Ruth Schenkel Baumann


Ruth Schenkel Baumann, 80, a Kensington resident who worked as a comptroller in her son's tree care business in Rockville from 1978 to 1996, died of breast cancer Sept. 15 at the National Naval Medical Center.

Mrs. Baumann was a native Washingtonian and graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. She attended Cedar Crest College in Allentown.

As a young woman, she trained in classical ballet and modern dance.

For 23 years until the early 1960s, she accompanied her husband, Kenneth Baumann, an Air Force officer who later retired as a lieutenant colonel, on his military assignments in France, Germany and elsewhere. They then settled in the Washington area, where Mrs. Baumann worked as an administrative assistant at CBS Realty in Bethesda before joining Baumann Tree Experts.

She was a member of the Corinthian Yacht Club in Ridge, Md.

In addition to her husband, of Kensington, survivors include three sons, Kenneth Baumann II of Atlanta, Stephen Baumann of Pittsburgh and Geoffrey Baumann of Rockville; and four grandchildren.

William S. Wright Jr.

City Recreation Worker

William S. "Bo" Wright Jr., 79, a city recreation worker, died of respiratory failure Sept. 21 at Manor Care in Chevy Chase.

A second-generation Washingtonian, Mr. Wright was educated in the city's public schools. In 1937 while he was in Powell Junior High, he was the District boys' duckpin bowling champion and placed third nationally. He graduated from Central High School, where he was on the 1943 city championship football team as a 135-pound center and linebacker. While in high school, he worked as the outdoor greeter at the Tivoli Theater on 14th Street, wearing a satin cape and visor cap. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and in his senior year was awarded the University of Michigan's Honor Trophy as the area's most outstanding high school student in scholarship, athletics and leadership.

Mr. Wright attended George Washington University and the University of Maryland, where he took courses in recreation administration.

In 1944, Mr. Wright joined the D.C. Department of Recreation, where he spent the next 36 years teaching woodshop, macrame and sports at city playgrounds and community centers.

He organized and ran weekly bowling programs for severely disabled children at the old Military Road School, volunteered with the city's Special Olympics and helped form the Retarded Citizens Group, which he directed for 24 years until his retirement in 1980. He also organized senior citizen groups at Turkey Thicket playground, Chevy Chase Community Center and Chevy Chase Baptist Church. He also coached the Blessed Sacrament Catholic School's fifth-grade basketball team in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Washington. In 2001, he received the CYO Monsignor Thomas B. Wade Award for service to youth of the archdiocese.

After retirement he was the starter at Falls Road Golf Course in Potomac.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Doris Wright of Washington.

Bert M. Tracy


Bert M. Tracy, 95, whose brother was killed in a turn-of-the-century Russian pogrom and who found a home building apartment houses in the nation's capital, died Sept. 13 of a heart attack at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Tracy was the youngest of nine siblings in a family that escaped from Kamenetz-Podolsk in Moldavia (on the borders of Ukraine and Romania) two years before his birth. The family changed its name from Tracovutsky at Ellis Island and settled in Philadelphia, where Mr. Tracy was born. He moved to Washington in 1923 and lived with his sister in the Adams Morgan neighborhood while he worked as a bookkeeper at his brother-in-law's garage and car dealership.

By 1930, Mr. Tracy was traveling the country as a personal assistant to another brother, who became one of the most popular singers of the 1930s: Arthur Tracy, the Street Singer.

In 1932, he turned to insurance sales and also worked for a year or two for the predecessor to the Federal Housing Administration, making $1,500 for the year. But by 1938, he married and found his life's work as a home builder. He built a home on Chesapeake Street, just west of Connecticut Avenue, where his family lived from 1948 to 1988.

He built single-family homes primarily, including two in the Barnaby Woods neighborhood of Washington in the late 1930s. His son said in a 1997 letter to the editor of The Washington Post that his father asked for $13,000 for each but was able to sell them for only $11,500 and $12,000. In the late 1990s, both were on the market for more than $400,000.

World War II interfered with Mr. Tracy's building business, and he was drafted into the Army at age 36, serving stateside.

In 1960, he began developing several downtown apartment buildings: the 10-story Meridian Towers, at the foot of Meridian Hill Park; the Virginian, at 22nd Street and Virginia Avenue; and the Concord, at 17th Street and New Hampshire Avenue. Influenced by his family's history, he made a point of hiring, selling and renting without regard to color, relatives said.

He was a member of the Adas Israel congregation in Washington, serving on the conservative Jewish synagogue's executive board and the Men's Club board. He also belonged to the Amity social club, the Freemasons, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Jewish War Veterans.

His wife of 43 years, Adele Ritzenberg Tracy, died in July.

Survivors include three sons, Robert, of Washington, and Michael and Donald, both of Bethesda; and four grandchildren.

David P. McNelis

Census Bureau Official

David P. McNelis, 76, who worked for the Census Bureau for nearly 30 years before retiring in 1979 as chief of the governments division, died of cancer Sept. 15 at Casey House hospice in Rockville.

Beginning his career at the agency as a computer systems analyst, Mr. McNelis helped designed the agency's automated personnel record-keeping system called Spartan.

By the early 1970s, he worked his way up to chief of the governments division, where he oversaw an expansion of its data collecting operations to support new federal programs.

He also managed survey projects for the Agency for International Development and headed a Census team that trained officials in El Salvador to conduct household surveys on health and education.

After retiring and then working as a government consultant, he moved from the Washington area to Galestown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He served on the town's council.

Mr. McNelis, who had lived in Chevy Chase since 2002, was a native of Freeland, Pa., and a statistics and psychology Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Penn State University. He served in the Navy as a radar specialist during World War II.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Jean R. McNelis of Chevy Chase; two children, Lisa and Brian, both of Silver Spring; a sister; and a grandson.