Ralph E. Knutti, 92, a pathologist who served as director of the National Institutes of Health's National Heart Institute from 1961 to 1965, died of pneumonia Jan. 19 at a hospital in Upland, Pa. He lived in Kennett Square, Pa.

In 1951, he was commissioned in the officer corps of the Public Health Service and came to NIH. He was assigned to the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases as chief of extramural programs. He became associate director of that institute before becoming head of the National Heart Institute, which is now the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

After retiring as institute director, he became the executive officer of Universities Associated for Research and Education in Pathology Inc. in Bethesda. He retired altogether in 1972. He moved from Bethesda to Kennett Square in 1990.

Dr. Knutti was born in Palo Alto, Calif. He was a graduate of West Virginia University and a 1928 graduate of Yale University medical school. He was a pathology assistant at Vanderbilt University for a year and worked in pathology and bacteriology at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research for two years.

From 1932 to 1942, he taught pathology at the University of Rochester. He then joined the pathology department at the University of Southern California medical school, where he became an associate professor before leaving in 1951.

Dr. Knutti was a member of Bethesda Country Club. His hobbies included boating and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay.

Survivors include his wife, Dr. Sarah H. Knutti of Kennett Square.


Hurricane Authority

Chester P. Jelesnianski, 71, a Weather Bureau scientist who was an authority on hurricane storm surges, died of leukemia Jan. 20 at Fairfax Hospital.

Dr. Jelesnianski, who lived in Springfield, was born in Cleveland. He joined the Air Force in 1947 and was assigned as a weather officer. He graduated from the University of Chicago, where he also received a master's degree in meteorology while serving in the Air Force.

In 1961, he left the Air Force to join the Weather Bureau's Office of Meteorological Research in Washington. There he developed a computer model named Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) to forecast hurricane storm surges. This became the basis for coastal hurricane evacuation planning in the United States, and Dr. Jelesnianski worked with foreign scientists to adapt the model for use in the Bahamas, India, China, Hong Kong and Burma.

He received a doctorate in oceanography from New York University while working for the Weather Bureau.

His awards included the Commerce Department's Gold Medal and the Neil Frank Award from the National Hurricane Conference for hurricane storm surge forecasting.

Dr. Jelesnianski had written a chapter on hurricane storm surge prediction for the American Geophysical Union and several papers on storm surge forecasting. He was a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

He was a Master Mason.

Survivors include his wife, Sylvana Jelesnianski of Springfield; a son, Stefan Sebastian Jelesnianski of Dale City; and three grandchildren.


FCC Budget Officer

Richard Lowell Franz, 76, a retired budget officer with the Federal Communications Commission, died of Parkinson's disease Jan. 13 at the health care center of the Westminster retirement home in Lake Ridge. A former resident of Arlington, he had lived in the Washington area for 47 years.

Mr. Franz retired in 1979 from the broadcast bureau after 13 years with the FCC. For the first 20 years of his federal career here, he was a budget and personnel officer with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office.

He was a graduate of the College of Wooster in his native Ohio. He served in the Navy in Cuba and the North Atlantic during World War II and was recalled to duty during the Korean War. He retired from the reserves as a captain in 1973.

Mr. Franz was an honors graduate of a paralegal course at George Washington University and had worked as a volunteer at Neighborhood Legal Services clinics in Washington.

He was a member of Arlingtonians for a Better County, treasurer of the Arlington Symphony, president of the Arlington County PTA council and treasurer of the Fairlington Civic Association. He was an elder, a trustee and treasurer of Fairlington Presbyterian Church and a commissioner to the church general assembly in 1988. He ran in 10k races and won trophies for his age category.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Elizabeth Day Franz of Lake Ridge; three children, Terry Franz of Summit, N.J., Susan A. Franz of Alexandria and Barbara D. Franz of Arlington; a sister, Dorothy Fudge of Columbus, Ohio; and three grandchildren.