The obituary of Ian W. McLean that ran June 21 should have said his daughter, January McLean, was adopted during his second marriage. (Published 6/22/04)

Charles Gilbert Harvel

Development Project Manager

Charles Gilbert Harvel, 70, who was a project manager in home development for Yeonas Co. before retiring in 1994, died May 19 of cardiac arrest at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Mr. Harvel, who was born in Herndon, served in the Army in Germany from 1954 to 1957. After leaving the Army, he settled in Fairfax County and lived in Centreville for the last 26 years.

He began working in construction for U.S. Steel and continued in residential development with Yeonas in Vienna until his retirement.

Mr. Harvel enjoyed photography, hunting and baking apple pies for neighbors and friends.

His marriage to Doris Johnston Harvel ended in divorce.

Survivors include his stepdaughter, Deborah Harrison of Sterling; a stepson, Kurt Konecznyof Burke; and four grandchildren.

Dante Avon


Dante Avon, 90, a retired Washington area businessman who was the founder and president of Avon Tile and Marble Co., died of cardiomyopathy June 15 at his home in Chevy Chase.

Mr. Avon was born in Germany and spent his early life there and in northern Italy. He moved to Washington in 1930, served in the U.S. Army Air Forces Statistical Control Office during World War II, and he opened his tile and marble company on K Street NW in 1948.

Over the years, he built and managed warehouses through his other businesses, Avon Properties and Taft Associates. He was also active in trade and civic associations, serving on the board of directors of the National Permanent Savings and Loan Association, Enterprise Savings and Loan Association, Merrick Boys Camp and the Washington Building Congress.

He was a founding member of the Metropolitan Subcontractors Association.

Mr. Avon retired from Avon Tile and Marble in 1984 but continued to manage his commercial real estate investments.

He was a member of the Columbia Country Club and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament church in Washington.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Erma Avon of Chevy Chase; three children, Richard Avon of Chevy Chase, Joanne Shields of Gaithersburg and Ellen Miller of Bethesda; a brother; and six grandchildren.

Thomas Edward McNiff

Air Force Officer

Thomas Edward McNiff, 65, a retired Air Force colonel who flew more than 200 combat missions during the Vietnam War, died of cancer June 1 at his home in Fairfax.

Col. McNiff was an F4 fighter pilot who received three Distinguished Flying Crosses and a Bronze Star during his career, which spanned more than 20 years.

He also was an instructor pilot at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia and an aircraft commander of WB-50 Superfortresses at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan. In his final military assignment before retiring from the Air Force in 1983, Col. McNiff was assigned to the State Department as assistant to the director of politico-military affairs.

Col. McNiff was a native of Lowell, Mass. He graduated from Lowell Technological Institute and received an M.B.A. from Auburn University.

In retirement, he worked initially as a marketing director for Northrup Corp. and then as an independent consultant.

He was a member of St. Leo's the Great Catholic Church in Fairfax, the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association and Army Navy Country Club, where he golfed regularly.

He also was an avid cyclist who went on bicycle tours in Ireland and France.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Sheila Barrett McNiff of Fairfax; five children, Mary Beth Edgette of Denison, Tex., Thomas E. McNiff III of Gastonia, N.C., Michele Catherine McNiff of San Diego, Navy Lt. Katherine Barrett McNiff of Portsmouth, Va., and Air Force Capt. Meghann McNiff of Boston; a brother; and seven grandchildren.

Robert Lewis Schroeder

Army Officer

Robert Lewis Schroeder, 73, a retired Army colonel who worked as a program manager for what is now AT&T Government Solutions in Vienna, died of cancer May 21 at the Washington Hospice.

A son of an Army officer, Col. Schroeder was born at Fort Sam Houston, Tex., and raised on various posts from Hawaii to Connecticut. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and received a master's degree in industrial engineering from Ohio State University.

He also was a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.

An artillery officer, he served in Germany, Korea and Vietnam, where he was a battalion commander during the war there.

His military decorations include three Legion of Merits, six Bronze Stars, a Meritorious Service Medal and seven Air Medals.

Col. Schroeder, who lived permanently in Washington since 1978, retired from active military duty in 1980. He then joined General Research Corp., which later became AT&T Government Solutions. His various assignments at the Vienna-based company included manager of the technical support group.

He was active with genealogical societies, most recently serving as treasurer of the National Society of Descendants of the Lords of the Maryland Manors.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Margaret Schroeder of Washington; and two sons, Robert Schroeder of Oak Grove and W. David Schroeder of Port Canaveral, Fla.

Frederick A. Kessinger

Institute Vice President

Frederick A. "Fritz" Kessinger, 79, a retired vice president of government relations for the Animal Health Institute and a former journalist and press secretary, died of pulmonary disease June 8 at his home in Weems, Va.

From 1948 to 1951, he worked as a newsman with the United Press in Tucson, Phoenix and Portland, Ore. He was a reporter and editor with the Tucson Daily Citizen from 1953 to 1961; from 1968 to 1971 he was editor of the Pink Sheet, a pharmaceutical newsletter published by FDC Reports.

Mr. Kessinger also was a press secretary to U.S. Sens. Ernest W. McFarland and Carl Hayden and U.S. Reps. Stewart L. Udall and Morris K. Udall, all Democrats from Arizona. He was a legislative specialist in the National Park Service from 1963 to 1966.

From 1971 until he retired in 1987, he was a lobbyist with the Animal Health Institute.

Mr. Kessinger was born and raised in Rome , N.Y., and served three years in the Army field artillery during World War II, including duty in the Philippines.

He graduated from Stanford University and received a master's degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.

He lived in Washington for about 35 years and moved to Weems, in the Northern Neck of Virginia, in 1995.

He was a member of the National Press Club, the National Democratic Club, the Capital Hill Club, the Potomac River Jazz Club and the Senate Press Secretaries Association, of which he served as president.

His marriage to Dale Knox ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Lisa Sevier of Weems; two daughters from his first marriage, Claire Kessinger Mathey of Buchanan, N.Y., and Tina Kessinger of Ocean Springs, Miss., and Sante Fe, N.M.; one daughter from his second marriage, Julia Sevier of Santa Monica, Calif.; one brother; and a grandson.

Ian W. McLean

Colonel, Ophthalmic Pathologist

Ian W. McLean, 60, a retired Army colonel who spent his military and civilian career as an ophthalmic pathologist, died June 15 at his home in Bethesda. He had Shy-Drager syndrome, a neurological disorder.

Col. McLean was born in Durham, N.C., and raised in Grosse Pointe, Mich. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1965 and its medical school in 1969.

He then entered the Army and spent most of his 25-year military career at the Walter Reed Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, where he was chief of the ophthalmic pathology division. He retired from active military duty in 1994 but continued to work as a civilian ophthalmic pathologist at Walter Reed until his death.

His marriage to Ruth McLean ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 18 years, Susan G. McLean of Bethesda; two daughters from his first marriage, Elenor Hodges of Arlington and Rebecca McLean of Tampa; an adopted daughter from his first marriage, January McLean of Rockville; and a granddaughter.