Joseph F. Staroba

Senior Center Adviser

Joseph F. Staroba, 89, former chairman of the advisory board of the Silver Spring senior center that was eventually named for Maryland state legislator Margaret Schweinhaut, died of cardiac arrest Dec. 27 at Washington Adventist Hospital. He lived in Silver Spring.

A native of Chicago, Mr. Staroba attended the Illinois Institute of Technology. He was a mechanical engineer at Taylor Forge & Pipe Works in Chicago from 1928 until retiring to the Washington area in 1967.

His hobbies included golf and fishing.

In 1982, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers awarded him a lifetime membership.

His first wife, Lillian Staroba, died in 1985.

Survivors include his wife of nine years, Betty Gnatt Staroba of Silver Spring; a daughter from his first marriage, Vivian Spuehler of Bethesda; a granddaughter; and two great-grandchildren.

Dorothy Erb Jackson

School Aide

Dorothy Erb Jackson, 79, an administrative assistant at St. Mark's Montessori School in Springfield from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, died of pneumonia Dec. 23 at Fairfax Hospital. She lived in Burke.

Mrs. Jackson was a native of Everett, Mass. She accompanied her husband, Col. Robert Jackson, to Army posts that included England and Eritrea before moving to the Washington area in the 1970s. He died in the mid-1980s.

Mrs. Jackson was a volunteer with the Girl Scouts, St. Mark's, the Military Thrift Shop, Burke Library and the Heatherwood retirement community where she lived.

There are no immediate survivors.

Thomas Rodney Johnson

Industrial Engineer

Thomas Rodney Johnson, 48, an industrial engineer and Public Health Service captain who retired in 1995 from the Food and Drug Administration, died of pancreatic cancer Dec. 24 at his Gaithersburg home.

He worked at the FDA for 22 years in a series of quality systems engineering assignments. He was primary author of the FDA investigational operations manual in the early 1990s.

Mr. Johnson was born in Lawton, Okla. He was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and received a master's degree in quality systems engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

He began with the FDA in Atlanta and moved to the Washington area in 1979. After he retired, he and a colleague formed a quality engineering consulting business, EduQuest.

He was a member of Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church.

Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Kathleen R. Johnson, and two children, Kevin J. Johnson and Carrie E. Johnson, all of Gaithersburg; his mother, Vallene Yarmuk, and stepfather, James Yarmuk, both of Elgin, Okla.; and two half brothers.

Charles Abbot Beard Jr.

D.C. Tax Official

Charles Abbot Beard Jr., 92, who retired in 1965 as deputy director of the D.C. Finance and Revenue Department, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 13 at his home in Rockville.

A lifelong resident of Rockville, Mr. Beard graduated from the old Western High School in Washington. In the late 1930s, he received a law degree from Columbus University, now part of Catholic University.

He began his four-decade career with the District government in the surveyor's office and later worked in the tax office. He served in the Navy during the war.

He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rockville and the Kiwanis Club.

His wife, Eleanora Dent Beard, died in 1986.

Survivors include a son, Charles Beard III of Kensington; a daughter, Cecilia B. Gallagher of Libertyville, Ill.; six grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.