Dorothy Disney MacKaye, 88, the creator of the modern marriage advice column, died Sept. 5 of a heart attack at her summer residence in Guilford, Conn. She lived in Washington.
Mrs. MacKaye, who was known professionally as Dorothy Cameron Disney, developed her column -- "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" -- for the Ladies Home Journal in the 1950s and continued to write it for nearly 30 years.
In the first years of the column she collaborated with Paul Popenoe, founder of the American Institute of Family Relations in Hollywood, Calif., one of the first marriage counseling agencies, and she drew all of her cases from among the institute's clients. The columns were distilled from the experiences of real people, with biographical details altered to disguise their identities; in later years Mrs. MacKaye drew her couples from counseling agencies across the country.
Part of the column's distinctiveness and impact arose from Mrs. MacKaye's formula of presenting the case entirely in the voices of the participants, usually in the sequence: "She said," "He said," and, "The counselor said."
Before beginning her marriage column, she was well-known as a magazine journalist and as a mystery novelist. Perhaps her best-known novel was "Explosion," a who-done-it set in Washington that was based on a real-life incident in which a row house was leveled by a gas explosion.
Mrs. MacKaye had lived in the capital off and on over many years, starting with her college days at George Washington University and resuming during World War II, when her husband, Milton MacKaye, also a magazine writer, was an executive with the Office of War Information. She was a war correspondent in Europe for Reader's Digest and the Woman's Home Companion
She was born in Atoka, Indian Territory, an area that became part of the state of Oklahoma, and grew up in Muskogee. Her father, Loren G. Disney, was a lawyer and politician and one of the founders of the Republican Party in Oklahoma. In addition to GWU, Mrs. MacKaye attended Washburn and Barnard colleges and Cornell University.
She was a past member of the National Press Club, the Press Club of Washington, the Army & Navy Club and the Cosmopolitan Club in New York.
Her husband died in 1979. Survivors include a son, William R. MacKaye of Washington, and five grandchildren.
CLAUDE R. THORPE
Claude Russell Thorpe, 53, a Central Intelligence Agency analyst who was a specialist in military intelligence matters, died of pancreatic cancer Sept. 6 at his home in McLean.
Mr. Thorpe, who had worked for the CIA since 1968, was an authority on the Chinese and Soviet military. He had held a variety of agency staff posts, and he had contributed work to arms-limitations negotiations. He had lectured at the Army War College in Pennsylvania from 1985 to 1987.
He was a recipient of the agency's Career Intelligence Medal.
Mr. Thorpe, who came here in 1968, was a native of Oklahoma. He had served with the Army in Korea in the 1960s. He was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, from which he also received a master's degree in American history.
He was a member of Falls Church Presbyterian Church.
Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Jessie Thorpe of McLean; two daughters, Mary Catherine Thorpe of Manassas and Susan Dent Thorpe of McLean; and two brothers, Louis, of Fort Worth, Tex., and John, of Tucson.
SAMUEL P. WOLFF
Samuel P. Wolff, 83, a Gaithersburg resident who had lived in the Washington area since 1989, died Sept. 6 at the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital after a stroke.
Mr. Wolff had retired in the early 1980s as a shoe store owner in his native St. Louis.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara, of Gaithersburg; a daughter, Rubetta Palan of Rockville; two sisters; and three grandchildren.
HAZEL P. GIVENS
Hazel Pauline Givens, 81, a retired editorial assistant with the Department of Agriculture who also had worked for the Prince George's County Public Library, died Sept. 4 at the Rockville Nursing Home in Rockville. She had Alzheimer's disease.
Mrs. Givens, who lived in University Park, was born in Elkton, Va. She moved to the Washington area in the 1930s.
She went to work at the Department of Agriculture in the late 1950s. In the 1960s, she worked briefly for the Prince George's public library in Hyattsville and then returned to Agriculture. She retired about 1976.
Mrs. Givens had been a volunteer with the Girl Scouts.
Her husband, Jesse F. Givens, died in 1972. Survivors include two children, Diane G. Clarke of Germantown, Md., and Donald F. Givens of Stafford, Va.; a sister, Ella V. Turner of Shenandoah, Va.; and three grandchildren.
JOHN H. LANDIS
John H. Landis, 58, a retired Army Department budget analyst who was a member of Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in Alexandria, died of cancer Sept. 4 at Mount Vernon Hospital. He lived in Alexandria.
Mr. Landis, a Rutgers University graduate, served in both the Army and the Navy in the 1950s. He was living in his native Jersey City, N.J., when he became a civilian Army employee in 1972. He worked for the Army in West Germany and South Korea before transferring here in 1982. He retired this year.
Survivors include his wife, Misoon, and a son, Michael Theodore Landis, both of Alexandria; a brother, Raymond, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and a sister, Anne Minissale of Jersey City.
ZINA C. WITCOFF
Zina Ceppos Witcoff, 88, who had been an owner and operator of Washington groceries and laundromats from the mid-1930s to mid-1970s, died of cardiac arrest Sept. 3 at a nursing home in North Miami Beach, Fla. She lived in North Miami Beach.
Mrs. Witcoff, who lived in the Washington area from the mid-1930s to late 1970s, was born in Russia. She came to the United States in 1918 and lived in Baltimore before coming to Washington. Over the years, she had been an owner and operator of two groceries and then the Biltmore and Westinghouse laundromats in Northwest Washington before retiring.
She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Her husband, Joseph, died in 1961. Survivors include two sons, Sheldon, of Glencoe, Ill., and Seymour, of Rockville; a daughter, Gertrude Katz of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; a sister, Anne Friedman of Silver Spring; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.
FELIX L. CASIPIT
Felix L. Casipit, 59, a retired Army colonel who had served in the Signal Corps, died Sept. 3 at Bethesda Naval Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in Springfield.
He served for 30 years before retiring in 1985 as commanding officer of the Army Broadcasting System in Washington. Over the years, he had served in Taiwan and Turkey, where he was a NATO public affairs officer. He was in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969 and again in 1972. He had served as chief of the Armed Forces Vietnam Network.
His military decorations included two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, two Defense Meritorious Service medals and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Col. Casipit, who had lived in the Washington area for the last 20 years, was a native of Boston. He was a graduate of Boston University and received a master's degree in education from Worcester State College in Massachusetts. He also received a master's degree in psychology and a doctorate in education from Catholic University. He was a graduate of the Army War College and the Army Command and General Staff College.
From 1980 to 1985, he worked for Creative Dimensions as a contract manager at the Army Recruiting Command at Cameron Station.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth I., of Springfield; two sons, Anthony D., of Woodbridge, and Michael Lee Casipit of Springfield; his mother, Mary Casipit of Pleasanton, Calif.; three brothers, Roger, of Yorba Linda, Calif., Douglas, of Orlando, Calif., and David, of Antioch, Calif.; and a sister, Joyce Traweek of Forest Hills, Calif.
Anvilla Prescott Shultz Dudley, 82, an area resident since the late 1980s who had been a New Orleans high school principal and guidance counselor from 1953 to 1975, died of cancer Sept. 4 at the Meridian nursing home in Silver Spring.
Mrs. Dudley, who lived in Silver Spring, was a native of Springfield, Mass. She lived in Staunton, Va., from 1935 until she moved to New Orleans in 1952. She moved here from New Orleans. A graduate of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, she received a master's degree in education from Columbia University.
Her first husband, Sidney Shultz, died in 1978. Survivors include her husband, David Dudley of Silver Spring; two stepdaughters, Sara Rafferty of New Vernon, N.J., and Victoria Hirsch of Silver Spring; and a sister, Lois Butz of Delray Beach, Fla.