Thomas L. Ridge

Marine Corps Colonel

Thomas L. Ridge, 84, a retired Marine Corps colonel who was decorated for his part in the Korean War battle at Chosin Reservoir and who later was a Defense Department official, died of pneumonia Sept. 13 at a nursing home in Concord, Calif.

Col. Ridge was wounded as he led the 3rd battalion of the 1st Marine Division to safety during the retreat of U.S. forces from the reservoir.

He was awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star.

He retired in 1964 after serving as an attache to Columbia and Ecuador and then worked for the Defense Department for 14 years.

He was an assistant director in the office of the assistant secretary for international security affairs.

Col. Ridge, a native of Chicago, lived in Potomac before moving to California in 1995.

He was a member of St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Rockville and the American Kennel Club. His other honors included the Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Helen Guarana de Barros Ridge of Concord; a son, Thomas L. Ridge II of Orinda, Calif.; and a grandson. A daughter, Karen Lee Ridge Moran, died in July.

Lois B. Imus

Church Elder and Officer

Lois B. Imus, 74, an elder and officer at Mount Rainier Christian Church, died Sept. 25 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore of complications following surgery on her esophagus.

Mrs. Imus, a resident of Silver Spring for more than 30 years, had spent the last two decades as the church's financial secretary. She also was a past president of the church's women's fellowship.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Mrs. Imus also worked as a receptionist in a doctor's office in Prince George's County.

Mrs. Imus was born in Elgin, Ore., and graduated in 1944 from Kinman's Business College in Spokane, Wash.

She moved to Washington after World War II and was a homemaker for decades.

From 1960 to 1980, she was a member of the Colesville Women's Republican Club.

Her hobbies included painting china.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Alden E. Imus Jr. of Silver Spring; a son, Benjamin A. Imus of Columbia; a daughter, Elizabeth Schwalbe of Friday Harbor, Wash.; two grandchildren; and two sisters.

Catherine Angela O'Meara

Church Volunteer

Catherine Angela O'Meara, 78, a volunteer at area churches and a former manager at a doctor's office, died Oct. 3 at Washington Hospital Center after a heart attack.

Most recently, Mrs. O'Meara had volunteered at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Silver Spring.

She previously volunteered at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Landover Hills as well as in the regional branches of Post Cana, Serra Club and Catholic Charities.

Until the late 1980s, Mrs. O'Meara spent 15 years as an office manager for Henry J. Starr, an ophthalmologist in Riverdale.

Mrs. O'Meara was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and lived on Long Island until moving to the Washington area in 1966. For the last five years, she had been a resident of Leisure World in Silver Spring.

Her husband of 45 years, Thomas Joseph O'Meara, died in 1988.

A son, Thomas, died at birth in the 1940s. A daughter, Mary O'Meara, died in 1982.

Mrs. O'Meara is survived by three sons, Richard O'Meara of Silver Spring, Thomas J. O'Meara Jr. of Austin and John O'Meara of North Salem, N.Y.; three daughters, Therese O'Meara of Olney, Cathleen Doerrer of Mitchellville and Ellen Boyd of Concord, N.C.; 13 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a sister.

Lucille Welsh Foley


Lucille Welsh Foley, 83, an officer and volunteer with several local organizations and the wife of former Maryland Democratic Rep. John R. Foley, died Oct. 4 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville of a heart ailment. She had lived in Kensington for almost half a century.

Starting in the late 1950s, Mrs. Foley held positions at the Congressional Club, a group for Congressional spouses. During the 1970s, she co-edited the group's cookbook and was co-chairwoman of a first lady's luncheon.

Mrs. Foley also was a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kensington and volunteered at the church and at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Foley was born and raised in Omaha. She graduated from Creighton University in Omaha in the late 1930s and taught high school briefly in Nebraska.

During World War II, she moved to Washington and worked briefly as a code-breaker for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mrs. Foley is survived by her husband of 56 years, of Kensington; a son, Jack Foley of Silver Spring; three daughters, Kathy Waters of Silver Spring, Maureen Shriner of Burtonsville and Connie Quinlivan of Miami; 11 grandchildren; and a sister, Genevieve D. Welsh of Silver Spring.

James D. Voyles


James D. Voyles, 48, a carpenter and former movie theatre manager, died Oct. 3 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He suffered a heart attack in the hospital after a leg amputation that followed an embolism and kidney failure. In 1992, he underwent a kidney transplant.

Mr. Voyles was born in Washington, and he graduated in 1969 from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, where he met his wife, Lena, in a geometry class. They were married in 1973.

He attended the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore for three years, then worked for a boat-building company, Broadwater Boat Co., in Annapolis.

Later he was manager of the Mercado Theatre in the Layhill area of Silver Spring, then worked as a carpenter on residential and commercial construction jobs for Crowell and Baker of Potomac and for other companies.

He designed and built his own home in Derwood.

Since having a kidney transplant in 1992, Mr. Voyles had been retired on disability. In this period he helped his daughter, Alexia, with her morning newspaper route.

In addition to his wife and daughter, of Derwood, survivors include a brother, Bill Voyles of Gaithersburg; and sister, Carolyn Voyles of Florida.

Frances Harwood Lukin

Program Director

Frances Harwood Lukin, 65, who oversaw the master's degree in education program at the University of Virginia's Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, died Sept. 28 at Inova Alexandria Hospital. She had a brain tumor.

Ms. Lukin worked part time at the center since 1956, joined full time in 1974 and had directed the master's in education program for the last decade.

For the last 20 years, Ms. Lukin was the organist and choir director of Friendship United Methodist Church in Falls Church.

Until joining the U-Va. center, Ms. Lukin also worked part time teaching music for the Alexandria public school system.

Ms. Lukin, who lived in Annandale, was born in Lexington, Va., and graduated in the mid-1950s from James Madison University with a bachelor's degree in music.

She was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, a professional fraternity for educators.

She leaves no immediate survivors.

Susan Kovacs Adams

Educational Assistant

Susan Kovacs Adams, 42, a former educational assistant at Rosemont Elementary School in Gaithersburg, died Oct. 1 at home in Cheverly. She had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative ailment known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mrs. Adams had lived in Cheverly for a year and in Washington Grove for a decade before that.

Born in the District, Mrs. Adams was raised in Silver Spring and graduated from Springbrook High School in Silver Spring in the late 1970s. She received her bachelor's degree in graphic design from the University of Maryland in the early 1980s.

Mrs. Adams worked briefly as a graphic designer before volunteering in public schools. She stopped her classroom work a few years ago because of her illness.

Mrs. Adams was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Rockville.

She is survived by her husband of 16 years, Gary Adams of Cheverly; a son, Raymond Adams, of Cheverly; a daughter, Grace Adams, of Cheverly; her mother, Sharlie West Bouic, of Silver Spring; and two sisters, Karen McCaney and Janey Pugsley, both of Silver Spring.

Robert Thomas Bickerton Jr.

Retired Fireman

Robert Thomas Bickerton Jr., 37, a former master firefighter technician with the Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department, died Oct. 5 at home in Reston of a brain aneurysm.

Mr. Bickerton won commendations throughout his career, including the Fire Chief Award for Excellence in 1977, a Fire Chief Commendation in 1982 and five awards for being a frequent responder to scenes of distress.

Mr. Bickerton retired, however, in 1992 after developing post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Born in Bethesda and raised in Montgomery County, Mr. Bickerton started volunteering at area fire stations as a teenager.

After graduating from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1980, he got a job at the Cabin John fire department.

His marriage to Sharon Stream ended in divorce.

He is survived by his companion, Lori Soltero, of Reston; two daughters from his marriage, Rachel Bickerton and Rebecca Bickerton, both of Poolesville; his mother, Jean Cardany, of Germantown; his father, Robert Sr., of Asheville, N.C.; and a brother, Dennis Bickerton, of Frederick.

Kenneth Edward Latcholia

Agriculture Department Official

Kenneth Edward Latcholia, 77, a retired deputy administrator of the Agriculture Department's Farmers Home Administration and a former Silver Spring resident, died of cancer Oct. 5 at his home in Kent, Wash., where he had lived since 1996.

Mr. Latcholia, who had lived in the Washington area for 19 years, worked for the Agriculture Department from 1977 to 1986.

Earlier, he was based in Seattle as a regional director of the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration. He served as a Peace Corps regional director in Nigeria during the late 1970s.

He was born in Beaumont, Tex., and was a World War II Army veteran and a graduate of the University of Washington at Seattle.

In 1973, he received the Commerce Department's Silver Medal for his activities in economic revitalization efforts for the Puget Sound area in Washington.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Ruth Latcholia of Kent; and two sons, Stephen Latcholia of Gaithersburg and Philip Latcholia of New York City.

Gheretein Ridgeley Wilson

Research Analyst

Gheretein Ridgeley Wilson, 87, a research analyst who retired in 1977 after 19 years with the industrial union department of the AFL-CIO, died at the Avalon assisted-living facility in McLean. She had suffered a stroke.

Mrs. Wilson was fifth-generation Washingtonian. She attended Dunbar High School and was a magna cum laude graduate of Howard University, where she also received a master's degree in English.

She taught in Nashville in the 1940s. She lived in Florida from 1983 to 1997.

Her interests included the piano. She was a founder and president of the Hospitality Community Federal Credit Union, a member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Washington and a member of an advisory committee to the president of Gallaudet College.

Her husband, Dwight Wilson, died in the early 1960s.

Survivors include a son, Dwight H. Wilson of Alexandria; three sisters, Elaine Grymes of Silver Spring, Grace Drew of Arlington and Alberta Lockhart of West Palm Beach, Fla.; and five grandchildren.

Betty Jane Zirkle Yohe


Betty Jane Zirkle Yohe, 68, a retired federal secretary, died Oct. 4 at her home in Pensacola, Fla. She had emphysema.

Mrs. Yohe was a native Washingtonian and a 1949 graduate of Anacostia High School.

After high school, she was a secretary in the private sector for a brief period, then entered federal service with the Naval Hydrographic Office.

In 1979, she retired from the Defense Mapping Agency after 27 years with the federal government.

She was a member of Landover Christian Church.

A former resident of Camp Springs, she moved to Florida in 1994.

Her marriage to William A. Smoot ended in divorce.

Survivors include her husband, Paul Russell Yohe of Pensacola; three children from her first marriage, William A. Smoot Jr. of Herndon, Robert L. Smoot of Rochester, Minn., and M. Rebecca Geiger of Castle Rock, Colo.; two stepsons, Randolph Yohe of Waldorf and Daniel Yohe of Landover Hills; a sister, Mary Cox of Camp Springs; and nine grandchildren.

Robert Boyer Atkins

Navy Captain and Engineer

Robert Boyer Atkins, 88, a retired Navy captain and construction manager, died of cancer Oct. 4 at the nursing center of Falcon's Landing in Sterling. His home was in Fairfax.

Mr. Boyer's 20-year naval career was largely spent as a public works officer.

He served in the Pacific and Far East during World War II and also was posted to Honolulu and Madrid.

After he retired from the Navy in 1962, he was a construction manager for the Thomas H. Ryan Co. construction firm and for the Fairfax County government.

Mr. Boyer, a native of Washington, was a graduate of McKinley Technical High School and Duke University.

His wife, Myrtle Atkins, died in 1996.

Survivors include two daughters, Ella Wescott of Washington and Janet Atkins of Alexandria; and three great-grandchildren.

Robert Glen Biggs

Construction Superintendent

Robert Glen Biggs, 61, a construction superintendent for 26 years with William A. Hazel Inc., died Oct. 6 at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital. He had a lung ailment.

Mr. Biggs, who lived in Charlestown, W.Va., was a native of Russell, Va. He began working as a young man for the Chantilly-based Hazel company. It does excavations and other construction work.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Ellen Biggs of Charlestown; three children; two brothers; two sisters and five grandchildren.

Carl Thomas Taylor

CIA Officer

Carl Thomas Taylor, 77, who served 26 years with the Central Intelligence Agency before retiring in 1978, died of pulmonary disease Oct. 7 at Alleghany Regional Hospital in Clifton Forge, Va.

Mr. Taylor specialized in scientific and technical intelligence operations during his CIA career, and he served in Austria and Germany in addition to Washington. He had received the agency's Certificate of Distinction.

He was born in Bay City, Mich. At the age of 15, he began working as a stoker on ore boats on the Great Lakes.

During World War II, he served in the Navy in the North Atlantic, then graduated from Wayne State University. He worked with Ford Motor Co. before joining the CIA.

In retirement, he lived in Clifton Forge and was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church there.

His wife Elizabeth Anne Roberts Taylor died in 1968.

Survivors include his wife, Kendrick Brown Taylor of Clifton Forge; two daughters from his first marriage, Laura T. Creedon of Germantown and Mary T. Laur of Gaithersburg; three sons from his first marriage, Thomas A. Taylor of Dubois, Wyo., John L. Taylor of Germantown and Robert C. Taylor of Las Vegas; five stepchildren, Kay F. Acker and Sara F. Jones of Harrisonburg, Va., Mitzy F. Bricker of Berryville, Chipley F. Gordon of Pagosa Springs, Colo., and Thomas H. Forrer Jr. of Charlottesville; and 23 grandchildren.

Thomas William 'Bill' Graves

Recreation Assistant

Thomas William "Bill" Graves, 68, a retired recreation assistant with the Arlington County Department of Recreation, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 4 at Northern Virginia Community Hospital.

Mr. Graves was a lifelong resident of Arlington. During the Korean War, he served in the Army in Germany.

As a recreation assistant he worked at the Madison Recreation Center, Dawson Terrace Recreation Center, Glebe Center and the Long Branch Nature Center.

He retired on disability 12 years ago after suffering a brain aneurysm.

He was a charter member and deacon of the First Christian Church of Falls Church and a former member of ARFAX CB Club, Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department and the Billy Mitchell American Legion Post of Ballston.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Marylyn T. Graves of Arlington; two brothers, Robert J. Graves of Centreville and Michael Graves of Chesapeake, Va.; and one sister, Mary G. Fletcher of Round Hill.