Irving Weiss


Irving Weiss, 86, a statistician and former official of the Census Bureau, died July 9 at his home in Silver Spring. He had emphysema.

Mr. Weiss was born in Hungary and raised in New York City. He graduated from City College of New York and received a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

After joining the Census Bureau in New York as a messenger boy, he worked his way up in the statistical division. After moving to Washington in 1938, he became chief of the statistical division and later a statistical adviser on loan to the United Nations. He retired in 1969.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, he did work under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Nations, helping countries establish modern census methods. He had assignments in Israel, Thailand, Iran and Indonesia.

Mr. Weiss, who also had a degree from the Hebrew Teachers College in New York, was a founding member of Agudath Achim Congregation in Washington and a member of Har Tzeon Congregation in Silver Spring.

His wife, Suzanne Weiss, died in 1983.

Survivors include a son, David Weiss of Belle Mead, N.J.; two brothers, Sidney Weiss of Silver Spring and Harold Weiss of Hallandale, Fla.; a sister, Lillian Deutsch of Margate, Fla.; and six grandchildren.

Thelma Ricks Campbell


Thelma Ricks Campbell, 78, a teacher who was on the staff of Brookland Elementary School for more than three decades and retired in the 1980s as coordinator of the school's open space program, died July 8 at Providence Hospital. She had diabetes and hypertension.

Mrs. Campbell was a native of Washington and a graduate of Dunbar High School and Miner Teachers College. She did graduate work in education at Howard, New York and George Washington universities.

Mrs. Campbell was an artist whose pencil, charcoal and watercolor works were exhibited in Washington and Maryland. She also wrote poetry, designed jewelry and worked on the newsletter of the Washington chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons. She participated in the Seniors Bodywise Swim Club at Fort Lincoln and was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha social sorority and the Episcopal Church Women at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Washington.

Her husband, George Campbell, died in November, and their son, George Lynn Campbell, died in 1988.

Survivors include a daughter, Rita Angela Campbell of Providence, R.I., and two grandchildren.

Romell Louise Decker


Romell Louise Decker, 74, a former Landover Hills resident who retired in 1985 after 25 years as a secretary at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Beltsville, died of cancer July 9 at her home in Coquille, Ore.

Mrs. Decker, who lived in Coquille since 1989, was a native of Waco, Tex.

She came to Washington during World War II to work as a secretary at the Office of Price Administration.

She was a member of the Landover Hills Ladies Club and the Landover Hills Baptist Church.

Survivors include her husband of 55 years, Charles Decker of Coquille; three children, Charles S. Decker III of Yellville, Ark., Sandra E. Decker of Springfield and Judith Decker Wickham of Coquille; a brother; a sister; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

David Jack Shilling


David Jack Shilling, 58, an engineer who had worked on construction of Metro tunnels and stations since 1974, died July 10 at his home in Bowie. He had pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Shilling was a native of Seattle who attended Washington State University. He served in the National Guard in Washington state.

He began his construction career in the West and moved to this area in 1974 while employed by Bechtel Corp., a Metro contractor. He subsequently joined the engineering staff of the Metro rapid rail system.

Mr. Shilling was a member in Bowie of the Old Line Railroading Club, the Chesapeake Train Masters Club and Trinity Lutheran Church.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce "Gennie" Shilling of Bowie; four children; his mother, Evelyn Shilling of Seattle; two brothers; and eight grandchildren.