Gloria Rotter

Research Assistant

Gloria Rotter, 70, who retired in 1995 after 25 years as a research assistant with the National Bureau of Standards, died of breast cancer Dec. 31 at Montgomery General Hospital.

Mrs. Rotter, a Washington area resident since 1961, lived in Kensington for 30 years before moving in May to Leisure World in Silver Spring.

She was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. As a young woman she was a secretary for a New York publishing firm.

In the 1960s she volunteered at the libraries of Bushey Drive Elementary School and Belt Junior High School, both in Wheaton.

Her husband of 50 years, Gerald Rotter, died in November.

Survivors include two children, Cindy Menditch of Rockville and Nathan Rotter of Jacksonville, Fla.; and three grandchildren.

Leslie S. Nichols

4-H Official

Leslie S. Nichols, 83, who worked for the 4-H Clubs of America for nearly 30 years before retiring in 1980 as international 4-H youth exchange program director, died Jan. 10 at his home in Riverdale. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Nichols, who came to the Washington area in 1951 when he joined the 4-H, was born in Argyle, N.Y. He was a 1938 graduate of Cornell University and served with the Army in Europe during World War II.

He had served on the board of the Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church. He had done fund-raising work for groups seeking to fight hunger. He also had been a coordinator of a Foreign Policy Association great decisions discussion group.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Esther, of Riverdale; four sons, Shawn, of Sacramento, Merle, of Hyattsville, Mak, of Frederick, and Ralph, of Hanover, N.H.; two sisters; a brother; four grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Eleanor Maloney


Eleanor Maloney, 96, who worked for the Embassy of Luxembourg for 34 years before retiring in 1974 as a social and executive secretary, died of influenza Jan. 11 at a health-care center in Duluth, Minn. She moved to Duluth in 1990.

Mrs. Maloney, who settled in Washington in 1936, was a native of Pittsburgh. She was a 1926 graduate of Trinity College in Washington.

She had done volunteer work in the District for Meals on Wheels.

Her husband, James Menton Maloney, was killed in action in World War II.

Survivors include a son, John, of Mendocino, Calif.; a daughter, Sara Lucas of Cloquet, Minn.; two sisters; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

James `Don' Thomas

Business Owner

James D. "Don" Thomas, 72, who owned and operated the Ademas Tile company in Old Town Alexandria from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, died Jan. 13 at Calvert Memorial Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in the Anne Arundel County community of Fairhaven.

Since retiring, he had done freelance work in the desktop publishing industry.

Mr. Thomas, a Washington native, was a graduate of Roosevelt High School and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He had served as art director of the Kal, Erlich & Merrick advertising agency in Washington and had owned Lettering Inc., a Washington graphic arts concern.

Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Barbara, of Fairhaven.

Thomas Daniel Clark

Clinton Native

Thomas Daniel Clark, 46, a native of Clinton and a 1971 graduate of Surrattsville High School, died of a heart attack Dec. 31 on a golf course in Encinitas, Calif.

Mr. Clark was a standout basketball and baseball player in high school. He graduated from St. Mary's College of Maryland. For the last 20 years he had lived in Southern California, where he was a high school history teacher.

His marriage to Linda Clark ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons, Travis and Tony, both of Mancos, Colo.; his parents, Robert F. and Shirley M. Clark of Mechanicsville; three brothers, Stephen, of DeKalb, Ill., Don, of Mechanicsville, and Greg, of Daly City, Calif.; and a sister, Debbie Harder of Charlotte Hall, Md.

Sylvia Benenson

Travel Agent

Sylvia Benenson, 89, an agent for the Rinis and Ohan travel agencies between 1970 and the early 1990s, died of respiratory failure Jan. 6 at Laurel Regional Hospital. She lived in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Benenson was a native of New York and a graduate of Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School. As a young woman, she studied law at St. John's University and was a secretary in the New York banking industry.

She was a member of the International Travel Society, Pacific Area Travel Association, National Travel and Bon Vivant Travel clubs and the American Society of Travel Agents.

Survivors include her husband of 60 years, Philip Benenson of Silver Spring; and three children, James Benenson of San Clemente, Calif., Peter Benenson of Berkeley, Calif., and Anne Benenson of Pleasant Hill, Calif.

Ramon Semiday-Soto


Ramon Semiday-Soto, 78, a retired Army sergeant first class who worked as a custodian in Alexandria for 25 years until 1998, died of cancer Jan. 13 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Mr. Semiday-Soto, who had lived in Alexandria since the early 1970s, was a native of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He entered the Army in 1944 and took part in the Allied invasion of Normandy.

He served in Germany after the war, then was assigned to construction engineering at U.S. military bases before retiring in 1973. He worked as a custodian at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria from 1973 to 1983 and the Church of Resurrection Episcopal Church in Alexandria from 1978 to 1998.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Camelia Semiday of Alexandria; five sons, Ramon Semiday of Lorton, Kent Semiday and William P. Semiday, both of Alexandria, and John J. Semiday and Edwin Semiday, both of Woodbridge; four daughters, Martha Contreras of Mobile, Ala., Carmen Bishop of Woodbridge and Elvira Urrutia and Wilma Myatt, both of Alexandria; a brother; two sisters; 23 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Alton Edwin Paddock

Navy Captain

Alton Edwin Paddock, 86, a retired Navy captain who since 1996 had lived in Sterling at the Falcon's Landing retirement community where he served on the chapel committee, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 7 at the Falcon's Landing hospice facility.

Capt. Paddock, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., was a 1935 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and received a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also graduated from the Naval War College.

He served in the Pacific during World War II. His later assignments included a tour as a division director in the Bureau of Naval Weapons at the Navy Department. He retired from active duty in 1965 as commanding officer of the Naval Air Development Center in Pennsylavania. After that, he was a research administrator with the University of Pennsylvania until retiring again in 1980.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Penelope Barton Paddock of Sterling; a son, Richard Howard Paddock of Arlington; and five grandchildren. A daughter, Jane Schwarz, died in April 1999.

Robert Miller Blane

Realty and Liquidation Specialist

Robert Miller Blane, 77, a Bethesda resident who worked for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board for 21 years before retiring in 1984 as a realty and liquidation specialist, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 6. at Suburban Hospital.

Mr. Blane, who was a native of Greenview, Ill., came to Washington in 1952 to work for the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Washington. He spent 11 years with the association, mainly as manager of its Bethesda branch.

He graduated from Illinois College and received a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. During World War II, he served in Saipan, among other places, with the 2nd Division of the Marine Corps.

He also served in the Marine Corps Reserve, retiring in 1959 with the rank of captain.

He was a member of North Bethesda United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Mary Jane Blane of Bethesda, and a daughter, Valerie Lee Blane of Falls Church.

Janet Southerland Bowman

Registered Nurse

Janet Southerland Bowman, 92, a registered nurse who served 20 years in the Army Nurse Corps before retiring in 1965, died of pneumonia Jan. 7 at the Crofton Convalescent Center.

Mrs. Bowman was born in Montague, on Prince Edward Island, Canada. She trained as a nurse at a hospital in Beverly, Mass., and entered the Army Nurse Corps as World War II came to a close.

Her assignments took her to Okinawa and Germany, where she met and married Edwin D. Bowman, a U.S. Army officer who later retired as a major.

They came to the Washington area in 1965 and settled in Falls Church.

Her husband died in 1979. Survivors include two stepdaughters, Lillian Ray Bowman of Shelby, Ohio, and Leigh Strom of San Diego.

Doris Strobel Taylor

Administrative Assistant

Doris Strobel Taylor, 91, an administrative assistant who retired from the office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 1963, died of pneumonia Jan. 2 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mrs. Taylor was a lifelong Washington resident. She received a certificate from the American Institute of Banking. She worked 35 years for the Treasury Department and had received its Albert Gallatin Award.

Her husband, William McCaw Taylor, died in 1982.

Survivors include a sister, Catherine McAusland of Del Ray Beach, Fla.