John E. Downs


John E. "Jack" Downs, 90, a freelance writer and public relations specialist in Washington since the 1960s, died of complications from a neurological ailment Nov. 27 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Downs, an Indiana native, was a journalism graduate of Northwestern University.

He served in the Army in North Africa and Europe during World War II and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He also wrote freelance battlefield reports for Stars and Stripes.

In the 1940s and 1950s, he wrote a column for the Chicago American and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune.

Mr. Downs, who frequently judged dog and horse shows, wrote on the subjects for publications that included The Washington Post, the Washington Star, Field & Stream and Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

In the 1970s, he was a public relations consultant to the National Park Service. He later formed a public relations firm, Downs & Co.

He had lived in Washington since the 1960s and kept a residence in Warren County, Va.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Maria Downs of Washington.

Robert N. Zaza

Metro Police Official

Robert N. Zaza, 70, a retired deputy chief of the Metro Transit Police and a former Army criminal investigator, died Nov. 14 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after a heart attack.

Mr. Zaza retired from the Army in 1974 as a chief warrant officer, then joined Metro's police force as a captain of detectives. He retired in 1996 as one of three deputy chiefs.

He was a resident of Waldorf. He was born in New York and began his Army career in 1947.

In the Army, he served in Korea and Italy and at posts in the United States.

From 1969 until he retired from military service, he was posted in Washington and at Fort Myer with the Army's Criminal Investigation Division headquarters. His military decorations included a Bronze Star.

His wife of 40 years, Pauline Nadeau Zaza, died in 1994.

Survivors include three children, Catherine M. Trinidad of Mechanicsville, Md., Michael P. Zaza of Worcester, Mass., and David F. Zaza of Amherst, Mass.; a brother, Frank Zaza of Arlington; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Dorothy Davis Shames

DIA Employee

Dorothy Davis Shames, 80, who worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency for about 20 years before retiring in the early 1980s as an administrative assistant, died of cancer Dec. 10 at her home in Springfield.

Mrs. Shames, who came to the Washington area in 1958, was born in Evanston, Ill. She attended Ohio State University.

Her husband, Joseph Patrick Shames, died in 1997.

Survivors include a son, Daniel O'Neill Shames of Williamsburg; two daughters, Marilou Shames Giacofci of Haymarket and Virginia L. Shames of Springfield; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Don D. Olmstead

FCC Lawyer

Don D. Olmstead, 72, a lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission from 1960 until retiring in 1985, died of emphysema Dec. 9 at his home in Fairfax County.

He had lived in the Washington area since the 1960s and in Alexandria since 1977.

Mr. Olmstead, a native of Des Moines, received a bachelor's degree and a law degree from the University of Iowa.

He served in the Army in the 1950s.

He was a member of Westwood Country Club and was on a course-ranking panel for Golf Digest magazine.

His marriage to Kathleen Olmstead ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons, Michael, of Haymarket, and Mark, of Virginia Beach; a sister; a brother; and two grandsons.

Evelyn Gillers


Evelyn Gillers, 90, a teacher at Aspen Hill Elementary School in Silver Spring from the 1960s to the 1980s, died of a lung ailment Dec. 5 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Gillers, who had lived in Silver Spring since 1955, was a New York native and a graduate of Hunter College.

Her husband, Benjamin Gillers, whom she married in the 1930s, died in 1977.

Survivors include a son, Jeffrey, of New York; and three granddaughters.