Jacob Van Staaveren

Air Force Historian

Jacob Van Staaveren, 83, a retired civilian historian in the Office of Air Force History, died of lymphoma July 4 at a nursing home in McMinnville, Ore. A former Alexandria resident, he had lived in McMinnville since 1994.

He worked for Air Force History from 1960 until retiring in 1981. During those years, he wrote "Interdiction in Southern Laos, 1960-1968." This was a volume in the "U.S. Air Force in Southeast Asia" series on that service's role in the war in Southeast Asia.

Mr. Van Staaveren was a 1935 graduate of Linfield College in his native Oregon and received a master's degree in history from the University of Chicago. He began his government career in 1945 with American occupation forces in Japan. He also worked in South Korea, then at the headquarters of the Air Force's Strategic Air Command in Colorado before coming to the Washington area in 1959.

He spent a year at Fort Meade with the National Security Agency before joining Air Force History.

In addition to his book for the Air Force, Mr. Van Staaveren was the author of "An American in Japan, 1945-1948." This account of his years as a civil information and education officer received Japan's Noguchi Prize.

Survivors include his wife, the former Elizabeth Graham Kelly, whom he married in 1961 and who lives in McMinnville; and a sister.

Eileen Kelly Josephs

Child Care Worker

Eileen Kelly Josephs, 57, who worked part time at a day-care center in Waldorf and as a freelance clown, died July 16 at the hospice at Civista Hospital in La Plata. She lost both kidneys to diabetes in 1997 and had suffered a stroke.

Mrs. Josephs, who lived in Waldorf, entertained as a clown at children's parties and at nursing homes and at Civista.

Mrs. Josephs, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., attended Charles County Community College.

She was a clerk at the post exchange at Fort Myer in the early 1960s and worked in Charles County schools as a cafeteria aide in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

She also accompanied her husband to Army postings in Hawaii and Germany.

Mrs. Josephs was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Waldorf, where she was president of the Episcopal Church Women and active in the Curisslo religious movement and Altar Guild.

She did volunteer work for the Charles County Hospice and was a Girl Scout leader.

Survivors include her husband of more than 37 years, retired Capt. Donald Josephs of Waldorf; three children, Kelly Lynn Lynch of Lehigh Acres, Fla., Sean Micheal Josephs of Waldorf and Matthew Scott Josephs of Lusby; her father, Edward Kelly of Columbia, S.C.; two brothers; two sisters; and four grandchildren.

Josephine B. Welmaker Perkins

Volunteer and Churchwoman

Josephine B. Welmaker Perkins, 85, a volunteer and church member, died of diabetes and congestive heart failure July 1 at Springbrook Adventist Health Center in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Perkins, a resident of Silver Spring, was born in Amarillo, Tex., and graduated from Texas Technical College. She was an architect in Lubbock before moving to Washington in 1942. During World War II, she was a draftswoman in the ship design section of the Navy's Bureau of Ships.

In 1944, she left government service to raise a family. In later years, she did volunteer work with Adventure Theatre, an amateur theater company in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Perkins was active in Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the American Association of University Women.

She was a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Russel G. Perkins of Silver Spring; two children, Russel G. Perkins Jr. of Alexandria and Mary Averil Riley of Rochester, N.Y.; and three grandchildren.

Rufus Edwin Stetson


Rufus Edwin Stetson, 77, a former Justice Department lawyer and assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, died of cardiac arrest July 16 at a hospital in Damariscotta, Maine, where he lived. He moved to New England in the mid-1980s.

Mr. Stetson was a native of New York. He was a graduate of Bowdoin College and the George Washington University law school. He was a naval aviator in the Atlantic during World War II.

Mr. Stetson was in private practice and worked in the U.S. attorney's office in the 1950s. He was with Justice's tax division until the mid-1980s and then worked for Treasury Department divisions in Boston.

His marriage to Margaret Alexandra White Stetson ended in divorce. His second wife, Janette Cole Stetson, died in January.

Survivors include four children from his first marriage, Rufus Stetson III and Ethan Stetson, both of Wiscasset, Maine, Tierney Stetson of Austin and Thomas Stetson of Brunswick, Maine; three stepchildren; a brother, Edwin F. Stetson of Chevy Chase; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.