and had a home construction firm.
Mr. Markwood was a member of the American Chemical Society and the Washington Hebrew Congregation.
In 1975 he published a volume of local history, "The Forest Glen Trolley and the Early Development of Silver Spring."
Survivors include his wife, Shirley Markwood of Chevy Chase; two daughters, Juliet Slavin of Potomac and Isabel Dratler of Eldersburg, Md., and four grandchildren.
THOMAS F. KEARNS Navy Metallurgist
Thomas F. Kearns, 69, a retired metallurgist with the Department of the Navy, died Feb. 28 at a hospital in Windom, N.Y., after a heart attack. He was visiting relatives there when he was stricken.
Mr. Kearns, who lived in Arlington, was born in Trenton, N.J., and raised in Bayside, N.Y. He graduated from Columbia University and during World War II he served in the Navy in the South Pacific.
After the war he moved to the Washington area and began working for the Navy Department in a civilian capacity. He retired in 1980 as technology administrator for aerodynamics, structures and materials for the Naval Air Systems Command.
He was a fellow of the American Society for Metals.
Mr. Kearns was a member of the Potomac River Sailing Association and St. Agnes Catholic Church in Arlington where he worked in the Boy Scout program.
Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Catherine Kearns of Arlington; one son, Thomas Kearns of Albuquerque; two daughters, Susie King of Vienna and Kathleen Kearns of Washington; two sisters, a twin, Grace Morrison of Garden City, N.Y., and Ruth FitzGerald of Florida, and eight grandchildren.
PAULINE SMITH BIGBY D.C. Teacher and Counselor
Pauline Smith Bigby, 69, a retired D.C. school teacher and counselor, died of cancer Feb. 28 at her home in Washington.
Mrs. Bigby was born in Fountain Inn, S.C., and graduated from Benedict College. She earned a master's degree in education at George Washington University.
She began her teaching career here during the 1950s. She had served at Brent, McGogney and Kenilworth elementary schools before she retired as a counselor at Gibbs elementary school in 1979. She had also served as a summer school principal.
Mrs. Bigby was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington where she sang with several organizations, the Kingman Park Civic Association and the NAACP.
Her husband, Maxwell Miles Bigby, died in 1949.
Survivors include twin daughters, Dr. Pauline Anita Coleman of Jackson, Mich., and Maxine Annette Cunningham of Baltimore; four brothers, Maydee Smith, Albert Leemon Smith and Robert Burns Smith, all of South Carolina, and McArthur Smith of Brooklyn, N.Y.; two sisters, Ozie Williams of Simpsonville, S.C., and Lee Pearl Cooper of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.
NELL MARTIN AAA Sales Representative
Nell Martin, 100, a retired sales representative with the American Automobile Association, died Feb. 28 of congestive heart failure at the Pine View Manor Nursing Home in Clinton. She lived in Forestville.
Mrs. Martin was born in Peytona, W.Va. She was a secretary with the West Virginia State Road Commission during the 1920s. She joined the AAA in 1950 and retired in 1965 after winning several sales awards.
From 1967 to 1969, she was the house mother of Tau Epsilon Pi fraternity at the University of Maryland. She was house mother of Sigma Kappa sorority at Marshall University in West Virginia for a year before moving back to the Washington area in 1971.
Mrs. Martin was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America.
Her husband, Pete Martin, died in 1953. Survivors include two daughters, Alice Littleton of Sierra Madre, Calif., and Kathryn Keeney of Washington; one sister, Ann K. Trimble of Sarasota, Fla.; one grandchild, and two great-grandchildren.
MAYWORTH CARNAHAN SANCHEZ-GAVITO Wife of Mexico's OAS Ambassador
Mayworth Carnahan Sanchez-Gavito, 82, a native Washingtonian and the wife of a former Mexican ambassador to the Organization of American States, died of pneumonia Feb. 28 at a hospital in Franklin, N.C.
Mrs. Sanchez-Gavito had attended George Washington University and during the 1940s was a theatre critic for the Silver Spring Post, a community newspaper.
Her marriage to Hubert I. Kleinpeter ended in divorce. She subsequently married Vicente Sanchez-Gavito, a Mexican diplomat. She accompanied him to posts as ambassador to England, Brazil and West Germany and in the early 1950s to North Africa, where he was president of the United Nations Tribunal. He died in the early 1980s.
Mrs. Sanchez-Gavito was a member of the International Club and the Arts Club in Washington.
Survivors include one son by her first marriage, Hubert I. Kleinpeter III of Hiawassee, Ga., and nine grandchildren. A daughter by her first marriage, Stuart Lynn Loving, died in 1983.
ANITA McHALE Foreign Service Wife
Anita McHale, 58, the wife of a Foreign Service officer and a volunteer with Treasure Trove, an organization which supports Fairfax Hospital, died Feb. 27 at her home in McLean. She had Alzheimer's disease.
Mrs. McHale was born into a Swedish family in New York City. She grew up in Stockholm and returned to this country in 1954. She lived in New York, Florida and Boston.
She married James D. McHale, a Foreign Service officer, and accompanied him on assignments to Laos, Indonesia, Singapore, Belgium, Niger, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Zaire.
In Niger, Mrs. McHale was a volunteer relief worker with the Red Cross during the famine that swept the Sahel in the 1970s.
The McHales established a residence in the Washington area in 1959 and Mrs. McHale was a member of the American Foreign Service Association and St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in McLean.
In addition to her husband, of McLean, survivors include three daughters, Ann, Christine and Jennifer McHale, all also of McLean.