Robert B. Anderson, 79, Treasury secretary in the Eisenhower administration who was sentenced to prison two years ago for his role in an illicit business scheme, died Monday at New York Hospital. Death was attributed to complications after cancer surgery. Beyond his position in the Cabinet, Mr. Anderson was known as one of the most powerful men in the administration in which he served, a modest, even austere figure who was admired and respected for his keen intellect, calm demeanor, long workdays and quiet devotion to duty. Once described by Eisenhower as "the finest candidate we could have" for president, Mr. Anderson was a man whose fall appeared to explore the depths of tragedy. He was disbarred in January, an action that the New York state appeals court described as a sad one. At his sentencing in 1987 after pleading guilty to federal charges of tax evasion and illegal operation of an offshore bank, Mr. Anderson told a federal judge that he felt "remorse, shame, sorrow and humiliation . . . ." His "fall from grace," his attorney told the court, stemmed from a long period of alcoholism and the slow decline of his wife, Ollie Mae, who died in June 1987 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The ruin of Mr. Anderson's last years appeared particularly poignant when compared to his 1959 depiction in Harper's magazine as the "tall, quiet, sensitive" man "who has been running the store domestically for this whole country since 1957," the year he went to Treasury. Mr. Anderson had been secretary of the Navy in 1953-54, deputy secretary of defense in 1954-55, and before that an executive in the oil and gas industry. The son of a Texas farm couple, he had held posts in state government and as manager of the vast W.T. Waggoner estate. Robert Bernerd Anderson was born Jan. 4, 1910, near Burleson, Tex., and after graduation from Weatherford College in Texas taught high school Spanish, history and mathematics to earn money for law studies at the University of Texas. In his senior year there, he ran successfully for the state legislature. A businessman and leader among "Democrats for Eisenhower" in 1952, Mr. Anderson, already renowned for his ability to reconcile competing interests and to master new material quickly, was brought to Washington after the Eisenhower victory. He soon became a Republican. As Navy secretary he was credited among other things with protecting and advancing the career of Adm. Hyman Rickover, the controversial and often abrasive father of the nuclear Navy. As Treasury secretary, Mr. Anderson struggled in 1959 with what was viewed in his time as a huge federal deficit, and gained a reputation for fiscal conservatism and for placing emphasis on the need to preserve the value of the dollar. Although he returned to the business world after Eisenhower left office, Mr. Anderson became known as a confidant of Lyndon B. Johnson, and for carrying out a variety of diplomatic missions as a private citizen. According to government documents, the deals that led to his guilty plea began in 1983 when he and a partner opened an offshore bank in the West Indies. From New York offices, he helped recruit depositors, but failed to register the bank as the law requires. Ultimately about $4 million of uninsured deposits was lost by the bank beacase of investments in fraudulent oil and gas projects. In addition to one month in a federal prison and five months under court-supervised house arrest, his sentence included five years of probation and enrollment in an alcohol-treatment program. He also was ordered to make a good-faith effort to repay depositors. Survivors include two sons, three grandchildren and two sisters. LEO R. WERTS Assistant Secretary of Labor Leo R. Werts, 84, who served as assistant secretary for administration at the Department of Labor from 1962 to 1971, died Aug. 13 at the Collington Episcopal retirement home in Mitchellville, Md., after a stroke. He lived at the home for the past year. Mr. Werts came to Washington and began his federal government career in 1941. He worked in civilian manpower projects during World War II, then spent four years as a manpower adviser to the military occupation forces in Germany. In 1949, he returned to Washington and the Labor Department. Before being named assistant secretary, he had done tours as a manpower adviser in India and Vietnam. Mr. Werts was a native of Ohio and a graduate of both George Williams College in Illinois and the University of Chicago. He worked in employment for the state of Illinois during the 1930s. Surviors include his wife, Frances M., of Mitchellville; a daughter, Barbara Blatt of Los Angeles; and two grandsons. DAVID McLAUGHLIN Howard U. Zoology Professor David McLaughlin, 54, a professor of zoology at Howard University where he had taught since 1964, died of a heart ailment Aug. 3 at his home in Hyattsville. He had served as regional director and Howard University chapter executive secretary of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society. He had written technical articles and had attended scientific seminars, including one in the Soviet Union. Dr. McLaughlin, who moved here in 1956, was a native of Sumter, S.C. He was a graduate of Clark University in Atlanta and received master's and doctoral degrees in zoology at Howard University. His marriage to the former Pauletta Fellows ended in divorce. Survivors include his parents, Arthur and Iris McLaughlin of Sumter; and a sister, Dr. Arthuree M. Wright of Olney. FRANK C. CAMPBELL Real Estate Broker Frank C. Campbell, 78, a Washington real estate broker who was active in Shrine and church groups, died of respiratory failure Aug. 12 at Howard University Hospital. He lived in Washington. Mr. Campbell, who was a native of Surry County, Va., moved here in 1934. He was an agent with Capital View Realty in Washington before becoming an independent broker in 1959. He had been in semi-retirment in recent years. He had been a member of Turner Methodist Church in Washington for more than 50 years. He was a past potentate of the Shrine's Mecca Temple No. 10. Survivors include his wife, Grace C., of Washington. RITA WASSERMAN Girl Scouts Official Rita Wasserman, 70, a past vice president of the Girl Scouts' Metropolitan Council, died of cancer Aug. 12 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia. She had served as vice president of the Girl Scouts' Arlington County Council in the 1950s. She then chaired the body that oversaw the merger of several area groups into the new Metropolitan Council of Girl Scouts. She was vice president of that group in the 1960s. Mrs. Wasserman, who had lived in Arlington since coming here in 1940, was a native of New York City. She was a graduate of New York University and received a master's degree in education from Columbia University. Survivors include her husband, Jacob N., of Arlington; a daughter, Sally Wasserman Staebler of Detroit; a sister, Gertrude Diener of Scranton, Pa.; and two grandchildren. HELEN McCANN POTTER Naval Ordnance Supply Clerk Helen McCann Potter, 84, a retired civilian supply clerk with the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Silver Spring, died Aug. 11 of pneumonia at the University nursing home in Silver Spring. Mrs. Potter, who lived in the nursing home, was a Washington native. She was a graduate of Immaculate Conception Academy and attended Strayer Business College. In 1929, she became a clerk-typist with the Census Bureau. She went to the War Department in 1933 and left in 1945 to devote time to her family. She joined Naval Ordnance in 1959 and retired in 1973. Mrs. Potter was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, St. Bernadette's Catholic Church in Silver Spring, and its sodality. She was a past member of the Wheaton Rescue Squad ladies auxiliary, the Washington Retreat League, the Northwest Washington Lioness Club, and the Silver Spring Republican Women's Club. Her husband, Hallett H. Potter, whom she married in 1934, died in 1976. Survivors include two sons, Hallet Jr. of Takoma Park and Charles H. Potter II of Silver Spring; and a sister, Catherine McCann Grau of Rockville. KATHLEEN WHITE SCHAD Librarian and School Volunteer Kathleen White Schad, 72, a former librarian and Arlington schools volunteer, died of cancer April 14 at the Crystal City Nursing Center. Mrs. Schad, who lived in Arlington, was born in Aliceville, Ala. She graduated from Judson College and received a master's degree in library science at Louisiana State University. In 1946, she moved to the Washington area. She worked for the D.C. public libraries, the Department of the Navy Library and as the first librarian at the American Automobile Association before quitting work to raise a family in 1958. She was a member of the foreign language advisory committee and the school lunch committee of the Arlington Board of Education. She was founder and first president of Citizens for the Classics, a group that promoted the teaching of Latin and classical studies in public schools. She had received a special certificate of appreciation for her work on the foreign language committee. Survivors include her husband, Theodore M. Schad; two children, Mary Jane Klingelhofer and Rebecca C. Schad, both of Arlington; and five sisters, Annie Louise Wilkie, Marguerite Cooper and Jeanne Bowman, all of Jackson, Miss., Dolly White of Canton, Miss., and Maureen Michel of Liberty, Mo. WILBUR CHARLES WEBER Insurance Agent Wilbur Charles Weber, 70, a Northern Virginia insurance agent and the retired chief executive officer of the Alexandria-based Charles D. Pulman Inc., died of cancer Aug. 14 at his home in Springfield. Mr. Weber was born in New York City. During World War II he served in the Army Air Forces in the South Pacific. He graduated from Adelphi College. He sold insurance in New York, Wisconsin and Richmond before moving to the Washington area to work for Hardware Mutual Insurance Co. in 1965. In 1968 Mr. Weber founded Alpha Insurance Agency, which in 1971 merged with Charles D. Pulman Inc. He retired from Pulman in 1983. He had taught courses on insurance at Northern Virginia Community College and at Southeastern University in Washington. Mr. Weber organized the Boy Scout troop at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield and served as its first scoutmaster. Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Anna V. Weber of Springfield; two children, Eric D. Weber of Mobile, Ala., and Sara L. Schneidmiller of Greensboro, N.C.; a sister, Lee Hackett of Florida; and two grandchildren. ELIZABETH M. HOLLEY Schoolteacher Elizabeth M. Holley, 83, a retired Washington schoolteacher, died of cancer Aug. 11 at her home in Washington. Mrs. Holley was born in Washington. She graduated from Dunbar High School and Miner Teachers College and received a master's degree in education at Catholic University. She taught at Walker-Jones Elementary School from 1932 until she retired in 1974. She was a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church. Her husband, Emile T. Holley, died in 1979. Survivors include one stepson, Emile T. Holley Jr. of Oak Bluffs, Mass.; and two sisters, Bertha M. Carter and E. Gertrude Carey, both of Washington. JOAN MARGARET THORPE Rockville Painter Joan Margaret Thorpe, 62, a painter who was the membership chairman of the Rockville Art League and a past president of the Women's Art Exchange in Silver Spring, died Aug. 12 of cancer at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. Mrs. Thorpe, who lived in Rockville, worked in oils and watercolors. A native of Weehawken, N.J., she moved here in 1969. Survivors include her husband of 37 years, Martin J. Thorpe of Rockville; four sons, Timothy P. Thorpe of Hagerstown, Michael J. Thorpe of New York City, and Christopher M. Thorpe and Jeffrey V. Thorpe, both of Gaithersburg; two daughters, Dawn Thorpe-Eury of Germantown and Nancy Murray of Silver Spring; her mother, Beatrice M. Raine of Keyport, N.J.; two brothers; two sisters; and eight grandchildren. ALBERT SHEW CHEUNG Electronics Engineer Albert Shew Cheung, 66, a retired electronics engineer with the Naval Sea Systems Command, died Aug. 12 at Montgomery General Hospital after a heart attack. Mr. Cheung, who lived in Fort Washington, was born in Guangzhou, China. He moved to San Francisco at the age of 12 and attended San Francisco City College and the University of California at San Francisco. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II and participated in combat missions over Germany. In 1950 he began working as an engineer with the design division of the San Francisco Naval Shipyard. He moved to Washington in 1962 to work as an engineer with the Navy's Bureau of Ships. He retired from the Naval Sea Systems Command in 1987 and received the Navy's Meritorious Civilian Service Award upon retirement. He was a specialist in electronics warfare and a member of the Association of Old Crows. Survivors include his wife, Cecilia W. Cheung of Fort Washington; and four brothers.