Nan Wood Graham, 91, sister of painter Grant Wood and his model for the classically grim-visaged farm woman in his famous 1930 painting "American Gothic," died Dec. 14 in a nursing home in Menlo Park, Calif. The cause of death was not reported.
The painting also featured an equally somber farmer, grimly clasping a pitchfork. The late Byron McKeeby, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was the model for the farmer. The two were pictured standing in front of a simple cottage in Eldon, Iowa.
The painting was surprisingly controversial. In Cedar Rapids, some farm women protested that Wood's painting and Mrs. Graham's dour image held the Iowa woman up to ridicule. One woman wrote to say the image would "sour milk."
Then Mrs. Graham announced that she had been the model for the painting. She defended it and her brother's artistic achievement, and by all accounts never stopped doing either.
The painting gained acceptance and then admirers before entering American artistic folklore. Along the way, Mrs. Graham gained a degree of fame and popularity.
She once said that if her brother had used another model, as he originally intended, she would have ended her days remembered as "the world's worst stenographer." But instead, she said, "Grant made a personality out of me. I would have had a very drab life without it."
Mrs. Graham was born in Anamosa, Iowa. She graduated from secretarial school. In 1924, she married Edward Graham, a real estate broker and investor. They lived all over the country before settling in Riverside, Calif. She became something of an artist herself, sewing, making tissue collages and working with painted glass.
She reappeared in the news in 1977 after Larry Flynt's Hustler magazine ran a "topless" version of "American Gothic." She told reporters that after viewing the new version, she almost had a heart attack and worried about having a nervous breakdown. She also said she feared people would believe she authorized the new picture.
She sued Flynt for defamation of character, invasion of privacy and libel, asking $10 million in damages. In 1981, the case was thrown out of Los Angeles Superior Court, which granted a summary judgment for the magazine, ruling that the satirical version of the work did not defame Mrs. Graham.
In 1984, widowed and becoming blind, she entered the nursing home where she died. Her brother had died in 1942.
WILLIAM M. JONES
House Judiciary Counsel
William Mark Jones, 50, general counsel of the House Judiciary Committee since January 1989 and a Capitol Hill aide and lawyer since 1965, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 15 at his home in Alexandria.
He began his Hill career as counsel to the House Government Operations Committee's government activities subcommittee. He was subcommittee chief counsel and staff director during its investigations of government expenditures for President Nixon's California and Florida homes.
After serving several years as administrative assistant to Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Tex.), Mr. Jones became general counsel of the House Government Operations Committee, which Brooks chaired. He transferred to Judiciary when Brooks became chairman of that committee.
Brooks issued a statement saying that Mr. Jones was "a trusted aide and adviser" and that "the accomplishments of the committees on which he served are due in large measure to his diligent professionalism."
Mr. Jones, who came here to attend law school, was a native of Electra, Tex. He was a 1961 summa cum laude graduate of Texas Christian University and 1964 graduate of George Washington University law school.
Survivors include his wife, Carla Hays Jones, and two sons, Justin and Jason, all of Alexandria; his mother, Mary K. Jones of Atlanta, Tex.; and a sister, Mary Hesse of Valley View, Tex.
RAYMOND P. CAHILL
Raymond Prescott Cahill, 69, a retired treasurer of Harper & Company, a Silver Spring specialty supply concern, who was active in volunteer and civic groups, died of cancer Dec. 15 at Georgetown University Hospital.
Mr. Cahill was a Catholic priest from 1946 until 1974, when he received a dispensation to leave the priesthood. He worked in sales for the old Service Electric Corp. in Silver Spring from 1975 to 1978. He worked for Harper from 1979 until retiring in 1985.
He had served on the D.C. Human Rights Commission, having been appointed by Mayor Walter Washington. Since 1986, he had been president of the board of directors of St. Gertrude's School and Development Center, a Washington facility for learning-disabled and emotionally handicapped children.
Mr. Cahill, who was a native and resident of Washington, was a graduate of Georgetown Preparatory School and attended Georgetown University. In 1946, he graduated from St. Mary's Catholic Seminary in Baltimore and was ordained a priest.
He was associate pastor of St. Jerome's Church in Hyattsville from 1946 to 1952 and of St. Peter's Catholic Church in Olney from 1957 to 1959. He had been a Navy chaplain from 1954 to 1957. He was founding pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac, where he served from 1959 to 1969. He then was pastor of Assumption Church in Washington until 1972. He left the priesthood two years later.
During his years as a priest, he also held a variety of posts with the Washington archdiocese, including television and radio director, general manager of the Catholic Standard and assistant director of Catholic Youth Organizations. He also had been named an urban vicar.
In recent years, he had been a member of the Catholic-Jewish dialogue group sponsored by the Washington Hebrew Congregation and Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Washington. He also had been active in organizations seeking housing for the poor and the elderly.
Mr. Cahill was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Army & Navy Club. He was named a 1970 prelate of honor by Pope Paul VI.
Survivors include his wife, Ethel H. "Sandy" Cahill of Washington; and three sisters, Florence C. Butman of Annapolis and Mary Jan Cahill and Louise C. Carter, both of Washington.
Dorothy French, 77, a retired FBI clerk and Silver Spring resident, died of heart ailments Dec. 14 at Western Maryland Hospital in Hagerstown, Md., where she had been undergoing medical treatment.
Mrs. French was born in Frederick County, Md. She came to the Washington area in 1931 and worked at the FBI from 1936 until 1953, when she left the bureau to raise her children. She was a Montgomery County school crossing guard. In 1974, she returned to the FBI and worked there as a clerk until retiring again in 1978.
She was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Silver Spring.
Her husband, Arthur B. French Sr., died in 1979. Survivors include two children, Debbie Helland of Columbia and Arthur French Jr. of Burtonsville; three sisters, Margaret Hicks of Frederick, Mary Fawley of Point of Rocks, Md., and Catherine Benton of Silver Spring; a brother, James Nuse of Point of Rocks; and three grandchildren.
JOHN P. McGUIRE
John P. McGuire, 70, a retired patent engineer who lived in Potomac for 20 years before moving to Annapolis, where he had resided since 1987, died Dec. 14 at Anne Arundel Medical Center. He had Parkinson's disease.
Mr. McGuire was a native of Long Island and a Navy veteran of World War II. He was an electrical engineer in New York before coming here in 1967. He worked for Union Carbide here, then for the Washington law firm of Roylance Abrams Berdo & Goodman from 1970 to 1980. At Roylance Abrams, he worked on patent research and patent engineering projects. He was a self-employed patent engineer, with offices in Crystal City, for seven years before retiring in 1987.
Survivors include his wife, Janet, of Annapolis; two sons, Douglas, of Gaithersburg, and John, of Billerica, Mass.; a daughter, Ellen McGuire of Boston; and three grandsons.
CHARLOTTE B. McCLURE
Charlotte B. McClure, 64, a former Rockville and Kensington resident who had been active in community groups in Montgomery County, died of cancer Dec. 13 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville. She lived in Palmyra, Va.
Mrs. McClure, who lived in the Washington area from the early 1950s until 1989, was a native of Troy, N.Y. She had been a claims adjustor with Globe Indemnity Insurance here in the early 1950s.
She was a charter member and treasurer of the Woodley Gardens Garden Club and a member of the Woodley Gardens East-West Homeowners Association in Rockville. She was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rockville and had been active in Girl and Cub Scout groups in Montgomery County.
Survivors include her husband, Fred B., of Palmyra; a son, Patrick J., of Germantown; a daughter, Suzanne Torp of Winchester; two sisters, Vivian Love of Prospect Bay, Md., and Rita Blot of Albany, N.Y.; and two grandchildren.
JOHN J. RUANE
John Joseph Ruane, 76, a former FBI special agent and retired insurance executive who had been a Eucharistic minister at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Washington, died Dec. 15 at his home in Washington. He had diabetes.
He was president of the old Ruane Insurance Agency in Washington from the early 1950s until retiring in 1980. He had worked for the FBI here and in Los Angeles in the 1940s.
Mr. Ruane was a native of Washington. He was a graduate of Catholic University's law school.
A resident of Ward 3, he had served on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. He also had been a volunteer golf coach at Georgetown Preparatory School and a member of the Friendship Lions Club in Washington.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Alice Marguerite Ruane, of Washington; two sons, Kevin, of Kensington, and Tim, of Washington; four daughters, Maureen O'Connell of Rockville, Barbara Pinkovsky of Rochester, N.Y., Rosemary Kuhns of Manhattan and Alicia Westmoreland of Margate City, N.J.; and 12 grandchildren.