Marion 'Midge' Meyer

Former Area Resident

Marion Wiles "Midge" Meyer, 72, who was born in Washington and grew up in Alexandria, where she graduated from George Washington High School, died Dec. 10 at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center after a stroke. She lived in Lutherville, Md.

Mrs. Meyer, a 1952 home economics graduate of what is now Radford University, left the Washington area after college. In Baltimore County, she held a variety of full and part-time jobs, including work as a substitute teacher, a teachers aide and an administrative assistant.

Survivors include her husband of 50 years, Charles B. "Burt" Meyer Jr. of Lutherville; three children, Ronald Bruce Meyer of Bethesda, Jeffrey David Meyer of Sykesville and V. Lynn Meyer of Arbutus; a sister; and two grandchildren.

Eleanor Lanier Waldrop


Eleanor Lanier Waldrop, 96, a volunteer for the Washington Thrift Shop Charities in the 1950s who directed their annual antiques show benefit, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 12 at the Arden Courts nursing home in Annandale.

She had lived in Washington since the 1930s.

Mrs. Waldrop, a native of Winchester, Tenn., was an English graduate of Vanderbilt University.

As wife of the old Washington Times-Herald editor Frank C. Waldrop, she frequently played the role of Washington hostess, entertaining political figures and other leaders at their home.

She chaired the Washington National Cathedral flower mart, had been president of the local chapter of the Colonial Dames of America and had served on the altar guild at St. David's Episcopal Church in Washington, of which she was a member.

Her husband of 68 years died in 1997. Their daughter, Judith Lanier Waldrop, died in 2000.

Survivors include a son, Andrew, of Washington; five grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Joseph P. Goldberg

Labor Department Official

Joseph Philip Goldberg, 84, an expert in maritime labor relations and special assistant to the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1954 to 1986, died of cardiac arrest Dec. 4 at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville.

Dr. Goldberg, a Silver Spring resident, was the International Labor Organization's U.S. delegate to 22 maritime and labor conferences between 1956 and 1985.

He wrote "The Maritime Story," published by Harvard University Press in 1958, and was co-author of "The First Hundred Years of the Bureau of Labor Statistics" and other publications.

He was a recipient of Labor's Meritorious and Eminent service awards.

He was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a graduate of City College of New York. He received a master's and a doctorate in economics from Columbia University.

He settled in the Washington area in 1942 and did economics work for such agencies as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Wage Stabilization Board.

In retirement, he did volunteer work for the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Consumer Protection Agency.

His memberships included Temple Emanuel in Kensington.

His avocations included attending ballet and opera performances.

A daughter, Dr. Lise A. Goldberg, died in 1998.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Selma Takiff Goldberg of Silver Spring; a son, Dr. Seth M. Goldberg of Potomac; a sister; and two grandchildren.

Elizabeth O. McCutcheon

Kindergarten Teacher

Elizabeth O. McCutcheon, 89, a kindergarten teacher who taught at Gaithersburg Elementary school from 1951 until her retirement in 1973, died Dec. 11 at Shady Grove Hospital after a heart attack.

Mrs. McCutcheon was a native of West Virginia, where she graduated from Marshall University and spent 17 years as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse.

She came to the Washington area in 1949 and helped found the Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church. She retired to Port St. Lucie, Fla., in 1982 and then moved to the Asbury Methodist Home in 1996.

Her husband, Clark McCutcheon, former principal of Gaithersburg High School, died in 1999. A son, L.C. McCutcheon, died in November.

Survivors include a son, James McCutcheon of Gaithersburg; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Charles E. Rogers

Foreign Service Officer

Charles E. Rogers, 88, a retired Foreign Service officer who worked for the State Department from 1946 until retiring in 1965 as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in the Somali Republic, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 10 in a hospice in Branford, Conn. He lived in Guilford, Conn.

In addition to serving as deputy chief of mission, his overseas assignments had included tours at the U.S. embassy in Rome from 1955 to 1958, and then two years as consul general in Milan. After retiring from the State Department, he worked in Rome for the United Nations International Commission on European Migration and then owned and operated a ski resort in Italy before retiring again in 1975.

Mr. Rogers, a former District resident, was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and served with the Marine Corps in the Pacific during World War II. He was a 1937 graduate of Yale University, where he received master's degrees in international relations and history.

His wife of 58 years, Doris D. Rogers, died in 1996.

Survivors include a son, Stephen C., of Washington; a daughter, Constance Rogers Roosevelt of Brooklyn; a sister; and a grandson.

Walter Ellerbee

D.C. Detective

Walter Ellerbee, 58, a private investigator who was a retired D.C. police homicide detective, died of a brain tumor Dec. 10 at the Washington Home. He lived in the District.

Mr. Ellerbee, a Washington native, was a graduate of Cardozo High School. He served in the Army from 1962 to 1965, including a tour in South Korea. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service before joining the D.C. police in 1974. He worked as a uniformed officer and as an undercover officer before serving as a homicide detective from 1989 until retiring in 1994.

He became a private detective in 1995, working in the Washington area for law firms, insurance companies and private detective agencies. He worked on investigations involving former presidential intern Monica Lewinsky.

Mr. Ellerbee served on the Advisory Neighborhood Council for District 5C08. He was a Mason and a fan of the Washington Redskins football team.

Survivors include his wife, Celeste, whom he married in 1965, and a son, Walter Sean Ellerbee, both of Washington; his mother, Mary Brown of Summerton, S.C.; a brother, James, of Baltimore; a sister, Dianne Davis of District Heights; and three grandchildren.

Jeanne Marie Howe

Kindergarten Teacher

Jeanne Marie Howe, 69, a retired kindergarten teacher who taught in D.C. public schools, died of pneumonia Dec. 12 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She lived in Arlington.

Ms. Howe was a Philadelphia native who taught in New Jersey and Los Angeles and at an international school in The Hague before coming to Washington in 1970 to work in the Head Start program.

She spent six years on the faculty at Lafayette Elementary in Washington, from 1974 to 1980, and then taught at Stevens Elementary for six years.

Ms. Howe graduated from St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia and received a master's degree in elementary education from George Washington University.

In retirement, she was a children's reading and math tutor. She also volunteered as a English as second language instructor for adults.

She was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Arlington.

Survivors include her husband of 28 years, Michael McDonald of Arlington; three brothers; and a sister.

Raymond W. Sauer

Civil Engineer

Raymond Walter Sauer, 81, a civil engineer who retired in 1989 after 18 years as munitions branch chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, died of pancreatic cancer Dec. 13 at his home in Annandale.

Mr. Sauer was a native of Chicago and a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he also received a master's degree in civil engineering.

Before moving to the Washington area in 1971, he worked as a civil engineer for the Army Construction Engineer Research Laboratories in Champaign, Ill., and for space technology laboratories in California.

He was an usher at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Annandale. His hobbies included travel, solving crossword puzzles and a needlework technique called counted cross-stich.

His first wife, Lillian Sauer, died in 1984.

Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Mary Kay Sauer of Annandale; three children from his first marriage, Robert Sauer of Alexandria, William Sauer of Barbersville, Va., and Laura Turner of Oakton; a sister; and five grandchildren.

George Alvis Swearengen

Army Colonel

George Alvis Swearengen, 76, a retired Army colonel and former comptroller at Schnabel Engineering in Bethesda, died Dec. 9 at the Johnson Center of Falcon's Landing. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Col. Swearengen, who was born in Oakland, Miss., graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1948. He received a master's degree in business administration from the University of Alabama and a master's degree in systems administration from George Washington University.

He began his military career with the 16th Infantry Regiment in Nuremberg, Germany, from 1949 to 1952. He then served as an ROTC instructor at the University of Denver, followed by an assignment in South Korea. In 1968 and 1969, he served in Vietnam as an adviser.

In Washington, he twice served at the Pentagon, first in the office of the assistant chief of staff for intelligence and later in the office of an assistant secretary of defense.

He retired from active military duty in 1972, settled in Arlington and worked about 15 years for Schnabel Engineering before retiring again in 1993.

His military decorations included a Legion of Merit.

A daughter, Susan Powell, died in 1994.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Imogene Swearengen of Arlington; a daughter, Phyllis Swearengen of Durham, N.C.; a brother; a granddaughter; and two great-grandchildren.

Carrie W. Thayer


Carrie Thayer, 95, a longtime Washington resident who retired in the mid-1960s after about 30 years as a private duty nurse, died of cerebrovascular disease Dec. 11 at the Methodist Home in Washington.

Mrs. Thayer was a native of Farmville, Va. She was a 1931 graduate of the nursing school of the old Garfield Memorial Hospital in Washington and worked at the hospital in the 1930s. She then moved to private duty, working as an in-home nurse and for patients at Garfield, Sibley Memorial Hospital and the Washington Hospital Center.

She was a member of Eldbrooke United Methodist Church in Washington.

Her husband of 54 years, Herman Thayer, died in 1996, and a son, Russell Thayer, died in 2001.

Survivors include two daughters, Janice Derrick of Clarion, Pa., and Rebecca Sandifer of Columbia, S.C.; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Patricia L. King

Advertising Copywriter

Patricia L. King, 77, a retired advertising copywriter and community volunteer, died of cardiopulmonary failure Dec. 12 at Laurel Regional Hospital.

Mrs. King, who lived in Laurel for the past 35 years, was a native Washingtonian who graduated from Western High School and attended St. Mary's College in St. Mary's City, Md. During World War II, she served as a Red Cross nurse's aide at Camp Buttner in North Carolina. In the 1960s, she wrote ads for Woodward and Lothrop, Hecht's and Raleigh's stores. She did similar work for Giant Food in the 1970s.

She was a volunteer patient assistant at Laurel Regional Hospital and was an active supporter of the Humane Society.

Survivors include her husband of 50 years, Reese King of Laurel; four children, Tara Hamilton of Washington, Sean King of Lisbon, Kimberly King of Baltimore and Christopher King of Boynton Beach, Fla.; and six grandchildren.

Herman V. Cottony

Radio Engineer

Herman V. Cottony, 93, a radio engineer with the federal government for 36 years, died of pneumonia Nov. 19 at Inova Cameron Glen Care Center in Reston. He lived in Bethesda.

He joined the Commerce Department in 1937 and soon joined the National Bureau of Standards. In 1954, he transferred with the NBS to Boulder, Colo., where he served as radio antenna research chief before retiring to the Washington area in 1973.

Mr. Cottony, who was born in Russia, came to the United States and settled in New York in 1923. He received two engineering degrees from Cooper Union and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University. He was an Army veteran of World War II.

He was a fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, where he also chaired the antenna committee.

His wife of 45 years, Lillian, died in 1986.

Survivors include two daughters, Elizabeth Liagin of Chevy Chase and Margaret Fisher of Great Falls, Va.; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.

John 'Flash' Gordon

FBI Agent

John Charles "Flash" Gordon, 82, who worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation 30 years before retiring in 1977 as a special agent and criminal investigative division unit chief, died Dec. 5 at his home in Annandale. He had cancer.

Mr. Gordon had supervisory roles in investigating the cases of three slain civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964 as well as the 1973 standoff with members of the American Indian Movement in South Dakota and the related 1975 killing of two FBI agents in South Dakota.

He was an accredited American Kennel Club licensed field trial judge for beagles and once gave FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover a beagle to present to President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In retirement, he gave tours of the FBI Academy in Quantico and was active in his neighborhood watch program in Annandale.

He was born in Pittsburgh, where he graduated from Duquesne University. He served in the Army in Europe during World War II and participated in the Battle of the Bulge.

His memberships included Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Barbara Goshorn Gordon of Annandale; three children, David C. Gordon of Roanoke, Jacqueline M. Gordon of Vienna and Garry R. Gordon of Mount Sidney, Va.; four sisters, Ruth Thomas of Annandale, Rita Batts of Columbus, Ohio, Jean Mayer of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Martha Dorsey of Pittsburgh; and five grandchildren.