Dorothy Waring Howard, 95, who founded the Garden of Children nursery school in Washington in 1929 and directed it until she closed it and retired in 1961, died of respiratory arrest Aug. 25 at the Grant Park Care Center in Washington. She lived in Washington.

The Garden of Children, which was at her home at 1728 S St. NW, was the second nursery school chartered by the District and the first established for black children. The first class had fewer than a dozen pupils and included Mrs. Howard's daughter.

Before long, her "early-start" concepts of education, competence and warmth attracted a large and loyal following. Her pupils included the children of diplomats, university presidents and at least one Nobel laureate. The school eventually averaged about 44 pupils a year and had four teachers and a housekeeper.

In June 1961, Mrs. Howard told a Washington Post reporter that it was with "great heaviness of heart" that she watched her charge of tiny pupils leave the school for the last time. Financial problems compounded with the increasing demands of new city building codes drove her to close the school.

She told a Post reporter, "The school was never a money-making proposition because I kept putting all the money back into equipment and high salaries for teachers."

Subsequently Mrs. Howard became a substitute teacher.

She was not forgotten. In June 1983, hundreds of former students gathered at Howard University's Blackburn Center to celebrate her 90th birthday and their own childhoods.

Dr. Montague Cobb, a former Howard University medical school dean, paid Mrs. Howard as fine a compliment as a teacher can receive. "I don't remember either of my girls ever not wanting to go to school," he said.

Mrs. Howard was born in Washington, the daughter of educators. She graduated from M Street High School and Miner Normal School. She also studied early childhood education at Columbia University and the University of Chicago and taught in the D.C. school system. During World War I, she worked for the War Department.

She told a reporter that she started her school because she wanted to return to teaching and could not find anyone to care for her 2-year-old daughter. She also had some decided views on the importance of preschool as an educational experience rather than mere baby-sitting. So she decided to put them into action and care for her daughter by starting the Garden of Children.

Mrs. Howard was a member of 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, the Friends of Ghana, and the Wi-Mo-Mais, a Washington social organization.

Her husband, Dr. William J. Howard Jr., a dermatologist who taught at Howard, died in 1945.

Survivors include her daughter, Carolyn Howard French of Barboursville, Va.; eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


Alexandria Pharmacist

George Harvey (Doc) Ballance, 81, who owned and operated Ballance's Drug Store in Alexandria from 1947 until he retired in 1973, died of heart ailments Aug. 31 at the Caton Merchant House, a retirement community in Manassas.

Mr. Ballance, who lived in Alexandria until moving to Manassas in June, was born in Kenly, N.C. He graduated from the University of North Carolina. In 1932 he moved to the Washington area and was a pharmacist at drugstores in Alexandria and Falls Church before opening his own business.

He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Kena Temple of the Shrine and the Royal Order of Jesters. He was a director of the Alexandria chapter of the American Cancer Society and an elder and deacon at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria.

Survivors include his wife, Rita D. Ballance of Manassas; two children, Sarah B. Peterson of Milpitas, Calif., and Donna R. Darnes of Sterling; two sisters, Ruth Bost of Raleigh, N.C., and Idalene Southard of Wilmington, N.C., and four grandchildren.


D.C. Teacher's Aide

Marianne Ross Onabiyi, 27, a former teacher's aide in the D.C. public schools, was killed Aug. 30 in an automobile accident in Northwest Washington.

A D.C. police spokesman said the car in which Mrs. Onabiyi was a passenger was struck by another vehicle at 13th Street and Florida Avenue NW.

Mrs. Onabiyi, who lived in Arlington, was born in Washington. She graduated from the Holy Name Academy and attended the University of the District of Columbia.

She was a clerk in the gift shop of the Smithsonian Institution during the early 1980s. She worked for the D.C. public school system in 1985 and 1986.

Mrs. Onabiyi was a member of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Washington.

Survivors include her husband, Olayinka Onabiyi of Arlington, and her mother, Marion T. Ross of Washington.


Pharmacologist at Howard

Walter Monroe Booker, 80, a retired professor and pharmacology department chairman of the Howard University medical school, died of cardiac arrest Aug. 29 at Howard University Hospital. He lived in Washington.

Dr. Booker began his career at Howard in 1943 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1948. He was department chairman from 1953 to 1973, when he retired as a full professor.

In addition to his work at Howard, he was a consultant to the Walter Reed Army Research Institute, where he also taught in the 1960s and 1970s. He also was a consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Dr. Booker was the author of more than 100 scientific papers and participated in conferences in nearly a dozen nations. He had done research on the heart's response to drugs.

He served on the board of the Washington Heart Association and was a representative of the American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics to the National Research Council. He was a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a charter member of Sigma Xi, the honorary scientific society. He was a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and the American Physiological Society.

Dr. Booker was a native of Little Rock, Ark., and a 1928 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. He received a master's degree from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in physiology and chemistry from the University of Chicago. He taught at Leland College in Louisiana from 1928 to 1929 and at Prairie View College from 1932 to 1943.

In 1957 and 1958, he was a senior Fulbright scholar at the Heymans Institute in Ghent, Belgium.

His wife, the former Thomye Collins, died in 1986. Survivors include a son, Walter Jr., of New York City; a daughter, Marjorie Courm of Washington, and four grandchildren.


Office Supply Executive

Virgil J. Gist, 81, the founder and president of Gist & Chairs Inc., suppliers of stationery and office equipment, died of heart ailments Aug. 6 at Suburban Hospital.

Mr. Gist, a resident of Bethesda, was born in Cincinnati. He graduated from the University of Chicago, where he was captain of the basketball team and a member of the track team.

In 1938 he joined the A.B. Dick office supply company in Cincinnati. In 1945, he was transferred to Washington and became its branch manager here. In 1949, he founded Gist & Chairs, owners of the A.B. Dick franchise in Washington, and headed the company until retiring in 1972.

Mr. Gist was a life member of the board of trustess of the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Margaret B. Gist of Bethesda; two daughters, Virginia G. Gray of Middletown, N.J., and Mary Ellen Gist-Murtaugh of Bethesda; a son, William W. Gist of Bethesda, and five grandchildren.