The obituary yesterday for Robert J. Benford, a retired Air Force colonel and physician, misstated his medical education. He earned his medical degree at the University of Nebraska. (Published 12/12/90)
Donald Roy Egolf, 62, an Agriculture Department research horticulturist and shrub specialist who worked at the National Arboretum, died Dec. 7 at Prince George's Hospital Center as a result of injuries he received in a traffic accident earlier that day.
A Maryland State Police spokesman said Dr. Egolf was southbound on Route 202 near Hancock Drive in Prince George's County when his car drove onto the shoulder of the road, into a ditch and hit a cement barrier.
Working for the Agricultural Research Service, Dr. Egolf and his colleagues at the Arboretum worked to improve plants for commercial use.
He came to the Washington area and began his research at the Arboretum in 1958, becoming an authority on plant genetics and ornamental shrubs. During his career, he helped develop new varieties of crape myrtle and rose of Sharon and worked on projects to breed lilacs that were more resistant to cold and heat. He also directed the Arboretum's breeding program for pyracantha.
As the international registrar of lagerstroemia, pyracantha and viburnum blooms, he also named the newly developed varieties. During his first 30 years at the Arboretum, he helped develop about 60 new plants for marketing. He named four varieties of large-flowering hibiscus for Greek divinities and 23 kinds of crape myrtle after American Indian tribes.
He was an honorary life member of the American Hibiscus Society, the Potomac Lily Society and the International Lilac Society. He was the author of more than 100 technical works.
Dr. Egolf, who lived in Upper Marlboro, was born in Pennsylvania, where he grew up on a dairy farm in Bedford County. As a youth, he won awards for poultry and heifers. He was a 1951 horticulture graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He received master's and doctoral degrees in plant breeding from Cornell University. He also was a Fulbright scholar at the University of London during the 1950s.
He was a member of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Upper Marlboro.
His wife, Sara, died in 1989. Survivors include two sons, Arthur R., of Blacksburg, Va., and Paul D., of Charleston, S.C.; a daughter, Margaret Egolf of Upper Marlboro; and three brothers, Robert I., of Osterburg, Pa., and James H. and Charles Richard Egolf, both of Alum Bank, Pa.
Bernard Zavos, 69, a meteorologist and former official of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who also was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, died Dec. 8 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He had diabetes.
He served as a meteorologist in the Air Force from 1947 until retiring in 1963. Over the years, he held posts in this country, West Germany and Japan.
Col. Zavos then joined the National Weather Service, which later became part of NOAA, and did liaison work with NASA. From 1967 to 1970, he was a special assistant to the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization.
He then spent six years as deputy director of the plans and program division in NOAA's Environmental Monitoring and Prediction Office. From 1976 until retiring from NOAA in 1983, he was chief of the National Weather Service's overseas operations division. He then was a NOAA consultant until retiring altogether about 1985.
He was the recipient of the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Commerce Department's Silver Medal.
Col. Zavos, a Potomac resident who had lived in this area since 1970, was born in Pittsburgh. He was a 1947 graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh and received a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Minnie, of Potomac; a son, Bruce, of Frederick; two daughters, Michele Zavos of Washington and Deborah Zavos of Hyattsville; a sister, Esther Rubenfield of Pittsburgh; and two grandchildren.
ROBERT J. BENFORD
Air Force Colonel
Robert J. Benford, 85, a retired Air Force colonel and physician who was medical relations director of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association from 1960 to 1967, died of pneumonia Dec. 8 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He lived in Washington.
Col. Benford received his Army commission in 1936 and served as a medical officer in the China-Burma-India theater during World War II.
He transferred to the Air Force when that service was created in 1947, then served as a surgeon and medical writer.
He also served in West Germany, where he helped organize and commanded an aeromedical intelligence center, and served with the Air Research and Development Command and the office of the assistant secretary of defense for health.
He also edited several Defense Department technical publications, including the Armed Forces Medical Journal.
After retiring from the Pharmaceutical Association, a trade organization, Col. Benford edited U.S. Medicine, an independent publication, before moving to Florida in 1979. He returned to Washington in 1988.
His military decorations included the Legion of Merit and three Air Force Commendation medals. He was a founding member of the Association of Military Surgeons and a member of the Aerospace Medical Association, the Retired Officers Association and the National Press Club. His hobbies included jazz.
Col. Benford graduated from Creighton University in his native Omaha in 1928. He graduated from the University of Colorado medical school in 1934. He was a reporter with the Omaha World Herald in the late 1920s.
His wife, Dolores, died in 1957. Survivors include two daughters, Betty Belfiore of Washington and Barbara Trafficanda of Los Angeles; a sister, Margaret B. Rankin of Hagerstown; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
IRVING "OZZIE" SIMOS
Irving "Ozzie" Simos, 68, a psychologist who spent 30 years with the National Institutes of Health before retiring in 1987 as a deputy branch chief, died Dec. 9 at Suburban Hospital. He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Dr. Simos came to the Washington area and joined NIH in 1957. Over the years, his posts included that of executive secretary of the small grants section at the National Institute of Mental Health. He retired as deputy chief of the referral and review branch of the NIH's research grants division.
After retiring from NIH, he was a volunteer counselor in Rockville with A Woman's Place, an arm of the Montgomery County Women's Commission.
He was a fellow of the American Psychological Association and Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific society. He was a member of the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology and Congregation Beth El in Bethesda.
Dr. Simos, who lived in Bethesda, was a native of St. Paul, Minn. He received bachelor's and master's degrees and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota. He was an Army veteran of World War II.
He served on the faculty of the University of Nebraska from 1949 to 1955. He then spent two years at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Perry Point, Md., where he was a supervisory psychologist, before joining NIH.
His hobbies included the violin. He performed with the Montgomery County Symphony and the NIH chamber orchestra.
His marriage to Jacqueline Simos ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 38 years, Charlotte Simos of Potomac; their son, Daniel, of Gaithersburg; a stepdaughter, Frances W. Tribe of Orinda, Calif.; and four grandchildren.
Julia Shadid, 96, who owned and operated a delicatessen with her husband, died Dec. 10 at her home in Washington after a stroke.
Mrs. Shadid was born in Tripoli, Lebanon. She immigrated to Washington in 1903. From around 1920 to the mid-1950s she operated a delicatessan at 14th and East Capitol streets with her husband, Nema Shadid. He died in 1957.
Survivors include six children, George Shadid of Miami, Mary Maykel of Worcester, Mass., Albert Shadid of Florence, S.C., Henry Shadid of Annapolis and Pauline and Katherine Shadid, both of Washington; 11 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.