Alberta Diener McCormack

Landscape Designer

Alberta Diener McCormack, 62, who had run the A. Diener Design landscaping firm from her home since 1983, died of cancer Nov. 1 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Cumberland. She lived in Gaithersburg for the last four years.

During the last few years, Mrs. McCormack also volunteered on a neighborhood landscaping project for her homeowners association in the Washington Woods section of Gaithersburg.

She was born in Elizabeth, N.J., and in 1959 received a bachelor's degree in music from the University of Rochester. She graduated from George Washington University's landscape design program in 1984 and lectured there in 1985.

Mrs. McCormack was a church organist in Rochester, N.Y., a music librarian at Yale University and a coordinator for the Girl Scouts in New Haven, Conn., before coming to the Washington area in 1964.

She lived in Silver Spring until 1970 and in Chevy Chase from 1970 to 1995.

Mrs. McCormack was a choir member, deacon and elder at Georgetown Presbyterian Church. In the mid-1970s, she was active in the church's theater group, the Bridge Street Players.

She was a member of the Landscape Contractors Association and during the mid-1980s led garden tours for the Smithsonian Associates Program.

Her marriage to Dr. John Archer McCormack ended in divorce.

Survivors include two daughters, Nina L. McCormack of Lexington, Ky., and Heidi A. McCormack of Moscow; a sister; a brother; and two granddaughters.

Howson W. Petty

Food Chain Owner

Howson W. Petty, 72, a former manager at Marriott Corp. who from 1973 to 1985 ran the four-store, Washington area chain Donuts n Stuff Inc., died of pneumonia and congestive heart failure Nov. 4 at Fairfax Nursing Center. He lived in Fairfax.

He came to the Washington area in 1964 as district manager of Marriott's cafeteria division.

Mr. Petty, a native of Sulphur, Okla., graduated in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in business and hotel and restaurant management from Oklahoma State University. He owned and operated restaurants in Texas and Missouri before moving to Washington.

He had served in the Navy during World War II and in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He retired from the Marine Reserve as a captain in 1965.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Joy Hunter Petty of Fairfax; two daughters, Janet Petty of Fairfax and Karen Haymond of Glastonbury, Conn.; a sister; a brother; and three grandchildren.

Robert S. Webb

Pepco Foreman

Robert S. Webb, 79, who retired in 1985 as foreman of the Potomac Electric Power Co. department that trouble-shoots after power failures, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 26 at his home in Vienna.

Mr. Webb was born in Atlanta and raised in Washington, where he graduated from Eastern High School. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a B-17 "Flying Fortress" bomber pilot in North Africa and Italy, flying 51 combat missions. He was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses and a Medal of Valor.

After the war, he was a test pilot at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He continued in the Air Force Reserve and retired as a major in 1957.

His 35-year Pepco career was spent in the special services department.

Mr. Webb was a deacon, Sunday school superintendent and teacher at Vienna Baptist Church.

He was president of the Rock Creek Lions Club and a member of the Kemper-Macon Ware Lodge in Falls Church.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Anna K. Webb of Vienna; two children, Robert S. Webb Jr. of Fairfax Station and Leslie W. Hunt of Richmond; two brothers, Leonard Loftis Webb of Waldorf and Dan A. Webb of Washington; a sister, Wah-Ni-Tahe Baker of Clinton; and four grandchildren.

Helen P. Skinner

Historic Trust Member

Helen P. Skinner, 74, a Washington area resident since the late 1970s and a member of the Smithsonian Associates and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, died of cancer Nov. 6 at her home in Reston.

Mrs. Skinner, a native of Memphis, was a 1947 graduate of the University of Oklahoma.

Survivors include her husband of 52 years, Harry, of Reston; a son, Harry Craig Skinner of Boulder, Colo.; two daughters, Cinda Zemel of Bellingham, Wash., and Sally Skinner Temple of Everett, Wash.; a brother; a sister; and five grandchildren.

John W. Kopecky Sr.

HUD Attorney

John William Kopecky Sr., 85, a retired Department of Housing and Urban Development attorney, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 31 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Kopecky, a former law professor, worked in the office of the general counsel for HUD and its predecessor agency for more than 30 years before retiring in 1980 as associate general counsel for insured housing. He also did consulting work for HUD in the early 1980s.

He was a native of Hallettsville, Tex. After graduating from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., he moved to Washington, where he received law degrees from Georgetown University. In 1940, at the age of 26, he was one of the youngest Georgetown graduates ever to receive a doctorate in law with distinction.

After serving in the Navy during World War II as a commanding officer aboard minesweepers, he engaged in a private law practice in Washington and later taught at George Washington University and Loyola University in New Orleans.

He was a founding member of Annunciation Catholic Church in Washington and a member of Knights of Columbus, American Legion and the D.C. and Federal bar associations.

His marriage to Eleanore Kopecky ended in divorce.

Survivors include his companion of 17 years, Helen Allison of Bethesda; eight children, Martina Kopecky and Melissa Kopecky, both of Belleville, N.J., Greg Kopecky of Alexandria, Chanel Kopecky of Berwyn Heights, Jay Kopecky of Hope, Ark., Bill Kopecky of Washington, Jan Kopecky of Commerce City, Colo., and Meta Eaton-Croll of Salisbury; two sisters; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Clara McGrew Cassidy

Manager and Writer

Clara McGrew Cassidy, 97, a stationery department manager and in-house newsletter editor at Woodward & Lothrop department store in the 1950s and 1960s who later wrote books and newspaper columns mostly about aging, died of multiple organ failure Nov. 9 at her home in Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Mrs. Cassidy, a former Washington resident, moved to Harpers Ferry in 1963 after retiring from Woodward & Lothrop.

She wrote five books, including "We Like Kindergarten," published by Western Publication Co. in 1965. Her other books, from 1974's "Up in Years and Off My Rocker" to 1988's "Living the Topmost Years," were self-published collections of her writing, which appeared in papers from Hagerstown to St. Petersburg, Fla.

She was a member of All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington.

She was born in Lancaster County, Neb., and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1923 with a bachelor's degree in home economics.

She taught high school in Nebraska before moving to Washington in 1932.

She served on the Harpers Ferry town council in the 1980s and enjoyed hiking.

Her marriage to Lewis Cochran Cassidy III ended in divorce.

A son, Lewis C. Cassidy IV, died in 1983.

Survivors include a daughter, Isabel Bligh of Harpers Ferry; two sons, Hugh T. Cassidy of Bowie and John W. Cassidy of Upper Marlboro; a brother; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Dorothy Jones Brady

White House Secretary

Dorothy Jones Brady, 87, a White House secretary during the Roosevelt Administration who accompanied the president on trips and took notes at cabinet meetings, died Nov. 5 at Mount Vernon Nursing Home of complications following strokes.

Mrs. Brady, who lived in Alexandria, was born in Washington and attended the old Business High School.

She began her federal career at the Department of Agriculture where she was part of a secretarial pool, which was used by the White House on special occasions. After being assigned to the White House, Mrs. Brady became secretary to presidential press secretary Steve Early. In this role she was called upon several times to substitute for the president's secretary, Grace Tully.

Several times she accompanied the president on campaign trips, and on visits to his home at Hyde Park, N.Y. She was with the president in Warm Springs, Ga., where he died in April 1945.

After the president died she was secretary to cabinet secretaries, then was administrative assistant to the President of the Pullman Co.

She was a 20-year volunteer at Mount Vernon Hospital.

Her marriage to Maurice Brady ended in divorce.

Survivors include a sister, Sherrard Robertson of Vero Beach, Fla.

Louise A. McCarthy


Louise A. McCarthy, 70, who created a computerized filing system for the banking industry and then sold her company to Datatel Inc., died of cardiac arrest Oct. 23 at Northern Virginia Community Hospital. She lived in McLean.

Mrs. McCarthy was a native of Brussels who moved to Washington in 1950. She was a circulation clerk for the Army Times Publishing Co. and an assistant supervisor at the Frederick W. Berens mortgage banking company before starting Data Associates in 1963.

She sold her firm, which serviced more than 240 banks in Virginia, in 1976. She continued with Datatel as the customer support director until retiring in 1988.

Mrs. McCarthy was also a real estate investor and partner in J.R.'s Stockyard Innin Tysons Corner. She served on the boards of the Watergate residential complex, the Irene condominiums in Ocean City, Md., and Heritage Bank.

She was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Vienna.

Her husband of 10 years, Joseph B. McCarthy, died in 1963.

Survivors include her companion of 25 years, John E. Hall, and a sister, Yvette H. McCarthy, both of McLean.

Sumner Benson

Defense Policy Analyst

Sumner Benson, 60, a senior policy analyst in the office of the secretary of Defense since 1982, died of a cerebral hemorrhage Nov. 1 at his home in McLean.

He was an intelligence analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency from 1976 to 1981. He specialized in Near East and South Asian policy.

Mr. Benson was born in Ann Arbor, Mich. He graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1961 and received a doctorate in Russian studies from Harvard University.

He taught history at the University of Chicago and received a Fulbright scholarship to Russia before running Claremont McKenna's Washington-internship program from 1974 to 1976.

Mr. Benson was in the Army from 1961 to 1963 and retired from the Reserve as a colonel in 1991.

He was a member of the YMCA's Indian Princesses program for fathers and daughters.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Jeanne Benson, a son, Andrew, a daughter, Elizabeth Benson, and a brother, Brien, all of McLean.

Agnes Huber McGhee

Assembly Line Worker

Agnes Huber McGhee, 85, an assembly line worker at the old Chestnut Farms Dairy in Washington from the 1940s to the early 1950s, died of respiratory failure Nov. 5 at Arlington Hospital. She lived at Evergreen House in Annandale.

Mrs. McGhee, who enjoyed ceramics and baking, was an active volunteer with Evergreen's social clubs and craft shows.

A native of Washington, she also was a member of Annandale United Methodist Church.

Her marriage to Walter Jones ended in divorce.

Her husband of 37 years, John V. McGhee, died in 1986.

Survivors include two sons from her first marriage, Walter Jones Jr. of Skiatook, Okla., and David F. Jones of Oklahoma City; a daughter from her first marriage, Betty Lou Jones McLaughlin of Buffalo; a daughter from her second marriage, Georgia McGhee Walsh of Alexandria; two brothers, Harry A. Huber of Independence, Va., and John A. Huber of Springfield; 14 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Arthur Quentin Blevins

House Builder

Arthur Quentin Blevins, 78, a construction contractor who built houses in Fairfax and Prince William counties, died of cryptococcal meningitis Nov. 9 at the Birmingham Green facility in Manassas.

Mr. Blevins, who lived in Fairfax, was born in Marion, Va. He served in the Army during World War II and participated in combat operations in France and Germany. He was wounded twice and received Purple Heart medals.

After the war he settled in the Washington area and began his career in the construction business. He operated A&S Construction until retiring in 1985.

Survivors include his wife, Charlotte L. Blevins of Fairfax; four children, Fred Blevins and Larry Blevins, both of Fairfax, Danny Blevins of Maine, and Janet Parsons of Woodbridge; five sisters, Charmie Lowe, Betty Bogle, Gladys Haga and Cleo Bowling, all of Marion, Va., and Agnes Moulton of Fauquier County; two brothers, Walter Blevins and Shirl Blevins, both of Marion; and five grandchildren.

Edward W. Marsh Jr.


Edward W. Marsh Jr., 55, an orthodontist who had a solo practice in Crofton for the last 22 years, died of cancer Nov. 8 at Stella Maris Hospice Care in Towson.

In Crofton, where Dr. Marsh lived since the late 1970s, he was active in the Kiwanis Club and the Community United Methodist Church. A musician, he sang in the church choir and helped establish a small coffee house at the church for performers.

Dr. Marsh was a native of Greensburg, Pa., and a graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. He received a degree in dentistry from the University of Pittsburgh, and in the early 1970s, served in the Navy as a dentist aboard an aircraft carrier. He also did training in orthodontics at Northwestern University.

Survivors include his wife, Nancy Marsh of Crofton; four children, Wendy Marsh Flynn of Madison, Conn., and Scott Marsh, Christopher Marsh and Jeffrey Marsh, all of Crofton; his father, Edward W. Marsh Sr., of Greensburg; and two brothers.

Reynolds Gardner Florance

Forest Service Official

Reynolds Gardner Florance, 93, who worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 35 years before retiring in 1970 as its chief of legislative affairs, died of cancer Nov. 6 at ManorCare nursing home in Arlington. He lived in Arlington.

He received the Agriculture Department's Distinguished Service Award in 1961. Among the bills he worked on was the 1964 Wilderness Act.

Mr. Florance, who was born in Atlanta, received his law degree in 1928 from Valparaiso University in Indiana. He practiced law in North Carolina before joining the Forest Service in 1935.

He was a member of FSX, a Forest Service retirees association, and Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arlington. His hobbies included fishing.

Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Lois Mary Montie Florance of Arlington; a daughter, Mary Lois Benn of Arlington; a son, William E., of Rochester, N.Y.; six grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Elizabeth Moore

Music Teacher

Elizabeth Moore, 89, who taught piano from her home in the Washington area from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, died of leukemia Nov. 7 at a hospital in Richmond. She lived in Vienna.

Mrs. Moore was born in Kingston, N.C., and received a bachelor's degree in music from Salem College in 1932. She taught music at North Carolina high schools before moving to the Washington area.

She was a member of the Friday Morning Music Club and Falls Church Music Group. She played at the British Embassy in the early 1980s and was a Sunday School pianist at Episcopal Falls Church. She volunteered at Inova Fairfax Hospital, playing piano in its mental health division.

Her husband of 37 years, Charles Jacob Moore, died in 1973.

Survivors include a daughter, Marianna Elizabeth Moore of Washington; two sons, David Willis Moore of Richmond and Charles Thomas Moore of Fullerton, Calif.; and four grandchildren.

James Andrew Dunleavy

Program Analyst

James Andrew Dunleavy, 54, a Defense Mapping Agency program analyst from 1975 to 1997, died of cancer Nov. 8 at his home in Clifton.

Mr. Dunleavy was born in Washington and joined the Army from 1966 to 1969 as a military personnel specialist. He then worked as a military personnel technician with the Department of the Army for two years.

He graduated from George Mason University in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

He was a member of St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in Clifton and the Country Club of Fairfax, where he often golfed.

Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Linda Larson Dunleavy of Clifton; and two daughters, Jennifer Lynn Dunleavy of Roanoke and Lisa Anne Dunleavy of Clifton.

Kathleen Herlick


Kathleen Herlick, 92, who taught at Mount Vernon Elementary School in Alexandria from the 1940s to about 1980, died at Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center after a heart attack. She lived in Alexandria.

After her retirement, Mrs. Herlick was a substitute teacher for a few years at George Mason Elementary School in Alexandria.

She was born in Clifton Forge, Va. She graduated from Radford Teachers College in Virginia and received a bachelor's degree from James Madison University.

She was a member of Del Ray United Methodist Church in Alexandria.

Her husband of 51 years, John P. Herlick, died in 1985.

Survivors include her son, James Herlick of Alexandria.