The obituary Jan. 13 of Alice Myers Harris should have said she died Dec. 28. (Published 01/14/2000)

Joan Gordon


Joan Gordon, 54, the general counsel since 1980 of Montgomery College, died of cancer Jan. 3 at Georgetown University Hospital. She lived in Derwood.

From 1975 to 1980, she was counsel for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

Ms. Gordon, who was born in New York, was a 1967 political science graduate of Vassar College. She received a master's degree in political science from Brown University and was a 1974 graduate of American University law school.

From 1987 to 1990, she was on the board of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

Her hobbies included needlepoint.

Survivors include her father, Dr. Morris Gordon of Yonkers, N.Y.; and a sister.

Alice Myers Harris

Children's Hospital Volunteer

Alice Myers Harris, 99, a Children's Hospital volunteer from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, died Jan. 2 at ManorCare nursing home in Silver Spring of pneumonia.

Mrs. Harris was born in Washington and volunteered at the American Red Cross from the early 1940s to the early 1960s.

In 1986, Washingtonian magazine named her a Washingtonian of the Year because of her volunteer work.

Her husband, Dr. Herbert W. Harris, died in 1966.

Survivors include a daughter, Norma H. Meyers of Washington; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. A son, William H. Harris, died in 1997.

Jon K. Reynolds


Jon K. Reynolds, 57, archivist of Georgetown University since 1971, died of a heart attack Jan. 2 at Inova Alexandria Hospital.

Mr. Reynolds was a native of Danville, Ill., and a Georgetown University graduate. He received a master's degree in history from the University of Notre Dame, where he did additional graduate work in history.

He wrote for university publications and presented lectures and slide shows about the institution. He was a member of the Society of American Archivists and a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community in Alexandria, where he lived.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 30 years, Kathleen Reynolds, and two children, Anne Beatrice Reynolds and Jon Andrew Reynolds, all of Alexandria; his father, J. Allen Reynolds of Danville; a brother; and a sister.

Esther Repps Rotkin


Esther Repps Rotkin, 82, a Montgomery County teacher since the 1950s who retired in 1978 as social studies and history department chairwoman at Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School in Silver Spring, died Dec. 28 at her home at Rossmoor Leisure World in Silver Spring after a stroke.

She worked at Takoma Park Junior High School from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, rising to chairwoman of the social studies and history department there.

Mrs. Rotkin was born in Poland and moved with her family to New York in 1922. She came to the Washington area in 1946 and received bachelor's and master's degrees in education from the University of Maryland.

Her memberships included the Montgomery County Teachers Association, the League of Women Voters, Workmen's Circle, the Women's Suburban Democratic Club and the American Civil Liberties Union. Her hobbies included gardening and attending theater.

Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Irving J. Rotkin of Silver Spring; two sons, Donnie Rotkin of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Michael Rotkin of Santa Cruz, Calif.; a sister; and three grandchildren.

Joseph George Goldberg

Marketing Executive

Joseph George Goldberg, 88, a marketing executive who retired in 1975 as a merchandise manager at the Super Giant in Rockville, died of lung cancer Dec. 22 at the Montgomery Hospice Casey House in Rockville.

Mr. Goldberg, who lived in Chevy Chase, was born in New York and graduated from the City College of New York.

In 1937, he moved to the Washington area and began a career with George's Radio, Boyd's Discount Appliances and Home Appliance Co., where he helped develop such marketing concepts as volume buying and discount sales. As president of Boyd's Discount Appliances, he promoted retail savings based on a policy of no frills and low overhead.

As the manager of Home Appliance, Mr. Goldberg was widely known in the community as "Cousin Joe Burke," a name he assumed in television commercials.

In the late 1950s, Mr. Goldberg was a marketing executive with Lansburgh's Department Store. Later he became a merchandise manager for Super Giant, where he remained until retiring.

He was a member of Ben Franklin Masonic lodge.

His wife, Dorothy Feldman, whom he married in 1937, died in 1982.

Survivors include two children, Edythe Beres of Rockville and Allen J. Goldberg of Potomac; four grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Alma J. Decatur


Alma J. Decatur, 88, a retired private duty nurse and former clerical worker, died Jan. 9 at Howard County General Hospital after a stroke.

Mrs. Decatur, who lived in Sykesville, was born in Washington and attended Dunbar High School.

After the death in the early 1940s of her first husband, Samuel Lucas, she became a clerical worker at the Justice Department and then the Veterans Administration, now the Department of Veterans Affairs. Later she was a private duty nurse. She retired about 10 years ago.

Survivors include her husband of 53 years, William M. Decatur of Sykesville; two children from her first marriage, Samuel "Jimmy" Lucas of Florida and Anthony "Tony" Lucas of Washington; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A son from her first marriage, Robert Lucas, died five years ago.

Larry L. Jenney

Transportation Analyst

Larry L. Jenney, 70, a transportation analyst who retired in 1994 after seven years with the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, died of cancer Jan. 4 at Inova Alexandria Hospital.

He specialized in aviation for the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences and served as staff officer for six committees. Before joining the academy in 1987, he spent 13 years with the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment as a senior analyst and project director. He worked on a range of transportation issues, including assessment studies of advanced high-speed aircraft and air service to small communities.

Mr. Jenney, an Alexandria resident, was a native of Mishawaka, Ind. In the early 1950s, he received bachelor's and master's degrees in English from Yale University. Then he served in the Army from 1953 to 1962, mostly on assignment with the Central Intelligence Agency.

He began a career in the private sector in 1962 as a staff scientist for a New York company conducting studies on how people interact with high-technology equipment. He came to the Washington area in 1970 to work as a staff scientist and project director for BioTechnology Inc. in Fairfax.

He was a member of St. Mark's Eastern Orthodox Church in Bethesda.

His marriage to his first wife, Adele G. Jenney, ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Dobrina K. Jenney of Alexandria; two children from his first marriage, Frederick E. Jenney of Washington and Jack Jenney of Gilroy, Calif.; two children from his second marriage, Philippe B. Jenney of Lantana, Fla., and Laurence A. Jenney of San Diego; and six grandchildren.

Alton B. Smith Jr.

Navy Worker

Alton B. Smith Jr., 73, who operated the air compressor plant in the wind tunnel at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, died of cardiac arrest Jan. 7 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Smith was born in Caroline County, Va., and grew up in Washington. He graduated from Armstrong High School, where he was trained in refrigeration and electronics.

During World War II, he served in the Navy in the South Pacific and was awarded a Purple Heart.

After the war, he began his civilian career as an electrician's helper at the Washington Navy Yard. In the 1950s, he transferred to the Naval Ordnance Laboratory at White Oak. He received several Sustained Superior Performance Awards there. He retired in 1981.

In retirement, Mr. Smith did volunteer work with St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Washington, Francis Junior High School and Neval Thomas Elementary School. He was active in neighborhood beautification projects and a member of the Golden Dolphin and Movers & Shakers swim clubs, the Department of Justice American Legion Post and the World War II Black Navy Veterans of Great Lakes Inc.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Mary C.D. Smith of Washington; three daughters, Blanche Brownley of Olney, Yvonne Fields of Hyattsville and Jacqueline Fletcher of Upper Marlboro; five sisters; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

James Miller Russell Sr.

Washington Lawyer

James Miller Russell Sr., 75, a Washington tax lawyer who also had owned and raced thoroughbred horses, died Jan. 9 at Suburban Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in Washington.

Mr. Russell was born in North Carolina, growing up there and in Washington. Before World War II, he was a teller with American Security & Trust in Washington. During the war, he served in Europe with the Army's 99th Infantry Division, participating in the Battle of the Bulge and receiving a Bronze Star.

After the war, he graduated from George Washington University, becoming a certified public accountant and later graduating from the GWU law school. He was a lawyer and accountant with the Price Waterhouse accounting company before joining the Research Institute of America in 1959.

He became RIA's Washington bureau director and helped track federal tax and pension law as well as Treasury and Internal Revenue Service regulations before retiring in 1992.

Since 1966, Mr. Russell had engaged in the private practice of law, for many years as a partner in the Washington firm of McDermott & Russell.

Mr. Russell had been a member of the National Press Club, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, the Toastmasters and Bethesda Country Club. Among the horses he owned and raced was Latin Rebel.

His first wife, the former Barbara Nell Hogan, whom he married in 1959, died in 1997.

Survivors include his wife, the former Doris Hess Tarantino, whom he married in 1998, and three children from his first marriage, Jamie, Elizabeth and Catherine Russell, all of Washington; and a grandson.

Ruth Hastings Matthews


Ruth Hastings Matthews, 73, a retired Agriculture Department nutritionist who was primarily involved in food composition data research, died of pancreatic cancer Jan. 5 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

From 1954 to 1996, Mrs. Matthews worked at various USDA laboratories, including the Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville and the Nutritional Data Research Laboratory in Hyattsville.

Mrs. Matthews, a Bethesda resident, was a native of Cambridge, Md. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 1946 and received a master's degree in food and nutrition from Columbia University.

She was a member of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, the American Dietetic Association, the American Association of Cereal Chemists, the New York Academy of Science and the Institute of Food Technologists.

She was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase and active in its women's groups. In previous years, she was a treasurer and member of the vestry of Ascension & St. Agnes Episcopal Church in Washington.

Her husband, Harry B. Matthews Jr., died in 1993, and her son, John W., died in 1974.

Survivors include a daughter, Connie M. Spoon of Rockville, and a granddaughter.