Stanley N. Mettinger Sr.

Warrenton Official

Stanley N. Mettinger Sr., 68, who served as public works superintendent of the town of Warrenton from 1968 to 1989, died of a heart ailment Aug. 28 at Fauquier Hospital. He had been a part-time maintenance engineer with the hospital since 1990.

Mr. Mettinger, who was born in Atlantic City, settled in Fauquier County in 1948 while serving in the Army. He then worked for Hickman Chevrolet and the Keith Fletcher Garage, both in Warrenton, before becoming a forest warden with the Virginia Forestry Division, where he worked from 1959 to 1968.

He served as a youth group leader, lay reader and head usher at Warrenton United Methodist Church, was a driver and a past president of the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Department, and did volunteer work with Boy Scout Troop No. 175 in Warrenton.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, the former Madeline Thorpe, of Warrenton; two sons, Stanley Jr., of Warrenton, and Kevin, of Richmond and Warrenton; three brothers; a sister; and three grandchildren.

Ralph Francis Freese

Navy Commander

Ralph Francis Freese, 69, a retired Navy commander whose assignments included staff positions with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington and the Joint Services Alaskan Command in Anchorage, died of complications from prostate cancer Aug. 22 at Northern Virginia Community Hospital. He lived in Vienna.

Cmdr. Freese, who was born in Hugoton, Kan., graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1953 and served in the Navy for 20 years before retiring in 1973. He had served aboard a destroyer and attack personnel transport ships. A graduate of the Navy Supply Corps School, he retired from the Navy Supply Corps.

He settled in Washington upon his military retirement, and for the next 18 years, he owned and operated retail greeting card and party stores in Baileys Crossroads, Seven Corners and Washington. From 1991 to 1994, he was a sales associate with the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation.

He was past president of the Seven Corners and Georgetown Park merchant associations and a member of Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax, the Masonic Lodge, the Naval Order of the United States and the National Capitol Commandery.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Trianne Lampkin Freese of Vienna; three children, Ralph F. Freese Jr. of Burke, Timothy L. Freese of Leesburg and Elizabeth Anne Freese Smith of Vienna; and four grandchildren.

Marjorie F. Thomas

Library Analyst

Marjorie F. Thomas, 67, who worked for the Library of Congress for 41 years before retiring in 1989 as a Latin America analyst, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 27 at her home in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Thomas, who came to the Washington area in 1958, was a native of New York. She attended the City College of New York.

She was a member of Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, where she did volunteer work, sang in the choir and served on the usher board. Hobbies included travel, cooking, golf and swimming.

Her husband, William Sherman Thomas, died in 1988.

Survivors include a son, Alan Thomas, and a daughter, Sylvia Thomas, both of Silver Spring; two grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Charles C. Helscher

Air Force Colonel

Charles Cannon Helscher, 81, a retired Air Force colonel and Defense Department civilian financial analyst who had lived in the Washington area since 1961, died of leukemia Aug. 26 at Arlington Hospital. He lived in Arlington.

Col. Helscher entered the service during World War II after graduating from Coe College in his native Iowa. During the war, he served with the Army Air Forces in the Pacific and received a Bronze Star. After the war, he spent much of his career as a financial analyst before retiring from active duty in 1968. He then worked until retiring altogether in 1990 as a civilian financial analyst for the Pentagon.

He had done volunteer work for the National Geographic Society and the Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of Arlington Forest Methodist Church and the Arlington Kiwanis.

Survivors include his wife, Mary, of Arlington; two sons, David Cannon Helscher of Roanoke and Thomas Patrick Helscher of Pacific Palisades, Calif.; two daughters, Victoria Meleski of Reston and Suzanne Helscher Martin of Devon, Pa.; and 11 grandchildren.

William Matthew Burch

Washington Area Native

William Matthew Burch, 73, a Washington area native who had lived in Florida since 1960 and worked there as a banker, died of heart disease Aug. 19 at a hospital in Miami.

Mr. Burch, who lived in Coral Gables, Fla., was born in College Park. He attended the University of Maryland, and in the 1950s, he worked for a real estate firm operated by his father, former Maryland House of Delegates member T. Raymond Burch, a Democrat who represented Prince George's County.

The younger Burch moved to Florida and later became a vice president of Miami Airport International Bank. He was an executive of the Coral Gables Bank before retiring in 1990.

Survivors include five sisters, Jane Burch of College Park, Mary Baranek of Edgewater, Elizabeth Donaldson of Annapolis, Helen Philip of Hamilton, Mont., and Patricia Maiatico of Silver Spring.

Elizabeth Lanzi Engel


Elizabeth Lanzi Engel, 86, the author of more than 60 novellas and short stories and a resident of the Washington area since 1938, died Aug. 28 at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville. She had a perforated peptic ulcer.

Mrs. Engel, who wrote under the name Elizabeth Lanzi, had published her work in such publications as the Jewish Forum, the Jewish Spectator, the American Hebrew, the Young Judean, and World Over. She was a Zionist.

She came to this country in 1938. She fled her native Austria, which had been taken over by the Nazis and incorporated into Germany.

Her husband, Richard Engel, died in 1995. She leaves no immediate survivors.

James W. Braden


James W. Braden, 92, a District surgeon for 50 years before retiring in 1986, died Aug. 28 at a nursing home in McMurray, Pa., after a stroke. A former Clinton resident, he had lived in Washington, Pa., since 1996.

Dr. Braden, a Pennsylvania native, was a 1928 engineering graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and received his medical doctorate from what was the Rush Medical School in Chicago in 1936. He then came to the Washington area.

He served for a time as chief of staff of the old Casualty Hospital in Washington. He was a member of the American Academy of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons. He was a pilot.

He leaves no immediate survivors.

Thyrone L. Henderson

Army Officer

Thyrone L. Henderson, 60, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served from 1987 to 1998 as deputy director of military science for the D.C. Public Schools, died of lung cancer Aug. 27 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia. He lived in Springfield.

He served in the Army from 1961 to 1987. An armor officer, he served in Europe, Japan and Okinawa and spent three tours in Vietnam. He last assignment, before retiring from active duty, was with the Army Review Board in Crystal City.

Col. Henderson, who had maintained a home in the Washington area since 1982, was a native of Lexington, Ky. A physical education graduate of Central State University in Ohio, he received a master's degree in public administration from Western Kentucky University.

He was a member of the Association of the U.S. Army, the Retired Officers Association and the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Survivors include his wife of 34 years, Doris G. Henderson of Springfield; two daughters, Zandra Henderson Hare of Centreville and Veronika Henderson Guerrero of Salinas, Calif.; his mother; a brother; and a grandchild.

Tricia Ann Malik Abbott

Washington Area Native

Tricia Ann Malik Abbott, 42, a Washington area native who had a catering business in Annapolis in the late 1970s, died Aug. 25 at her home in Baton Rouge, La., of head injuries sustained in a fall last week.

Mrs. Abbott was born in Bethesda and spent her childhood in Albany, Ga., and Annapolis. She graduated from St. Mary's High School in Annapolis and attended Anne Arundel County Community College.

She accompanied her husband, ret. Marine Corps Capt. James Michael, to Hawaii on a military assignment. They later moved to Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Utah. They settled in Baton Rouge earlier this year.

She was an active member of the Junior League and a self-employed caterer.

In addition to her husband, survivors include her daughter, Morgan Ashlee of Baton Rouge; and a sister, Stephanie Malik Stephens of Atlanta.