Willis J. Willoughby Jr. Navy Department Director of Product Integrity
Willis J. Willoughby Jr., 71, a retired engineer who was instrumental in revamping procurement standards and putting in place policies to improve the reliability and product quality of Navy equipment and weapons systems, died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma Nov. 18 at George Washington University Hospital.
When Mr. Willoughby joined the Navy Department in 1973 after a career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Apollo mission, he brought with him an expertise in administering reliability programs to improve safety standards and to increase quality control.
In 1985, Mr. Willoughby was named director of reliability, maintainability and quality assurance in the office of the assistant secretary of the Navy. He later became director of product integrity in the office of the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. In those posts, he was responsible for the reliability, design and manufacturing quality of materials procured for the Navy's shipbuilding and logistics operations. He retired in 1995.
During his career, he implemented numerous programs, including one that led to technology-sharing initiatives among Department of Defense contractors.
He also helped develop a complex computer program that guides program managers through the acquisition process.
Upon his induction into the Department of Navy Acquisition Hall of Fame in May, he was praised for establishing engineering discipline and competency throughout the procurement cycle.
Mr. Willoughby, a native of Columbia, S.C., graduated from the University of South Carolina, then served a year in the Air Force.
After beginning his career in 1952 as a mechanical engineer for the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, he became an engineering program manager for a defense contractor in 1958. Seven years later, he took a job with NASA as director of Apollo reliability, quality and safety.
His other honors included the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award, the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Gold Medal.
Survivors include his wife, Mary L. Willoughby of Clinton; three children, Brian Willoughby, Betsy Horvat and Bruce Willoughby, all of Clinton; a brother; and a granddaughter. Robert L. Wilkinson Sr. Association Executive
Robert L. Wilkinson Sr., 77, who held executive positions with the national chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association in Bethesda for 14 years until his retirement in 1986 as director of services, died of heart ailments Nov. 15 at a nursing home in Ithaca, N.Y.
A former Rockville resident, he had lived in upstate New York since late 1997.
Mr. Wilkinson worked for a NECA chapter in Spokane, Wash., for 21 years before taking a post with its national headquarters in 1972. There, he helped institute and administer a health benefits plan and founded an early apprenticeship program for minorities in the construction industry.
He was president of Associated Specialty Contractors from 1982 to 1986, and he was a consultant to the American Institute of Architects.
Mr. Wilkinson, who was born in Colfax, Wash., graduated from Washington State University and served in the Army during World War II.
In recent years, he had been an active volunteer and president of the Washington and Suburban Maryland Mended Heart Association and an active member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also was an emeritus fellow of the Academy of Electrical Contracting.
His wife of 50 years, Dorothy Lawrence Wilkinson, died in 1992. Survivors include two sons, Robert Wilkinson Jr. of Ithaca and Bruce Wilkinson of Maple Valley, Wash.; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. Walter F. White Customs Administrator
Walter F. White, 83, who retired in 1975 as chief of the headquarters support branch of the U.S. Customs Bureau, died Nov. 17 at a physician's office in Rockville. He had pancreatic cancer.
Mr. White, a resident of Silver Spring, was born in Jersey City. He served on active duty in the Army three times: in the 1930s, in Germany during World War II and during the Korean War.
He began his career in Washington in 1939 at the Census Bureau, where he was a clerk. Later, he was a budget and fiscal funds officer in the foreign funds control bureau of the Treasury Department and chief of administrative services at the Inter-American Development Bank. He was a founder of the bank's credit union and helped set up overseas conferences. He worked for Customs for about six years.
He received the Albert Gallatin Award of the Treasury Department and the Commissioner's Citation at Customs.
Mr. White played softball in leagues in Montgomery County and was a volunteer with the county Humane Society.
Survivors include his wife, Betty Crisp White of Silver Spring; two sons, Robert G. White of Rockville and Walter E. White of Silver Spring; and two grandchildren. Roy B. Henderson Navy Department Program Manager
Roy B. Henderson, 87, a retired program manager who worked on acoustics and noise reduction on nuclear and conventionally powered seacraft for the Navy Department's Bureau of Ships, died of severe anemia Nov. 17 at a nursing home in Newville, Pa.
Mr. Henderson, who was born in Greenville, S.C., came to Washington in 1933. He served as a U.S. Capitol special policeman until 1940, when he took a job as an assistant engineer draftsman in what was then the Bureau of Construction and Repair in the Navy Department. He retired in 1972.
Mr. Henderson, who had lived in Takoma Park for 52 years before moving to Shippensburg, Pa., in 1993, received the Navy Superior Civilian Award, among other honors during his career.
He was a past member of Grace United Methodist Church in Takoma Park, and he served on its building committee.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Rosie M. Jensen Henderson of Shippensburg, and their son, David Roy Henderson of Newburg, Pa. Leander Shelton Vanlandingham Jr. Trademark and Patent Lawyer
Leander Shelton Vanlandingham Jr., 73, a trademark and patent lawyer who had a private practice in Crystal City for more than 40 years, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 10 at Suburban Hospital.
A longtime Potomac resident, Mr. Vanlandingham was born in Memphis and was a Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean War, serving as a lieutenant.
He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in organic chemistry from the University of North Carolina and a law degree from Georgetown University.
He was a member of the American Bar and American Intellectual Property Law associations.
Survivors include his wife, Henrietta Vanlandingham of Potomac; two children, Leander Shelton Vanlandingham III of Phoenix and Ann Sheehan of Mount Airy, Md.; a sister; and two grandchildren. Julia M. Tobin Teacher
Julia M. Tobin, 86, a retired school teacher who served four years on the faculty at St. James School in Falls Church during the 1950s, died Nov. 18 at Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church. She had Alzheimer's disease.
Mrs. Tobin, who lived in Arlington, was born in Boston. She graduated from Boston Teachers College.
Before moving to this area in 1952 she was a school teacher in Massachusetts.
She was a member of the choir at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Arlington, and she was active in the Women's National Democratic Club, the Georgetown University Hospital Ladies Board, the Jesuit Mission Guild and the Williamsburg Ladies Board.
Her husband, William L. Tobin, died in 1997.
Survivors include two children, William Tobin of Arlington and Virginia Tobin of Randallstown, Md. Robert Mensh Businessman
Robert Mensh, 80, who operated the Thrift 5 and 10 Cent store at First Street and Rhode Island Avenue NE from the 1940s until it was destroyed in the 1968 riots, died of cancer Nov. 18 at Suburban Hospital. He lived in Silver Spring.
Mr. Mensh was a native of Washington and a graduate of McKinley Technical High School. He attended Benjamin Franklin University. He served in the Army in Italy during World War II.
He joined his father's business before the war and later took over its operation. After the store was destroyed, Mr. Mensh was a library technician with the Defense Mapping Agency. He was a member of the Knights of Pythian and a council member at the Schweinhaut Senior Citizens Center in Silver Spring.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Sue Perry Mensh of Silver Spring; three children, Gail Lenck of Summit Hill, N.J., Norman Mensh of Silver Spring and David Mensh of Gaithersburg; two brothers; and three grandchildren. Albert Julius Fargo Financial Analyst
Albert Julius Fargo, 88, a 37-year federal employee who retired in 1974 as a financial analyst for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, died of cardiopulmonary arrest Nov. 16 at his home in Centreville.
Mr. Fargo was born in Pennsylvania.
He moved to the Washington area in the late 1930s and began his federal career at the State Department. During World War II, he served in the Navy in Australia, then after the war returned to the State Department.
He was recalled for Navy service in the Korean War. Later he worked as a civilian for Navy Intelligence and then for the Facilities Engineering Command.
He graduated from Ben Franklin University.
He was a Mason and a member of Kena Temple Shrine.
After retiring from federal service, he moved to Sarasota, Fla. In 1992, he returned to the Washington area.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Jean W. Fargo of Centreville; a son, James E. Fargo of Fairfax Station and Luray, Va.; and two grandsons. J. Edwin Hutchinson Judge
J. Edwin Hutchinson, 85, who practiced law in Hyattsville for 19 years and then was a "master of juvenile causes," or judge, in the Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro for an additional 15, died of kidney failure Nov. 13 at the Hillhaven Nursing Center in Beltsville. He had diabetes.
Mr. Hutchinson was a native of Hyattsville. He was a graduate of McKinley Technical High School, the University of Maryland and the Washington College of Law, now part of American University. He served in the Navy in Sicily and the Pacific during World War II. He went into practice in the 1940s and retired in 1980.
He sang in the choirs of Memorial Methodist Church in Hyattsville and University United Methodist Church in College Park. He was a Mason and a member of the Hyattsville Lions Club and a volunteer with Meals on Wheels.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Elaine Essex Hutchinson of College Park; two sons, Bruce E. Hutchinson of Silver Spring and Kenneth Hutchinson of Glenwood, Md.; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. John W. Gilbert CPA
John W. Gilbert, 73, a certified public accountant and retired vice president of the Deloitte & Touche accounting firm who had maintained a home in Northern Virginia since the early 1970s, died Nov. 15 at his home in McLean after a heart attack.
He worked for Deloitte & Touche in Philadelphia before working for the company in Washington in the 1970s as its national tax affairs supervisor.
He then worked for the firm in New York, becoming a vice president, before retiring to his McLean home in the mid-1980s. Mr. Gilbert, a native of Duluth, Minn., was a Navy veteran of World War II and a 1948 graduate of the University of Minnesota.
He had been active in professional groups, including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, serving as its tax administration subcommittee chairman. He was a member of the Washington Golf and Country Club.
Survivors include his wife, Phyllis, of McLean; a son, Matthew W., of Fairfax; a daughter, Susan B. Gilbert-Lucas of Zambia; and two grandchildren. Ethel F. Lipscomb Volunteer
Ethel F. Lipscomb, 79, who had done volunteer work with the Red Cross, died of respiratory failure Nov. 19 at home in Gaithersburg.
Mrs. Lipscomb was born in Washington. She graduated from Central High School and Strayer Business College.
She was a member of Covenant United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg.
She had won awards for her needlework at state fairs.
Her husband, Lisle T. Lipscomb, died in 1997.
Survivors include two children, Lisle T. Lipscomb Jr. of Shepherdstown, W.Va., and June L. Thompson of Gaithersburg; two sisters, Marjorie Smith of Salisbury, Md., and Beverly Deens of Stevensville, Md.; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.