Chris Bezantakos


Chris Bezantakos, 83, a retired wine, liquor and beer salesman who was former co-owner of the Garden Restaurant in Washington, died Feb. 21 at a nursing home in Pembroke Pines, Fla. He had dementia.

Mr. Bezantakos, who also used Baker as his last name during his career, was born in Saco, Maine, and raised in Washington. He entered the Army during World War II and served as a medic. He took part in the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.

After the war, he returned to Washington, where he and his brother, Louis Bezantakos, owned and operated the Garden Restaurant on 16th Street NW, for about five years until 1951.

He went to work for alcohol distributors, including Forman Brothers, the House of Wines and the American Sales Distributing Co. He retired in the early 1980s and moved to Florida a few years later.

He was past commodore of the National Potomac Yacht Club and a founder and past president of the Washington chapter of the German Wine Society.

Survivors include a brother, John Baker of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and two sisters, Fotula Bezantakos of Hallandale, Fla., and Penny Chipouras of Silver Spring.

Joanna Taylor

Service Manager

Joanna Taylor, 78, a former service manager and gift-wrap coordinator at Woodward & Lothrop and a mail order specialist at the Smithsonian Institution, died of congestive heart failure Feb. 21 at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Mrs. Taylor, who lived in Alexandria, was born in Cheyenne, Wyo. She had lived in this area for 45 years.

From 1960 to about 1985, she worked at Woodward & Lothrop and the Smithsonian.

Her husband, retired Air Force Col. Joseph T. Taylor, died in 1986.

Survivors include two daughters, Kathleen McCuistion of Purcellville and Jamie McLaughlin of Alexandria; a sister; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Irena Prochotsky

Ballet Teacher

Irena Prochotsky, 61, a ballet teacher and choreographer who with her husband founded the Prochotsky Ballet Center and the Prochotsky Ballet Theatre in Bethesda, died March 5 of ovarian cancer at Inova Commonwealth Care Center in Fairfax.

Mrs. Prochotsky, a resident of Columbia, was born in Klagenfurt, Austria. She graduated as a ballet dancer from the State Conservatory in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Until coming to the United States in 1969, she was a member of the National Ballet Theatre.

She settled in the Washington area upon arriving in this country and in 1970, with her then-husband, Karol Prochotsky, co-founded the Prochotsky Ballet Center and later the Prochotsky Ballet Theatre. The theater troupe performed a variety of ballets in the metropolitan area and was especially known for its version of the Nutcracker, choreographed by Mrs. Prochotsky.

Her ballet students won scholarships to several top schools in the country, and some of them became members of professional ballet companies.

Her 25-year marriage to Karol Prochotsky ended in divorce.

Survivors include a daughter, Andrea Mitchell of Annapolis; and her mother, Alzbeta Pepichova of Vienna.

Henrietta Priscilla Talbott

Office Worker

Henrietta Priscilla Talbott, 87, a federal office worker who retired from the Department of Commerce in 1981, died of congestive heart failure and cancer March 15 at her home in Washington.

Ms. Talbott was a lifelong Washingtonian. She graduated from Georgetown Visitation Convent and its junior college, and she was a novitiate with the Order of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, but she withdrew before taking her final vows.

During World War II, she served in the Army as a liaison officer with the Office of Strategic Services in North Africa and France.

After the war, she was an assistant in various federal offices, mostly the Department of Commerce, until retiring.

She was a founding member of the Catholic Church of the Annunciation in Washington and was active in the Sodality of Mary. She also volunteered with Meals on Wheels. Her hobbies included writing, painting and traveling the world.

There are no immediate survivors.