Alan W. Baldwin

Navy Scientist

Alan Wilbur Baldwin, 86, a Navy Department civilian from the early 1950s to 1972, who retired as an electronic scientist, died Feb. 21 at Northern Virginia Community Hospital. He had pneumonia.

Early in his Navy career, Mr. Baldwin did electronic engineering work on land mines at the Naval Ordnance Lab at White Oak.

He worked at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington from 1954 to 1972. Among his patents was one for a device called "Depth of Flash," co-invented with NRL colleague Henry Birmingham. The device, a color-coded system located on the ground, helped pilots make safer landings by signaling how the plane was approaching the runway.

He was born in Media, Pa., and grew up in Iowa City. He was a 1938 electrical engineering graduate of the University of Iowa and served in the Army Signal Corps in England during World War II.

He collected and repaired clocks and was an aficionado of vintage cars and motorcycles.

He lived in Arlington.

His marriage to Maryanne Baldwin ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Anne Fore Berry Baldwin of Arlington; two daughters from his second marriage, Joette Baldwin and Roanne Baldwin, both of Arlington; and a sister.

Thomas Raymond Simpson

Corporate Secretary

Thomas Raymond Simpson, 81, a corporate secretary of the Waldorf-based Pargas propane gas distributors who retired in 1986, died of respiratory failure Feb. 22 at Civista Medical Center in La Plata.

Mr. Simpson was born in Bel Alton, Md. For the last 53 years, he had lived in Waldorf.

He graduated from La Plata High School in 1938 and worked at the Naval Propellant Plant in Indian Head before World War II. During the war, he served in the Army Air Forces.

After the war, he worked briefly for the Norfolk and Washington Steamship Line, then began his career with Parlett Gas Co., which later became Pargas Inc.

Mr. Simpson was a life/honorary member of the Dr. John Henry Griffin Council, Knights of Columbus; a member of the American Legion Post Harry White Wilmer and a 26-year member of the Waldorf Lions Club. He was active in the Boy Scouts and a trustee of Physicians Memorial Hospital in La Plata. He was an avid golfer and past member of Robin Dale and Hawthorne country clubs.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Joyce Bean Simpson of Waldorf; four children, Thomas Raymond Simpson Jr. of Port Tobacco, John A. Simpson of Millersville, Patricia S. Arata of Alexandria and Suzanne S. Horkey of Waldorf; a brother, Andrew Carroll Simpson of La Plata; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

John C. Kirby

Government Public Affairs Official

John Charles Kirby, 82, a Defense Department public affairs official from the 1960s to 1981 who retired from the office of the secretary of defense, died of cancer Feb. 22 at his home in Alexandria.

Mr. Kirby did public affairs work for the Navy Department in the late 1940s and for the Office of Civil Defense, a predecessor agency of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in the 1950s.

He was a native Washingtonian and a graduate of St. Paul's Academy. He was a 1942 journalism graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he was a brassman in the marching band.

He served in the Army in Europe during World War II.

He was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Sarah Harris "Sally" Kirby of Alexandria; four children, Anne Kirby of Arlington, Jack Kirby of Warrenton, Stephen Kirby of Memphis and Jane Kirby Chopko of Alexandria; two sisters, Irene Logan and Mary Murphy, both of Silver Spring; and eight grandchildren.

Benjamin Louis Newton Hayes


Benjamin Louis Newton Hayes, 86, who was a firefighter at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington from the 1940s until retiring in 1972 as a captain, died of cancer Feb. 24 at his home in Bryans Road.

Mr. Hayes, a native of Seat Pleasant, had lived in Bryans Road since 1957.

During World War II, he served in the Coast Guard in the Pacific.

He was a charter member of the Bryans Road Volunteer Fire Department.

He also was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

His wife of 41 years, Marjorie Elizabeth Quinn Hayes, died in 1985. Their son Richard was killed in fighting in Vietnam in 1967.

Survivors include five daughters, Marjorie Buchanan of Pisgah, Md.; Susan Marie Hayes of Nanjemoy, Marilyn Martin of Atlantic, Va., and Carol Ann Ridner and Teresa Mead, both of Indian Head; four sons, Benjamin of Port Charlotte, Fla., Edward of Bryans Road and Robert and Kenneth, both of Nanjemoy; 14 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Goetna Goode Ames


Goetna Goode Ames, 82, who did secretarial work from 1948 to 1985 at what is now the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, died Feb. 25 at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a stroke.

Mrs. Ames, a Washington resident, did volunteer work at such places as the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, the National Geographic Society and the Washington Home.

She was born in Gadsden, Ala., and attended the Alabama College for Women.

She moved to the Washington area in 1939 and spent about a year doing secretarial work for Rep. Joe Starnes (D-Ala.).

Her marriage to Allan M. Ames ended in divorce.

Survivors include a daughter, Adrienne Ames of Nashville; and a sister.

Genevieve Deane Skelly

Eastern Star Leader

Genevieve Deane Skelly, 84, a District resident for more than 60 years, died of pulmonary disease Feb. 24 at the Methodist Home in Washington.

Mrs. Skelly was a former matron of the Friendship chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star and a member of the Janney School PTA and Eldbrooke United Methodist Church in Washington.

She was born in Elkton, Va., moved to Washington in 1932 and attended Western High School. She graduated from high school in McGaheysville, Va., then returned to Washington and attended the Washington School for Secretaries.

In 1941, she married Jesse Willard Skelly. He died in 1990.

Survivors include three children, Nancy Lee Herndon of Montgomery Village, Jerry Carter Skelly of Alexandria and Miranda Skelly Delmerico of Winchester; eight grandchildren; and a great-grandson.