Octavia E. Webb, 90, a retired teacher and administrator who worked in the D.C. public schools for nearly 50 years before retiring in 1970, died of pneumonia July 14 at the Collingwood nursing home in Rockville.
She began her career in the D.C. public schools in 1921. She taught at several elementary schools, including the Mann, Hardy, Oyster, Weightman and Tenley. From 1946 to 1952, she was a teaching principal at Stanton Elementary. She then spent five years as a teaching supervisor. From 1957 until retiring, she was supervising director of all the District's public elementary schools.
Mrs. Webb, who became known to students as the "poetry lady" for enthusiasm in teaching that art, had served on D.C. schools committees that examined prospective teachers and that negotiated salary contracts with teachers.
She had been a consultant to such groups as the Smithsonian Institution and George Washington University. She also had done work for Washington Post book fairs and co-wrote "The Handbook for Junior Writers," published by Prentice Hall publishers.
She was the recipient of a 1956 Eugene Meyer Award. She also received awards from such groups as the Junior Citizens Corps.
Mrs. Webb, who lived in Chevy Chase before entering Collingwood three years ago, was a native of Washington. She was a graduate of the old Western High School and the old Wilson Normal School. She was a graduate of George Washington University, where she also received a master's degree in education.
Her marriage to William T. Reed Jr. ended in divorce. Her second husband, William T. Webb Sr., died in 1963.
Her survivors include a son, William T. Reed III of Gaithersburg; a stepson, William T. Webb Jr. of Washington; a stepdaughter, Mary Webb Courtney of Florida; a brother, Constantine Eisinger of Bethesda; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
CHARLES F. McCONNELL
Charles F. McConnell, 74, retired district sales manager for Lederle Pharmaceutical Co., a subsidiary of American Cyanamid, died July 12 at Suburban Hospital after a heart attack.
Mr. McConnell, who lived in Bethesda, was born in New York City. He was an Army medic in Europe during World War II. As a young man he was a semiprofessional boxer and hockey player.
He began working for Lederle as a messenger in New York and moved to the Washington area in 1957. He had won several gold cup awards as Lederle's top salesman.
Mr. McConnell retired from Lederle about 15 years ago after more than 40 years with the company. In retirement he had worked as a manufacturer's representative.
His wife, Kathleen McConnell, died in 1958. Survivors include three children, Carol McConnell Cook of Chevy Chase, Lynne M. Quest of Olney and Robert S. McConnell of Mount Airy, Md.; and four grandchildren.
DOROTHY P. CUNNINGHAM
Dorothy P. Cunningham, 65, a retired Fairfax County teacher, died of cancer July 16 at her home in Springfield.
Mrs. Cunningham was born in Bryan, Tex. She moved to the Washington area from Alabama in the mid-1960s and graduated from the University of Maryland. She received a master's degree in history at George Mason University.
She taught history for 12 years in Fairfax County before retiring in 1985. For most of that period she was assigned at Robinson High School. She also taught at Lake Braddock and West Springfield high schools.
Survivors include her husband, Robert Kuhlman Cunningham Sr., a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and two children, Barbara Cunningham Clark and Robert Kuhlman Cunningham Jr., all of Springfield; and two grandchildren.
Virko Keder, 59, an engineer with the Mitre Corp. in McLean, died July 16 at Fairfax Hospital after a heart attack.
Mr. Keder, who lived in McLean, was born in Tartu, Estonia. He immigrated to New Jersey in 1948 and graduated from Purdue University, where he also received a master's degree in electrical engineering. He came here 22 years ago after having worked as an engineer in New Jersey.
He was a member of the American Estonian National Committee.
Survivors include his wife, Ellen Keder, a daughter, Tiina Keder, and his mother, Leida Keder, all of McLean.