W. Montague Cobb, 86, a professor emeritus of anatomy at Howard University and a past president of the NAACP, died Nov. 20 at George Washington University Hospital. He had heart ailments and pneumonia.
Dr. Cobb taught at Howard for more than 40 years, and he estimated that he had helped train more than 6,000 physicians.
Outside of the classroom he was a persistent and eloquent spokesman in behalf of many civil rights causes, an author and editor, a historian of blacks in medicine, a member and officer of numerous societies, the recipient of many honors and a violinist. A raconteur of wit and learning, he liked to tell about how Clyde McDuffie, his Latin teacher at Dunbar High School, superimposed the campaigns of Caesar on the battle maps of World War I to show his students how the Roman general had fought over the same ground almost 2,000 years earlier.
Dr. Cobb was a past president of the National Medical Association, which is the nation's principal organization of black physicians, and from 1949 to 1977, he was the editor of its Journal. He also was a past president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the Anthropological Society of Washington, the Medico-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia and the Washington Society for the History of Medicine.
He was president of the NAACP from 1976 to 1982, and served for more than 30 years on its board of directors. As a leader of the nation's oldest civil rights organization he embraced the full range of its programs, but he had a particular interest in improved medical care for blacks and equal access for black physicians to hospitals and other medical facilities.
William Montague Cobb was born in Washington and was a lifelong resident. "I'm just Monty Cobb, the printer's son," he told a Washington Post interviewer in 1982. Referring to his origins, he said, "Paul wrote, 'If a man thinks something of himself when he is nothing, only he is deceived.' "
Although his beginnings may have been modest, his accomplishments began early. Having graduated from Dunbar High in 1921, he went to Amherst College on a scholarship. He received a medical degree from Howard and then went to what is now Case Western Reserve University, where he received a doctorate in anatomy.
In 1928, he was appointed an instructor at the Howard medical school. He became an assistant professor of anatomy in 1932, a full professor in 1942 and department chairman in 1947.
While teaching, Dr. Cobb served as a member and chairman of the D.C. Public Health Advisory Council, secretary of the Anatomical Board of the District of Columbia and chairman of the D.C. Citizens Advisory Committee to Reduce Litter. He was a member of the board of directors of the Friends of the National Zoo, and in 1965, he served on the executive committee of the White House Conference on Health. From 1957 to 1959, he taught physical anthropology at Catholic University.
Over the years, Dr. Cobb published more than 600 papers in professional journals.
It was not all easy. In 1969, the freshman class at the Howard medical school boycotted classes to protest the old ways of doing things and demanded Dr. Cobb's ouster as chairman of the anatomy department. He stepped down but received the rank of distinguished university professor. He retired in 1973 as professor emeritus. In subsequent years he took a number of guest teaching posts.
"I would say this without bitterness," Dr. Cobb told the Post interviewer. "Howard doesn't seem to know how to make their scholars happy. But I have three Latin words for that, illegitimati non carborundum, which loosely translates, 'Don't let the bastards get you down.' "
Dr. Cobb was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Anthropological Association and the American Gerontological Society. He was a former member of the board of managers of the Cosmos Club.
His honors included the Henry Gray Award of the American Association of Anatomists and the Distinguished Service Award of the Medico-Chirurgical Society. He received honorary degrees from Amherst, Morgan State University, the University of Witwatersrand, Georgetown University, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Howard University, Brown University, the University of Arkansas and Colby College.
An amateur violinist, Dr. Cobb had a collection of recordings of string quartets with one part missing, which he would supply as he played the records.
His wife, the former Hilda B. Smith, whom he married in 1929, died in 1976.
Survivors include two children, Carolyn Webb Wilkinson of Washington and Amelia Cobb Gray of Silver Spring; and four grandchildren.
JAMES M. FERELS
Director of AIDS Project
James M. Ferels, 43, the director of the AIDS Community Training Project for the American Psychological Association, died Nov. 15 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He had AIDS.
Mr. Ferels organized conferences for health and mental care providers about the psychological, social and personal aspects of living with AIDS. He had been director of the training project since 1988.
A resident of Washington, he was born in Jackson, Mich. He graduated from the University of Michigan and received a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Eastern Michigan University. He was an adult education teacher in Flint, Mich., and a judicial casework supervisor and director of inmate services for the Genesee County Sheriff's Department in Flint from 1971 to 1984. He then became executive director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
From 1985 to 1987, Mr. Ferels was director of Planned Parenthood in San Angelo, Tex. He moved to Washington in 1987 to be associate director for resources and training at the National AIDS Network.
He was a member of the AIDS advisory committee of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration and a board member of the National Association of People With AIDS.
His marriage to JoNell Ferels ended in divorce.
Survivors include two sons, David and Dominick Ferels of Muskegon, Mich.; his mother, Frances Ferels of Jackson, Mich.; and three brothers.
Hay-Adams Hotel Manager
Michael Pugliese, 74, a longtime Washington hotel manager who was a member of Urbana United Methodist Church in Urbana, Md., died of cancer Nov. 22 at Georgetown University Hospital. He lived in Frederick.
He began his hotel career in the early 1930s as a busboy at the old Hamilton Hotel here. He became manager of the hotel at 14th and K streets NW in 1963, and held that post until it was sold in 1968. He then was manager of the Hay-Adams Hotel until 1979. Since that time, he had been manager of the Moreschi office building at 16th and I streets NW.
In 1979, he was named an honorary life member of the Hotel Association of Washington. Mr. Pugliese, who was a native of Pennsylvania, came here in the early 1930s.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy, of Frederick; three daughters, Patty Hinkle of Olney, Susan Delborrell of Mount Airy and Diana Griffith of Woodbine, Md.; a brother; five sisters; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
RUTH LOUISE NOWAK
Special Education Teacher
Ruth Louise Nowak, 71, an area special education teacher for 14 years before retiring in 1983 from Berkshire Elementary School in District Heights, died Nov. 21 at Southern Maryland Hospital Center. She had Alzheimer's disease.
She began her teaching career in 1969 at the old Surrattsville Elementary School in Clinton, and later taught at Crestview Elementary before transferring to Berkshire.
An area resident since 1943, Mrs. Nowak had lived in Clinton since 1952. She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She graduated in 1942 from Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and received a special education certificate from the University of Maryland.
During World War II, she served as an officer in the Navy WAVES with the Office of Naval Intelligence here. After the war, she worked for a time as an intelligence analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency until retiring from the federal government in 1950.
Survivors include her husband of 43 years, Richard C. Nowak of Clinton; three sons, Paul B., of Sunderland, Md., Stephen, of Brandywine, Md., and Richard S., of Clinton; two daughters, Stephanie Morton of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Monica Noell of Prince Frederick, Md.; and two grandchildren.
JOHN J. 'BUCK' HERZOG
John J. "Buck" Herzog, 69, a retired Navy captain who later worked as a civilian Soviet analyst, died of cancer Nov. 21 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia.
Capt. Herzog retired from the Navy in 1975 after serving two years with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington. He had been a U.S. naval attache in Moscow from 1968 to 1970, then commander of a destroyer squadron based in San Diego. From 1971 to 1973, he was fleet operations officer and assistant chief of staff for operations on the staff of the Pacific fleet commander in Hawaii.
Earlier he had been commanding officer of the destroyer, Higbee, and executive officer of the cruiser, Oklahoma City, and had served off the coast of Vietnam during the Southeast Asian conflict.
A resident of Arlington, Capt. Herzog was born in North Platte, Neb. He joined the Navy as an enlisted man in 1940, then went to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis where he graduated in June 1945 with the class of 1946.
After World War II, his assignments included submarine school, service aboard submarines operating out of Norfolk and San Diego, command of the submarine, Cubera, operating out of Norfolk, and duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington.
Capt. Herzog's military decorations included two Legions of Merit, a Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation medals and a Meritorious Service Medal.
After retiring from the Navy, Capt. Herzog worked nine years as a Soviet Navy analyst for the BDM Corp. in McLean. In 1984, he founded Technical Research Corp., specializing in research on Soviet technology.
A golfer, Capt. Herzog played regularly at the Army Navy Country Club.
Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Jean Herzog of Arlington; two children, Stephen Herzog of Modesto, Calif., and Gail Ingram of Huemoz, Switzerland; a sister, Edna Grace Callihan of Lakewood, Calif.; and seven grandchildren.
DAUGHERTY 'SNUFFY' SMITH
Daugherty Mason "Snuffy" Smith, 72, a retired Army colonel who was a senior scientist with the Calculon Corp. in Germantown from 1975 to 1987, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 22 at Fairfax Hospital. He lived in Vienna.
Col. Smith was born in Denver and grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1943 with a commission in the Signal Corps.
He served in Europe during World War II. After the war, he served on the Allied staff in Paris, commanded a signal battalion in Hawaii, and worked for the Army Materiel Command. He also had been chief of staff of the United Nations strategic communications command in Korea. He retired from active duty in 1973.
Col. Smith was a graduate of the Army War College. He received master's degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and in international relations from George Washington University.
He was a resident of this area since 1975, and was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Vienna.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Dorothy Marie Smith of Vienna; five sons, Mason, of Colorado Springs, Gary, of Alexandria, Bruce, of Warrenton, Stephan, of Chicago, and Mark, of Herndon; two daughters, Christine McKee of Dayton, Ohio, and Annette Mashburn of Roanoke; and 19 grandchildren.