Seymour S. Abensohn

CPA, Philanthropist

Seymour S. Abensohn, 81, a certified public accountant who was involved in Jewish organizations and philanthropies, died June 13 at his home in Bethesda. He had melanoma.

Mr. Abensohn owned and operated the accounting firm of S.S. Abensohn and Co. in Bethesda from 1952 to 1980. For the next decade, he was a consultant to a successor firm, Canto, Metro, Meyer & Co.

Starting in 1980, he also began investing in real estate in the Washington area.

Seymour Sidney Abensohn was a New York native and a 1943 business administration graduate of City College of New York. He settled in the Washington area after Army Medical Corps service in Europe during World War II.

His philanthropy began in the 1960s, after the death of his first wife. In her honor, he started a fund to train nurses at an Israeli hospital.

He formerly served on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, the American Jewish Committee and the United Jewish Endowment Fund. He was a former Washington area steering committee member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

He was a former president of B'nai Israel Congregation in Rockville and former chairman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington's major gifts campaign.

For his service to Washington's Jewish community, he received the Zionist Organization of America's Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award, its top honor, in 1984. In 2002, B'nai B'rith International gave Mr. Abensohn its Distinguished Humanitarian Award.

A fund was started to endow a chair in his name at American University's Center for Israeli Studies.

Mr. Abensohn liked wearing bolo ties.

His first wife, Sheila Abensohn, died in 1965. His second wife, Selma Abensohn, died in 1995.

Survivors include his wife of six years, Lillian Klein Abensohn of Bethesda; three children from his first marriage, Mark Abensohn of West Newton, Mass., Meryl Abensohn of Northbrook, Ill., and Steven Abensohn of San Francisco; an adopted daughter from his second marriage, Pamela Halperin of Potomac; two stepchildren, Pamela Brown of Los Olivos, Calif., and Chip Kaplan of Big Bear City, Calif.; a sister, Florence Blackman of Rockville; and nine grandchildren.

Robert Francis Schultz

Education Specialist

Robert Francis Schultz, 83, a retired government education specialist, died June 12 at Fairfax Inova Hospital from injuries sustained in a June 11 auto accident.

Mr. Schultz was driving on the Franconia-Springfield Parkway when his car was struck by an oncoming truck as he turned left, Fairfax County police said.

Mr. Schultz, who lived in Springfield, was born in Lafayette, Ind., and raised in Fremont, Ohio. He received a degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., and joined the Marine Corps. He served with the 2nd and 3rd Marine divisions in two tours during World War II, reaching the rank of captain and participating in operations at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Saipan and Nagasaki.

He married a fellow Marine officer at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in 1944. After his discharge, he received a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He was an instructor at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg and attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison for postgraduate studies in political science in 1950.

In 1951, Mr. Schultz moved to Northern Virginia and worked for the Department of the Interior until 1955. He then became a program trainer and specialist for the Department of Education, working with the Agency for International Development and student loan and guaranty loan programs. He was recalled to active duty for a year in the early 1960s. He retired in 1983.

Mr. Schultz was a volunteer guardian for Alexandria City Courts, a volunteer at Travelers Aid at Reagan National Airport and an accredited volunteer representative for the Red Cross at the Board of Veterans' Appeals in Washington.

His lifelong interests included swimming and hiking, and he had an appreciation of nature.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Susan S. Schultz of Springfield; three children, Susan S. Thorne of Kingston, Ontario, Robert F. Schultz Jr. of Lorton and Martha E. Powers of Fairfax; and four grandchildren.

William Davidson Jr.

Air Force Veteran, UPO Official

William Davidson Jr., 82, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant who also headed manpower programs for the United Planning Organization in Washington, died June 8 at Joseph Richey Hospice in Baltimore. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Davidson, a Silver Spring resident, was a native of Asheville, N.C. He entered the Army during World War II and served in Normandy with the 3863rd Quartermaster Truck Company.

After the war, he joined the all-black 332nd Fighter Wing -- the famed Tuskegee Airmen -- at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Ohio. He was an airways and air communications specialist based at Andrews Air Force Base before retiring from active military duty in 1963.

He then worked 21 years for the Washington office of the United Planning Organization before retiring again in 1986.

He was an ordained elder of Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church in the District and general superintendent and clerk of session of its Sunday school.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Gloria Davidson of Silver Spring; a son, Michael Davidson of Jonesboro, Ga.; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

R. Leon McFillen

Real Estate Development Executive

R. Leon McFillen, 62, vice president of IDI Group Cos., a major developer and builder of Washington area condominiums, offices, hotels and shopping centers, died of cancer June 20 at the Halquist Memorial Inpatient Hospice Center in Arlington.

Within the Arlington-based company, which Mr. McFillen joined at its inception in 1975, he served as a senior project manager for many of IDI's condominiums in Northern Virginia. Among them were the Parkfairfax, the Parc East, the Belle View and, most recently, the Carlyle Towers, completed in 2001.

Mr. McFillen was a native of rural Clarke County, Va., and a lifelong outdoor sports enthusiast. His interest in conservation efforts led to his governor-appointed position on the board of directors of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries from 1986 to 1997.

His tenure included a term as chairman and two terms as vice chairman.

Mr. McFillen came to the Washington area from his hometown of Berryville, Va., in the early 1960s when he got a job as an assistant project manager for Magazine Brothers Construction Co.

From there, he joined Watergate Improvement Associates, where he rose to vice president for the Watergate complex construction project. He also was a leading executive in the development of the Watergate at Landmark condominium project in Alexandria.

On both projects, Mr. McFillen worked with real estate developer Giuseppe Cecchi, who later formed IDI.

Mr. McFillen served on the board of directors of the Washington chapter of the Community Association Institute and belonged to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Patsy McFillen of McLean; a daughter, Terre McFillen-Hall of Ashburn; his mother, Estelle McFillen, and brother, Thomas McFillen, both of Berryville; and a granddaughter.

Neil A. McDonald


Neil A. McDonald, 84, a retired technician with the Naval Ships Research and Development Center, died of cancer June 20 at his home of 49 years in Rockville.

Mr. McDonald was born in Bonifay, Fla. He served in the Army as a master supply sergeant during World War II with the 545th Bomb Squadron in England. After the war, he earned an associate degree in medical laboratory X-ray technology and then traveled throughout the United States for five years with the U.S. Health Service as part of a tuberculosis X-ray survey team.

He married and moved to Rockville in 1953, where he worked first at the National Institutes of Health. In 1955, Mr. McDonald became an engineering technician specializing in ship propeller testing at the David Taylor Model Basin, later known as the Naval Surface Warfare Center. In 1974, he retired from government service.

Mr. McDonald was active at Rockville Presbyterian Church and volunteered with the local emergency food, shelter and clothing program and the Literacy Council of Montgomery County.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Elizabeth McDonald, of Rockville; a son, William McDonald of Poolesville; and three granddaughters.

Gilbert Hunt

Investment Banker

Gilbert Hunt, 71, who retired from the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank in 1994 after 14 years as an investment banker specializing in oil, gas and petroleum, died of emphysema June 21 at his home in Washington.

Before joining the IFC in 1979, Mr. Hunt worked about 20 years for PA Consulting Group in his native England. He had also worked for Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. in Holland and Nigeria.

Born and raised in Manchester, England, Mr. Hunt graduated with a degree in geology from Sheffield University and received a graduate degree in petroleum engineering from London University, Royal School of Mines.

His first wife, Joan Gorst Hunt, died in 1997 after 39 years of marriage, and their son, Richard Hunt, died in 2002.

Survivors include his wife of seven years, Anna McGregor Chisman, of Washington; two children from his first marriage, Elizabeth Hunt-Wadley and John Andrew Hunt, both of England; and four grandchildren.

Robert Ebele Fernsler

Computer Specialist

Robert Ebele Fernsler, 96, a retired Army Department computer specialist who turned his hobbies into a second and a third career, died of respiratory arrest June 15 at his home in Alexandria.

Mr. Fernsler's civil service spanned more than 30 years, beginning with the Public Works Administration in 1933.

After serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II, the Pennsylvania native resumed his government career, working for the Navy and then the Army Department, where he was chief of the automatic data processing management group.

When he retired in 1968, he opened a picture-framing shop called Bo-Kay Originals in Old Town Alexandria. A woodworking enthusiast, he built five miniature dollhouses, which were donated to the Lee-Fendall House Museum in Alexandria.

He retired again in 1981, though not fully. A keyboardist and organist, he recorded his own tapes of popular and classical music in his home. In recent years, slowed by age, he found expression in "building" raisin pies, as he liked to put it.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Kathleen Wainwright Fernsler of Alexandria.

Nathan Goldman


Nathan Goldman, 88, retired president of Standard Cigar & Tobacco Co., a Washington-based wholesaler, and an active member of Washington's Jewish community, died June 17 at the Washington Home. He had dementia.

Mr. Goldman was a native Washingtonian and resident. He was a 1932 graduate of the old Central High School, where he was a lieutenant colonel in the Cadet Corps. He graduated from George Washington University in 1936 and received a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1937.

He served in the Navy as a radar instructor during World War II. After briefly working as a civilian math and physics instructor, Mr. Goldman joined Standard Cigar, his father's business, and worked his way up to president. He retired when the company was sold in 1972.

He was a former president of the Hebrew Free Loan Society, an organization that helps recent Jewish immigrants, and a board member of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington.

In his spare time, he enjoyed reading detective stories, completing crossword puzzles and writing clever rhymes, like this one, which he wrote to his wife, Marjory Goldman, whom he met on a cruise ship in 1971 a year after the death of his first wife, Minette Goldman:

And I promised that my life-long endeavor

Was to love and cherish her forever and ever.

So even though at times it appears

I've forgotten this promise over the years

It's not that my love has slowly grown colder;

I've simply grown grouchier as I've grown older.

The truth is, my darling -- this phrase I borrow -- "I love you more than yesterday; less than tomorrow."

Survivors include his wife of 32 years of Washington; two children from his first marriage, Jeffrey Goldman of Mount Airy and Laura Mestleman of Ontario; two stepchildren, Dean Spitzer of Mulberry, Fla., and Kim Schwartz of Armonk, N.Y.; a brother, Balfour Goldman of Rockville; and seven grandchildren.