John J. Pizzo

Air Force Colonel

John J. Pizzo, 84, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, a former pro football player and a Library of Congress employee, died of respiratory failure May 9 at Anne Arundel Medical Center. He was a Bowie resident.

Col. Pizzo was born in Scranton, Pa. He attended Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania before accepting an appointment as a trooper with the Pennsylvania State Police in 1941.

With the onset of World War II, Col. Pizzo enlisted as an aviation cadet in the Army Air Corps. He flew B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers with the 13th Air Force in Guadalcanal, chalking up 13 combat missions and 100 combat hours as a first pilot.

He remained in the Air Force Reserve after the war until he was recalled to active duty in 1952. Col. Pizzo served in the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations and retired in 1967.

Col. Pizzo then worked for the Library of Congress, rising to assistant chief of the Cataloging Distribution Service before retiring in 1986.

An inveterate storyteller, he delighted listeners with his sense of humor and tales of the service, driving the jungle boat at Disneyland and two seasons as a professional football player, in 1947 with the Sacramento Nuggets in the Pacific Coast Football League and then briefly with the San Francisco 49ers.

His wife of 47 years, Dorothy I. Pizzo, died in 1996.

Survivors include five children, John J. Pizzo III of Monrovia, Denise Hug of Rancho Sante Fe, Calif., Judith Hopkins of Upper Marlboro, Paula Rediske of Tacoma, Wash., and Mary Pizzo of Clarksville; a sister; and seven grandchildren.

John B. Capell

NSA Communications Engineer

John Blackford Capell, 75, who designed top-secret communications systems during a long career with the National Security Agency, died May 12 at a nursing home in Hagerstown, Md. He had Alzheimer's disease.

In his 29 years at NSA, Mr. Capell used his skills as an electrical engineer to design coded communications networks throughout the Pacific. He was instrumental in devising cryptologic systems used by U.S. intelligence agencies during the Vietnam War. After holding a variety of engineering and executive positions at NSA, he retired in 1983 as a member of the Senior Cryptologic Executive Service.

His work was so sensitive that he often could not reveal what he did, even to his family. "Sometimes he couldn't even say where he worked," said his wife, Joan Bowie Capell. "He never talked until he retired."

Mr. Capell was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, and attended Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, and Iowa State University. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in electrical engineering.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1950 and was posted to the Naval Security Station in Washington. He joined NSA in 1954 and received numerous commendations during his tenure. For many years, he was a resident of Laurel.

In addition to his wife of 50 years, of Williamsport, Md., survivors include three children, Karen Capell of Vienna, Laurie Capell of Gerrardstown, W.Va., and Christopher Capell of Fairfax; a sister; a brother; nine grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

Yvonne Berry DeVigne

Designer, Milliner

Yvonne Berry DeVigne, 89, a designer and milliner at Bachrach's Millinery until it closed in the mid-1970s, died May 5 at the Casey House in Rockville. She had complications related to cancer.

For more than 25 years, Mrs. DeVigne made fine hats for Washington society at Bachrach's Millinery, which was in downtown Washington at 11th and H streets NW. The shop's clientele included the wives of senators and representatives, Cabinet officials, ambassadors, business executives and foreign officials.

Mrs. DeVigne was born in Philadelphia. She learned the art of millinery from her aunt, Norma Winslow, and made her first hat at age 8. In 1932, she graduated from high school in Philadelphia and married Gaston L. DeVigne II, her husband for 71 years. He died in December.

Upon graduation from high school, she also began her career in Philadelphia and became one of the first African Americans to break the color barrier in millinery in Philadelphia.

Mrs. DeVigne moved from Philadelphia to Washington with her husband when Johnson Publications recruited him in 1956 to be the first staff photographer covering the White House, Congress and African American social events in Washington for Ebony and Jet magazines.

She worked in a Georgetown store for one year until she came to the attention of Bachrach's Millinery, which recruited her as their chief designer and milliner in the late 1950s.

Mrs. DeVigne served as a judge at numerous fashion shows over the years in Washington, and her designs were featured in the annual Congressional Black Caucus fashion show, among others.

She enjoyed collecting antiques and entertained family and friends as a gourmet cook.

Survivors include a son, Gaston DeVigne III of Silver Spring; a sister; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Bess Strickland McGowan


Bess Strickland McGowan, 83, who did volunteer and part-time administrative work for the March of Dimes in the 1980s and mid-1990s, died of a renal aneurysm May 10 at Inova Alexandria Hospital. She lived in Alexandria.

She was a native of McComb, Miss., and moved to Washington in 1940 to do secretarial work for the Civilian Conservation Corps. During World War II, she worked at base hospitals in England for the American Red Cross.

From 1948 to 1952, she did secretarial work for the State Department in Asia. She settled in the Washington area in 1952.

She was a former member of the Brookville Valley Women's Association in Alexandria.

Survivors include her husband of 53 years, Robert McGowan of Alexandria; four children, Mary McGowan of Alexandria, William McGowan of Reston, Michael McGowan of Ashburn and Shawna McGowan Morrill of Springfield; and six grandchildren.

Anatol Weiss

Washington Businessman

Anatol Weiss, 89, who formerly owned and operated Draperies Inc., a curtain-manufacturing business in Washington, died of cardiac arrest May 12 at an assisted-living home in Dallas. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Weiss, a former Silver Spring resident, had a business partner before becoming the sole owner. He had Draperies Inc. for 30 years until moving to Florida in 1980.

He was born in Poland, where he attended an art academy and worked as a radio engineer.

During World War II, Mr. Weiss, who was Jewish, spent time in a Nazi concentration camp before fleeing to the Soviet Union. He served in the Soviet army and participated in the battle of Stalingrad.

After the war, he settled in the United States and became a U.S. citizen. He briefly worked for an interior-decoration business before starting his own company.

Survivors include his wife, Martha Schneider Weiss of Dallas; three sons, Dorian Weiss of Houston, Ronnie Weiss of Frederick and Bruce Weiss of Dallas; a brother; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Marion Dargan III

Navy Captain

Marion Dargan III, 79, a retired Navy captain who served as a supply officer during most of his 23-year military career, died of congestive heart failure April 17 at a hospice in Jacksonville, Fla.

Capt. Dargan, who moved from Oakton to Jacksonville in 2002, was born in Bluefield, W.Va., and raised in Albuquerque.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of New Mexico and received an MBA in accounting from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

He was commissioned in the Navy through the Naval ROTC program and served in the Pacific at the end of World War II.

His postwar assignments included stints at the Naval Supply Depot in Yokosuka, Japan, the David Taylor Model Basin in Carderock, the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, Calif., and the General Stores Supply Office in Philadelphia.

He retired from active military duty in 1973 while assigned to the Naval Air Systems Command in Washington.

Capt. Dargan then worked 18 years as a civilian for the Defense Logistics Agency. As a budget and program officer for the agency, he traveled to Somalia to negotiate fuel support services for U.S. forces.

He was a founding trustee, elder and treasurer of the nondenominational Church at Northern Virginia in Oakton. He also held administrative positions at the church's Whole World Theological Seminary.

Survivors include his wife of 54 year, Elizabeth Ann Paisley Dargan of Jacksonville; three sons, William Scott Dargan of Fairfax, John Paisley Dargan of Orange City, Fla., and David D. Dargan of Fredericksburg; a sister; and five grandchildren.

Jerry Kenneth Bolton

Government Educational Specialist

Jerry Kenneth Bolton, 68, a retired educational specialist with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, died April 29 at Potomac Center nursing home in Arlington. He had dementia.

Mr. Bolton, a D.C. resident, developed educational curriculum while working in the Office of Indian Education Programs for about 15 years until 1990. He then intertwined a love of music with a sales position in the classical music section at Tower Records in Washington, where he worked from 1993 to 2001.

Mr. Bolton, an American Indian, was born in Metlakatla, Alaska. He graduated in 1961 from Central Washington State University in Ellensburg, Wash., and received a master's in education from Harvard University in 1974.

Survivors include a brother.