U.S. Ambassador

L. Douglas Heck, 74, a retired State Department Foreign Service officer who had served as ambassador to two countries, died Jan. 13 at his home in Madras, India. He had Parkinson's disease.

He was ambassador to Niger from 1974 to 1976 and to Nepal from 1977 until retiring in 1980. Also in the 1970s, he had served as director of the State Department's counter-terrorism office.

Mr. Heck, who was born to American parents in Bern, Switzerland, was a 1941 graduate of Yale University. He began his State Department career in 1943 as an assistant in its world trade intelligence division. He was chief of State's biographic information division from 1945 to 1952.

He joined the Foreign Service in 1952. Over the years, he had served in the United States as country director for India, Ceylon, Nepal and the Maldive Islands and had attended the National War College.

Overseas assignments had included tours as a political officer in New Delhi, consul general in Istanbul and deputy chief of mission in Katmandu, Nepal, and then Tehran. He was deputy chief of mission in Tehran from 1970 to 1974.

Mr. Heck was a recipient of the State Department's Distinguished Service Award.

His marriage to Elizabeth Heck ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, the former Ernestine Sherman, a Foreign Service officer who is stationed in Madras; two daughters by his first marriage, Elizabeth Tompkins Heck of Washington and Judith Kingsbury Heck of Baltimore; and a sister, Thayer Heath of Altamont, N.Y.



Francis M. Gregory Jr., 51, managing partner of the Washington law firm of Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan and an authority on insurance law, died of a heart attack Jan. 14 at an apartment the firm maintains in Omaha.

Mr. Gregory, a resident of Vienna, was in Omaha for talks with officials of Omaha Mutual Insurance Co.

A native of New York, he graduated from St. Louis University. He received his law degree at the University of Notre Dame, where he was editor in chief of the law review.

In 1966, he moved to Washington and was a law clerk for Judge Carl S. McGowan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Later, he was a clerk for Associate Justice William J. Brennan of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1968, Mr. Gregory joined Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan. During his career there, the firm grew to include more than 250 lawyers.

Mr. Gregory was chairman of the Notre Dame law school advisory council and active in the American Bar Association's sections on insurance, litigation and antitrust law. He was a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the International Bar Association, the American Law Institute and the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society. He was a member of the parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Vienna.

Survivors include his wife, Joan "Cookie" Gregory of Vienna; and two children, Francis M. Gregory III of Alexandria and Lauren Sue Gregory of Norristown, Pa.



Herbert William Farmer, 81, the retired comptroller of the Army and Air Force Motion Picture Service, died of pneumonia Jan. 12 at Springbrooke Nursing Home in Silver Spring. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Farmer, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in Washington. He graduated from Central High School and Strayer Business College. He retired from the Army and Air Force Motion Picture Service in 1973 after 35 years of service.

He was a vestryman and treasurer of Our Savior Episcopal Church in Silver Spring.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Dorothy Milne Farmer of Silver Spring; two sons, Norman Farmer of Frederick and Donald Farmer of Arlington; and five grandchildren.

A son, Robert Farmer, died in 1991.


Arlington School Principal

L. Grady Wade, 72, a retired Arlington public school teacher and administrator, died of a heart ailment Jan. 15 at Arlington Hospital. He lived in McLean.

He joined the Arlington schools in 1952 and taught at Cherrydale and McKinley elementary schools until 1956. He then served 10 years as principal at Madison Elementary School, then went to Nottingham Elementary, where he was principal from 1966 until retiring in 1978.

Mr. Wade, a native of Gate City, Va., was a graduate of Greenville College in Illinois and received a master's degree in education at Columbia University. He also had studied at George Washington University and the University of Virginia.

He served with the Army Air Forces in Europe during World War II. He had begun his teaching career in the Carroll County, Va., schools at age 18. He taught science courses at a high school in Hillsville, Va., from 1945 to 1952.

Mr. Wade had served on the board of the Arlington Outdoor Education Association. He was a member of Mount Vernon Methodist Church in Washington, the Arlington Schools Administrators Association, the Retired Teachers Association, and the Virginia and Arlington Education associations.

Survivors include three brothers, William, Waverly and Jack, all of Hillsville; and three sisters, Helen Barnes of North Carolina, and Linda McGuire and Betty Mabry, both of Hillsville.



Jean W. Wolff, 69, who retired in 1977 after 37 years as a secretary with the chief of naval operations at the Navy Department, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 9 at the Oak Meadow nursing home in Alexandria. A resident of the Washington area for about 50 years, she lived in Alexandria.

She was a native of Coraopolis, Pa.

Her husband, Earl J. Wolff, died in 1986.

Survivors include two brothers, Phillip M. Kerr of Coraopolis and George H. Kerr of Midland, Mich.


Church Member

Rose Polito Browning, 79, a member of the parish of St. John's Catholic Church in Warrenton, Va., died of heart ailments Jan. 12 at Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton.

A resident of Broad Run, Va., Mrs. Browning was born in Richmond. She grew up in Washington and graduated from McKinley Technical High School. During World War II, she was a clerk with the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 1948, she married Hugh Thomas Browning and moved to Broad Run.

In addition to her husband, who lives in Broad Run, survivors include three children, Martha Lee Browning of Charlottesville, Hugh Thomas Browning Jr. of Warrenton and Stephen R. Browning of Broad Run; a brother and a sister, Frank and Anna Polito, both of Silver Spring; and a grandchild.


Washington Resident

Catherine Otis DeVries, 87, a Washington resident for more than 50 years, died of pneumonia Jan. 12 at George Washington University Hospital.

Mrs. DeVries, a native of Hastings, Mich., had lived in Washington since 1937.

Her husband, Peter H. DeVries, died in 1990.

Survivors include two sisters, Lucile M. Lietzke of Mogadore, Ohio, and Edna Burklund of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and a brother, Robert Havens Otis of Hastings.


Vepco Vice President

Bernard James Dorsey, 89, a retired vice president in charge of the Northern Virginia division of the Virginia Electric Power Co., died of a stroke Jan. 11 at Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview, Ill.

Mr. Dorsey, a former resident of Alexandria, was born in Northampton, Mass. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology.

In 1927, he joined Vepco. He worked in various parts of Virginia, including Newport News, Charlottesville and Norfolk, before transferring to Alexandria in 1959 as vice president for the northern division. He retired in 1968.

Mr. Dorsey was a volunteer with the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis International, the United Way and the American Red Cross. In 1985, he moved to Northfield, Ill., where he lived with a daughter, Mary Ann Judy, until his death.

His wife, Margaret Dorsey, died in 1977.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


Iron Company Executive

Leon Roy Dockery, 73, a retired vice president of Acme Iron Works in Cheverly, died Jan. 12 at Doctors Community Hospital of complications from surgery for an aortic aneurysm. A resident of the Washington area for 50 years, he lived in Lanham.

Mr. Dockery retired in 1990 after 45 years with Acme. He was an ironworker and salesman-estimator before being named vice president.

A native of Bevier, Ky., Mr. Dockery served in the Army in Hawaii and Washington during World War II.

He was a member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Landover Hills.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Lois O'Connor Dockery of Lanham; three sons, Douglas William Dockery of Boston, Darrell Leon Dockery of Seabrook and Dale Lynn Dockery of Owings, Md.; three brothers, Lawrence Hillary Dockery of Chicago, Lendell Wayne Dockery of Dinwiddie, Va., and Robert William Dockery of Petersburg, Va.; two sisters, Lola Newman of Anniston, Ala., and Loretta Jean Arndell of Central City, Ky.; and six grandchildren.


Airline Employee

David Randolph Altman, 51, a customer service representative for United Airlines, died of cancer Jan. 13 at Washington Hospital Center.

Mr. Altman, who lived in Washington, was born in Jacksonville, Fla. He graduated from Florida State University and served in the Coast Guard in the mid-1960s. He was a graduate student at California State University at Long Beach.

He came to Washington in 1968 and had worked for United Airlines here since then.

Survivors include his mother, Thelma Altman of Jacksonville; and two brothers, Russell Altman of Fredericksburg, Va., and Wilbur Altman of Yulee, Fla.



Earle A. Alfred, 82, an educator who retired as principal of Bruce Evans Junior High School in Washington, died Jan. 12 at Greater Southeast Community Hospital. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Alfred was born in Chattanooga, Tenn. He graduated from Wilberforce University in Ohio and received a master's degree in chemistry from Howard University. He also taught chemistry at Howard.

During World War II, he served in the Army in the South Pacific, and he remained in the Army Reserve after the war until retiring as a lieutenant colonel in the mid-1970s.

He began his career with the D.C. public schools after the war as a teacher at Brown Junior High School. Later he taught chemistry at Spingarn High School and served as assistant principal at McFarland Junior High School. He retired from Bruce Evans Junior High School in the mid-1970s after about 12 years as principal.

Mr. Evans was an elder at Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church in Washington and a past master of Prince Hall Masonic Lodge. He was a member of the Derby Social Club, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and the Reserve Officers Association.

His wife of 41 years, the former Mildred Utz, died in 1982, and their daughter, Greta Brown, died about 18 years ago.

Survivors include two sisters, Mildred A. Patten of Chattanooga and Beulah S. Alfred of Washington; two brothers, De Witt C. Alfred of Memphis and Romeo O. Alfred of Washington; two grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.


Insurance Agent

Richard William Crawford, 70, a retired agent of United Insurance Co., died of cancer Jan. 12 at his home in Lanham.

Mr. Crawford was born in Canaan, W.Va. He served in the Marine Corps during World War II and participated in combat operations on Okinawa.

After the war, he moved to the Washington area and worked as a salesman for Sears, Roebuck & Co. before joining United Insurance in 1958. He retired there in 1990.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Virginia Nunnelley Crawford of Lanham; three children, Richard A. Crawford of Virginia Beach, Linda McQueeney of Lanham and Carol Romer of Silver Spring; three brothers; two sisters; seven grandchildren; and two-great grandchildren.



Eugene H. Beck, 67, a retired librarian at the Department of Transportation, died of cancer Jan. 13 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia. He lived in Washington.

Mr. Beck retired in 1991 after 44 years with the Department of Transportation and a predecessor agency, the federal Bureau of Roads.

He was born in Bristol, Pa., and moved to McLean as a child. He was a graduate of Western High School and Catholic University. He did graduate work at American University.

Mr. Beck served in the Army in Europe during World War II.

He received four special achievement awards and a distinguished career service award from the Department of Transportation.

He was a member of the Special Libraries Association, the American Society of Indexes and St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church in Washington.

Survivors include two sisters, Catherine Beck Begg of Bethesda and Mary Beck Rich of Williamsburg.