Evelyn Smith Bixel


Evelyn Smith Bixel, 92, who did volunteer work at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, died of cardiac arrest Nov. 1 at the Knollwood military retirement facility in Washington.

She was the widow of Army Brig. Gen. Charles Bixel, who died in 1974.

Mrs. Bixel was born in Pascagoula, Miss., and attended the University of Mississippi. She had lived in Kenwood for more than 40 years and was a former president of the Kenwood Garden Club.

She was a horsewoman and had organized and presided over Army polo matches.

She was a member of the Army and Navy Club, the Chevy Chase Club and the Colonial Dames.

Survivors include two daughters, Dabeny Lopez of Los Angeles and Gay Bartel of Maui, Hawaii; and five grandsons.

William M. Sheets

Bell Atlantic Employee

William M. Sheets, 63, who retired in 1987 after 32 years as a Bell Atlantic cable splicer, died Nov. 1 at his home in Fairfax. He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mr. Sheets, who was born in Takoma Park, graduated from Northwestern High School in Hyattsville.

He was a member of the Fairfax Host Lions Club, the Fairfax Jubil-Aires barbershop singing group, the Telephone Pioneers of America and St. George's United Methodist Church in Fairfax.

His marriage to his first wife, Eleanor Starvis Sheets, ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Donna Thomas Sheets of Fairfax; two children from his first marriage, William Joseph Sheets of Gainesville, Fla., and Deborah Sheets Willis of Lexington, Va.; and two sisters.

Eleanor Miller Durbin


Eleanor Miller Durbin, 81, a volunteer with organizations that included the Guild of Prince George's Hospital Center, died of a heart attack Nov. 2 at Doctors Community Hospital after collapsing at her Berwyn Heights home.

Mrs. Durbin did clerical work in her native Philadelphia before moving to Berwyn Heights 50 years ago. She was an office worker for the Agricultural Research Center in the 1950s.

She was a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in College Park, an officer in Prince George's County of the Inner Wheel of Rotary International and a volunteer with Meals on Wheels of College Park and libraries in Berwyn Heights. Her interests included animal rescue, gardening, antiques and oil painting.

Her husband, Charles G. Durbin, died 30 years ago.

Survivors include three children, two brothers and four grandchildren.

David J. Smith

Bartender and Soldier

David J. Smith, 55, a retired Army master sergeant who had been a bartender at the Cedar Knoll restaurant in Mount Vernon, Va., since 1996, died Nov. 6 at his home in Alexandria. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Smith, a Texas native, spent 22 years in the Army before retiring in 1981. He had served tours in both Korea and Vietnam. The last 11 years of his Army career was with the Army Band's support group. He worked on lighting and sound.

After leaving the Army, he lived in Texas until returning to the Washington area in 1990. He spent the next six years as an assistant manager of the officers club at Cameron Station.

His marriage to Shirley Smith ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife, Patricia, and two children, Kelly and Lorenzo Smith, all of Alexandria; a daughter from his first marriage, Terri Purvis of Raleigh, N.C.; and his father, David, of San Antonio, Tex.

Mary Audrey Grubb

Office Worker

Mary Audrey Grubb, 88, a retired office worker who had been a member of Trinity Methodist Church in McLean, died of sepsis Nov. 1 in Annandale at the Sleepy Hollow Nursing Home, where she had lived since a 1993 stroke.

She had been a credit manager and office manager with Landsburgh's department stores for 37 years before retiring in the mid-1970s. Over the years, she had worked at stores in the District, Shirlington and Tysons Corner. In the mid-to-late 1970s, she had done clerical work for the National Wildlife Federation in Tysons Corner.

Mrs. Grubb was born in McLean, where she graduated from Franklin Sherman High School in 1929. She attended Strayer Business School.

Her marriage to Walter Grubb ended in divorce.

Survivors include a daughter, Lois Ward of Locust Grove, Va.; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson.