Benham Morriss

Defense Communications Official

Benham E. Morriss Jr., 74, who retired in 1993 as deputy manager of the National Communications System, a confederation of 23 agencies chaired by the Defense Department, died of cancer Aug. 2 at a Fort Myers, Fla., hospital. He had homes in Lake Ridge and Fort Myers.

Mr. Morriss headed the day-to-day operations of the telecommunications system for eight years and coordinated national emergency telecommunications planning.

He was chief technical negotiator for the emergency communications system known as the Moscow hot line.

Mr. Morriss was a native of Norfolk and an engineering honors graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. He served in the Army Reserve and received a master's degree in business from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At MIT, he worked in the digital computer facility that later became Lincoln Laboratory. He participated in the first demonstration of a vacuum-tube computer system known as Whirlwind, which displayed real-time text and graphics on a video terminal and used core memory.

His work at Lincoln Lab also included an innovative radar and computer network called SAGE, an integrated air defense command and control system.

Before moving to Washington in 1961, he worked on SAGE for System Development Corp. in Santa Monica, Calif. He joined the Defense Communications Agency as a government employee in 1962 and was deputy director for national military command systems.

He helped develop the military command and control network responsive to the president and secretary of defense.

His honors included the Distinguished Service and Meritorious Service medals.

He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Woodbridge and was the first president of Lake Barcroft Recreation Corp. He belonged to the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and Independent Telephone Pioneer Association.

Survivors include his wife, Ardis Morriss of Lake Ridge and Fort Myers; three children, James Morris of Hampton Falls, N.H., Thomas Morriss of Spartanburg, S.C., and Kristin Morriss of Fairfax; a sister, Virginia Morriss of Annandale; and seven grandchildren.

Joseph C. Rinaldi

Post Plant Manager

Joseph C. Rinaldi, 59, who worked for The Washington Post for nearly 40 years and retired in 2000 as assistant manager of its College Park plant, died Aug. 2 at George Washington University Hospital, after collapsing at the Washington home of his daughter. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Rinaldi, who lived in Rockville, was a native of Washington. He joined The Post as a printer's apprentice in 1961, after graduating from Wheaton High School.

He was later a composing room foreman, assistant general foreman and assistant manager of the Southeast plant.

He was assistant manager of production administration before being assigned to oversee construction of the College Park plant and installation of its new presses.

Mr. Rinaldi received The Post's highest employee honor, the Eugene Meyer Award, in 1999.

After he retired, he worked part time at the golf course of Indian Springs Country Club. His other interests included gardening.

He was a member of Catholic Shrine of St. Jude in Rockville and the board of Wheaton Woods Swimming Pool. He volunteered with the Boy Scouts and the Wheaton Boys and Girls Club.

Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Joan D. Rinaldi, and mother, Viola M. Rinaldi, both of Rockville; and two children, Frank W. Rinaldi and Laura N. Rinaldi, both of Washington.

Andre Dufresne

Army Sergeant

Andre Dufresne, 78, a veteran of the U.S. and Canadian armies who had served in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, died of lung disease July 31 at his home in Alexandria.

Mr. Dufresne was born in Montreal. As a soldier in the Canadian army, he participated in combat operations in Italy during World War II.

After the war, he immigrated to the United States, and in the early 1950s, he joined the U.S. Army. He received a Purple Heart while serving in the Korean War. Later, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He retired as a staff sergeant in 1972 and settled in the Washington area.

In retirement, he was a civilian guard at Arlington National Cemetery and a reception officer at Fort Myer.

Survivors include his wife, Marie, of Alexandria; and a daughter, Jill, of Silver Spring.

Dwight Elliott Smith

Parole Officer

Dwight Elliott Smith, 53, a former juvenile probation officer who had worked for the state of Maryland from 1971 to 1996 and then until 2001 for Fairfax County's Juvenile Justice Department, died of cancer July 31 at his home in Hyattsville.

Mr. Smith was born in New Hampshire and grew up in Hyattsville, graduating from Northwestern High School. He was a sociology graduate of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County.

He was a past president of the Maryland Criminal Justice Association and a member of the American Correctional Association. He was a past president of the Eastern Sunbathers Association and was a former lifeguard and swim instructor.

Survivors include his mother, H. Allyn Smith of Laconia, N.H.; and four brothers, Daniel, of Gilford, N.H., Timothy, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., Peter, of Cambridge, Ont., and Paul, of Bernardston, Mass.

Abdullah Malikyar


Abdullah Malikyar, 93, who served as the Afghan ambassador to the United States from 1967 to 1977, died Aug. 4 at Holy Cross Hospital. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Malikyar, a resident of Wheaton, was born in Ghazni, Afghanistan. He attended college in Afghanistan. He served as governor of Afghanistan's Heart province.

Later, he was Afghanistan's minister of communications, minister of finance, first deputy prime minister and ambassador to London and Tehran.

He settled in the United States in 1979 and in recent years had participated in efforts to publicize the conditions of the Afghan people under communist and Taliban rule.

His first wife, Khairia, died in 1940.

Survivors include his wife, Anisa, of Wheaton; two daughters from his first marriage, Gulalai Daoud and Laila Malikyar, both of Silver Spring; two daughters from his second marriage, Nadia Malikyar and Rokhshana Malikyar, both of Falls Church; four sons from his second marriage, Khalil and Najib, both of San Diego, and Obaid and Daoud, both of Arlington; a sister; and seven grandchildren.

Joseph Petes

Naval Ordnance Lab Official

Joseph Petes, 84, a physicist who worked at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory at White Oak from the 1940s until retiring in the late 1970s as a civilian senior scientist, died July 24 at Washington Hospital Center of complications from heart bypass surgery a month earlier. He was a Silver Spring resident.

Mr. Petes held such positions as supervisory physicist in the explosives effects division in the 1950s. In the 1960s and 1970s, he headed the air-ground division, which played a key role in developing simulation techniques and explosives after a moratorium on atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons was declared.

He retired as a specialist in experimental shock-wave hydrodynamics for nuclear and non-nuclear weapons as well as weapons effects and applications.

During his career, he wrote for numerous technical journals. His Navy awards included some for patented devices he developed at the lab.

He was a native of New York and a 1939 physics graduate of City College of New York. He did graduate work in mathematics and electronics at the University of Maryland.

He was a Navy veteran of World War II. He retired from the Naval Reserve as a commander in 1978.

He spent the last seven years doing volunteer work for the American Red Cross at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Helen Szalanczy Petes of Silver Spring; three children, Tom Petes of Chapel Hill, N.C., Linda Cawley of Hong Kong and Ginger Livingston of Columbia; a sister; and four granddaughters.

Mary V. Major

Office Manager

Mary V. Major, 53, who died in a car crash Aug. 4 in the Fair Oaks area, had been an office manager for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Reston since moving to Oakton four years ago.

Mrs. Major and her husband, Michael S. Major, 53, were driving home from services at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Vienna when their BMW station wagon was hit by a Toyota at Penderbrook Drive and West Ox Road.

The Toyota driver, Celso M. Escobar-Hernandez of Manassas, was charged with reckless driving, Fairfax County police said. Michael Major was treated for injuries and released.

Mrs. Major was a native of Peoria, Ill., who attended high school in Germany, where her father was stationed in the Army, and then was a novitiate for three years in the Dominican Order in Illinois.

After graduating from Northern Illinois University, she did work in toy development for Milton Bradley Co.

She was later customer relations manager for Toyota of Frankfort, Ky.

She was a member of the Frankfurt American High School Alumni Association, the wedding committee at St. Mark's and Concerned Women for America.

Her marriage to Paul Stany ended in divorce.

Survivors include her husband of four years, a high school classmate she met again in 1998 at an alumni association meeting; two children from her first marriage, Dr. Michael P. Stany, an Army captain from Columbia, and Army 2nd Lt. Martha Stany of Fort Polk, La.; two stepchildren, Army 1st Lt. Patrick Major of Bamburg, Germany, and Andrea Major of Fairfax; and three brothers.

Lawrence L. Hartwig

IMF Administrative Assistant

Lawrence Lee Hartwig, 52, an International Monetary Fund administrative assistant, died of cancer Aug. 5 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Hartwig was a native of Columbus, Ohio, and a 1972 communications graduate of Ohio State University.

He served in the Army in the mid-1970s and moved to the Washington area about that time.

He did technical engineering work at the Mutual Broadcasting System and Multicom before joining the IMF about a decade ago.

His memberships included the United Ostomy Association, a health support group, and he was co-chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Ostomates concerns committee.

Survivors include his father and stepmother, Harry and Betty Hartwig of Columbus; a sister; two stepbrothers; and two stepsisters.