Joseph Benedict Maher, 92, a Navy rear admiral and decorated veteran of World War II who retired in 1957 as military liaison with NATO in London, died of congestive heart failure June 10 at Meridian at Spa Creek health care facility in Annapolis.

Adm. Maher served 30 years in the Navy after his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1927. He was awarded a Navy Cross, the Navy's highest award for heroism after the Medal of Honor, for wartime action as tactical commander of a radar picket station at Okinawa in May and June 1945. During a 28-day period, his unit was credited with the downing of 31 enemy suicide bombers.

Earlier in the war, he commanded the destroyer Brownson, which was sunk in the South Pacific near Cape Gloucester. Returning to action as commander of the destroyer Watts, he received a Bronze Star with combat V for successful bombardment of the islands of Matsuwa and Suribachi.

His wartime service also included duty aboard a destroyer/minesweeper in combat operations in the Atlantic near Casablanca and command of a destroyer division.

During the 1930s, Adm. Maher served aboard cruisers operating out of Kinkiang, China, and was an assistant professor of Naval Science at Yale University.

Postwar duty included command of the naval station in Washington and service with NATO.

On retirement from the Navy, Adm. Maher settled in the Washington area and worked as a contract administrator with Raytheon. Later, he was vice president of Maher Distributors, a wholesale beer distributorship in Frederick, Md.

He was born in Woodmont, Conn., and was living in Annapolis at his death.

His wife, Ruth E. Maher, and two children, John B. Maher and Joan E. Maher, died in 1991.

Survivors include two grandsons. THEODORA AYER RANDOLPH Horse Breeder

Theodora Ayer Randolph, 90, a horse breeder who was known as the "first lady of fox hunting," died of congestive heart failure June 11 at her farm in Upperville, Va.

Mrs. Randolph was master of the Piedmont Fox Hounds, a fox hunting organization in Upperville, for 42 years. She was joint master until her death. She also was president of the Upperville Colt and Horse Show from 1971 to 1992. At her Oakley Farm, she bred horses for steeplechasing events, the racetrack and the hunt field.

Last year, she received the Jimmy A. Williams Trophy, the Spur magazine and American Horse Shows Association's lifetime achievement award, for her contribution to equine sports.

Riding to the hounds in pursuit of the fox was her business and pleasure. She learned to ride at the age of 3 from her father, who was master of the Myopia Fox Hunt in her native Massachusetts. At 11, she took part in her first fox hunt. She graduated from Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Va., and then settled in Upperville in 1940.

Mrs. Randolph took over as master of the Piedmont Fox Hounds from her second husband, Archibald C. Randolph, who had led the hunt off and on since 1917. He died in 1959.

She was given the unofficial title of first lady of fox hunting for her support of the sport, as well as for carrying out the diplomatic duties of massaging the sometimes bruised feelings of estate owners unhappy with hounds and horses dashing through their property. Beyond the local area, Mrs. Randolph was regarded as a pioneer in the modern age of horse showing and racing.

Her trophy room at Oakley Farm reflected the more than 100 home-bred winners who raced under the Randolph colors -- dark blue with cerise cross sashes and cuffs. Among her winners was Bon Nouvel, a three-time steeplechase Eclipse champion.

Her first marriage, to Robert Winthrop, ended in divorce.

Survivors include three daughters from her first marriage, Theodora Winthrop Hooton of Glen Head, N.Y., Amory Winthrop of Millbrook, N.Y., and Cornelia Winthrop Bonnie of Prospect, Ky.; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. ELIZABETH WILLIAMS GRIMES Elementary School Principal

Elizabeth Williams Grimes, 83, a retired elementary school principal who worked as a receptionist and telephone operator at the National Lutheran Home in Rockville, died of congestive heart failure June 12 at her home in Rockville.

Mrs. Grimes, who was born Peckville, Pa., was a graduate of Bloomsburg State Teachers College and Youngstown State University. She was an elementary school principal in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas before retiring in 1976 and settling in Rockville.

She worked at the National Lutheran Home for 20 years until her death.

She was a member of the Rockville Presbyterian Church and led Bible study class there.

Her husband, Thomas E. Grimes, died in 1988. Survivors include three children, Margee Adams Iddings of Flintstone, Md., Thomas E. Grimes Sr. of Rockville and Geraldine Dunny of Rockville; three sisters; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. MARGUERITE ASHWORTH BRUNNER Antique Dealer and Author

Marguerite Ashworth Brunner, 82, an antique shop owner and author, died of congestive heart failure June 8 at her home in Washington.

Mrs. Brunner, who had lived in the Washington area on and off since the 1930s, was a native of Lillington, N.C. She did freelance writing for magazines, and in the late 1950s, she operated an antique store in Arlington that bore her name.

She lived in Pittsburgh in the early 1950s and North Carolina for seven years until 1969 when she settled in Washington. She then wrote four books on antiques, including "Antiques for Amateurs on a Shoe String Budget."

Survivors include her husband of 44 years, William Clyde Brunner of Washington; twin daughters, Sandy Pfefferle of Alexandria and Sally Brunner of Washington; and a granddaughter. SYLVIA T. BIPPY' SCHWARTZ French Teacher

Sylvia T. "Bippy" Schwartz, 92, a teacher who worked in Washington and Montgomery County schools for more than 50 years, died of heart disease June 11 at Suburban Hospital.

Ms. Schwartz, a resident of Rockville, was a native of Washington. She graduated from Central High School and George Washington University. She also received a master's degree in education from George Washington. She was an elementary teacher in the 1920s and spent her summers studying French at Middleburg College in Vermont, McGill University in Montreal and the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1943, she joined the faculty at Kramer Junior High School in Southeast Washington as a French teacher and later became head of the foreign language department.

She retired from Kramer in 1964 and became a substitute teacher in Montgomery County in the late 1960s.

Survivors include a sister, Blanche S. Keller of Rockville. PATRICIA PRICE STARKEY Logistics Manager

Patricia Price Starkey, 52, who retired last year as division chief of management and plans of the Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir, died of cancer June 10 at her home in Burke.

Mrs. Starkey, who was born in Arlington, was a graduate of Annandale High School. She began her career at the Army Intelligence and Security Command in 1965, working as a secretary. She held other positions during her career, including that of logistics manager. She received the Meritorious Civilian Award upon her retirement.

She was a member of St. Matthew's Methodist Church in Annandale.

Her husband, Harlan C. Starkey, died in 1971. Survivors include a son, Army Spec. Scott Starkey of Burke; her mother, Veronica Price of Warrenton; and a brother, George Price of Warrenton. PAULINE GLYNN Nurse

Pauline Glynn, 85, a nurse who was evening supervisor at Capitol Hill Hospital from 1957 until she retired in 1976, died June 12 at Randolph Hills Nursing Home after a stroke.

Mrs. Glynn, a resident of Wheaton, was born in Berlin, N.H., and moved to the Washington area during the 1930s. She had worked at several local hospitals during her nursing career.

In retirement, she did volunteer work for So Others May Eat and Meals on Wheels and served on the board of managers at Capitol Hill Hospital. She was a member of Naylor Dupont Seniors.

Her husband of 35 years, Thomas Glynn, died in 1975.

Survivors include two daughters, Pauline Davis of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Mary Ann Hartnett of College Park; a sister; and four grandchildren.