Joseph O. Harrison

Computer Scientist

Joseph O. Harrison, 85, a mathematician who retired from the Institution for Computer Sciences and Technology at what is now the National Institute of Standards and Technology, died Dec. 20 at Frederick Memorial Hospital. He had pneumonia and Parkinson's disease.

Mr. Harrison, who lived in Mount Airy, Md., helped develop software for early computers that included the Mark I, Univac and others. In the early 1950s, he headed the computing laboratory division of the Johns Hopkins University Operations Research Office, which became Research Analysis Corp.

He was later chief of the Office of Information Processing Standards at the National Bureau of Standards. After he retired in 1981, he did work on a computerized cancer registry for a hospital in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Harrison was a native of Washington and a graduate of Eastern High School. He received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in math from George Washington University and a doctorate in math from Columbia University. He served in the Navy during World War II.

After the war, he worked on the Mark I at Harvard University, the Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Remington Rand Corp.

Mr. Harrison's interests also included the cello. He played professionally with the National Symphony Orchestra in the 1930s and had played with the orchestra at GWU and with string quartets.

He was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church in Mount Airy.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Frances Dickey Harrison of Mount Airy; and a sister, Sarah Ann Harrison of Rockville.

Thelma Reid Whitehead

D.C. Math Teacher

Thelma Reid Whitehead, 91, a middle and high school math teacher in Washington public schools from 1944 to 1972, died Dec. 17 at Integrated Health Services at Briarcliff Haven, a nursing home in Atlanta, after a stroke. She was a Washington resident from 1944 to 1991 and then moved to Atlanta.

Among the schools where Mrs. Whitehead taught were Banneker Junior High School in the late 1940s through the 1950s and Western High School in the 1960s. She retired from Roosevelt High School in 1972.

She then spent six years as a math teacher at Strayer Business College.

Mrs. Whitehead was born in Wilson, N.C., and graduated in 1929 from Shaw University in North Carolina with bachelor's degrees in mathematics and science. She taught math and science at middle and high schools in North Carolina before coming to Washington.

From 1961 to 1964, she traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, for the U.S. Agency for International Development to start a teachers college there with her husband.

She was a former treasurer at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Washington and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Her husband of 55 years, Dr. Matthew J. Whitehead, a former president of Miner Teachers College and dean of D.C. Teachers College, died in 1990.

Survivors include a daughter, Jocelyn Whitehead Jackson of Atlanta; a son, Matthew J. Whitehead II of Chicago; two grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Bertil Renborg

Commerce Official

Bertil Renborg, 74, who joined the Commerce Department in the early 1960s and retired in the mid-1980s as deputy trade director for export services, died Dec. 21 at Anne Arundel Medical Center after a heart attack. He lived in Easton.

Mr. Renborg was born in China and grew up in Switzerland. He graduated from Swarthmore College in the mid-1940s with a bachelor's degree in economics and then served in the Swedish army in 1945 and 1946. He became a U.S. citizen in the 1950s.

Mr. Renborg worked at Ford Motor Co. in Sweden in the 1950s as a trade representative.

His wife of 33 years, Patricia Ann Lucid Renborg, died in 1980. A daughter, Carla Ann Renborg, died in 1956. A son, Mark Francis Renborg, died in 1991.

Survivors include two daughters, Michelle Renborg Lohin of Arnold, and Gail Patricia Renborg-Wood of Stevensville, Md.; a sister; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Andrew John Kostakos


Andrew John Kostakos, 82, a waiter at the old Three Kings Restaurant in Bethesda from 1969 to 1984, died of cancer Dec. 1 at Montgomery Hospice Casey House in Rockville.

Mr. Kostakos, who lived in Kensington since 1961, was the manager of the Italian Inn in Landover until 1967 and then owned the Charcoaler Restaurant in Bethesda for two years.

A native of Brooklyn, he worked at his family's restaurant there until World War II, when he served in the Navy.

After the war, he moved to New Jersey and was a waiter, mailman and assembly line worker.

He was a member of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Washington.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Catherine Kostakos of Kensington; a son, John Andrew Kostakos of Davidsonville; a daughter, Carol Kostakos Petranek of Silver Spring; three sisters; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

John R. Barrett

High School English Teacher and Faculty Dean

John R. Barrett, 67, who taught English at St. Anselm's Abbey School in Washington from 1986 to 1997 and retired as dean of faculty, died of a heart ailment Dec. 18 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Barrett taught English at St. Anselm's in the late 1950s and early 1960s and at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School from 1965 to 1985.

He was born in Washington and graduated from St. Anselm's in 1950. At Catholic University of America in the 1950s, he received a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a master's degree in English literature.

His hobbies included gardening.

He leaves no immediate survivors.

E.B. Leedy

Major General

E.B. Leedy, 62, a retired Army major general whose career included supply and logistics positions, died Dec. 11 at home in Arlington after a heart attack.

Gen. Leedy, a 20-year resident of the Washington area, retired from the Army in 1990 after a 31-year military career. At his death, he was vice president of logistics systems at Burdeshaw Associates Ltd., a Bethesda consulting organization.

He was born in Indianapolis and graduated from Butler University. During his military career, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam, and served as commander of the support command for the 7th Infantry division, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service in Europe, and the Troop Support Command.

He was deputy chief of staff for supply, maintenance and transportation with the Army Materiel Command and assistant chief of staff for logistics for III Corps.

His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. Early in his life, he was an Eagle Scout.

He was a member of the Retired Officers Association.

Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Nancy Leedy of Arlington; two daughters, Julia Leedy of Arlington and J.B. Leedy Marolf of Newport News, Va.; and two sisters.

James J. Culhane

Public Information Officer

James J. Culhane, 84, a public information officer at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from the 1950s until 1970, died of cardiopulmonary sepsis and pneumonia Dec. 15 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He lived in Annandale.

Mr. Culhane was born in Philadelphia and received a law degree in 1937 from Columbus University, which later became part of Catholic University.

He came to Washington in 1933 and worked as a courier at the Agriculture Department until joining the War Assets Administration in the 1940s.

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

His wife, Mary Eileen O'Brien Culhane, died in 1973.

Survivors include two daughters, Kathleen C. "Kitty" Rogers of Burke and Patricia C. "Patty" Gerber of Richmond; two sons, James Jr., of Santa Ana, Calif., and Brien F., of Miami; a sister; a brother; and five grandchildren.

Eric M. Wagshal


Eric M. Wagshal, 54, a Washington native and retired Hagerstown, Md., internist, died of renal cell cancer Dec. 20 at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. He lived in Hagerstown.

Dr. Wagshal was a graduate of Coolidge High School, George Washington University and the GWU medical school. He interned at the Washington Hospital Center, where he was also a resident.

He had a post-residency fellowship in gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Wagshal served in the Public Health Service at NIH, as a researcher in the National Cancer Institute.

He practiced in Hagerstown for 20 years before retiring in 1996 for health reasons. He was a volunteer with Israel Bonds.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Sharon Wagshal of Hagerstown; three children, Steven Wagshal of New York, Julie Wagshal of Arlington and Amy Wagshal of Hagerstown; his parents, Benjamin Wagshal and Lillian Wagshal, both of Washington; and two brothers, Marc Wagshal of Rockville and Alan Wagshal of Israel.

Ruth M. Fisher

Engraving and Printing Employee

Ruth M. Fisher, 96, who worked from the 1920s to the 1940s for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, died Dec. 19 at Howard University Hospital. She had heart ailments.

Mrs. Fisher was a lifelong resident of Washington and a graduate of Dunbar High School.

She was a member of St. Martin's Catholic Church in Washington and a volunteer with the Pigskin Club and the Red Cross.

Her husband, Dr. Charles Bennett Fisher III, died in 1945. A son, Charles Bennett Fisher II, died in 1995.

Survivors include a son, Elmer C. Fisher of Washington, and two grandchildren.