THE DEC. 11 OBITUARY ABOUT JOHN DUFFEY MISSTATED THE DATE OF HIS DEATH. IT WAS DEC. 10. THE OBITUARY ALSO INCORRECTLY REPORTED THAT THE BLUE GRASS COUNTRY GENTLEMAN DISBANDED IN THE LATE 1960s. MR. DUFFEY LEFT THE GROUP AT THAT TIME, BUT COUNTRY GENTLEMAN CONTINUED TO PLAY. (PUBLISHED 12/12/96)
John Duffey, 62, a singer and mandolin player who founded and led the Seldom Scene bluegrass group for 25 years, died Nov. 10 at Arlington Hospital after a heart attack.
Mr. Duffey, who was known to music lovers for a high, lonesome and lusty tenor voice that was once described as "one in a million," had been a fixture in Washington's musical community since the 1950s. The Seldom Scene was probably the premier bluegrass band in the Washington area, according to Pete Kuykendall, the publisher of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine and a former bandmate of Mr. Duffey's.
For 22 years, the Seldom Scene has played regularly at the Birchmere in Alexandria. The group also has toured overseas, played in most of the 50 states and produced dozens of recordings, tapes and compact discs.
The group's most recent album is "Dream Scene," released this fall. The Seldom Scene played with other bluegrass bands on the Grammy Award-winning "Bluegrass: The World's Greatest Show." Over the last quarter-century, the group has played for the likes of President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Gore, as well as for members of Congress.
The group was formed in 1971 by Mr. Duffey and four others: Tom Gray, who worked for National Geographic; Ben Eldridge, a mathematician and computer expert; Mike Auldridge, a graphic artist with the Washington Star; and John Starling, a physician and ear, nose and throat specialist.
The five men initially intended to sing and play together only occasionally, hence the name, Seldom Scene. "They started as a fun thing, like a Thursday night poker game or a bowling night," Kuykendall said.
But the group soon progressed from occasional basement get-togethers to regular Thursday night appearances at the Red Fox Inn in Bethesda, where they played to standing-room-only crowds, and, from there, to the Birchmere, where they became a weekly fixture.
The Seldom Scene's 15th-anniversary concert was held at the Kennedy Center, and it included a presidential citation from Ronald Reagan, whose press secretary, James Brady, was a regular at the Birchmere. It featured guest appearances by the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.
Mr. Duffey, a resident of Arlington, was born in Washington and graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. His father had been a singer with the Metropolitan Opera, and the son inherited an exceptional singing voice with a range said to be three of four octaves.
As a high school student, the young Mr. Duffey developed a love for the bluegrass music he heard on the radio. His father taught him the voice and breathing techniques of a classical opera singer, despite what was said to have been the elder Duffey's lack of enthusiasm for "hillbilly music."
As a young man, Mr. Duffey worked at a variety of jobs, including that of printer and repairer of stringed instruments. But his avocation was music, and it soon became his vocation as well.
In 1957, with Bill Emerson and Charlie Waller, Mr. Duffey founded the Country Gentlemen, a bluegrass and folk music group that for about 10 years rode the wave of folk music enthusiasm that surged through the 1960s. The group disbanded in the late 1960s, and Mr. Duffey went to work as an instrument repairman at a music store in the Cherrydale section of Arlington, which was how he was making a living when the Seldom Scene was formed.
"When we started the Seldom Scene, we all had jobs and we didn't care if anybody liked what we did or not," Auldridge told The Washington Post's Richard Harrington last year. "We just said, We're going to do some bluegrass because we love it, and some James Taylor or Grateful Dead, and if people buy it, great. If they don't, what do we care?' "
Mr. Duffey was a large and imposing man with a precise and soulfully expressive voice, and his singing was invariably moving. But he also had an engaging, irrepressible and sometimes off-the-wall style of stage chatter and a superb sense of timing that could break up an audience with a one-liner.
"What people love about him is that you know he's one of these guys stuck in the '50s, but he's so happy with himself, so confident, and he's also nuts," Auldridge said in 1989.
In the quarter-century since its formation, the Seldom Scene built its reputation on flawless harmony, instrumental virtuosity and a repertoire that included traditional bluegrass and modern popular music, rock tunes, swing and country, gospel and jazz.
Over the years, there would be changes in the group's composition, but until last year, the instrumental core remained the same: Mr. Duffey on mandolin, Eldridge on banjo and Auldridge on dobro. But Auldridge left the group in December, leaving only two original members.
In September, Mr. Duffey was inducted along with the original Country Gentlemen into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Fame.
Survivors include his wife, Nancy L. Duffey of Arlington. MARJORIE WARD SCHUMACHER Planned Parenthood Director
Marjorie Ward Schumacher, 88, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington during the period in which the District's antiabortion law was successfully challenged, died of a stroke Dec. 6 at her home in Washington. She had lived in the city for 44 years.
Mrs. Schumacher oversaw the merger of the District Planned Parenthood affiliate, a family planning center in the city since before World War II, with those in the suburbs. After the city's 1901 antiabortion law was ruled unconstitutional in 1969, Planned Parenthood began an abortion counseling and referral service.
The clinic, operated at the organization's headquarters at 16th and L streets NW, was named in Mrs. Schumacher's honor in 1977, four years after she retired.
Mrs. Schumacher was a native of Nashua, N.H., and a graduate of the University of Rochester. She received a master's degree in social work from Smith College. She was a social worker in Rochester, N.Y., and with Planned Parenthood on Long Island early in her career. She began with Planned Parenthood in Washington as a volunteer in 1952 and was named director in 1957.
After she retired, she continued to volunteer with the organization and served on its capital campaign committee.
Her husband of 29 years, Fredrick A. Schumacher, died in 1965. Survivors include two children, Anne S. Mavor of Annapolis and Stephen W. Schumacher of Washington. JEAN ZARR JASPERSEN-BATDORF Educator
Jean Zarr Jaspersen-Batdorf, 88, an educator who retired in 1978 as assistant headmaster of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, died of pneumonia Dec. 8 at Williamsburg Community Hospital in Williamsburg.
Mrs. Jaspersen-Batdorf served for 30 years on the faculty of Sidwell before retiring. She had chaired the remedial reading department and had been dean of girls and principal of the Lower School. Then, for her last 10 years there, she was assistant headmaster.
She was born in Philadelphia and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. Before moving to Washington in 1948, she taught at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia.
Mrs. Jaspersen-Batdorf had served on the vestry of All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase and had been coordinator of volunteer services at Suburban Hospital.
Her first husband, Frederick Franklin Jaspersen, died in the early 1970s.
In 1980, she moved to Williamsburg after her marriage to John Batdorf. He died in the late 1980s.
Survivors include four children from her first marriage, Jane Anderson and Frederick Jaspersen, both of Washington, Lucille Ruggles Glenn of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Barbara Jaspersen Voorhees of San Francisco. ANDREW BUMBAK Economist
Andrew Bumbak, 69, an economist who had studied the economy of the drug trade for the Drug Enforcement Administration, died Dec. 9 at Arlington Hospital. He had heart ailments.
Mr. Bumbak, who lived in McLean, was born in St. Clair, Pa. He served in the Army during World War II and was posted in Japan after the war. Later, he left military service but then returned to active duty during the Korean War and served in Korea. He became proficient in German and Russian languages and served as a counterintelligence specialist until retiring from military service as a master sergeant in 1963.
Mr. Bumbak then settled in the Washington area. He graduated from George Washington University, from which he also received a master's degree in economics. He worked for the Naval Research Laboratory and then the Drug Enforcement Administration until 1980, when he retired on disability after suffering a stroke.
He was a founding member of St. Mark Eastern Orthodox Church in Bethesda and had served on the church council. Mr. Bumbak also was a Mason.
Survivors include his wife of 38 years, Vera Thoryk Bumbak of McLean; a son, Andrew Konstantin Bumbak of Dallas; four sisters; and two brothers. GEORGE FRANKLIN HAZARD Treasury Official
George Franklin Hazard, 83, a licensing section chief who retired from the Treasury Department in the early 1980s after about 40 years with the foreign assets control office, died of cancer Dec. 7 at Fair Oaks Hospital. He lived in Vienna.
His work focused on frozen assets in countries under U.S. embargoes. He served as chief of the remittance unit and was posted to Japan after World War II as chief of the Allied enterprises bureau, dispersing foreign assets seized by Japan and Germany during the war. From 1953 to 1957, he was Treasury's director of foreign assets control in Hong Kong. After he retired, he was a consultant to the department on frozen Iranian assets.
Mr. Hazard was a native of Newport, R.I. He attended Rhode Island University and was a graduate of Columbia University, where he also did graduate work in economics. He was a credit manager with Chase National Bank of New York for 10 years before taking a job as an economist with Treasury.
He received the department's Albert Gallatin Award and a Meritorious Service Award. Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Lora Lavender Hazard of Vienna; five children; seven grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. RICHARD C. WOOTON Foreign Service Officer
Richard C. Wooton, 80, a retired U.S. Information Agency Foreign Service officer, died Dec. 6 at his home in Arlington. He had Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Mr. Wooton, a native of Lebanon, Ind., was a graduate of Stanford University, where he also received a master's degree in education. He taught languages and music in California high schools before beginning his government career.
He began his government career in 1947, when he went to Germany to work in re-education programs for the U.S. military government. In 1949, he transfered to the Foreign Service and held USIA posts in Europe and South America, as well as in Washington. He retired from the USIA in 1977 as festival organizer with the Smithsonian Institution's Folklife Festival.
A jazz musician, he collected classic records. He also had done genealogy work for the Sons of the American Revolution.
Survivors include his wife, Billie, and a son, Flaud, both of Arlington; four daughters, Valerie Stine of Frederick, Md., Natalie Oginz of South Pasadena, Calif., Stephanie Horstman of Middletown, Md., and Kira Wooton of Arlington; and six grandchildren. CAPTION: JOHN DUFFEY