Grace 'Hike' Kaplan
Artist and Teacher
Grace "Hike" Kaplan, 93, a Washington artist and art educator, died Jan. 15 of pulmonary failure at Laurel Regional Hospital.
Mrs. Kaplan was born in Chicago. She studied at the Chicago Art Institute and graduated from Chicago Normal College. During the Depression, she was an artist with the Works Progress Administration and taught art at a tuberculosis sanitarium. She also taught in the Chicago public schools.
Since 1945, she had lived in Washington. She taught art in the D.C. public schools for about five years in the late 1940s.
She was best known as an abstract artist, and her work was exhibited in galleries in Washington and New York. She developed a watercolor technique by painting watercolors on metal. She was a member of the Washington Watercolor Society.
Her husband, Robert Kaplan, died in 1976.
Survivors include a sister, Harriet Perretz of Columbia.
William F. Peterson
William Frank Peterson, 80, a retired Air Force obstetrician-gynecologist who was chairman of the OB/GYN department at Washington Hospital Center from 1970 to 1992 and director of its women's clinic from 1971 to 1996, died Jan. 14 at his home in Colesville. He had cancer.
Dr. Peterson was often quoted as an authority on improving care for women seeking abortions. He said he much preferred watching children grow and playing a part in their healthy development but could not ignore the need to make abortions safer.
"I think abortion is a lousy answer to a terrible problem," he told The Washington Post in 1977. "But because it's a lousy answer doesn't mean you disregard it and throw it out."
He was born in Newark and attended Cornell University. He was a 1946 graduate of New York Medical College.
He joined what was then the Army Air Forces in 1943 and settled in the Washington area as an Air Force doctor in the early 1950s.
His final active-duty assignment, in 1970, was chief of OB/GYN at Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force. He retired at the rank of colonel. His decorations included the Legion of Merit.
His marriage to Peggy Peterson ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Mary Ann McGrath Peterson of Colesville; two children from the first marriage, Margaret Lee Sutch of Stamford, Conn., and E.C. "Ted" Peterson of Chevy Chase; a stepson, Joe Baldick of New City, N.Y.; a sister; a brother; and four granddaughters.
William H. Speck
William H. Speck, 84, a civilian lawyer for the Navy from 1952 until retiring in 1983, died Jan. 14 at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a heart attack.
He had lived in the Washington area since the late 1940s and in Rockville since the late 1950s.
Mr. Speck was born in Peoria, Ill., and raised in Lansing, Mich. He was a graduate of the University of Chicago and its law school. He served as an officer in the Navy aboard destroyers in the Pacific during World War II and participated in raids in the Marshall and Solomon Islands.
He was a lawyer in the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts from 1949 to 1952. With the Navy, he worked for what became the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. He became its chief counsel in 1973 and was responsible for legal work involving Navy real estate and public works. During this time, he wrote a column, "On Advice of Counsel," for the Navy Civil Engineer magazine.
He received the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 1983.
Mr. Speck was a member of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Association and helped in the restoration of the C&O Canal towpath.
He also helped to found a Washington area Great Books reading club.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Betty Speck of Bethesda; three daughters, Paula Speck of Silver Spring, Janet Speck of Washington and Mary Speck of Bethesda; and four grandchildren.
James Woodworth Evans
James Woodworth Evans, 87, who retired in the mid-1970s after 25 years as chief of medical illustration and photography at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, died Jan. 6 at Holy Cross Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in Kensington.
Mr. Evans, a native of Hanover Green, Pa., worked as a young man on South American voyages of Southern Cross Ocean Lines. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II, first with the aviation crew assigned to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plane, and later as a photographer in the Pacific and Europe.
His work included widely published photos of Army Gens. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and George S. Patton Jr. He continued as a civilian photographer for the Air Force after the war. A series of his photos of Alger Hiss was published in Life magazine.
Mr. Evans worked for the Glogau photo studio in Washington before joining Walter Reed.
His interests included collecting antique firearms and shooting competitions. He was president of the Gaithersburg chapter of the Izaak Walton League and an officer of the Potomac Arms Collectors organization. He was consulted by writers and lawyers as an expert in early black-powder shooting.
His wife, Anna M. Evans, died in 1990.
Survivors include three children, a sister and five grandchildren.
Ellen Emiko Tompkins
Ellen Emiko Tompkins, 74, a food preparer at the Mount Vernon Inn from 1985 to 2000, died Jan. 5 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She had cancer.
Mrs. Tompkins, who lived in Alexandria, was a native of Kyoto, Japan. She accompanied her husband to Army posts in Japan and the United States.
She was a member of the Alexandria chapter of Soka Gakkai International.
Survivors include her husband of 47 years, Charles G. Tompkins, a retired Army sergeant major, of Alexandria; a daughter, Barbara Tompkins of Alexandria; and a grandson.
Anna Margaret Race Short
Anna Margaret Race Short, 88, a member of Northwood Presbyterian Church in Silver Spring who had come to the Washington area in 1985 to live with a daughter in Silver Spring, died of sepsis Jan. 6 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.
For the past two years, she had lived at Collingswood Nursing Center in Rockville.
Mrs. Short lived in her native Michigan until 1970, when she retired to Lake Worth, Fla.
Her husband, Alfred Stanley Short, died in 1982.
Survivors include two daughters, the Rev. Mary Ann Short of Brooklyn, Conn., and Sally Short Busker of Silver Spring; and five grandchildren.