Janice Phillips Gentry
Janice Leona Phillips Gentry, 54, who spent the past decade as coordinator of adult education programs for Arlington County schools, died Jan. 30 at her home in Fairfax. She had cancer.
Mrs. Gentry was a Baltimore native and attended George Mason University. She accompanied her husband on his military assignments before settling in the Washington area in 1985.
She was an administrative assistant at George Mason's principal assessment center until 1993.
Survivors include her husband of 34 years, retired Army Lt. Col. Lee Gentry of Fairfax; three children, Landon W. Gentry of Scotts Valley, Calif., Scott A. Gentry of Denver and Erin L. Gentry of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; her parents, Paul and Bertha Phillips of Baltimore; two brothers, Thomas Phillips of Sparks, Md., and Stephen Phillips of Belcamp, Md.; and two sisters, Ruth Jordan of Baltimore and Beverly Phillips of Belcamp.
Olivia Berryman Johnson
Electoral Board Chairman
Olivia Berryman Johnson, 88, who was chairman of the Prince William County Electoral Board from 1987 to 1993, died Jan. 29 of a stroke at Blue Ridge Christian Home in Bealeton.
She was born and raised on a farm outside Nokesville, and she returned to live there in 1963.
She was a 1932 graduate of Brentsville District High School and attended Strayer Business College.
In the 1930s, she worked as a secretary for a Washington law firm and for the Works Progress Administration. She was a Red Cross volunteer during World War II.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Mrs. Johnson was a substitute postal clerk in the Nokesville and Bristow post offices.
Mrs. Johnson was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church in the Aden community of Prince William. She was a volunteer with the Republican Party, the American Heart Association and the Nokesville library.
She was a competitor in the Senior Olympics.
Her husband, Reverdy Johnson, died in 1976.
Survivors include two daughters, Carolyn Prillaman of Amelia, Va., and Virginia Johnson of Nokesville; a son, Reverdy G. Johnson of Fairfax County; and two sisters.
Earle Leslie Vail
Teacher and Farmer
Earle Leslie Vail, 94, a former D.C. public school teacher who from 1951 until 1996 operated a farm near Boyds, died of dementia Jan. 29 at Wilson Health Care Center in Gaithersburg.
Mr. Vail, who lived in Asbury Methodist Village, was born in Rileyville, Pa., and graduated in 1929 from Gettysburg College. He received a master's degree in history from the University of Pittsburgh. From 1929 to 1937, he taught school in Bruin, Pa.
He moved to Washington in 1937 and joined the D.C. public schools. He was assigned to McKinley High School, where he coached the debate team to citywide honors; Capitol Page High, where he advised the student newspaper; and Coolidge High, where he was the yearbook adviser. He retired in 1970.
He was an elder of Eckington Presbyterian Church in Washington and later Boyds Presbyterian Church, where he was also clerk of session for 22 years, superintendent of the Sunday school and chairman of the campaign for construction of the Christian Education Building.
Mr. Vail was active in the Boyds Civic Association and the Seneca Creek Watershed Association. For many years, he helped prepare tax returns for the elderly.
In 1996, he moved from his farm to Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg.
Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Aida Elizabeth Vail of Gaithersburg; four children, Vernon Vail of Clarksburg, Keith Vail of Boyds, Roger Vail of Columbia and Janet Vail of Boyds; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
William Robert Phillips
William Robert Phillips, 80, an insurance executive who owned and operated Phillips Insurance Agency in Washington for 30 years, died Jan. 29 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital after a stroke.
Mr. Phillips, who lived in Rockville, was born in Stillwater, N.J. He attended Boston College and Maryknoll Seminary for undergraduate study and received a master's degree in education from Boston College. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War.
In the late 1950s, Mr. Phillips moved to the Washington area from Florida. He opened Phillips Insurance shortly thereafter and retired in the 1980s.
Mr. Phillips served on the Greenbelt City Council in the 1960s and in 1974 was the Republican nominee for D.C. delegate to Congress. He did volunteer work with the Friendship Lions Club.
He was a member of St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Rockville.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara Roche Phillips of Rockville; seven children, Caroline Rhodes of St. Paul, Minn., Mike Phillips of San Francisco, Mary Phillips Anders of Rockville, Catherine Walrod of Baldwin, Md., Matthew Phillips of Gaithersburg, Susan Fitzpatrick of Potomac and Greg Phillips of Takoma Park; and 14 grandchildren.
Helen 'Kimi' Harper
Editor, Development Officer
Helen "Kimi" Harper, 80, a longtime resident of Arlington who during the mid-1970s was a development officer with the National Recreation and Park Association there, died of lung cancer Jan. 24 at Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington.
Mrs. Harper was born in Boonville, Mo., and graduated from the University of Missouri journalism school.
She accompanied her husband, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth L. Harper, to duty stations in Florida, California, Hawaii and Midway Island. They settled in the Washington area in 1961. He died in 1978.
Mrs. Harper was a former president of Post Cana of Northern Virginia and former chairwoman of the Nine-Hole Women's Golf Association at the Army-Navy Country Club. Her avocations included bridge, ballroom dancing and genealogy.
Survivors include her companion, Ferdinand J. Schiavi of Arlington; a daughter, Joan Harper-Curran of Sterling; three stepchildren, Douglas Harper of Orem, Utah, Janet Flores of Mojave, Calif., and Gary Harper of California City, Calif.; and 12 grandchildren.
Edward J. Wilamowski
Edward J. Wilamowski, 85, the former athletic director at Sidwell Friends School, died Jan. 27 at a hospital in Naples, Fla. He had heart and lung ailments.
Mr. Wilamowski, who lived in Naples and Silver Spring, was born in Pittsburgh. He graduated from George Washington University, where he played football and baseball.
From the late 1940s until he retired in 1982, he coached a variety of sports at Sidwell, including football, baseball and golf, and served as athletic director.
He was an avid golfer and had been a director of Manor Country Club.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Dorothy McAtor Wilamowski of Silver Spring and Naples.