Cornelia MacEwan Hurd

Bethesda Teacher

Cornelia MacEwan Hurd, 97, an English, civics and history teacher who had served on the faculty of the old Western Junior High School in Bethesda for 20 years before retiring in 1972, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 17 at her home in the Arleigh Burke Pavilion in McLean.

Mrs. Hurd, who had lived in Bethesda from 1952 to 1987, was an Ohio native. She suffered from polio as a child but went on to attend college, graduating from Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio in 1928.

She immediately began her teaching career, teaching in Ohio, New York and New Jersey before going to Hawaii in the early 1930s. She taught in Hawaii until 1946 and witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought this country into World War II. She came to the Washington area in 1952.

Mrs. Hurd had written articles on such subjects as the Pearl Harbor attack and education for Modern Maturity magazine and Montgomery County schools publications.

She was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the Cincinnati, the National Society of Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Alpha Phi social sorority. She had attended Navy Chapel in northwest Washington. Her hobbies included world travel.

Her husband, retired Navy Rear Adm. Kenneth Charles Hurd, died in 1977. Survivors include two sons, John K., of Bethesda, and retired Navy Capt. Robert C. Hurd of Alexandria; a grandson; and a great-grandson.

Donald Leon Geer

Army Colonel

Donald Leon Geer, 81, an Army colonel who retired in 1972 as executive officer in the office of the adjutant general of the Army, died Dec. 17 at Inova Alexandria Hospital after a heart attack.

Col. Geer, who lived in Annandale, was born in New London, Conn. He graduated from the University of Connecticut.

He began his Army career in 1941. For most of his military service, he was assigned in Washington, but he also had been posted in Korea and at other Army posts in the United States. While serving in the Army, he graduated from Harvard University business school. Since 1954, his home had been in the Washington area.

He was an enthusiast golfer and a member of the Army Navy Country Club.

Survivors include his wife, Eileen R. Geer of Annandale; one daughter, Pamela G. Hesseltine of Annandale; a sister, Caroline Geer Fairtile of Sun City West, Ariz.; and a grandson.

Kay Heffernan Towers


Kay Heffernan Towers, 64, a volunteer who had served on the Board of Lady Visitors of the Children's National Medical Center, died of cancer Dec. 21 at her home in Bethesda.

Mrs. Towers had helped raise money for the children's medical center through the Washington Antiques Show and the Thrift Shop. She also had done volunteer work for the National Cathedral Flower Mart, the Junior Goodwill and Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. She was a member of the Junior League.

She was born in New York and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College.

In 1958, she moved to the Washington area.

Mrs. Towers was a member of the Washington Women's Republican Club, the Chevy Chase Club, the Columbia Country Club and the Sulgrave Club. She was an avid tennis player.

She was a eucharistic minister at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac, and in this capacity she visited homebound elderly persons. She also was a eucharistic minister at Church of St. Peter's by the Sea in Manset, Maine, where she had a summer home.

Survivors include her husband of 42 years, Frederic Close Towers of Bethesda; and three sisters, Emily Leonard of New York, Shelagh O'Neill of Hartford, Conn., and Sherry Gaull of Washington.

A son, Frederic Close Towers Jr., died in 1979.

Mary Catherine McCormick Lynch


Mary Catherine McCormick Lynch, 88, a teacher and director of the nursery school of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, died of heart ailments Dec. 10 at Suburban Hospital.

Mrs. Lynch, a resident of Bethesda, was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa and became a social worker. She moved to the Washington area in 1942.

From 1956 to 1966, Mrs. Lynch was a teacher and director at the JCC nursery school. In retirement, she volunteered with the Meals on Wheels program.

Survivors include her husband of 63 years, Raymond J. Lynch, a retired member of the Federal Trade Commission, of Bethesda; three daughters, Mary Rae Costabile of Chevy Chase, Holly Hasman of Bethesda and Anne Gagen of Ladue, Mo; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Charles Thomas Gillespie

FBI Agent

Charles Thomas Gillespie, 78, an FBI agent who retired in 1977 after 27 years of service with the bureau, died of cancer Dec. 21 at Casey House Hospice in Rockville.

Mr. Gillespie, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in Lawrence, Mass. During World War II, he served in the Marine Corps, and he participated in combat operations at Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima, where he was awarded a Bronze Star.

He graduated from Boston College in 1949 and in 1950 began his career with the FBI.

He worked in the accounting and fraud division, serving as a street agent in Seattle and San Diego and in supervisory positions in New York and Boston. In 1959, he was assigned in Washington as a supervisor.

After retiring from the FBI, he worked in Boston as chief accountant for the Medicaid Fraud Unit of the office of the Massachusetts attorney general until his final retirement in 1985, at which time he returned to the Washington area.

His avocations included gardening, travel and golf.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Roberta Paula Gillespie of Silver Spring; four children, Thomas Daniel Gillespie of Olney, Paula Marie Gillespie of Kent Island, Md., Jacquelyn Gillespie Ryan of Darnestown and Mark Charles Gillespie of New York.

Dennis C. Walker

Secret Service Agent

Dennis C. Walker, 56, a former Secret Service agent and deputy U.S. marshal who was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, died Dec. 18 at the Veterans Affairs Hospital after a heart attack.

Mr. Walker, a native of Brooklyn, lived in Washington. After serving in the Army, he worked in Washington with the Secret Service in the 1970s and was a deputy U.S. marshal in Washington in the early 1980s. He then tended bar at such Washington establishments as Steven's on Capitol Hill and The Guards in Georgetown until retiring because of spinal arthritis in 1990.

His marriage to Ruth Goldberg ended in divorce.

Survivors include his companion, Deborah Dietrich of Washington; a daughter, Kate Walker of Houston; a brother; and a sister.

Florence Keys Willard


Florence Keys Willard, 92, who had been a volunteer with the Founders Committee of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, the Junior League of Washington and the Women's Committee of the National Symphony, died of heart ailments Dec. 6 at her home in Washington.

Mrs. Willard was born in Washington. She attended Holton-Arms School and graduated from Smith College.

She was a member of the D.C. chapter of the Colonial Dames of America, the Sulgrave Club, the City Tavern Club and the Chevy Chase Club.

Her husband of 62 years, William B. Willard, predeceased her.

Survivors include three children, Helen Willard Chapin of Manchester, Vt., Amie Willard Block of Washington and retired Army Lt. Col. William B. Willard Jr. of Garmish, Germany; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Willard Stratton


Willard Stratton, 84, a former mathematics teacher at Mount Vernon High School, died of kidney failure Dec. 21 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital.

Mr. Stratton, who lived in Alexandria, was born in Pikeville, Ky. He graduated from Morehead State College in Kentucky and received a master's degree in education from the University of Kentucky. During World War II, he served in the Navy.

He was a teacher in the public schools of Pike County, Ky., for 11 years before moving to this area and joining the faculty at Mount Vernon High in 1957. He retired there in 1980.

He was a member of the Virginia and the National Education associations.

Survivors include his wife, Mabel B. Stratton of Alexandria; four children, Elaine Neal of Hague, Va., Judy Starr of Richmond, Mark Stratton of Washington and Tim Stratton of Annandale; two brothers; two sisters; and eight grandchildren.

Fannie H. Smith

Labor Department Supervisor

Fannie H. Smith, 87, who retired in 1972 as a supervisor of addressing equipment at the Department of Labor, died Dec. 8 at a hospital in Berlin after a heart attack. A resident of Washington, she was visiting a granddaughter when she was stricken.

Mrs. Smith was born in Abbeville, S.C., and moved to this area as a child. She attended Parke Gray High School in Alexandria.

She began her career at the Labor Department in 1944. Earlier, she had worked for brief periods at Allies Inn in Washington and at Fort Belvoir.

She was active in Roberts Memorial United Methodist Church in Alexandria, where she was chairman of the staff-parish relations committee, health and welfare coordinator and a member of several other church committees.

In October of this year, she was honored at the church in a program of Tributes to Living Legends.

Her marriage to Edgar B. McGee ended in divorce, and her second husband, Clarence D. Smith, died in 1991 after a marriage of 40 years.

Survivors include three children from her first marriage, Edgar B. McGee and Francis McGee, both of Washington, and Lucretia M. Mundy of Silver Spring; a brother, J.K. Jackson of Washington; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Fay Leora Bowman LeBeau

Economist, Science Teacher

Fay Leora Bowman LeBeau, 96, a longtime Arlington resident who was an economist in the Agriculture Department's Bureau of Home Economics during World War II, died Dec. 4 at Royal Haven Rest Home in Front Royal, Va. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. LeBeau was born in Ada, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio State University and received a master's degree in economics from Cornell University.

She taught in rural schools and at the Hampton (Va.) Institute, before coming to Arlington in 1937. She lived there for 45 years, serving in civic organizations and working various jobs.

She sold real estate in the 1960s and taught general science to soldiers at Fort Myer in the early 1960s. She sang in the National Lutheran Chorus and ran a kindergarten program at Faith Lutheran Church in Arlington.

She was a past member of Clarendon Methodist Church in Arlington, a Girl Scout troop leader and past president of the Women's Club of Ashton Heights in Arlington.

Her husband, Dr. Oscar Ray LeBeau, died in 1967.

Survivors include three children, Anne LeBeau McCarty of North Bend, Wash., Joan LeBeau Anderson of Arlington and Dr. Martin Eldon LeBeau of New London, N.H.; and five grandchildren.

Charles Beckler Soule


Charles Beckler Soule, 81, a retired architect who specialized in commercial properties in Montgomery County and also designed a number of firehouses for the county, died Dec. 17 at a hospital in Libertyville, Ill. He had Alzheimer's disease.

A former Bethesda resident, Mr. Soule was a native of Winnetka, Ill. He received a degree in architecture from Cornell University. During World War II, he served in the Navy and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander as a photo intelligence officer in the Pacific. In 1946, he moved to the Washington area and established an architecture practice. He was a partner in the firm of Bagley, Soule & Lee in Chevy Chase at the time he retired about 1980.

Mr. Soule was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a founder of the organization's Potomac Valley chapter. He also was a member of the Congressional Country Club, where he was known as an avid golfer, the Kiwanis Club, a barbershop quartet group and All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase. In 1998, following the death of his wife, Patricia Soule, he moved to Lincolnshire, Ill.

Survivors include three children, Christopher Soule of Western Springs, Ill., Michele Soule of Gaithersburg and Lindsay Soule of Arlington; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren

Bruce 'Dirk' Dunbar

Business Owner

Bruce "Dirk" Dunbar, 49, a heating and air conditioning engineer who owned and operated A/C Dunbar residential heating and cooling, died of liver cancer Dec. 20 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia.

Mr. Dunbar, who lived in Manassas, was born Dirk James Agersborg in Washington. He graduated from Fairfax County's Fort Hunt High School in 1969.

He worked in residential construction and in a family real estate investment business, then took Virginia's apprenticeship program in heating and air conditioning engineering administered by the Fairfax County schools.

In 1993, he was certified as a heating and air conditioning engineer and in 1994 was certified as a master engineer. Since then he had operated A/C Dunbar, and he also taught heating and air conditioning in the Virginia apprenticeship program.

Survivors include his companion, Sandra Selby of Manassas; two children of Laurie Hayden, a former common-law wife, Shane Dunbar of Chicago and Jannah Dunbar of Arlington; his father and stepmother, James and Barbara Agersborg of Fairfax; his mother and stepfather, Joy and Ronald Houghton of Occoquan; a sister, Kim Gerhardt of Yucca Valley, Calif.; a half sister, Sally Agersborg of Charlottesville; and a half brother, Lance Houghton of Occoquan.

Clifford E. Herrin

Air Force Major

Clifford E. Herrin, 69, a retired Air Force major who later taught school in Alexandria, died Dec. 19 at his winter home in Leesburg, Fla., after a heart attack.

From 1976 to 1988, he taught mathematics at Glasgow Middle School in Alexandria. In 1987, he received an award for outstanding leadership and guidance from school administrators.

Maj. Herrin served 21 years in the Air Force, including duty in the Korean War and the Vietnam War and in Japan and the Philippines. For much of his career, he was a meteorologist and education officer. He settled in the Washington area in 1965 and retired from active duty in 1974.

He was a member of the National Education Association, Fairfax Education Association and Retired Officers Association and president of the Pepperdine Drive Chowder & Marching Society.

A resident of Vienna, he was born in Hammond, Ind. He graduated from Truman University in Missouri.

Survivors include his wife Shirley Herrin, two children, Sheryl Simeck and Cameron Herrin, and two grandchildren, all of Vienna.

Jasper Clemente

Labor Department Official

Jasper Clemente, 84, who worked for the Labor Department for 25 years before retiring in 1985 as an international program officer, died Dec. 13 at St. Mary's Hospital in Leonardtown, after a heart attack. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Clemente, who lived in Potomac, was born in Akron, Ohio. He was an Army combat engineer in the Mediterranean during World War II. A 1952 business administration graduate of the University of Akron, he also studied at the Sorbonne and Oxford University. Before coming to Washington and joining the Labor Department, he had worked for Quaker Oats in Ohio.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Genevieve, of Potomac; two daughters, Margaret-Ann Clemente of Half Moon Bay, Calif., and Bernadette Clemente of Vienna; a brother; and a sister.