Yesterday's obituary about James Lawrence Webb stated incorrectly that his marriage to Patricia Phaden Webb ended in divorce. Mrs. Webb is among his survivors and lives in Leonardtown, Md. (Published 8/2/92)
G. Harrold Carswell, 72, a former federal appeals court judge whose nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Nixon in 1970 was rejected by a Senate vote of 51 to 45, died of lung cancer yesterday at a hospital in Tallahassee, Fla.
Judge Carswell was a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when Nixon nominated him to the Supreme Court.
The Senate, by a 55 to 45 vote, had rejected Nixon's first choice to fill the vacancy, Clement F. Haynsworth Jr., who also was a federal appeals court judge. The twin rejections marked the first time since the presidency of Grover Cleveland in 1894 that two Supreme Court nominees had been turned down.
The Senate rejected Judge Carswell after reporters and civil rights activists uncovered a speech in which he endorsed racial segregation and white supremacy as a legislative candidate in Georgia in 1948. Law experts, who pointed out the high rate of reversal of his findings, also questioned his qualifications.
The vote, a moment of high drama, was taken April 9, 1970, with a packed Senate and galleries and with Vice President Spiro T. Agnew presiding and ready to cast a tiebreaking vote, if necessary.
It became clear to many observers that Judge Carswell's chances of winning the vote were becoming slimmer when Marlow W. Cook (R-Ky.), a freshman senator who had been a leading defender of Haynsworth's nomination, voted against him. Later in the roll call, independent Republicans Winston L. Prouty (Vt.) and Margaret Chase Smith (Maine) also voted a resounding "no."
Nixon charged that the Senate wouldn't confirm a Southerner to the court. The Senate unanimously approved Nixon's third choice, Harry A. Blackmun of Minnesota, who remains on the court. Blackmun filled a seat vacated by Abe Fortas in a 1969 scandal over the financial dealings of convicted stock manipulator Louis Wolfson.
Judge Carswell resigned from the federal appeals court after his nomination to the Supreme Court was rejected. He sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 1970 but was defeated in the primary. The eventual winner was a Democrat, now Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles.
Judge Carswell later practiced corporate law in Tallahassee before retiring in the mid-1970s. He lived in Monticello, Fla.
In 1976, he pleaded no contest and was fined $100 on a battery charge for making homosexual advances to an undercover Tallahassee police officer in a men's room at a shopping mall.
Judge Carswell was a graduate of Duke University and Mercer University law school. He was a federal prosecutor for five years and a federal district judge for 12 years before joining the appeals court.
Survivors include his wife, Virginia Simmons Carswell of Monticello; four children; and seven grandchildren.
ERNEST M. ELLER
Ernest McNeill Eller, 89, Naval history director and curator of the Naval Historical Center here from 1956 until retiring from active duty in 1970 as a rear admiral, died of a heart ailment July 30 at his home in Annapolis.
The Historical Center's library was named in Adm. Eller's honor. He wrote several books concerning history and the Navy.
Adm. Eller was born in Marion, Va., and grew up in North Wilkesboro, N.C. He was a 1925 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. During World War II, he served in the Pacific. His assignments included service on the staff of the Pacific Fleet's commander, a tour aboard the carrier Saratoga and command of the attack transport Clay.
In the early 1950s, he was commander of the Navy's Middle East force, with headquarters in Bahrain. He was promoted to rear admiral in 1954.
Adm. Eller was a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Army & Navy Club, the Virginia Historical Society and the Rotary Club of Annapolis. He had donated his library to East Carolina University, which named its maritime history annex in his honor. A naval history fellowship in his name also was established at the school.
Survivors include his wife, Agnes Pfohl Eller of Annapolis; two sons, Dr. Peter M. of Cincinnati and John C. of Coronado, Calif.; and six grandchildren.
MARGARET KING CHAPIN
Margaret King Chapin, 69, a retired professor of anatomy and physiology at Montgomery College, died of cancer July 30 at George Washington University Hospital. A resident of the Washington area since 1965, she lived in Wheaton.
Mrs. Chapin retired in 1979 after 12 years at Montgomery College. Before arriving at Montgomery, she taught at Lorretto Heights College in Denver for three years. Earlier in her career, she was a researcher at what is now Case Western Reserve University and the University of South Carolina at Charleston.
She was born in Rochester, N.Y. She was a graduate of the College of Wooster and received a master's degree in physiology from the University of Rochester.
Mrs. Chapin was a member of the League of Women Voters and Silver Spring Unitarian Church. She was a volunteer at the Montgomery County Thrift Shop in Bethesda.
Her husband, John L. Chapin, died in 1986. Survivors include three children, John K. Chapin of Riverton, N.J., William L. Chapin of Rockville and Anne T. Chapin of Wheaton; a brother, Robert King of Pittsburgh; and a grandson.
GEORGE P. SHEYA
George P. Sheya, 75, a retired official of the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare who also had worked for the Army, the Air Force and the D.C. government, died of cancer July 19 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Mr. Sheya, a resident of Alexandria, was born in Helper, Utah. He graduated from the University of Utah, where he also received a law degree. During World War II, he served in the Navy in the Pacific, and he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He retired from the reserves as a commander.
Mr. Sheya was stationed in Washington during the Korean War, and he remained here when he returned to civilian life. He worked briefly in the office of the quartermaster general in the Department of the Army and then moved to Ogden, Utah, to work for an Air Force facility.
In 1959, Mr. Sheya returned here. He worked for RCA until 1961 and then for the D.C. government as a management official.
In 1966, he joined the Social Security Administration in HEW as assistant director of systems planning coordination. In 1971, he transferred to the office of the secretary of HEW. While there, he was assigned to assist Saudi Arabia in setting up a social security system.
Mr. Sheya retired in 1974, but he continued as a consultant until 1978. During that period he had another assignment in Saudi Arabia.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Elfrieda L. Sheya of Alexandria; five children, Joseph K. Sheya of Annapolis, Pamela E. Bergsma of Lake Worth, Fla., Kathleen L. Coombs and Robert C. Sheya, both of Alexandria and George P. Sheya Jr. of Lorton; two brothers, Leon Sheya of Salt Lake City and Lawrence Sheya of Chicago; three sisters, Adele Malouf of Glendora, Calif., and Helen Nelson and Betty Petterson, both of Salt Lake City; and seven grandchildren.
THOMAS L. ALBEE JR.
TRW Executive and Navy Captain
Thomas L. Albee Jr., 59, a TRW executive in Dunn Loring who was a retired Navy captain and a past vice president of the American Society of Naval Engineers, died of cancer July 29 at his home in Fairfax.
He served 25 years in the Navy before retiring in 1979 as head of Navy ship systems and design engineering at the Naval Ship Engineering Center in Washington. Since 1979, he had worked for TRW. He was program manager of the Navy's strategic amphibious sealift support program and product line manager in TRW's naval systems technology area.
Capt. Albee, who had lived in this area since 1974, was born in New Jersey. A 1954 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, he received a degree in naval architecture and marine engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master's degree in management from Catholic University.
He spent the bulk of his career dealing with engineering and submarines. He had been a submarine engineering duty officer and had worked in the repair and design of subs.
In addition to serving as an ASNE vice president, he also had been chairman of its flagship section and its 1988 centennial association committee, and was a recipient of the association's president's award. His other memberships included St. Leo's Catholic Church in Fairfax and the Vienna Optimists. He had done volunteer work with the Mathcounts program.
Survivors include his wife of 37 years, the former Suzanne Bedell, of Fairfax; three sons, Thomas "Rick" of Richmond, Steven of North Chelmsford, Mass., and Christopher of Wellfleet, Mass.; a daughter, Ann Hoefle of Middlebury, Vt.; his mother, Adele Mary Grimme Albee of Fort Myers, Fla.; a sister, Mary Lou Norris of Sanibel, Fla.; and three grandchildren.
BERNICE 'CONNIE' WIDNER
Business Owner and Nurse
Bernice C. "Connie" Widner, 74, a former nurse who was the retired owner of Suburban Chimney and Furnace Cleaning Co., died of a liver ailment July 30 at her home in the Leisure World community in Silver Spring. She had lived in the Washington area for 50 years.
Mrs. Widner retired in 1975 after about 20 years with the chimney cleaning company, which she had owned with her late husband, James H. Widner. She was once a guest on the television program "What's My Line?" because of her involvement in what was then considered unusual work for women.
Earlier, she was a nurse for about 20 years, working here at the War Department and Suburban Hospital.
She was born in Crookston, Minn. She attended St. Michael's Nursing School in Grand Forks, N.D.
Mrs. Widner was a volunteer at Holy Cross Hospital and at St. Bernadette's Catholic Church and school in Silver Spring. She was an officer of the Post Cana spouses group and Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Leisure World.
Her husband died in 1968. Survivors include five children, Mary Frances Widner of Washington, Judy Ann McNamara of Clifton, Margaret Widner-Kolberg of Baltimore and James Conneran Widner and Guy Henry Widner, both of Silver Spring; four sisters, Margaret Crane of Rockville, Frances Smith of Rockville, Eraine MacDonald of Cheverly and Joan Jansen of Oshkosh, Wis.; two brothers, Michael Conneran of Crookston and William Conneran of Kensington; and six grandchildren.
JAMES L. WEBB
Coast Guard Commander
James Lawrence Webb, 59, a search-and-rescue pilot in the Coast Guard who retired in 1978 with the rank of commander and went into the insurance business, died of cancer July 24 at his home in Leonardtown, Md.
Cmdr. Webb, a resident of the Washington area since 1972, was born in Roanoke. He graduated from Roanoke College in Salem, Va., and he received a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.
He was commissioned in the Coast Guard in 1958. He served at various bases in the United States, including Hawaii, and he was stationed in Washington when he retired.
He then became an insurance agent specializing in marine and airplane coverage. He had his own agency in Loenardtown from 1982 until 1991, when he sold it and retired. He also was a part-time flight instructor in retirement, and in 1979 and 1980, he was the pilot of the WJLA-TV (Channel 7) traffic helicopter.
Cmdr. Webb was a member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Leonardtown.
His marriages to Betty Freeland Riddick, Christine Kessler Webb and Patricia Phaden ended in divorce.
Survivors include two children by his first marriage, Karen Webb Davis of Roanoke and James Frederick Webb of Los Angeles; a son by his second marriage, James Christopher Webb of Rockville; and a brother, Guthrie Webb Jr. of Roanoke.
Investment Firm Official
Cindy Chin, 36, the manager of community and employee relations at the Calvert Social Investment Fund, a mutual fund in Bethesda that screens the social policies of the companies in which it invests, died of cancer July 29 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
A resident of Takoma Park, Miss Chin was born in Boston. She graduated from Wellesley College and received a master's degree in business administration from Simmons College.
Before moving to the Washington area in 1987, Miss Chinn was an activist in behalf of battered women and children in the Boston area. She was a founder of the Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women's Service Group and a member of the board of directors of the National Association for Women and the Law.
Miss Chinn moved here to be marketing manager for the Calvert Social Investment Fund. She became manager for community and employee relations in 1989, and this gave her an opportunity to continue her service work. At her behest, Calvert became a sponsor of the Community Service Club of Richard Montgomery High School.
Survivors include her parents, Robert and Elsie Chin, and two brothers, Robert D. and Kenneth Chin, all of Brookline, Mass.
RANDOLPH M. TAYLOR
Pepco Energy Auditor
Randolph M. Taylor, 35, an energy auditor with the Potomac Electric Power Co. since 1979, died of cardiac arrest July 29 at Georgetown University Hospital. He had Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Mr. Taylor moved from his native Kingston, Jamaica, to Washington in 1967. He was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and West Virginia State University, where he received a degree in industrial technology.
In addition to his Pepco work, Mr. Taylor built and renovated houses.
He was a member of the senior usher board and the young adult commission at Gethsemane Baptist Church in Washington.
Survivors include his wife, Donna Hill Taylor; two sons, Randolph II and Brandeon Taylor, and his parents, Henry and Nancy Taylor, all of Washington; two brothers, Garfield Taylor of Burtonsville and Maurice Taylor of Washington; and two sisters, Marcia Mullings of Takoma Park and Hope Tairellil of Silver Spring.
PRESTON E. WIRE JR.
Preston E. Wire Jr., 55, owner and manager of the Carver Terrace Apartments in Washington since 1961, died of cancer July 30 at Anne Arundel Medical Center. He lived in Bethesda and Annapolis.
Mr. Wire, an Air Force veteran, was born in Washington and attended American University. He spent his career managing family properties. Over the years, he had worked with the Carver Terrace Tenants Association and various civic groups.
A boater, he was a member of the American Power Boat Squadron and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He also belonged to the Columbia Country Club.
His marriage to Carolyn A. Wire ended in divorce.
Survivors include a daughter, Lyn Conyers of Bethesda; and a sister, Myrl Mulligan of Davie, Fla.