Robert T. Neumann


Robert T. Neumann, 83, a political science professor who served as ambassador to Afghanistan, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, died of cancer June 18 at his home in Bethesda.

Dr. Neumann was posted to Afghanistan from 1966 to 1973 and was envoy to Morocco until 1976. He was ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 1981. He retired in 1996 as director of Middle East programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he had worked off and on for 20 years.

He was a native of Vienna and a graduate of the University of Vienna. He was imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps in 1938 and 1939 and then came to the United States. He received a master's degree from Amherst College and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, both in political science. He was also a Woodrow Wilson fellow.

He served in the Army in Germany during World War II and then taught at the University of California at Los Angeles until 1966.

Dr. Neumann was director of the transition team at the State Department after Ronald Reagan was elected president.

He wrote articles for scholarly and foreign affairs publications. He also wrote books about European and American governments.

Dr. Neumann was a member of the Council of American Ambassadors, the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies and the American Friends of Afghanistan. He was vice chairman of the American Saudi Business Roundtable and national adviser to the American Institute of Islamic Affairs. He was honorary director of the Afghanistan Relief Society.

His wife, Marlen Neumann, died in 1997.

Survivors include two sons, Gregory W. Neumann of Los Angeles and Ronald E. Neumann, an Arlington resident and former ambassador to Algeria; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

John Everly Skuce

Arts Consultant

John Everly Skuce, 69, a consultant to cultural organizations and a producer of festivals and historic commemorations, died June 20 at his home in Shepherdstown, W.Va. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Skuce was a senior associate of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1977 to 1981, working on programs to encourage support for the arts. In the 1980s, he helped produce the Los Angeles Bicentennial, U.S.-Korean centennial programs for 38 cities and a performing arts festival in Jamaica. He also helped raise funds for the Smithsonian Institution's participation in the Festival of India.

Mr. Skuce was born in Morgantown, W.Va., and raised in Charleston, W.Va., Washington and Shanghai, where his father was a forestry and conservation adviser. He was a graduate of Goddard College and also attended Nanking University and the London School of Economics.

He began his career in Washington in 1953 at Congressional Quarterly, where he was research director and a reporter. He became a program officer at the Smithsonian in 1969 and was national affairs officer for the National Drug Abuse Council from 1972 to 1976.

He leaves no immediate survivors.

Naomi Meffert Mathews

Board Chairman

Naomi Meffert Mathews, 88, who was chairman of the board of trustees of the World Population Society and president of the Association of Foreign Service Women, died of pneumonia June 21 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mrs. Mathews accompanied her husband, Elbert G. Mathews, to diplomatic posts that included Nigeria and Liberia, where he was U.S. ambassador in the 1960s. Residents of Washington off and on for 60 years, they also were posted to Turkey, Norway, England, Australia and Nicaragua. He died in 1977.

Mrs. Mathews was a native of Missouri who attended the University of California at Berkeley and George Washington University.

She was chairman of the Georgetown Children's House and a volunteer with the DACOR (Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired) Bacon House Foundation. She was a member of St. Johns Episcopal Church in Washington.

She leaves no immediate survivors.

Elena Aldcroftt deRivas Macy

Actress, Red Cross Worker

Elena Aldcroftt deRivas Macy, 94, who was a stage actress as a young women and a Service Club director for the Red Cross in North Africa during World War II, died June 22 at her home in Washington of a stroke and heart disease.

She was the widow of Josiah Noel Macy, the founder and first president of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Georgetown, who died in 1977. The Georgetown house in which they lived has been deeded to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Mrs. Macy was born in New York and attended Bryn Mawr College. In the 1920s, she performed in such plays as "The Sport of Kings," at The Playhouse Theatre in Chicago.

She was a Red Cross Service Club director in Algiers, and in Casablanca and Marrakech, Morocco, during World War II.

After the war, she settled in Washington.

She was a member of the Sulgrave Club and the City Tavern in Washington.

Her first husband, Robert Kohler, died in 1938.

Survivors include 10 step-grandchildren.

Hilda E. Beers


Hilda E. Beers, 88, a former businesswoman in Prince George's County, died of a pulmonary ailment June 22 at the health care center at Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, Md. She moved from Washington to Catonsville in 1982.

Mrs. Beers, a native of Freeburg, Mo., settled in Washington in the early 1940s after living in California. In the early 1960s, she accompanied her husband, Colwell Beers, to a posting with the Central Intelligence Agency in Okinawa.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Beers operated the B&J Grocery Store in Landover Hills, the Choptank Crabhouse in Riverdale and the Seabrook Bakery and Seabrook Gift Shop.

Mrs. Beers was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Landover Hills and St. Peter's Catholic Church in Washington.

Her husband died in 1988.

Survivors include five children, John Beers of Bay Head, N.J., James Beers of Washington, Gregory Beers of Birmingham, Rebecca Street of Beverly Hills, Calif., and Thomas Beers of Virginia Beach; a sister; 13 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Mayme M. Roth

Claims Processor

Mayme M. Roth, 92, a retired Department of Housing and Urban Development claims processor, died of respiratory failure June 21 at the Wilson Health Care Center of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg.

Mrs. Roth was born in Atlanta and moved to the Washington area as a young girl. She was a secretary at Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Co. during the 1920s.

In 1930, she married Theodore Roth, a violinist and saxophonist who played in the Marine Band. He died in 1982.

Mrs. Roth retired from HUD in 1968 after 15 years there and at predecessor agencies.

In retirement, she was a Red Cross volunteer. She did volunteer work at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, the Salvation Army and with the United Methodist Women at Memorial United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, where she was a 40-year member.

She was a life member of Electra Chapter 2 of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Survivors include two sons, David K. Roth of Prince Frederick and John T. Roth of Olney; a sister, Gladys S. Potts of Manchester, Md.; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Angela Briefs

Professor, Volunteer

Angela Briefs, 75, a retired German literature professor who later served as chairman of the board of Montgomery Hospice, died of cancer June 13 at her home in Bethesda.

Mrs. Briefs settled in the Washington area in the early 1980s, after she retired from the faculty of Wayne State University in Michigan. She began doing volunteer work at Montgomery Hospice, caring for terminally ill patients. Later, she was elected to the hospice board and became its chairman.

She was born in Freiburg, Germany, attended the University of Heidelberg and received a doctorate in bacteriology from the University of Kiel.

In 1951, she came to the United States. For a brief period, she did scientific research at the National Institutes of Health, and then in 1953, she moved to Michigan, later joining the faculty at Wayne State University.

Survivors include her husband, Godfrey E. Briefs of Bethesda; two children, Geoffrey Briefs of Nashua, N.H., and Andrea Briefs Ferris of Rockville; and five grandchildren.

Frank Diggs Lillaston III

Pricing Analyst

Frank Diggs Lillaston III, 57, a pricing analyst with CSX Corp., died June 18 at his home in Washington of complications from cancer.

Mr. Lillaston was born in Richmond, and he graduated in 1964 from the University of Richmond, where he participated in the Glee Club.

He began his career with CSX in Baltimore in 1965 but soon was reassigned to Washington. His work included compilations of tariffs, and for the last 10 years, he had been a pricing analyst. For much of the 1990s, he was assigned in Jacksonville, Fla., but he returned to the Washington area in December.

He was a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Washington, where he had participated in adult classes.

His avocations included opera and reading.

Survivors include his wife, Beryl Lillaston of Washington, and his father, Frank D. Lillaston Jr. of Richmond.

Mary E. Wilson

Communications Specialist

Mary E. Wilson, 79, a Germantown resident who retired in 1985 after 30 years as a telephone communications specialist with the General Services Administration, died June 21 of lung disease at Shady Grove Adventist Healthcare Center in Gaithersburg.

Mrs. Wilson, who was born in Danville, Va., came to the Washington area in the late 1940s.

She was a member of Temple Hills Lutheran Church.

Her husband of 52 years, Ned Wilson, died in 1997.

Survivors include two sisters.