Vincent Melzac, 75, a former chief executive officer of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and one of the earliest and boldest collectors of paintings of the Washington Color School, died Oct. 11 at George Washington University Hospital. He had cancer and a stroke. An educator by training, a businessman by profession and an art patron by avocation, Mr. Melzac also became a noted breeder of Arabian horses. As a collector, he had the confidence to buy where others had not bought before. As administrator of the Corcoran, he was a blunt and tough-minded cost-cutter. (But the most celebrated incident of his tenure there was a fistfight he had with former gallery director Gene Baro). His most lasting contribution may have been the assemblage of pictures he made. Clement Greenberg, who has been described as the most prophetic art critic of the postwar era and himself a collector, once sent Mr. Melzac a book with this inscription, "To the only other collector I know with guts." Mr. Melzac got this accolade for buying paintings by such Washington artists as Kenneth Noland, Gene Davis, Howard Mehring, Tom Downing, Paul Reed and Morris Louis when their work was virtually unknown even in local art circles. Now their color paintings occupy their own special place in the world of contemporary American art. At different times -- before his fortune became secure he sometimes had to sell pictures he otherwise would have kept -- Mr. Melzac also owned several works from the New York School of Painting, including pictures by such established artists as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. He gave some of his best pictures away. The Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art received 100 of his paintings as a partial gift, an arrangement in which a part is donated and part is purchased. He also made gifts to the Phillips Collection, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Museum of Art. He recently gave a bronze bust of President Bush he had commissioned by Marc Mellon to the National Portrait Gallery, and in 1986 he donated a sculpture called "Ecce Homo" by Giorgio Spiventa to the Vatican Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1971, Mr. Melzac was called on to reorganize the Corcoran. Its debts were ecalating and there were other management problems. In his first two weeks, he cut administrative expenses by $50,000 simply by abolishing several jobs, and in less than two years he reduced the gallery's deficit from more than $535,000 to about $100,000. Having brought the situation under control, he stepped down. Mr. Melzac's fight with Baro, whom he had hired to direct the art side of the gallery, occurred in the atrium of the Corcoran on a night in November 1972, when it was full of people attending a gala opening. A minor argument erupted into a dispute in which Mr. Melzac hit Baro on the side of the head, opening a cut that bled onto his shirt front, and Baro threw a drink at Mr. Melzac. The incident was widely reported. The two later exchanged apologies. A native of Warsaw, Mr. Melzac grew up in Cleveland. He graduated from Case Western Reserve University, where he also gained a master's degree in education. He got a doctorate in education at Harvard. He first came to Washington at the outbreak of World War II to work for the Office of Emergency Planning. He later worked for Wolf and Dessauer, a department store in Fort Wayne. In the 1950s, he headed a television marketing company. From 1958 until 1969, when he retired from business and returned to the Washington area, he was president of School Services Inc., a company engaged in the career school business. Since leaving the Corcoran, Mr. Melzac had been a consultant to several museums. He was the author of the Weatherhead Feasibility Study, an assessment of the visual needs of Fort Wayne and a step in the building of a new museum there. Mr. Melzac lived in Falls Church and Romney, W.Va., where he was a leading breeder of Arabian horses at Locust Hills Farm, his property there. He recently made a gift of horses to the Irish National Stud. He also was a former honorary whip of the Fairfax Hunt. He was a founder medalist of the James Smithson Society, an honorary organization of the Smithsonian Institution. His marriages to the former Doris Sanders and to Sharon Melzac ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife, Sheila Melzac of Falls Church and Romney; two children by his first marriage, Stephen V. Melzac of Fayetteville, N.C., and Christine Jasmine of Superior, Wis.; and two grandchildren. GARY WAYNE COMBS NIH Official Gary Wayne Combs, 45, chief of the development and training operations branch of the National Institutes of Health Training Center, died of cancer Oct. 11 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. Dr. Combs, who lived in Bethesda, was born in Richmond, Calif. He graduated from Baylor University and received a doctorate in public administration from the University of Southern California. He was an associate professor of public administration at Sangamon State University in Springfield, Ill., before moving to the Washington area and joining the staff at NIH in 1981. Dr. Combs was a part-time faculty member at the University of Maryland, where he taught courses on organizational behavior, theory and development. He was an organizational and career development consultant and trainer to about 50 business and professional organizations, and he wrote articles on organizational behavior. Survivors include his wife, Carol Combs, and two sons, Randy and Michael Combs, all of Bethesda; his mother, Vivian Combs, and a sister, Rita Scott, both of Bakersfield, Calif. WILLIAM DENNIS HALLORAN II Army Colonel William Dennis Halloran II, 48, a retired Army colonel who had been an executive since 1988 with the BDM Corp., a McLean defense contracting company, died of cancer Oct. 9 at Mount Vernon Hospital. He lived in Falls Church. Col. Halloran spent most of his Army career as an intelligence officer. He was assistant Army attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1976 to 1978 and Army attache there from 1983 to 1985. His last post before retiring in 1988 for health reasons was as chief of the U.S. military liaison mission in Potsdam, East Germany. A native of Maine, Col. Halloran graduated from Bowdoin College. He received a master's degree in personnel administration from George Washington University and a master's degree in Soviet studies from the University of Kansas. He was a graduate of the National War College and the Command and General Staff College. Col. Halloran was commissioned in 1963 and was a military adviser in South Vietnam from 1965 to 1966. He had a second tour there as a staff officer in Saigon from 1970 to 1971. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal and the Defense Superior Service Medal. His hobbies included raising Russian wolfhounds. Survivors include his wife, Dolores Wortman Halloran of Falls Church; a daughter, Rebecca Halloran of Brunswick, Maine; his parents, William and Jean Halloran of Venice, Fla.; and a sister, Katheryn Halloran of Chico, Calif. ROBERT M. BURR AFGE Library Director Robert M. Burr, 75, director of the library at the American Federation of Government Employees here, died of cancer Oct. 11 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. Mr. Burr had worked with Federation for about 10 years and had done legislative liaison work before he was asked to establish the library about two years ago. A resident of Washington, he was born in Yakima, Wash. He moved to this area as a child. He graduated from Devitt Preparatory School and joined the Merchant Marine at the age of 16. He worked aboard ships serving trade routes in the Far East, then graduated from Johns Hopkins University. Later Mr. Burr was a consultant and lobbyist in New York for the turbine industry, then on the staff of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. He was executive director of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Funds in Connecticut. In 1978 he returned to Washington where he sold real estate and worked for the National Association of Home Builders before joining the staff of the Federation of Government Employees. He sang in the Masterworks Chorus of Washington and played golf on weekends. His wife of 39 years, the former Madeline Stumpf, died in 1981. Survivors include two children, Richard Burr of Washington and Diane Riggs of Ann Arbor, Mich. THOMAS MANGAN Executive in Hop-Growers Firm Thomas Mangan, 96, retired vice president in the Washington office of John I. Haas Inc., hop growers, died of a heart ailment Oct. 10 at his home in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Mr. Mangan was born in Pittston, Pa., and he graduated from Georgetown University. He played on the tennis team at Georgetown and later was tennis coach there. He was a former Middle States tennis champion. He was president of the Middle Atlantic Tennis Association, and in 1976 was inducted into the Washington Tennis Hall of Fame. Mr. Mangan served in the Army during World War I. He was an investments broker here during the 1920s, began working in the Haas Washington office in 1930. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1942 but continued working here until retiring about 1975. He was the last surviving founding member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Washington, a member of the University Club here and an honorary life member of the Army & Navy Club in Washington. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Elsie H. Mangan of Bryn Mawr; four children, Thomas J. Mangan III of Chatham, N.J., Barbara Pitocchelli of Rosemont, Pa., Joanna Kennard of Amelia Island, Fla., and John F. Mangan of San Francisco; 15 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. WILLIAM ARMOUR DEAN JR. Dairy Assn. Executive William Armour Dean Jr., 86, retired associate technical director for the Dairy and Food Industry Supply Association here, died Oct. 9 at Montgomery General Hospital after a stroke. Mr. Dean worked 40 years for the Bowman Dairy Company in Chicago, the last 22 as chief engineer, before retiring and moving to Washington in 1966 to work for the dairy trade association. He retired from that organization in 1976 and had done dairy consulting since then. A resident of Leisure World in Silver Spring, Mr. Dean was born in Chicago and graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1965 he helped develop the model pasteurized milk ordinance for the U.S. Public Health Service. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and a former trustee and treasurer of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington. He was also treasurer of the National Presbyterian Church Day School and of Leisure World Kiwanis Club. He had done volunteer work at Montgomery General Hospital. His wife, Elizabeth Fetridge Dean, died in 1985. Survivors include two children, Elizabeth D. Wanderer of Wayne, Pa., and William Armour Dean III of San Francisco, and four grandchildren. EDWARD ERNEST GIBBON SR. Marine Warrant Officer Edward Ernest Gibbon Sr., 73, a retired Marine Corps commissioned warrant officer who later served 14 years as an Arlington deputy sheriff, died of cancer Oct. 10 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Mr. Gibbon, who lived in Arlington, was born in Henrico County, Va. He joined the Marine Corps in 1933 and specialized in aircraft mechanics early in his career. During World War II, he served in the Pacific. Postwar assignments included duty in Quantico, Va., North Carolina, Georgia and Hawaii. He specialized in data processing and financial management later in his career. He had lived in the Washington area since 1959, and he retired from the Marines in 1961. Mr. Gibbon was chief deputy sheriff in Arlington when he retired again in 1975. He was an amateur pilot and a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Masons, the American Legion and the Fraternal Order of Police. Survivors include his wife, Estela C. Gibbon of Arlington; five children, Edward E. Gibbon Jr. of Fairfax, Jorome T. Gibbon of Falls Church, James P. Gibbon of San Ramon, Calif.; Richard V. Gibbon of San Jose, and Teresa Stewart of Jacksonville, N.C.; and 12 grandchildren. ELMER J. JOHNSON Agricultural Educator Elmer J. Johnson, 93, a retired agricultural and vocational programs specialist with the U.S. Office of Education who also was on the board of directors of the Future Farmers of America, died Oct. 10 of pneumonia at Alexandria Hospital. He lived in Arlington. Mr. Johnson was a native of Kansas. During World War I, he served in the Army in France. He graduated from Kansas State University and received a master's degree in agricultural education from Colorado State University. He moved to the Washington area in 1941, when he joined the Office of Education. During World War II, he worked on developing rural agricultural training programs. He joined the board of the FFA in 1944. As a board member, he was a founder of National Future Farmer magazine. He retired from the Office of Education and the FFA board in 1965. Mr. Johnson wrote the books "Machines for the Farm, Ranch and Plantation" and "Servicing and Maintaining Farm Tractors," both published by McGraw-Hill. He also published a collection of essays, "Stories of the Old West." Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Hester Jane Johnson, a son, Karl Johnson, and two grandchildren, all of Arlington. WILLIAM H. McDONALD Army Colonel William H. McDonald, 70, a retired Army colonel and veteran of two wars, died of cancer Oct. 11 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia in Arlington. Col. McDonald, a resident of Springfield, was born in Jacksonville, Fla. He began his military service in 1940, when he enlisted in the Army. He was commissioned through Officer Candidate School, and he made his career in the Army Ordnance Corps. During World War II, he served in Europe, and he also served in Korea during the war there. Other overseas assignments were in Germany, France and Japan. He was stationed at the Pentagon when he retired in 1970. Col. McDonald's military decorations included the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star. He was a member of the Springfield Golf and Country Club and had maintained a home in the Washington area since 1961. His first wife, Mary Lafferty McDonald, died in 1985. Survivors include his wife, Thelma McDonald of Springfield; five children by his first marriage, William H. McDonald Jr. and Kay C. McDonald, both of Vienna, Michael G. McDonald and Patricia M. McDonald, both of Alexandria, and Christopher T. McDonald of Springfield, and seven grandchildren. MYLES L. LIBHART Official at Interior Myles L. Libhart, 58, museums, exhibitions and publications director for the Interior Department's Indian arts and crafts board since moving to the Washington area in 1963, died of a heart ailment Oct. 9 at his home in Chevy Chase. In his post as director, he supervised the operation of three government-administered museums of Indian art and history in Oklahoma, South Dakota and Montana. He also was the author of publications on Indian art, a museum consultant and production supervisor of a film on the subject. He also was an artist and had exhibited work he had done in enamels. Mr. Libhart was a native of Pennsylvania. He studied at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where he also had taught courses in painting and enamels. Before joining the government, he had been exhibitions and publications director at the museum. Survivors include his wife, the former Patricia Rueckel, of Chevy Chase; his mother, Emily E. Libhart of Marietta, Pa., and five brothers, Anthony C., of Huntsville, Ala., Lamar L., of Harrisburg, Pa., and John J., Joseph H., and Robert L., all of Marietta. JACOB D. KOLKER Lawyer and Real Estate Broker Jacob D. Kolker, 84, a retired Washington lawyer and real estate broker, died of cardiac arrest Oct. 12 at the Manor Care Nursing Home in Potomac. He lived in Washington. Mr. Kokler was born in Baltimore and moved to Washington as a child. He was a graduate of McKinley Technical High School and what is now the George Washington University law school. In the mid-1930s he moved to New York, where he worked as a lawyer with the Home Owners Loan Corp. After World War II he worked as a property disposal officer with U.S. Occupation Forces in Japan. From 1951 until he retired about 20 years ago, Mr. Kolker operated a law practice and real estate business in Washington. In retirement he had done volunteer work for and served as president of the Service Corps of Retired Executives. He had been twice elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner from his Upper Cleveland Park neighborhood. Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Edith Kolker, and a daughter, Joan Goldwasser, both of Washington, and two granddaughters.