Vincent S. Roddy

Air Force Chief Engineer

Vincent S. Roddy, 91, a retired chief engineer in the Air Force's office of deputy chief of staff for research and development, died of pneumonia July 8 at Montgomery General Hospital. He lived in Bethesda.

Mr. Roddy was born in Cleveland. He graduated from what is now Case Western University and met his wife, Gertrude, whom he married in 1936, in a amateur ham radio organization.

Mr. Roddy began his career in the mid-1930s with the Army Signal Corps Aircraft Radio Lab at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. He worked with radio transmitters at a General Electric plant in New York before moving to Washington in 1941 to aid in the planning and production of the Air Force's guided missile program.

He served as chief engineer in the office of the deputy chief of staff for research and development from 1958 until his retirement in 1975. During those years, he also served on scientific and defense-related advisory boards and councils.

He was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bethesda.

His wife, Gertrude Roddy, died in 1980.

Survivors include four daughters, a sister, two brothers, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Martin L. Wall

Loan Officer

Martin L. Wall, 56, a loan officer at Market Street Mortgage in Annandale, died of cancer July 13 at his Haymarket home.

He was a native of Pueblo, Colo., and a graduate of San Francisco City College.

He was an operations manager for Barrett Transportation Co. in San Francisco until 1977, when he moved to Northern Virginia. He managed ground transportation at National and Dulles airports before going into the mortgage business in the early 1980s. He worked for firms that included Advantage Home Mortgage in Fairfax.

Mr. Wall was a Bible study teacher at the Prince William Detention Center as part of the Good News Jail Ministry. He was also a member of the Promise Keepers Christian group and the men's fellowship group at New Covenant Fellowship in Manassas.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Louise Wall of Haymarket; three children, Nicole Weiler of Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Kevin Wall and Eric Wall, both of Haymarket; a sister; and six grandchildren.

Florence Grace Richardson


Florence Grace Richardson, 84, a retired Prince George's County elementary school secretary, died of congestive heart failure July 12 at St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown, Md.

Mrs. Richardson, who lived in Mechanicsville since 1977, worked as a secretary at Valley View Elementary School in Oxon Hill for about seven years until 1975. Earlier, she was a secretary at Lyndon Elementary School in Maryland Park and a secretary in the water resources department at the Interior Department.

She was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Maryland Park, where she graduated from Maryland Park High School in 1932. She also attended the Washington School for Secretaries.

She was a member of the Disciples of Christ Church in Maryland Park and an avid knitter.

Survivors include her husband of 57 years, Lawrence "Buck" Richardson of Mechanicsville; two children, Barry Richardson of Bowie and Claudia Sansbury of Waldorf; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Scott B. Whetzel

Postal Employee

Scott B. Whetzel, 84, a retired postal employee and former Annandale resident, died July 13 at his home in Harrisonburg, Va. He had lung cancer.

Mr. Whetzel, a native of Singers Glen, Va., moved to Fairfax County in the late 1930s. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp in the Pacific during World War II.

Mr. Whetzel joined the U.S. Postal Service as a window clerk at the Arlington post office in the late 1940s. His last position was in the personnel office at the Merrifield post office. He retired in 1972 and moved to Harrisonburg in 1985.

His interests included sailing, and he volunteered as a navigation instructor for the U.S. Power Squadron in the 1960s.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Pauline Sherfey Whetzel; two sisters, Valvin Whetzel and Goldie Whetzel, both of Harrisonburg; a daughter, Wanda Barrick of Silver Spring; and two grandchildren.

Mathilde Olga Wilson

Nurse and Interpreter

Mathilde Olga Wilson, 88, who had accompanied her husband on overseas assignments with U.S. foreign aid programs, died July 12 at George Washington University of injuries suffered in a fall down a flight of stairs at her Arlington home the previous day.

Mrs. Wilson was born in Bern, Switzerland, and attended a Swiss nursing school. Before coming to the United States in 1949, she was a nurse in France, Denmark and England.

After World War II, she was a civilian interpreter in Europe for the U.S. Army.

On her arrival in the United States, she settled in the Washington area and later accompanied her husband, Thomas N. Wilson, on foreign aid assignments to Afghanistan, Korea, Thailand, Kenya and Morocco.

In addition to her husband, of Arlington, survivors include two daughters, Lisette Brisebois of McLean and Angela Marlow of Arlington; and four grandchildren.

Darrell Wade 'D.W.' Fletcher


Darrell Wade "D.W." Fletcher, 72, a Severna Park resident and retired engineering consultant, died July 9 at Anne Arundel Medical Center of congestive heart failure.

Mr. Fletcher, a native Washingtonian, graduated from Bladensburg High School. He served as a civilian drafting instructor for the Navy at age 15 and later served in the Naval Reserves at Patuxent Naval Air Station during World War II. He received a mechanical engineering degree from George Washington University in 1952.

Mr. Fletcher was vice president of sales for Dravo Corp., an international construction firm in Pittsburgh, where he worked from 1952 to 1977. He moved to Severna Park in 1977 and started his own consulting firm, Fletcher Enterprises, which designed coal preparation plants. He retired in 1992.

His memberships included Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, Alcoholics Anonymous, the American Legion, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, the American Mining Congress, the Iron & Steel Institute, George Washington University Alumni Association and Sigma Nu fraternity.

His interests included the restoration of wooden boats. In the early 1980s, Mr. Fletcher ran a water taxi in Annapolis called the Buck Boat.

His wife, Eva Benkert Fletcher, died in 1981.

Survivors include three children, Keith Thomas Fletcher of West Palm Beach, Fla., Cindy Fletcher-Holden of Eastport and Jackie Lee Fletcher of Annapolis.

Lillie B. Francois


Lillie B. Francois, 68, who volunteered in a variety of church, civic and social organizations in the Washington area and elsewhere, died of complications from cancer July 9 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She lived in Alexandria.

Mrs. Francois was born in Meridian, Miss., and reared in New Orleans. She lived in the Washington area since 1970 and was a member of St. Johns Lutheran Church in Franconia and a charter member of Hayfield's elementary and secondary schools parent teacher associations.

She chaired a committee that raised money to buy uniforms for the secondary school music department uniforms and was a coordinator of health screening tests for students.

Before settling in the Washington area, Mrs. Francois accompanied her husband, retired Army Col. and former Fairfax County School Board member Frank Francois III, on his military assignments in the United States and abroad.

She was president of the Officers Wives Club in Fort Eustis, Va., and a recipient of community service awards in Pusan, Korea, and Wildfleckin, Germany.

In addition to her husband, of Alexandria, survivors include four children, Wanda Kirkpatrick of Lakeville, Minn., Karen L. Francois of Washington, Frank Francois IV of Burke and Gregory Francois of Los Angeles; a twin sister; and seven grandchildren.

Marian Fay Dempsey

Executive Assistant

Marian Fay Dempsey, 81, who retired in 1992 after 20 years as executive assistant to the presidents of the American Institute of Architects, died of a heart ailment July 13 at the Rockville Nursing Home. She had lived in Washington since 1972.

Mrs. Dempsey was a native of Pittston, Pa., and a graduate of Marywood College in Scranton, Pa.

She was a volunteer at Sibley Memorial Hospital and a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Washington.

Her husband, John Dempsey Jr., died in 1971.

Survivors include two children, Carolyn D. Schmidt of Darien, Conn., and William Dempsey of Sausalito, Calif.; and two brothers, U.S. Tax Court Judge William M. Fay of Chevy Chase and Joseph E. Fay of Shavertown, Pa.

A son, John Dempsey III, died in 1966.

Jean Lucia Koller Liposky


Jean Lucia Koller Liposky, 73, who retired in 1980 after 12 years as secretary to the director of the Brookside Gardens arboretum in Wheaton, died of head injuries in an accidental fall July 15 while visiting a cousin in Eau Claire, Wis. A 25-year resident of the Washington area, Mrs. Liposky moved from Wheaton to Vero Beach, Fla., in 1980.

Mrs. Liposky, who was born in Durand, Wis., was a secretary during World War II to atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer.

In addition to her husband of 50 years, Frank J. Liposky of Vero Beach, survivors include four children, Mary Jean L. Campanellie of Damascus, Joyce L. Brewer of Denver, Janis L. Prock of Virginia Beach and Paul J. Liposky of Gaithersburg; and seven grandchildren.

Vivian S. Putnam

Television Repairman

Vivian S. Putnam, 74, a retired television repairman and College Park resident, died July 12 at Washington Adventist Hospital. He had pneumonia.

Mr. Putnam, a native of West Peru, Maine, served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

He moved to College Park in 1950 and opened the Berwyn Radio and TV Repair Shop.

Mr. Putnam retired after a fire forced him to close the shop in the 1990s.

He was a member of Hillandale Baptist Church, and his interests included yard sales.

His marriage to Barbara Hull ended in divorce.

Survivors include his companion of 30 years, Irene Millard of College Park; a daughter, Diane Dyer of Wyndham, Maine; and a grandchild.

Charles Dale Story

Political Science Teacher

Charles Dale Story, 71, who taught political science at schools that included Howard and American universities and Prince George's Community College, died June 17 at Holy Cross Hospital. He had suffered strokes.

Dr. Story, who moved to Washington in 1960, was born in Highfill, Ark., and raised in Stillwell, Okla.

He was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he also received a master's degree and doctorate, both in political science.

He served in the Army during World War II.

He was adjutant of a special warfare center at Fort Bragg, N.C., after the war and was assigned to the office of the chief of psychological warfare at the Pentagon.

He later retired as a captain in the Army Reserve.

He taught at Southern Methodist University and was a congressional fellow in 1960.

He worked on the 1960 West Virginia presidential primary campaign of Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.) He later was a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii and Iowa State University.

Before he retired in 1963, he was a mail sorter for six years at the main D.C. Post Office.

He was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Political Science Association.

There are no immediate survivors.

Charles W. Ahalt


Charles W. Ahalt, 80, a retired Baltimore and Ohio Railroad trainman and union secretary, died of kidney failure July 14 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Columbia.

He was a former Towson and Baltimore resident and had lived in Columbia since 1985. He was active in Columbia civic affairs and elected to a term on the Columbia Council, representing the village of Hickory Ridge.

He enjoyed genealogical research and was an advocate for the preservation of old cemeteries.

Mr. Ahalt, who was born in Germantown, spent part of his youth in Rolling Prairie, Ind., and served in the Army during World War II.

He worked more than 30 years for Baltimore and Ohio Railroad before retiring in 1979.

During his career, he was active in the United Transportation Union.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Pauline Ahalt of Columbia; a daughter, Janis A. Riker of Columbia; a brother, Milburn Ahalt of Frederick; and a granddaughter.

Ada B. Coe 'Beth' Pyles


Ada Bethine Coe "Beth" Pyles, 89, who was president of the Washington Kiwives and a member of the women's board of George Washington Hospital, died July 14 at her home at Goodwin House West. She had cancer.

Mrs. Pyles was born in Detroit. She was a graduate of Wellesley College.

In the 1930s, she was an assistant at a Woodward & Lothrop department store.

She had supervised the Sunday school at St. Albans Episcopal Church in Washington, where she also was a rector's aide. At Goodwin House West, she was head librarian and conducted aerobics classes.

Her husband of 45 years, John C. Pyles Jr., died in 1985.

Survivors include five children, Mary Jo Hoffman of London, John C. Pyles III of Washington, Thomas J. Pyles of Hingham, Mass., Judith Goodrow of McLean and William J. Pyles of Sharpsburg, Md.; and 12 grandchildren.