Robert H. Miller

Government Botanist

Dr. Robert H. Miller, 80, a research botanist who had worked for the Agriculture Department for 23 years before retiring in 1986, died of a brain tumor Aug. 14 at his home in Adelphi.

He came to the Washington area and joined the Agriculture Department in 1963. Over the years, he had worked on a variety of projects, including crops research at the Beltsville research station and as a liaison with NASA. He also worked on the government's Earth Resources Survey Project. He had worked with the National Institutes of Health on the collection of plants for cancer research.

Dr. Miller, a Philadelphia native, served in the Army Air Forces during World War II. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, he received a doctorate in botany from Oregon State University.

Before settling in the Washington area, he had taught botany at the University of Nevada at Reno and at Wichita State University in Kansas. From 1960 to 1963, he had taught at a university in Indonesia.

Dr. Miller's professional memberships included the Botanical Society of America, the International Society of Plant Morphologists, the Association for Tropical Biologists, and the Phi Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Xi honor societies.

Survivors include his wife, Edythe Bryant Miller of Adelphi; a son, Gary W., of Beltsville; a daughter, Anne E. Castellow of Laurel; and two grandsons.

Arthur C. Hyde

Aviator and Real Estate Developer

Arthur C. Hyde, 89, a real estate developer and former owner of several small Washington area airports, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Honolulu. He had cancer and congestive heart failure.

Mr. Hyde, who had homes in Potomac and Honolulu, owned and operated what is now Washington Executive/Hyde Field Airport in Clinton for more than 40 years until 1985.

A former aviator and a lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, he began his professional career with several aviation enterprises, including the operation of old Congressional Airport in Rockville before World War II. He ran a pilot training school at the airport during the war, and in 1945, developed the property into the Congressional Shopping Center.

He also owned the Leesburg Airport for many years before selling it to Arthur Godfrey in 1952, and he held numerous other real estate properties in the country.

Mr. Hyde was born in Moorfield, W.Va. He attended the University of Tennessee and King College in Bristol, Va.

He was former director of the Potomac National Bank in Potomac and a member of the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. He was a former member of the University Club of Washington and the National Aviation Club.

His marriage to Mary Ann Hyde ended in divorce.

Survivors include three children, Carolyne Hyde of Denver, Arthur Hyde Jr. of Aspen, Colo., and Ann Hyde of Snowmass Village, Colo.; a brother, Earl "Mac" Hyde Jr., of Bethesda; and a granddaughter.

Henry Frellesen Page Cassagne

Real Estate Appraiser

Henry Frellesen Page Cassagne, 78, who retired in 1979 after 33 years as a real estate appraiser for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and its predecessor agency, died of cardiac arrest Aug. 12 at his home in Columbia.

Mr. Cassagne, who served in the Navy during World War II, began his career with the Federal Housing Authority in his native New Orleans. He later worked for HUD in Hartford, Conn., then came to Washington in 1971.

He was a member of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers and the Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Shirley Hurst Cassagne of Colia; four children, Gregory Cassagne and Janet Maffey, both of Columbia, Lisa Hugus of Polk, Pa., and Kathy Ashley of Westminster; a sister; and six grandchildren.

Cornelia `Neka' Thomas

Social Worker and Volunteer

Cornelia Hallowell "Neka" Thomas, 78, a retired social worker with the Hospital Services of Greater Washington who had been active in volunteer groups, died of cancer Aug. 14 at her home, "Tanglewood," in Ashton.

Miss Thomas, who worked for Hospital Services from the 1950s through the 1970s, was a native of Sandy Spring and a 1944 graduate of Hollins College.

Over the years, she had served on the women's board of Montgomery General Hospital, where she had volunteered as a thrift shop manager and flower booth chairman of the annual hospital bazaar.

Miss Thomas had served as a director of the Friends Retirement Community. She was a trustee of the Sandy Spring Friends School and a life member of the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Survivors include two sisters, Sue Thomas Turner of Sandy Spring and Jean Thomas Ladson of Olney.

Ruth A. Coulter

Columnist and Obituary Writer

Ruth A. Coulter, 70, a former Montgomery County columnist and obituary writer, died of lung cancer Aug. 13 at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park.

Mrs. Coulter, who lived in Silver Spring, also was a Republican Party activist, serving as president of the Montgomery County Republican Club from 1980 to 1982 and as an elected member of the Montgomery County Central Committee from 1974 to 1986.

She served as secretary to the central committee, editor of the committee's monthly newsletter, Party Line, and precinct chairman. She also was co-chairman of the Montgomery County Gerald Ford presidential campaign in 1976.

At the Montgomery Journal, she wrote the Republican Eye column from 1977 to 1988 and was the newspaper's obituary writer from 1983 to 1991.

Mrs. Coulter, who was born in Rutland, Vt., grew up in Philadelphia. She graduated with a degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and came to the Washington area in 1952.

Her husband, John Coulter, died in 1973.

She leaves no immediate survivors.

Rosa Anna Brown Jackson

Administrative Assistant

Rosa Anna Brown Jackson, 75, a native Washingtonian, volunteer and retired Naval Sea Systems Command administrative assistant, died of colon cancer Aug. 11 at her daughter's home in Dunkirk.

Mrs. Jackson, who lived in Silver Spring, retired in the early 1990s after about 30 years with the Naval Sea Systems Command. Earlier, she did part-time clerical work for the Prince George's County public school system.

She was a graduate of Anacostia High School and a volunteer at Holy Cross Hospital and the University of Maryland library.

Her husband, Harvey Jackson, died in 1994. Survivors include two children, Patricia McInerney of Dunkirk and Harvey Jackson Jr. of Utah; a brother; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Agis Demetrius Valakos

Electrical Engineer Agis Demetrius Valakos, 72, an electrical engineer who retired in 1990 after nearly 30 years with IBM, died of pneumonia Aug. 9 at Holy Cross Hospital.

Mr. Valakos, who lived in Kensington, worked on government contracts, designing and developing satellite communications systems for NASA and managing a communications department that developed command and control systems for NASA and the Defense Department.

A native of New York, he received a degree in electric engineering from the City College of New York following service in the Navy during World War II.

In retirement, he did volunteer work at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville and the National Archives at College Park.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara K. Valakos of Bethesda, from whom he was separated; two sons, Andrew Valakos and Lewis Valakos, both of Kensington; a daughter, Dorothy Valakos of Baltimore; and a granddaughter.