Thomas H. Johnson, 46, a special assistant for military systems and an adviser to Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins for the past year who was an Army colonel, a noted physicist and a gifted teacher, died of cancer June 27 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
From 1981 to 1983, he was a special assistant to the president's science adviser and executive director of the White House Science Council.
He was an authority on satellite communications, lasers, magnetic confinement fusion and nuclear weapons. He had worked on arms control questions and the B-2 bomber project.
Upon learning of his death, Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney hailed Dr. Johnson's work on the Strategic Defense Initiative, high-energy lasers and nuclear safety issues.
His work for the Defense Department included service with the Defense and Army Science boards, and as an adviser to the National Security Council and the House Armed Services Committee. He had worked on Defense Department studies on subjects ranging from the superconducting super collider to biomedical research.
At West Point, where he taught from 1977 to 1980 and had technically served since 1982, he carved a career as distinguished as it was varied.
At West Point he was a full professor of applied physics, director of the Science Research Laboratory and associate dean for academic research. He left the military academy to join Watkins's staff.
Over the years, he taught courses not only in physics, but in the departments of English, chemistry, mathematics and the social sciences. He also was an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where he taught political science; and he had given seminars on arms control and science policy at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Cornell and Yale univerities.
Titles of his West Point courses included "Laser Physics," "Tradition and Innovation in Modern American Poetry," "Numerical Solutions of Partial Differential Equations," "Film Analysis and Criticism," "Electricity and Magnetism" and "T.S. Eliot Colloquium."
Dr. Johnson, who lived in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., was a native of Boston. After graduating from West Point in 1965, he received a commission in the Air Force. He transferred back to the Army in 1980 and retired, for medical reasons, as a colonel in April. He held master's and doctoral degrees in applied physics from the University of California at Davis.
From 1975 to 1977, he was chief of the physics section at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory in New Mexico, and worked on nuclear weapons design there from 1965 to 1967. He also was a visiting scientist at the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos laboratories and was a consultant to the Central Intelligence Agency.
Dr. Johnson was a 1986 recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' Donald G. Fink prize for the best review article published by the institute during the year. He was the author of many technical articles and was a reviewer and editor for several scientific journals.
Survivors include his wife, Cynthia Galas Johnson, and three daughters, Jennifer Ann, Emily Catherine and Laura Elizabeth Johnson, all of Cornwall-on-Hudson; his parents, John and Elizabeth Johnson of Roanoke; and a brother, Nick Johnson of Silver Spring.
ROBERT L. COXE
Army Officer, Real Estate Agent
Robert L. Coxe, 63, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and former military attache in El Salvador who later became a Northern Virginia real estate agent, died June 30 at George Washington University Hospital. He had pneumonia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Col. Coxe, who lived in Vienna, was born in Wilmington, Del. He served in the Army in Germany during World War II, then graduated from the University of Delaware. He returned to military duty in 1950 and was assigned to Germany.
Later assignments included service as a military attache in Iran, duty in Vietnam during the war there and assignments in the United States. He received a master's degree in military geography from the University of Oklahoma.
In 1970, Col. Coxe retired from the Army after having served in El Salvador. His military decorations included a Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
On retiring from the Army, he moved to the Washington area and worked as a real estate salesman and manager for firms in Northern Virginia before opening his own company, Roberts and Lloyd Inc. Realtors, in 1979. He managed the business until his death.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Jean Hamphill Coxe of Vienna; three children, Kathleen Cunningham of Reno, Nev., Army Maj. Robert L. Coxe Jr. of Woodbridge and David H. Coxe of Vienna; and three grandchildren.
ROBERT J. MORRISSEY
Robert James Morrissey, 61, a retired Army colonel and decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, died of cancer July 1 at Fairfax Hospital. He lived in McLean.
Since 1982, he had worked for XMCO Inc., a Herndon defense consulting firm. He was an assistant vice president at the time of his death.
Col. Morrissey joined the Army in 1952 and was commissioned later that year. From 1967 to 1968, he served in Vietnam, where he commanded an ordnance battalion. Other overseas assignments took him to Korea, Panama, Europe and Morocco. He also became a parachutist and graduated from the Army War College. His last assignment, before retiring from active duty in 1982, was a logistics post with the Army Readiness Command in Alexandria.
His decorations included four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with "V" for valor, the Purple Heart and four Army Commendation medals.
Col. Morrissey was a native of Peoria, Ill., and a graduate of what is now the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He received a master's degree in personnel management from George Washington University.
Survivors include his wife, Marta, of McLean; a son, Sean, of Alexandria; three daughters, Patricia Morrissey of Philadelphia, and Madeleine Morrissey and Catherine Parkhurst, both of Falls Church; a brother, Jack, and a sister, Charlotte Scherer, both of Peoria; and two grandchildren.
BERNADINE T. McCORMACK
Bernadine T. McCormack, 74, a retired exective secretary at the Fairbank Highway Research Station of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads, died of congestive heart failure June 23 at Morton F. Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Fla.
Mrs. McCormack, a resident of Belleair Bluffs, Fla., was born in Philadelphia. She moved to the Washington area in 1946. She worked at the Fairbank research facility in McLean from about 1963 until she retired in 1972.
A former resident of Washington and Silver Spring, she moved to Florida in 1972. Mrs. McCormack was a member of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Washington and St. Bernadette's Catholic Church in Silver Spring.
Survivors include her husband, Thomas F. McCormack, whom she married in 1940, of Belleair Bluffs; four children, Thomas F. Jr., and Noel A. McCormack, both of Bethesda, Kevin B. McCormack of Oakton and Lorraine E. McCormack of Washington; a brother, Arthur F. Summers Jr. of Drexel Hill, Pa.; a sister, Jane R. Raymond of Wallingford, Pa.; and four grandchildren.