Lee Harold Coleman

Education Project Officer

Lee Harold Coleman, 79, a retired project officer with the Division of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services for the U.S. Department of Education, died May 15 at Georgetown Hospital. He had multiple organ system failure.

Dr. Coleman was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He earned a certificate in business administration from New York University.

He was drafted into the Army in 1943. While serving as an infantryman in Germany under Gen. George S. Patton, he was wounded, and in 1945 he was awarded the Purple Heart.

After his military service, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in psychology and finance. In 1957, he graduated from Case Western University in Ohio with a Ph.D. in psychology.

He held a number of positions in educational psychology in Ohio, Rhode Island and New Jersey before moving to the Washington area in 1978 to join the Education Department.

After retiring in 1996, he was active with the Pastoral Care Committee of River Road Unitarian Church in Bethesda.

Dr. Coleman, a resident of Arlington, enjoyed sailing, skiing and socializing with a diverse circle of friends.

His marriages to Bernice E. Victorhoff and Margaret A. Bowater ended in divorce.

There are no immediate survivors.

Gertrude Lass Kahane

Ski Shop Owner

Gertrude Lass Kahane, 83, who founded Ski Center, a Washington ski shop, with her husband, died of respiratory failure June 7 at her home in Silver Spring.

Their store had its earliest roots during the Kahanes' honeymoon in 1952, when her husband, Adam Kahane, took his bride to a ski resort in New Hampshire. He fitted her with skis and poles, told her how to stop and left her to her own devices. He had learned to ski as a boy in his native Poland, but Mrs. Kahane, who grew up in Iowa, never became a devoted skier herself.

Instead, she was devoted to their store, which opened in downtown Washington in 1959. After a couple of moves, it settled in its present location in Spring Valley in 1973. Mrs. Kahane was a fixture in the store for more than 30 years, greeting customers and assisting with bookkeeping and other aspects of the business. The Ski Center is still operated by the family.

Mrs. Kahane was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and came to Washington during World War II to take a secretarial job with the Department of War. Until 1959, she held a variety of secretarial positions in the government, including working for the president's air policy commission, a federal housing office and the international economics division of the Commerce Department.

In addition to her husband, of Silver Spring, survivors include two children, Audrey Kahane of West Hills, Calif., and Stuart Kahane of Bethesda; and three grandchildren.

Marion Carr Kersey

Former Head Librarian

Marion Carr Kersey, 78, the former head librarian at Planning Research Corp. in McLean, died of complications from a stroke June 13 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Gaithersburg. She lived in McLean.

Mrs. Kersey worked at PRC for 16 years and served as the firm's head librarian from 1984 until she retired in 1989. Before joining PRC, she was a librarian at General Research Corp. in McLean, in the Henrico County school system in Richmond and in the Roanoke school system, where she was an elementary school librarian. She also worked in the library at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

Mrs. Kersey was born and raised in Roanoke. In 1946 she married Clinton W. Kersey and moved to Norfolk, where she worked in the library at the St. Helena extension of the College of William and Mary. She received her librarian degree in the 1970s after having taken courses in library science from Virginia Commonwealth University and George Mason University.

Mrs. Kersey was active in the churches where she was a member. At Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, she was a deacon, member of the senior adult choir, a Sunday school teacher and college youth leader. She was a charter member and the first librarian of Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond, and she and her husband led the youth program at First Baptist Church in Roanoke.

A daughter, Nancy Ruth Kersey, died in 1959.

In addition to her husband of 58 years of McLean, survivors include three children, Marion Kate Larkin of Olney, Phillip Wade Kersey of Chesapeake Beach and Clinton W. Kersey Jr. of Gaithersburg; and five grandchildren.

Mary Eileen O'Brien


Mary Eileen O'Brien, 77, a retired government relations representative for Dow Corning Corp., died June 10 at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. She had myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder.

Ms. O'Brien, a District resident, worked more than 30 years for Dow Corning and rose to serve on its board of directors. She first worked for the company in New York, then in her native Midland, Mich., before she transferred to Dow Corning's Washington office in 1974.

She retired in the early 1990s.

Ms. O'Brien was a member of the Golden Circle, an organization of benefactors for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she enjoyed attending operas and ballets.

She also belonged to the John Carroll Society and St. Stephen Martyr Catholic Church in Washington.

Ms. O'Brien graduated from Barnard College and received a master's degree in public administration from Columbia University.

She leaves no immediate survivors.

Donald Chrisler

Agriculture Economist

Donald Chrisler, 80, a retired government agriculture economist, died of pancreatic cancer June 10 at his home in Garrett Park.

Mr. Chrisler began his career in 1948 with the Maryland Department of Forestry. He then worked for the CIA before joining the U.S. Agriculture Department, where he worked for about 16 years until his retirement in 1976.

He lived in Rome for a few years while on assignment with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Mr. Chrisler, a Washington area resident since 1948, was a native Chicagoan who served in the Army's 10th Mountain Division in Northern Italy during World War II. He was wounded in action and received a Combat Infantry Badge.

He graduated from the University of Michigan and studied law at George Washington University and economics at the University of Maryland.

He wrote articles for the Garrett Bugle, a local newspaper, and was active in the Garrett Players drama club.

His avocations included traveling, especially to Europe.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy Chrisler of Garrett Park; two children, Andrew Chrisler of Frederick and Meg Chrisler of Austin; a sister; and a grandson.

Kathryn D. Sublett


Kathryn D. Sublett, 69, a retired D.C. elementary school teacher, died June 11 at Howard County General Hospital of complications from surgery for cancer. She lived in Columbia.

Mrs. Sublett was a sixth-grade teacher at West Elementary School at 14th and Farragut streets NW for about 34 years until her retirement in 1994.

She was a member of St. John's Catholic Church in Columbia, the Brunswick Bowling Club 55 and the Delta Sigma Theta social sorority.

Mrs. Sublett was born in Indianapolis and raised in Washington, where she graduated from Dunbar High School and D.C. Teachers College. She received a master's degree in education from Trinity College in Washington.

Survivors include her husband of 35 years, William E. Sublett of Columbia; four children, Greer Graham of Accokeek, Katreen Craig of New York, Sharon Bundy of Fort Washington and William "Billy" Sublett III of Frederick; a sister, Carol Logan of Silver Spring; and 14 grandchildren.