James Lawrence Forsyth

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel

James Lawrence Forsyth, 64, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, died of heart ailments July 4 at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Col. Forsyth was born in Lynn, Mass., and he joined the Air Force in 1952. His career included service as a navigator and command of a B-52 crew. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He retired from the Air Force in 1973 after having served as a data processing specialist at Strategic Air Command headquarters in Omaha.

His decorations included a Meritorious Service Medal.

On retiring from the Air Force, Col. Forsyth moved to Fairfax, where he joined Honeywell Inc. as a systems analyst. He retired there as a senior technical consultant in 1992.

In 1997, he reinstated his civilian pilot's license. His avocations included building and flying radio-controlled airplanes. From 1996 to 1999, he was treasurer of the Northern Virginia Radio Control Club.

He also enjoyed sailing, and he participated as a crew member in several races and sailing expeditions.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Janet Berthe Forsyth of Fairfax; four children, Cheryl Boyd of Southern Shores, N.C., Larry Forsyth of Boynton Beach, Fla., Terri Dougherty of South Riding, Va., and Charles Forsyth of Fairfax; a sister; a brother; and six grandchildren.

Wilmer Kersey Benson

Army Colonel

Wilmer Kersey Benson, 83, a retired Army colonel who later evaluated foreign nuclear programs for the Department of Energy, died of heart ailments July 19 at the health care center at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg.

Col. Benson was born in Wyoming, Del., and graduated from the University of Delaware. He received a master's degree in nuclear physics at the University of California at Berkeley.

He served 31 years in the Army before retiring in 1968, including World War II duty as commander of an engineer heavy pontoon battalion in North Africa and Italy. Later he served in Korea and Panama. He retired after an assignment with the Defense Atomic Supply Agency in Washington.

His military decorations included a Legion of Merit and two Army Commendation Medals.

After retiring from the military, he settled in the Washington area and began a civilian federal career with the Atomic Energy Commission. In 1979, he retired from the Department of Energy.

In retirement, Col. Benson did volunteer work, including tax assistance for elderly people. He served two terms as president of the Olney Lions Club.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Virginia Cabell Benson of Asbury Methodist Village; three children, Wilmer Kersey Benson III of Rockville, Morgan Benson of Silver Spring and Nancy Benson of Ellicott City; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Dolores M. 'Dodi' Driscoll

Physical Therapist

Dolores M. "Dodi" Driscoll, 49, a Northern Virginia pediatric physical therapist since the late 1970s who had served on the board of Fauquier Citizens for Handicapped Persons, died of cancer July 17 at Fauquier Hospital.

She was a board-certified physical therapist and practiced from her home in Warrenton.

At the time of her death, Ms. Driscoll was serving her second term as secretary of the Virginia Physical Therapy Association. She helped establish the association's Pediatric Special Interest Group.

Ms. Driscoll was born in Washington and grew up in Falls Church. She was a 1968 graduate of Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington and a 1972 graduate of Mary Washington College. She received a certificate in physical therapy from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in physical therapy from the Medical College of Virginia.

She was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Warrenton.

Survivors include her mother, Dolores T. Driscoll of Falls Church; and two sisters, Patrice Cramp of Lynchburg, Va., and Suzanne M. Driscoll of Falls Church.

Patricia Dickie McGee


Patricia Dickie McGee, 74, a volunteer in charitable organizations that included the D.C. Society for Crippled Children, died July 11 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She had cancer.

Mrs. McGee, who lived in Bethesda and Naples, Fla., was born in Rockville Centre, N.Y. She was a graduate of the Berkeley School in New York. She worked for the government division of Eastman Kodak in Washington as a young woman. She later assisted her husband in the office of his intercom systems and communications firm.

Mrs. McGee helped found the D.C. Kiwanis Foundation for Handicapped and Crippled Children and was active with the Junior Board of Trade's programs for disabled children.

Mrs. McGee was a member of Columbia Country Club and All Souls Episcopal Church in Washington.

Survivors include her husband of 51 years, William H. McGee of Bethesda and Naples; three children, Kathleen McGee of Bethesda, Clark McGee of Centreville and Scott McGee of Orlando; a sister; and four grandchildren. A son, William McGee, died in 1953.

Patricia Ann Smith Sasscer

Registered Nurse

Patricia Ann Smith Sasscer, 66, a native Washingtonian and registered nurse, died of cancer July 20 at her home in Upper Marlboro.

Mrs. Sasscer, a graduate of the National Cathedral School for Girls, received a nursing degree from Garfield Memorial Hospital.

After working as head of obstetrics at Prince George's General Hospital, she joined her husband, Dr. Robert Bowie Sasscer, in his medical practice in Upper Marlboro and worked there for about 30 years until his death in 1995.

She was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Trinity Episcopal Church in Upper Marlboro. She was also a past member of Trinity's Altar Guild and Morning Circle.

Survivors include two children, Robert Beale Sasscer of Upper Marlboro and Debra Berstler of Warrenton; her mother, Dorothy R. Smith of Dallas; two half sisters; and two grandchildren.

Barbara Royster Sexton


Barbara Royster Sexton, 76, who for 20 years was a partner with her husband in an engineering consulting business, died of throat cancer July 19 at her home in Bethesda.

Mrs. Sexton was born in Lafayette, Ind., and she attended Purdue University and Indiana University.

In 1946, she married Burton Hathaway Sexton, and in 1950, they moved to the Washington area. From 1952 to 1973, they operated Sexton & Sexton Associates, an engineering consulting firm. From 1973 to 1979, they worked for other engineering firms. He died in 1994.

Mrs. Sexton was a member of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Potomac, where she was active in Loaves and Fishes, a program that helps feed needy people in the metropolitan area. She helped raise money for her church by chairing the luncheon for the Potomac Country House Tour.

Survivors include two daughters, Mary Alexander Sexton of Bethesda and Ann Sexton Wilhelm of LaPlata; a brother; and four grandchildren. A son, Paul Riley Sexton, died in 1989.

Howard W. Bray Jr.

Engineering Research Assistant

Howard W. Bray Jr., 73, who retired in the 1980s as staff assistant in the research and utilization laboratory at Washington Gas Light Co., died July 15 at a hospital in Port Charlotte, Fla. He had Legionnaires' disease.

Mr. Bray was born in Lakeland, Fla. He served in the Navy in Europe and the Pacific during World War II.

At Washington Gas, where he worked for 34 years, he was assigned to the laboratory that tested new equipment. He helped design and install the eternal flame on President John F. Kennedy's grave.

He was a member of the American Legion and the Masons and a founding member of Briggs Memorial Baptist Church in Bethesda. He moved from Rockville to Florida 14 years ago.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Thelma H. Bray of Port Charlotte; four sons, Randall Bray of Port Charlotte, Monte Bray of Laytonsville, Howard Bray III of North Port, Fla., and Crispin Bray of Punta Gorda, Fla.; five brothers; four sisters; and five grandchildren.

Roy C. Baker

Army Colonel

Roy C. Baker, 91, an Army colonel who retired in 1965 after 23 years of service, died of congestive heart failure July 15 at the Belvoir Woods Nursing Care Center in Alexandria.

Col. Baker joined the Army in 1942 and served in Europe during World War II. He served in Germany after the war and from 1956 to 1958 was senior adviser to the chief of staff of the army of the Republic of Korea. On his military retirement, he settled in the Washington area, and he was a 30-year resident of Alexandria.

Col. Baker was born in Castlewood, S.D., and graduated from South Dakota State College. From 1936 to 1942, he was a high school football and basketball coach in Buffalo, Wyo. In 1941, he invented and patented the movable down marker that has since become standard for football games.

His wife of 60 years, Marian Bingham Baker, died in 1995.

Survivors include four children, Tom Baker of Crofton, Mary Floyd of Murrells Inlet, S.C., Charles Baker of Marietta, Ga., and Barbara MacIntire of Telluride, Colo.; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Florence P. Dewey

General's Widow

Florence Powers Dewey, 82, the widow of a retired Army major general who had served on the ladies' board of St. John's Community Services in Washington, died July 5 at her home in Washington after a heart attack.

She was a member of the Sulgrave Club and the Colonial Dames of America.

Mrs. Dewey, a New Jersey native, had lived in the Washington area on and off since 1960. She had accompanied her husband, Lawrence R. Dewey, to Army assignments around the world.

Her husband of 63 years died in 1994.

Survivors include four children, retired Army Lt. Col. Lawrence R. Dewey Jr. of Wintergreen, Va., Elizabeth Vance of Charlotte, and Cici Hughes and Donald H. Dewey, both of Washington; three sisters; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

William R. 'Bob' Darling

Construction Equipment Salesman

William Robert "Bob" Darling, 67, who retired in 1997 after 28 years as a heavy construction equipment salesman in the Chantilly offices of Baltimore-based Alban Tractor Co., died of cancer June 30 at his home in Annandale.

Mr. Darling, a native of Chester, Pa., served in the Marine Corps in Korea during the war there and worked in California as a heavy construction equipment salesman before moving to Washington in 1960.

He was a member of the National Utility Contractors Association.

Survivors include his wife, Dolores Louise "Pat" Darling of Annandale; five children, William Raymond Darling of Green Cove Springs, Fla., Patricia Littlefield of Spring Hope, N.C., Jo Brown of Cary, N.C., and Diane Bowden and Barbara Goad, both of Mechanicsville, Va.; two sisters; and 12 grandchildren.

Edwin Emery Smith

VA Management Specialist

Edwin Emery Smith, 72, a Falls Church resident who was involved in management engineering and appraisal of management processes at the Veterans Administration for more than 30 years until retiring in 1980, died of congestive heart failure July 18 at Inova Alexandria Hospital.

Mr. Smith, a Washington area resident since 1963, was a Cleveland native and a World War II Navy veteran. He attended the old Fenn College in Cleveland before moving to New York City, where he was a management analyst at a veterans hospital in Manhattan.

In retirement, he served on the board of directors of the Falls Church condominium complex Skyline Plaza, and he was a member of the Fairfax County Chief of Police Citizen Advisory Council and past chairman of the Mason District Police Citizen Advisory Committee.

His marriage to LaVern Smith ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Thelma Smith of Falls Church; three children from his first marriage, Edwin Jr., of Sterling, Karen Stager of Cleveland and Annette Smith-Richard of Seattle; a stepdaughter, Sheryl Rogers of Wilmington, Del.; and five grandchildren.

Christopher Marshall Groves


Christopher Marshall Groves, 27, who was killed in a car crash July 18 in Forestville, was a salesman at the Duron Paint store in Forestville and a resident of Bryans Road.

Maryland State Police said that he was driving east on Suitland Parkway about 1:15 a.m. when he tried to merge onto Route 4 and was struck by a sport utility vehicle.

Mr. Groves was born in Falls Church and raised in Bryans Road. He graduated from Lackey High School.

He worked for Bryans Road Building Supply and the B.K. Miller building supply company earlier in his career.

Survivors include his wife, Sue Ann Groves, and daughter, Ashley Nicole Groves, both of Bryans Road; his parents, Katherine Mae Groves and Lloyd Earl Groves Jr., both of Indian Head; three sisters, Linda Mohler of Indian Head and Dianne Proctor and Sharon Groves, both of Bryans Road; and two brothers, Robert Groves of Stafford and Kenneth Groves of Salisbury, Md.