Leslie A. Gilson

Marine Colonel

Leslie Arthur Gilson, 79, a retired Marine Corps colonel who worked for the Defense Department in a civilian capacity from 1969 to 1983, died of cardiovascular disease Sept. 8 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He lived in Washington.

Col. Gilson entered the Marine Corps after graduating in 1941 from Western Reserve University in his native Cleveland. During World War II, he served in the Pacific island-hopping campaigns and received the Bronze Star with combat "V," and the Purple Heart.

After the war, he served in this country, China, and Morocco before serving in the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean in 1956. Two years later, he was a public information officer with Marine forces that landed in Lebanon during a time of crisis in that country.

He also served as a technical adviser to the sculptor of the Iwo Jima Memorial. Col. Gilson had fought on Iwo Jima during the time of the famed flag-raising.

Col. Gilson, who retired from active duty in 1967, joined the Office of Naval Research as a civilian in 1969. He later served as an assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and was a congressional liaison specialist with the Defense Security Assistance Agency.

He retired a second time, from the politico-military affairs organization in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in 1983. That same year, he received a Defense Department Civilian Service Award.

He was a past director of the Marine Corps Historical Foundation. He had been a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, the Army & Navy Club, and the Army Navy Country Club.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth Marie D. Gilson of Washington; two daughters, Margaret G. Thompson of Washington, and Virginia Gilson of La Jolla, Calif.; and a granddaughter.

Gladys T. String Bowers

Counselor and Psychotherapist

The Rev. Gladys T. String Bowers, 71, whose involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1960s kindled a career as a substance-abuse counselor and the creation of her own church, died of lung cancer Sept. 13 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia.

Mrs. Bowers, a McLean resident for the last decade, was a counselor for Arlington County from 1972 until retiring in 1994. From 1982 to 1989, she conducted services for what she called the Sunday Afternoon Church, an informal Christian service that accented participation by the congregation. The service was held at Church of the Resurrection in Alexandria.

Since the late 1980s, she performed weddings on weekends throughout the Washington area. She also volunteered as a chaplain at Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church and at Alexandria Hospital.

Mrs. Bowers, who was born in Henderson, N.C., came to the Washington area in 1952. She was a social director at a District hotel at the time she met and married her first husband, Alfred C. String Jr., in 1954. He died in 1983.

Mrs. Bowers moved with her husband to Arlington in 1955 and six years later to Alexandria, where she stayed until leaving for McLean.

In 1982, after a decade working for Arlington County, she received a combined bachelor's and master's degree in theology from Howard University.

Mrs. Bowers was a member of the Soroptimist Club, a professional group for women, and the American Psychological Association. She began attending AA meetings in 1960.

She is survived by her husband of 11 years, retired Air Force Col. Hurst G. Bowers of McLean; two children from her first marriage, Alexander C. String and Mollie S. Flood, both of Springfield; a stepdaughter, Laura Foreman of Issaquah, Wash.; and five grandchildren.

Loretta Slattery Webb Wilson


Loretta Slattery Webb Wilson, 89, a District elementary school teacher for more than three decades until her retirement in 1966, died from a brain aneurysm Sept. 13 at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney. A resident of the Washington area all her life, she had lived at Brooke Grove Nursing Home in Sandy Spring the last two months.

After graduating from Wilson Teachers College in the District, Mrs. Wilson started working at District schools in the 1930s and had been at Phoebe Hearst Elementary School for more than 15 years at the time she retired. She spent the late 1960s helping the local Head Start program and taught student teachers at Dunbarton College in the District.

Mrs. Wilson loved bridge, playing Irish songs and big-band tunes on the piano, bowling and fishing. She was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Post Cana and the Laytonsville Women's Club. Since 1977, she had been a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Rockville.

Mrs. Wilson lived in the District until 1968, then spent about five years each in Friendship and Leisure World in Silver Spring. She lived in Rockville from 1977 to 1990 and then lived with her daughter in Laytonsville until she moved into Brooke Grove.

Her first husband, Charles Thomas Webb, died in 1965. In 1968, she married Julius E. Wilson III, who died four years later.

She is survived by a daughter from her first marriage, Ann Sladki of Laytonsville; two grandsons; and a sister, Nora Turvey of the District.

James B. Snyder Jr.

Real Estate Specialist

James B. Snyder Jr., 70, a retired real estate specialist with the Federal Highway Administration, died from an aortic aneurysm Sept. 9 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He had lived in Arlington since 1976.

Among his awards in his job appraising land, Mr. Snyder won a Superior Achievement Award in 1983 for successfully coordinating efforts to add amendments to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970. The act guarantees rights to businesses and citizens when the government purchases land from them.

Mr. Snyder, who retired in 1993, joined the highway administration in the late 1960s and worked for the agency in Kentucky and Ohio before moving to the Washington office. He spent the previous decade as a real estate specialist with Mobil Oil in Illinois.

Mr. Snyder was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. The son of an Army officer, Mr. Snyder started Ohio State University in 1950 but interrupted his education to spend four years in the Army on the German-Czech border as a tank company commander. He returned to graduate in 1957 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

Mr. Snyder's marriage to Ruth Jodie Smith, from 1955 to 1972, ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of nearly six years, Mary Ellen Snyder of Arlington; three children from his first marriage; seven grandchildren; and a sister.

Richard Ellington 'Dickie' Wells

D.C. Teacher

Richard Ellington "Dickie" Wells, 61, a retired physical education teacher in the D.C. public schools, died of cardiac arrest Sept. 12 at Alexandria Hospital.

He lived the last year at Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Alexandria, where he was undergoing treatment for central pontine myelinolysis, a neurologic disorder.

Mr. Wells lived in his native Washington until moving to Oxon Hill four years ago. He graduated from Spingarn High School and American University, where in 1965 he received a degree in physical education.

He began teaching in the late 1960s, primarily at junior high schools. He also coached basketball and track. He worked at Eliot, Evans and Shaw junior highs, but spent the most time, about 15 years starting in the late 1970s, at Kelly Miller. He retired in 1998.

Mr. Wells was a member of the Spingarn Alumni Association, Stonewall Athletic Club and the D.C. Oldtimers, a group for retired or semi-retired basketball players. As when he was young, Mr. Wells played center with the Oldtimers.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Wells counseled drug addicts and the homeless at area shelters.

His marriages to Susanne Brooks and Jacqueline Mitchell ended in divorce.

Survivors include a son from his first marriage, Mark, a son from his second marriage, Aaron, and a brother, Edward, all of Washington.

Frederick R. Smith

Supermarket Clerk

Frederick R. Smith, 81, who was a clerk at Safeway supermarkets in the District and Maryland for almost four decades, died of pneumonia Sept. 15 at Magnolia Center Genesis Eldercare in Lanham. He had lived in Dahlgren, Va., since retiring in 1978.

Mr. Smith was born in Culpeper, Va., and went to work after ninth grade, when his father died. He became a clerk at a store in Washington that was later bought by Safeway. In 1965, he completed his high school requirements and graduated from Bladensburg High School.

During World War II, Mr. Smith was a tank mechanic and infantryman in Europe. From 1945 until he retired, he worked at Safeway, stocking shelves and performing other duties.

Mr. Smith lived in the District until the early 1950s, then moved to Kentland. He was a resident of Hyattsville from 1962 until his retirement.

For the last two decades, Mr. Smith was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church in King George County, Va. He also was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and had a life-long interest in gardening.

His wife since the early 1940s, Betty G. Smith, died in 1997.

Mr. Smith is survived by a son, Raymond D. Smith of New Carrollton; a brother, William Smith of Riverdale; and a sister, Laura Nunnery of Bowie.

Robert C. Foulon

Foreign Service Officer

Robert C. Foulon, 79, a retired Foreign Service officer, died of pneumonia Sept. 7 at a hospital in St. Louis.

Mr. Foulon served three decades in the Foreign Service before retiring in 1976. He was posted in Paris, Cameroon, Zambia, Germany, Thailand and Australia, and his work included consular duties.

He was born in East St. Louis, Ill., and graduated from the University of Illinois. He did postgraduate study in international economics at Harvard. During World War II, he served in the Army in Europe and the Pacific.

He moved to Washington after the war.

Mr. Foulon was a founder of a volunteer organization, the Committee for Community of Democracies, which works to promote the emergence of democracies in the developing world.

A longtime resident of Reston, Mr. Foulon moved to St. Louis in December of last year.

His first wife, Marian Shafer, died in 1978. His marriage to Marjore Weston ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Libera of St. Louis; four children with his first wife, Janine Squire of Sugar Land, Tex., Joel Foulon of Johnsonburg, N.J., Paul Foulon of Forest Grove, Ore., and Martha Foulon-Tonat of Gaithersburg; and five grandchildren.

Mary Jo Smith

Volunteer and Nurse

Mary Jo Smith, 74, a former nurse who later did volunteer work in schools and raised money for special projects, died Sept. 12 at her home in Washington of complications related to a brain aneurysm suffered in April 1998.

Mrs. Smith moved to Washington following a serious auto accident in 1990. She was active with the Covenant Christian Community and Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, volunteered as a teacher's aide at Powell Elementary School and helped with fund-raising and other special projects through the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs.

She was born in Cynthiana, Ky., graduated from Meharry College of Medicine School of Nursing and served in the Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II. She received a master's degree in gerontology at Hunter College. She was a nurse on Long Island before moving to Washington.

Her husband, Dr. U.G. Smith, died four years ago.

Survivors include two daughters, the Rev. Roselyn Smith-Withers of Washington and DeBorah "Sunni" Smith of Los Angeles; two sisters; and a grandson.

James Fontaine Horton

College Student

James Fontaine Horton, 20, a student at Northern Virginia Community College, died Sept. 10 at his apartment in Sterling. The cause of his death is pending completion of laboratory tests.

Mr. Horton was born in Fairfax and was a lifelong resident of Northern Virginia. He attended Herndon High School. He was an honor student at Northern Virginia Community College and a part-time staff member at the Loudoun County campus writing center. He was a songwriter and musician. In 1993, he appeared with the Eldon Street Players in C.S. Lewis's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

This year, he was an intern in the office of Sen. Charles S. Robb (D-Va.).

Survivors include his parents, J. Wright Horton Jr. and Beverly Rose Horton, and a sister, Sarah Rose Horton, all of Herndon; and his grandparents, J. Wright Horton and Eunice Rice Horton of Greenville, S.C., and Murray Fontaine Rose and Barbara Field Rose of Paeonian Springs, Va.

Joan Saari Evans

Computerware Chief

Joan Saari Evans, 62, co-founder and chairwoman of Computerware Inc. of Vienna, a computer hardware company, died of peritoneal cancer Sept. 13 at her home in Great Falls.

With her husband, Charles S. Evans, Mrs. Evans founded Computerware Inc. in 1976. Until her death, she was its chairwoman and secretary-treasurer.

She was born in Downsville, N.Y., and attended Russell Sage College. She graduated from Columbia University. Before her marriage in 1960, she was a registered nurse at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

From 1960 to 1972, she lived in Gladwyne, Pa. In 1972, she moved to Great Falls and worked as a nurse at Loudoun Memorial Hospital in Leesburg.

In addition to her husband, of Great Falls, survivors include two sons, Chip Evans of Herndon and Randy Evans of Great Falls; a daughter, Margie Duffy of Herndon; a sister; and nine grandchildren.

John Anthony Crowley

Former Annandale Resident

John Anthony Crowley, 27, a former Annandale resident and a 1990 graduate of Falls Church High School, was killed Aug. 30 in an industrial accident at a glass factory in Traverse City, Mich.

Mr. Crowley, a glass cutter trainee, was working at Bay Glass & Mirror Co. when a 60-by-120-inch sheet of glass he was holding fell and pinned him against a rack, said Gino D'Alessio, owner of the beveled glass and mirror factory. He died of asphyxiation.

Mr. Crowley was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and lived in Northern Virginia for 16 years before moving to Interlochen, Mich., in 1998. He was an avid musician who played guitar and keyboards and composed music.

Survivors include his wife, Elva Grauel, whom he married in January and who lives in Interlochen; and his parents, John J. and Vivian L. Crowley of Annandale.

Ruth Noel Fraysier Massey

Customer Accountant

Ruth Noel Fraysier Massey, 79, a retired customer accounting worker at Washington Gas Co., died of cancer Sept. 11 at Potomac Valley Nursing Home in Rockville.

Ms. Massey, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in Lunenburg County, Va. She moved to the Washington area as a child.

She began her career at Washington Gas in the 1950s and retired in the mid-1980s.

Survivors include two sisters, Dorothy Bowers of Hyattsville and Mildred Henry of Dunnellon, Fla.