Harriett R. Taylor, 65, the senior judge of the D.C. Superior Court who presided over the divorce of Herbert and Gloria Haft and who ordered sweeping improvements in the District's shelters for the homeless, died of cancer Aug. 18 at her Washington home.
She was the author of a widely criticized 1994 divorce ruling that awarded custody of two young boys to their father, saying their mother was more devoted to her career. That decision was derided by women's organizations across the country and praised by groups backing the rights of fathers.
First appointed to the bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, Judge Taylor presided over several cases that affected poor and homeless people in the District. In 1982, she ordered city officials to provide heat and hot water in four public housing complexes.
In 1989, ruling in a suit filed by the Community for Creative Non-Violence, she ordered the city to provide 50 new shelter beds, improve conditions in existing facilities, which she described as "virtual hellholes," and open additional shelters.
Eight months later, she found that city officials had ignored her orders, and she levied fines that ultimately totaled $4.2 million. She then set up a trust fund and ordered that the money be spent on construction of single-room apartments for low-income people.
In 1993, Judge Taylor handled the divorce battle that was part of the complicated legal war involving members of the Haft retailing family, whose interests over the years included Dart Drug Stores, Crown Books, Trak Auto and other companies. Gloria Haft had sued for legal separation from Herbert Haft after 45 years of marriage. The Hafts agreed to an uncontested divorce the next year as part of a multicase settlement that avoided trial.
Ruling in another Superior Court divorce case, Judge Taylor ruled that Sharon Prost, a Senate lawyer and her family's main breadwinner, was not entitled to custody of her sons.
The judge, who had raised three children while working as a lawyer, observed that Prost and her husband, labor union administrator Kenneth Greene, "clearly love their children very much." But, she said, Greene had made the "care and well being" of the boys his highest priority. She ordered Prost to pay her husband $23,000 a year in child support.
Judge Taylor came to the Superior Court after serving as the District's first administrative law judge. Appointed to that post by Mayor Walter E. Washington in 1976, she heard cases brought by the new Office of Consumer Affairs against merchants and others involving violations such as false advertising, mislabeling and credit disclosure abuses.
Earlier, she was of counsel for 15 years to the law firm of Rauh & Silard, where she specialized in family law. She also represented Miners for Democracy, which took control of the United Mine Workers union in the early 1970s.
Judge Taylor was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and raised in Brooklyn, where she graduated from Brooklyn College. She received a law degree from Columbia University and worked for a law firm in New York before moving to Washington in 1959.
She was a former president of the Greater Washington Americans for Democratic Action, a treasurer of the D.C. Bar, a member of the D.C. Democratic Central Committee and a volunteer at Archbishop Carroll High School. She participated in trial advocacy workshops at Harvard University and moot courts at universities and high schools.
She represented D.C. Superior Court at the Joint Committee of Judicial Administration for D.C. Courts and was a member of her court's judicial education and training committee and mental health rules committee. She received the H. Carl Moultrie Award of the Trial Lawyers Association of Washington.
Last school year, Judge Taylor was a visiting professor of law at Stanford University.
Survivors include her husband, civil rights lawyer William T. Taylor of Washington; two daughters, Lauren Taylor of Silver Spring and Deborah Taylor of San Francisco; a son, David Van Taylor of Brooklyn; her mother, Alice Rosen of Brooklyn; a sister; and a granddaughter. WALTER B. WAETJEN University Official
Walter B. Waetjen, 76, who served as vice president of general administration at the University of Maryland from 1966 to 1973 and as president of Cleveland State University from 1973 to 1988, died of cancer Aug. 15 at his home in Oxford, Md.
Dr. Waetjen joined the University of Maryland in 1948 as a research fellow and postgraduate student in education. From 1951 to 1965, he was an education professor, and he also served as director of the university's educational research bureau.
After retiring as Cleveland State president, he was a visiting research fellow at the University of Edinburgh in 1990 and 1991 and served as interim president of Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, in 1992 and 1993. He also was a visiting professor at Cambridge University.
Dr. Waetjen was a 1942 industrial arts graduate of Millersville University in Pennsylvania and received a master's degree in vocational education from the University of Pennsylvania. He received an education doctorate in human development from the University of Maryland.
He was the national Golden Gloves light-heavyweight boxing champion in 1939. From 1942 to 1946, he played for the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League before teaching school in his native Philadelphia from 1945 to 1948.
He was the author of two books and 61 journal articles. He served as advisory committee chairman of the International Technology Education Association.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, the former Betty Walls, of Oxford; two sons, Walter Waetjen Jr., of Novelty, Ohio, and Daniel G. Waetjen of Silver Spring; a daughter, Kristi Jenkins of Elk Ridge; two sisters, Elma Murphy of Philadelphia and Margarete Scarpello of Warminster, Pa.; and nine grandchildren. FREDERICK JOSEPH GRIGSBY Physician
Frederick Joseph Grigsby, 87, a retired Washington physician and Food and Drug Administration medical officer, died of cancer Aug. 16 at the Washington Hospice.
Dr. Grigsby moved to Washington and joined the FDA in 1965. He retired from the FDA in 1981 as acting director of the division of surgical and dental adjuncts. During this period, he also had a part-time private practice in family medicine, from which he retired in 1984.
In retirement, he worked with Medical Rehabilitative Support Services in Rockville.
Dr. Grigsby, a resident of Silver Spring, was born in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from Lincoln University in Missouri, then worked for a year as a janitor before accepting a job as a high school science teacher in Dayton.
He taught high school for 10 years, then graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. In 1948, he opened a private practice in family medicine and urology in Dayton. He served in the Army Medical Corps during the Korean War, then returned to his medical practice.
He became a board-certified urologist after study at the Veterans Administration extension at the Dayton branch of Ohio State University.
In Washington, Dr. Grigsby was a member of Berean Baptist Church and later of People's Community Baptist Church. His avocations included cabinetmaking, playing the organ, computer science and gourmet cooking. He traveled extensively throughout the United States and the Caribbean.
He received a D.C. Medical Society Community Service Award.
His wife of 44 years, Miriam Shields Grigsby, died in 1984.
Survivors include three children, Loyce Grigsby and Thirza Neal, both of Washington, and Fred Grigsby Jr. of Minneapolis; and four grandsons. JOHN E. MONTGOMERY Sr. Linotype Operator
John E. Montgomery Sr., 84, a former Arlington resident and a retired Washington Post Linotype operator who was active in groups for the deaf, died Aug. 15 in Westerville, Ohio, at a nursing home where he had spent the last six years. He had Alzheimer's disease.
He worked for The Post from 1936 to 1948 and again from 1968 until retiring in 1978. He was a Linotype operator with the Des Moines Register & Tribune from 1948 to 1968.
Mr. Montgomery, who came to Washington in the 1930s, was born in International Falls, Minn. He attended the Minnesota School for the Deaf and what is now Gallaudet University.
He was a member of the National Association of the Deaf. In 1959, he had helped found the publication of the organization's Iowa chapter, the Sign Language.
His first wife, Edith Montgomery, died in 1964, and a son from his first marriage, Kerry Montgomery, died in 1992.
Survivors include his wife, Maxine Montgomery of Westerville; another son from his first marriage, John Montgomery Jr. of New York; a brother, Paul Montgomery of Anaheim, Calif.; and three granddaughters. JOAN C. FARLEY Teacher
Joan Coleman Farley, 48, a first-grade teacher at Galway Elementary School in the Montgomery County school system for six years before retiring in 1990, died of a brain tumor Aug. 15 at her home in Silver Spring.
Mrs. Farley, who came to the Washington area in 1979, was a Philadelphia native. She was a 1974 cum laude graduate of Temple University and received a master's degree in education from the University of Virginia.
She was a member of Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda. She established a nonprofit organization that donates children's books to area charitable groups.
Survivors include her husband, Edward Farley, whom she married in 1968 and who lives in Silver Spring; two sons, Blake Farley of Kensington and Glenn Farley of Silver Spring; her mother, Adelaide Coleman, and a brother, Robert Coleman, both of Philadelphia; and two sisters, Patricia Fox of Manassas and Kathleen Vaquez of Croydon, Pa. LINA C. BOHN Statistician
Lina Croxton Bohn, 92, an Agriculture Department statistician for 25 years before retiring in 1973, died of cardiorespiratory arrest Aug. 14 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She lived in Dunn Loring.
Mrs. Bohn, who was born in Irvington, Va., was a graduate of what was then Mary Washington College. She taught school in Stafford, Va., before coming to Washington in the 1930s. She was a secretary for Britain's Royal Air Force in Washington during World War II.
She was a 23-year member of Arlington Baptist Church. She lived in Takoma Park, Arlington and Reston before moving to Dunn Loring.
Her husband, Russell R. Bohn, died in 1962.
Survivors include a daughter, Shirley Bohn Sheehan of Reston, and a granddaughter. KATHLEEN P. FRY Teacher
Kathleen P. Fry, 55, a mathematics teacher at Fairfax County's Lake Braddock High School, died of breast cancer Aug. 18 at her home in Fairfax.
Mrs. Fry was born in New Castle, Pa., and graduated from Duquesne University.
As a young woman, she was a research chemist for Gulf Oil in Pittsburgh, and she developed the catalyst that was the forerunner of the one used in catalytic converters in General Motors automobiles.
She left Gulf Oil to become a math teacher and received a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh. Later, she was a high school math teacher in Pennsylvania.
In 1973, she moved to the Washington area. From 1974 to 1978, she taught mathematics at Woodbridge High School. She had been on the Lake Braddock faculty since 1978.
She did doctoral study in communications at George Mason University.
She was a member of the Fairfax Education Association and the Fairfax and National Councils of Teachers of Mathematics.
Survivors include her husband, R. Richard Fry, and two children, Alexander J.P. Fry and Julie P. Fry, all of Fairfax; her father, Philip Perrotta of White Oak; a sister; and a brother. LARRY ALAN TRITTIPOE Service Station Owner
Larry Alan Trittipoe, 53, who owned and operated Leeway Amoco service station in Arlington during the 1970s and early 1980s, died of cancer Aug. 15 at his home in Frederick, Md.
Mr. Trittipoe was born in Sandy Spring and graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. He managed service stations in Bethesda and McLean. He retired eight years ago.
His marriage to Loretta Trittipoe ended in divorce.
Survivors include his companion, Anna Heier of Frederick; three daughters, Robin McCue of Olney, Holley Wallace of Greenbelt and Tiffney Joy Trittipoe of Brookeville; two sisters, Patricia June Steele of Dickerson and Joyce Ann Stevens of Hagerstown; and three grandchildren. ALTA KING STANNARD Legal Secretary
Alta King Stannard, 99, a legal secretary who retired from federal service in 1968, died of respiratory failure Aug. 16 at Potomac Valley Nursing and Wellness Center in Rockville.
Mrs. Stannard, a longtime resident of Washington and Silver Spring, was born in North Stanford, N.Y. She moved to the Washington area in 1917 and graduated from Strayer College.
She worked for 41 years for the Treasury Department and the fruit and vegetable division of the Department of Agriculture.
She was a seamstress and artist who made clothing and painted on china and canvas.
Her husband of 37 years, Morton Lewis Stannard, died in 1958.
Survivors include a son, Dexter Stannard of Silver Spring; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. ALICE PAULINE NANCE Record Transcriber
Alice Pauline Nance, 81, a transcriber of medical records at the National Institutes of Health for 20 years before retiring in 1975, died Aug. 15 at Suburban Hospital after a stroke.
Mrs. Nance, a resident of Kensington, was born in Texas and moved to the Washington area in 1937.
Her avocations included square dancing and doing crossword puzzles.
Survivors include her husband, John A. Nance of Kensington; two daughters, Sharon N. Flowers of Edgewater and Carolyn A. Nance of Hollywood Beach, Calif.; a sister; and a granddaughter. A. MICHAEL ZETTLER Army Contractor Specialist
A. Michael Zettler, 61, who had worked since 1986 at the Army Materiel Command as a contractor performance measurement specialist, died of a heart ailment Aug. 16 at his home in Silver Spring.
He was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in Silver Spring. He was a graduate of Gonzaga College High School and the University of Maryland and attended George Washington University law school.
He began his contracts career in 1961 with the Naval Air Systems Command. He was a member of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Silver Spring and a coach at St. Michael's School. He was a member of the Terrapin Club at the University of Maryland. Survivors include a sister, Kathryn K. Appler of Silver Spring. CHARLES HILTON COCHRAN Lawyer
Charles Hilton Cochran, 51, a partner in the Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter who specialized in railroad mergers and energy law, was found dead Aug. 12 at his home in Bethesda. The cause of death is pending results of an autopsy. He had a history of heart ailments.
Mr. Cochran joined Arnold & Porter in 1977 and became a partner in 1984.
He was born in New York and grew up in Washington, as well as Greece, Egypt, Liberia and Lebanon, where his father was assigned with the Voice of America.
He attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and graduated in 1968 from Dartmouth College. After college, he was an Army intelligence officer in Washington and later in Vietnam.
After graduating from Fordham University's law school, he served as a clerk for a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in Pittsburgh before returning to Washington and joining Arnold & Porter.
His avocations included bicycling, and he was a member of the Atlantic Cycling Club. He also was a member of Kenwood Country Club.
Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Sharron Thomas Cochran, and two children, Lauren and Blake Cochran, all of Bethesda. SUZANNE M. ASHER Volunteer
Suzanne M. Asher, 76, a volunteer at the Columbia Hospital for Women and other organizations, died Aug. 16 at Suburban Hospital. She lived in Rockville.
Mrs. Asher was born in Washington and raised in Chevy Chase. She was a graduate of the Cathedral School and Ogontz Junior College in Pennsylvania.
Before her marriage in 1946, she worked for the Karl W. Corby real estate firm in Washington. She lived in Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, from 1971 to 1989.
She was a volunteer with the Junior League of Washington and St. John's Church Opportunity Shop. She was a member of the Perennial Garden Club and All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase.
Survivors include her husband of 50 years, William B. Asher of Rockville; three children, William B. Asher Jr. of Boston, Mary-Preston A. Hoffman of Chevy Chase and Susan A. Coe of Boston; a sister, Bonnie M. Eichnor of Easton, Md.; and six grandchildren. BEN VANN JOHNSON Restaurateur
Ben Vann Johnson, 67, who retired in 1995 as owner of Ben's Place restaurant in Arlington, died Aug. 12 at Howard County General Hospital. He had leukemia.
Mr. Johnson, a resident of Jessup, was a former manager of R.J. Bentley's restaurant in College Park. He also was a former food and beverage manager at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington and manager of the Black Crystal and Black Greco restaurants.
Mr. Johnson was born in Coates, N.C. He served in the Navy in the Atlantic during the Korean War. He worked for a meat processing plant in Fayetteville, N.C., and at a country club in New Bern, N.C., early in his career. He moved to the Washington area in 1967 to manage the food operation at Reston Golf Course and Newton Square Cafeteria.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Marjorie King Johnson of Jessup; five children, James Johnson of Nashville, Teresa DelCasino and Richard Johnson, both of Jessup, Ronald Johnson of Arlington and David Johnson of Beltsville; and two grandchildren. MILDRED KENT WILKERSON GROFF Real Estate Agent and Nurse
Mildred Kent Wilkerson Groff, 89, former real estate agent and practical nurse, died of cardiac arrest Aug. 17 at Villa Rosa Nursing Home in Mitchellville.
Mrs. Groff, a native of Keeling, Va., had lived in Washington off and on since 1926. She worked for the real estate firm of Jeanne Dixon during the 1960s and was a practical nurse until the 1980s. She also operated boarding houses in the Dupont Circle area.
She was a member of First Baptist Church in Washington.
Her husband, William Irving Groff Sr., died in 1966, and their son, William Irving Groff Jr., died in 1984.
Survivors include a daughter, Ann G. Paschall of Adelphi; a sister; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. HELEN W. GUNDERSON Volunteer
Helen W. Gunderson, 94, a volunteer with the Red Cross and the Smithsonian Institution, died of respiratory failure Aug. 14 at the health care center of the Collington Retirement Community in Mitchellville.
Mrs. Gunderson was a native of Omaha and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she also received a master's degree in home economics. As a young woman, she taught nursery school in Madison, Wis. In the 1930s, she was a newspaper food editor in Chicago.
She moved to Washington in 1942 and was director of nutrition in Montgomery County for the American Red Cross during World War II. She continued later as a volunteer with the organization. She also was a volunteer research assistant and information guide with the Smithsonian and at Westmoreland Congregational Church in Bethesda.
Her husband, Dr. Frank L. Gunderson, died in 1983.
Survivors include a daughter, Patricia G. Stocker of Menlo Park, Calif.; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.