Joseph H. Spivak

Lawyer and Merchant

Joseph H. Spivak, 90, a retired Treasury Department lawyer who also helped his wife operate millinery shops, died of pneumonia Oct. 25 at Suburban Hospital.

Mr. Spivak, who lived in Chevy Chase, was born in New Haven, Conn. He settled in Washington as a young man and graduated from George Washington University, where he also received a law degree.

In 1973, he retired from the legal staff of the Treasury Department. He assisted his first wife, Julia Spivak, in the operation and management of the Tivoli Hat Shop and Julia Spivak Fine Millinery. They retired from those businesses in the 1970s.

Later Mr. Spivak worked on intellectual property law matters with his son's law firm, Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier and Neustadt in Arlington County.

Julia Cohen Spivak died in 1983, and their daughter, Sandra Kransdorf, died in 1988.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ellen Spivak of Chevy Chase; twin children from his first marriage, Marvin Spivak and Myrna Ruck, both of Potomac; a stepdaughter, Amy O'Brien of Annapolis; 13 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

James Allen Stoddard

Business Owner

James Allen Stoddard, 81, a truck driver in the 1940s for Swiss Upholstery Shop in Washington who then ran the business from the early 1970s until his death, died of cancer Oct. 25 at Washington Home and Hospice. He lived in Washington.

Mr. Stoddard was born in Gray Court, S.C., and moved to Washington in the early 1940s.

He was a member of the Elks, Masons and Shriners as well as John Wesley African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Washington.

His hobbies included dancing.

His wife, Margie Stoddard, died in 1996, and a son, Alphonzo "Brother" Stoddard, died in 1994.

Survivors include a son, Leonard Michael Stoddard of Dale City; three daughters, Diane Stoddard of Upper Marlboro and Betty J. Ayomike and Henriolla "Pat" Stoddard, both of Washington; a stepson, Alvin Durham of Woodruff, S.C.; a son from a previous relationship, Leon "Pete" Sullivan of Clinton; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Bernice C. Brigham


Bernice C. Brigham, 90, who worked for the National Education Association for 30 years before retiring as an executive secretary in 1974, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 22 in the infirmary at Washington's Thomas House.

Miss Brigham was a native of Montpelier, Vt. She attended George Washington University. She worked for the Navy Department after moving to Washington in 1941 and was with Frieden Calculators before joining the NEA staff.

Survivors include a sister, Mary Behre of Kissamee, Fla.

Michael Christian Major


Michael Christian Major, 12, a sixth-grader at Gaithersburg Middle School, died of cancer Oct. 25 at Children's National Medical Center. He lived in Gaithersburg.

He previously attended Strawberry Knoll Elementary School in Gaithersburg.

His hobbies included archery, drawing and street hockey.

Survivors include his parents, Robert Major Jr. of Gaithersburg and Ingrid Major of Damascus; his sister, Martina Major of Damascus; two brothers, Robert Major III of Silver Spring and Rico Major of Irvine, Calif; and his grandparents, Frances Tolbert of Washington and Robert and Martina Vanderley of Summerville, S.C.

Damon Massengale

Banker and Service Manager

Damon Massengale, 60, a former bank manager and service division manager, died of lung cancer Oct. 25 at the Hospice of Washington. He lived in Temple Hills.

Mr. Massengale retired two years ago after about a decade as a service division manager with George Washington University. Previously he was manager in Southeast Washington of the Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and the Alabama Avenue branches of the National Bank of Washington. He was with the bank for 18 years.

As a young man, he was a postal worker and a trainee with the National Bankers Association in Cleveland.

Mr. Massengale was born in Lumpkin, Ga. He was a graduate of Tuskegee Institute and did graduate work in business at Case Western University. He also attended the American Institute of Banking.

He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and a volunteer with the American Cancer Society.

Survivors include his wife of 34 years, Elizabeth Massengale of Temple Hills; and a half brother.

William Wesley Miller

Graphics Artist

William Wesley Miller, 69, a Bowie resident who retired in 1983 after 25 years as a U.S. Information Agency graphics artist, died of liver disease Oct. 26 at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. He also had diabetes.

Mr. Miller was a native of Tiffin, Ohio. He served in the Navy from 1948 to 1952, then graduated from Heidelberg College in Tiffin before moving to Washington in 1957.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Myra Miller of Bowie; two children, Paul W. Miller of Bowie and John W. Miller of Crofton; a sister, Judith Conroy of Ashburn; and three grandchildren.

Charles Earl Queen


Charles Earl Queen, 80, a native Washingtonian who retired in the mid-1970s after about 20 years as a self-employed cabdriver, died of cancer Oct. 24 at Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Mr. Queen also worked at the C&W Flower Shop in Washington for about eight years in the 1970s.

He was a 1937 graduate of Armstrong High School and a World War II Army Air Forces veteran.

In his later years, he was a member of the D.C. foster grandparents program.

His marriage to Jeannette Queen ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children, Lavonne Byrd of Cheltenham, Md., and Charlette Queen of Takoma Park; two grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Douglas Craig Binney

Marine Lt. Col., Program Manager

Douglas Craig Binney, 69, a former Marine lieutenant colonel and program manager at Vitro Corp. in Arlington County, died Oct. 23 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. He lived in Alexandria.

Col. Binney was in the Marines from 1953 to 1977. During his last four years of service, he was head of the requirements and acquisitions section of the logistics management branch at Marine Headquarters in Alexandria.

He then worked at Vitro until his retirement in 1995.

Col. Binney was born in Pensacola, Fla., and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1953. He received a master's degree in Spanish from Middlebury College in 1961.

He was a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Alexandria, the Naval Academy Alumni Association and the Annapolis Naval Sailing Association.

Col. Binney, who served in the Vietnam War, received the Bronze Star with Combat "V."

Among his avocations were sailing and hiking.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Margaret S. Binney, of Alexandria; two sons, Blair A., of Charlottesville, and Navy Cmdr. Bruce C., of San Diego; a daughter, Becky Binney Piran of Chapel Hill, N.C.; his mother, Jean S. Binney of Coral Gables, Fla.; a sister; and eight grandchildren.