Clara Mortenson Beyer, 98, the former associate director of the Bureau of Labor Standards and a leading expert on labor law and administration, died of an acute cardiac arrhythmia Sept. 25 at her home in Washington.
Mrs. Beyer was an aide and adviser to Frances Perkins, who served as secretary of labor for 12 years during the Roosevelt administration, and in that capacity she was an influential figure on labor policies of the New Deal era.
She was associate director of the Bureau of Labor Standards from its creation in 1934 until 1958, when she left the Labor Department to join the staff of the International Cooperation Administration, a forerunner of the Agency for International Development. In that job she toured developing nations to investigate labor conditions and policies.
At the Labor Department and at AID, Mrs. Beyer was a champion of women's issues. She was co-author of the Percy amendment to the International Cooperation Assistance Act of 1973 that targeted specific amounts of U.S. foreign aid to programs serving women.
A native of Middletown, Calif., Mrs. Beyer graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, where she also received a master's degree in economics, specializing in labor issues.
She came east in 1916 to teach a graduate course on labor problems at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. While teaching there, she met Felix Frankfurter, the future Supreme Court justice who was then serving on the faculty at Harvard. Frankfurter had come to Bryn Mawr to deliver a lecture. He invited Mrs. Beyer to work with him in Washington on the War Labor Policies Board, and she accepted.
Mrs. Beyer moved to Washington in July 1917, and was assigned to help formulate World War I labor policies with Elizabeth Brandeis, the daughter of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who would later become one of Mrs. Beyer's mentors.
After World War I, Mrs. Beyer became secretary of the Minimum Wage Board for the District of Columbia. Congress had just passed a minimum wage law for the city, and Mrs. Beyer's assignment was to study prevailing wages paid to working women. She found 10 percent of the working women in Washington received less than $9 a week and 75 percent less than $16. Eventually a weekly minimum of $16.50 was set, one of the highest in the country at the time.
In 1920 she married Otto Beyer, who would later become a member of the National Mediation Board, and in 1921 they moved to a farm in McLean. He died in 1948.
In the 1920s, Mrs. Beyer held a variety of part-time jobs. She was executive secretary of the Women's Joint Committee for the Minimum Wage and Hour Legislation, a researcher for the American Federation of Labor, and executive secretary of the New York Consumers' League, where she worked with Frances Perkins and Molly Dewson, who became director of the Women's Division of the Democratic Party after Franklin D. Roosevelt's victory in the 1932 presidential election.
In 1928, Mrs. Beyer returned to work at the Labor Department's Children's Bureau. With Dewson she helped organize a campaign to push for Perkins's appointment as labor secretary in Roosevelt's Cabinet.
At the Bureau of Labor Standards, Mrs. Beyer worked on such issues as apprenticeship, vocational education, liaison with state governments, programs for elderly and migrant laborers, occupational accident and disease controls, industrial home work abuses and training for factory inspectors. She had a reputation as an enthusiastic and imaginative administrator who was open and frank but not always diplomatic.
She was 66 when she retired from the Department of Labor, but she continued to work for AID and its predecessor agencies for the next 16 years, and in that period visited 32 countries.
At her retirement in 1972, she was awarded a certificate of appreciation for outstanding contributions to "the social and economic development of women and men both in the United States and overseas." She continued to work as a consultant to AID in retirement.
Survivors include three sons, Donald Beyer of Falls Church, Morton Beyer of Washington and Richard Beyer of Pateros, Wash.; 12 grandchildren, one of whom is Virginia Lt. Gov. Donald S. Beyer Jr.; and 23 great-grandchildren.
Margot Higgins, 83, a former Washington resident who had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkey and a food services manager at YWCA residences in Chicago and Boston, died of cancer Sept. 18 at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, Del.
Mrs. Higgins was born in London. She graduated from the University of London and immigrated to the United States in 1939.
She lived in New Orleans and worked as a food services manager in Chicago and Boston. She was with the Peace Corps in Turkey from 1965 to 1967, then worked as a nutrition specialist at CARE headquarters in New York before moving to Washington in 1973.
She was a member of the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, and she had served four years as an advisory neighborhood commissioner on Capitol Hill. She was a founding member of Sojourner Truth Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Washington and an author of two cookbooks.
She moved from Washington to Newcastle, Del., in 1989.
Her husband, Geoffrey Randell Higgins, died in 1960.
Survivors include three children, Jane Bedno of Philadelphia, Michael S. Higgins of Newcastle and Robert B. Higgins of Wallingford, Pa.; a sister, Mary Heazell of England; and six grandchildren.
VERA S. MONEY
Vera S. Money, 78, who with her husband owned a Quality Inn motel in Winchester, Va., from 1952 until 1975, when they sold it and retired, died Sept. 23 at the Fairfax Nursing Home in Fairfax. She had Hodgkin's disease.
Mrs. Money was born in Newport News, Va., and raised in Fairfax. After retiring, she and her husband, Curtis Money, divided their time between Ocean City, Md., and Pompano Beach, Fla.
Mrs. Money was a member of the Women of the Moose in Winchester.
Her husband died last May.
Survivors include a son, William Curtis Money Sr. of Annandale; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
FRANK A. O'CONNELL
Frank A. O'Connell, 68, a retired international vice president and legislative director for the United Transportation Workers Union of America who during the 1950s was president of the D.C. Industrial Union Council, died of cardiac arrest Sept. 19 at a hospital in Virginia Beach.
Mr. O'Connell, who lived in Falls Church, was in Virginia Beach attending a reunion of the Washington chapter of 10th Mountain Division veterans.
Mr. O'Connell was a native of Massachusetts. During World War II, he served in the Army in Europe. He began his career with the union in 1950 while working as an airline mechanic in Florida. He transferred to the Washington area in 1952 and became legislative director the next year. He retired in 1983.
He was a member of St. Philip's Catholic Church in Falls Church.
Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Mildred O'Connell of Falls Church; two children, Kevin O'Connell of Raleigh, N.C., and Michael O'Connell of Pawtuckett, R.I.; two brothers, Harold O'Connell of North Quincy, Mass., and William O'Connell of Chelmsford, Mass.; and seven grandchildren.
Robert Taylor, 65, a retired Latin America and Far East specialist with the Agency for International Development, died of cancer Sept. 17 at his home in Millersville, Pa.
Mr. Taylor was born in Dushore, Pa. He served in the Navy during World War II and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 1949.
After working as a management consultant in Harrisburg for a year, he began working for U.S. foreign assistance programs in West Germany in 1950.
He served overseas in Berlin, The Netherlands and Luxembourg and in Washington. He retired in 1980.
A former resident of Alexandria, Mr. Taylor moved to Pennsylvania in 1987.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Taylor of Millersville; a son, Robert Taylor of Olney; four brothers, Gerald and Alfred Taylor, both of Dushore, William Taylor of Washington and Charles Taylor of Upland, Calif.; five sisters, Lydia Martin of Warsaw, N.Y., Sister Mary Cecelia Taylor of Owensboro, Ky., Jane Grasso of West Chester, Pa., Cordelia Sammon of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Patricia Snyder of Lancaster, Pa.; and three grandchildren.
H. ABNER WHITMER
H. Abner Whitmer, 74, a retired construction engineer, died at Mount Vernon Hospital on Sept. 11 after a stroke.
Mr. Whitmer, who lived in Alexandria, was born in Shepherdstown, W.Va. He served in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II.
He worked in the construction business in Shepherdstown before moving to the Washington area in 1961.
In the 1960s and 1970s he was resident engineer with LBC & W Architects here. Among his construction assignments was Northern Virginia Community College.
He retired about 1980 but continued to work on home remodeling jobs.
He also did remodeling work at Groveton Baptist Church, where he was a deacon and an usher.
His wife, Audrey Frances Whitmer, died in 1986.
Survivors include five children, Anna Louise Whitmer of Silver Spring, Wayne Douglas Whitmer of Sterling, Martha Belle Peplow of Arlington, and Calvin Richard Whitmer and John Edward Whitmer, both of Alexandria; a brother, Wesley Whitmer, and a twin sister, Georgia Whitmer, both of Shepherdstown; and seven grandchildren.
LOUISE HOOVER SAUL
Hospital Board Member
Louise Hoover Saul, 80, who served on the women's board of the Columbia Hospital for Women and who was a member of the Navy Relief Society, died Sept. 26 at her home in Chevy Chase. She had Parkinson's disease.
Mrs. Saul was born in Washington, and she graduated from Sidwell Friends School and the old National Park Seminary.
In 1933, she married Charles B. Lanman, a Navy officer who retired as a rear admiral. He died in 1957.
In 1959, she married Andrew M. Saul. He died in 1985.
Mrs. Saul was a member of the Chevy Chase Club and the Chevy Chase Garden Club.
Survivors include three children by her first marriage, George M. Lanman of McLean, Mary Louise Kenary of Chevy Chase and Charles B. Lanman Jr. of Washington; two stepchildren, Ruth S. Poljevka of Collingwood, N.J., and B. Francis Saul II of Chevy Chase; two sisters, Catherine H. Leonard of Chevy Chase and Elizabeth H. Miller of Hilton Head, S.C.; 15 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
WILLIAM K. WHITTEMORE
William K. Whittemore, 64, a retired electrical engineer and a native Washingtonian, died of emphysema Sept. 16 at his home in Cleveland.
Mr. Whittemore was a graduate of Wilson High School and George Washington University. He served in the Navy during World War II.
In 1950 he began working as an electrical engineer in Washington for what later became the Gould Corp. He was transferred to Cleveland shortly thereafter, then returned to this area in the late 1950s. In 1965 he moved back to Cleveland. He retired in 1986 as director of quality assurance and reliability.
Survivors include his wife, Janet Whittemore of Cleveland; three children, Marilyn and Cynthia Whittemore, both of Cleveland, and Richard K. Whittemore of Midlothian, Va.; a sister, Nancy W. Simon of Washington; and a grandson.