Eileen Fletcher DePoy


Eileen Fletcher DePoy, 71, who volunteered as a reading tutor for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia in the 1980s, died July 4 at her home in Annandale. He had lung cancer and emphysema.

Mrs. DePoy was born in Nottingham, England, where she studied fashion design at the Nottingham College of Arts and Crafts.

She did dress design work while she lived in Europe, Asia and Africa. She settled in the Washington area in 1969.

Survivors include her husband, Phil DePoy, whom she married in 1960, of Annandale; two sons, John "Jaddy" DePoy of Milwaukee and James DePoy of Newport Beach, Calif.; and two granddaughters.

Jonathan Peter Weiss

Audio/Video Store Employee

Jonathan Peter Weiss, 38, who formerly had overseen the handling and procurement of used CDs at what is now Sound Images by High Tech in Bethesda, died July 1 at a hospital in Seattle. He had complications from heart transplant surgery in January.

Early in his career, Mr. Weiss was an actor, director and stage manager. He often went by Jonathon Weiss, though he did not legally change his name.

He later did sales work at Olsson's Books & Records in Washington and spent about four years at Sound Images by High Tech, until 2001.

He moved to Seattle from Bethesda in 2002.

Mr. Weiss, a Philadelphia native raised in Chevy Chase, was born with a congenital heart defect that required a novel corrective procedure at birth and surgery at age 2. He had a series of health problems over the years.

His mother was a founder of what is now the Genetic Alliance, a support and advocacy group for people with genetic conditions and their families. Mr. Weiss answered phone lines and did other work for the group.

He also did counseling work for cardiac patients at Washington Hospital Center.

He was a 1983 graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, where he was editor of Chips, the school literary magazine. He was a theater arts graduate of Bard College in New York.

Survivors include his parents, Stanley and Joan O. Weiss of Chevy Chase; a brother; and a sister.

Pauline Gutmann Kresky


Pauline Gutmann Kresky, 88, a longtime Chevy Chase resident who volunteered at the Jewish Council for the Aging, died of a heart attack June 11 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

Mrs. Kresky was born in Jersey City, the youngest of six children. Her grandfather was clockmaker to the czar of Russia, and her parents were jewelers in Jersey City.

She graduated from a New Jersey business college, attended Columbia University on scholarship and in the late 1950s became the administrative secretary in the Department of Psychology at Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y. When she retired in 1963, Hofstra declared a "Pauline Kresky Day" to honor her dedication and service.

She married Lawrence Kresky, who was chief of the organized crime strike force for the U.S. Postal Service and director of consumer affairs at AARP. He died in 1980.

Mrs. Kresky moved to Chevy Chase in 1970 and volunteered with the Florence Crittenden Home. An avid genealogist, she also enjoyed tennis, opera, politics, gardening and entertaining, as well as an esoteric card game called "Spite and Malice," which she introduced to residents of Maplewood Park Place, her home for the past several years.

Survivors include two daughters, Valerie Dubin of Baltimore and Marilyn Kresky-Wolff of Potomac; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Fanny Peiperl

Holocaust Survivor, Photo Retoucher

Fanny Peiperl, 95, a Holocaust survivor who worked for many years as a photo retoucher in Poland and in this country, died July 5 at ManorCare in Wheaton. The cause of death was arrhythmia.

Mrs. Peiperl was born in Rzeszow, Poland, and was living in Krakow with her husband, Jacob, a photographer, and their young son, Adam, when the Nazis invaded Poland. The family fled to Lvov, Poland, where they were eventually interned in the ghetto.

In 1941, learning that the ghetto was about to be liquidated, the Peiperls escaped and spent the next three years in hiding.

For some months, they lived in the house of a Ukranian carpenter named Krzaczynski -- "illiterate and a drinker but a good man," as Mrs. Peiperl described him to her grandson Larry Peiperl in a 1993 oral history interview that is in the collection of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The carpenter built a false wall in his house, constructed the Peiperls a retouching stand and had them earn their keep by retouching photos he brought to them from his neighbors. He told people he had a nephew at home who had lost his legs in the war but was a good retoucher.

The Peiperls were liberated by the Soviet army in 1944. Two years later, they made their way to a displaced persons camp in Linz, Austria.

In 1948, Mrs. Peiperl's sister, a resident of France, helped them move to Paris, where Mrs. Peiperl worked with her husband in photography. They immigrated to the United States in 1953 and were settled in Washington by the Jewish Social Service.

Mrs. Peiperl began working with her husband as a retoucher for Glogau Studios in Washington. A few years later, she transferred to Chase Studios in the District and later in Bethesda, where she worked until her retirement at age 87.

Mrs. Peiperl was proud of being one of the original tenants of the Promenade Apartments at 19th Street and Columbia Road NW, where she lived for 36 years and was active in the tenants association.

On the occasion of her 90th birthday, she proudly proclaimed to family and friends, "Hitler and his girlfriend are both dead, and I'm 90 years old!"

Mrs. Peiperl's husband died in 1987.

Survivors include her son, Adam Peiperl of Silver Spring; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a sister.

George F. Weise

Shoe Salesman

George Franklin Weise, 86, who did sales work for the Brown shoe company in the Washington area from the 1950s to early 1980s, died July 4 at George Washington University Hospital. He had leukemia.

Mr. Weise was born in Scranton, Pa., where he operated a restaurant before settling in the Washington area in 1950. He lived in Adelphi.

He was a former governor of the Loyal Order of Moose chapter in College Park. In 1994, he received the highest honor of the Moose fraternal organization, the Pilgrim Degree of Merit.

He did volunteer work collecting blood for the American Red Cross and coordinating the collection of used eyeglasses for the Lions Club.

He was a founding member of St. Mark's Catholic Church in Hyattsville.

His wife, Rita Carroll Weise, died in 1988. His wife, Mary Hempfling Weise, died in 2000.

Survivors include three children from his first marriage, George J. Weise of Leesburg, Betty Ann Wilk of Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Mary McGarvey of Seabrook, Md.; 12 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

Laurena T. Statom

Washington Teacher

Laurena Thompson Statom, 78, who taught kindergarten from 1984 to 1996 at the Nannie Helen Burroughs School, a Christian school in Northeast Washington, died July 4 at Georgetown University Hospital. She had sepsis.

Mrs. Statom was born in Winter Haven, Fla., and moved to the Washington area in the 1940s. She lived in the District.

She was a 1984 education graduate of Coppin State University in Baltimore.

She was involved in teacher-exchange programs in China, Russia and Poland. She hosted visiting college students from Ghana.

Mrs. Statom was a former president of the Young Women's League, a former executive board chairman of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs Inc. and president of a local chapter.

Her memberships included Vermont Avenue Baptist Church in Washington.

She was a seamstress.

Her husband of 53 years, Dr. William L. Statom, died in 2002.

Survivors include two sons, William Statom Jr. of Washington and Therman Statom of San Diego; two daughters, Deborah Statom and Maria Statom-Coleman, both of Washington; a brother; two grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Frances Howell 'Betty' Wheeler

Military, Diplomatic Hostess

Frances Howell "Betty" Wheeler, 90, who was a prominent hostess as the wife of two four-star Army generals, died July 1 of cancer at a hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va. She lived on a farm near Martinsburg.

Mrs. Wheeler was well known in military and diplomatic circles for many years, particularly from 1964 to 1970, when her husband, Gen. Earle G. Wheeler, was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Wheeler previously was Army chief of staff.

Mrs. Wheeler, who lived in various military quarters near Washington for many years, christened the nuclear submarine USS Billfish in 1970.

She had been married to Gen. Wheeler for 43 years when he died in 1975.

In 1980, she married another four-star general, Frank S. Besson Jr., who, like Gen. Wheeler, was a member of the Class of 1932 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Gen. Besson was the founder and first commander of the Army Materiel Command and an authority on military transportation and logistics.

They lived in Alexandria until his death in 1985. After Gen. Besson's death, she resumed using the name of her first husband.

In 1988, Mrs. Wheeler christened the Army logistical support vessel Gen. Frank S. Besson Jr.

Survivors include a son from her first marriage, Dr. Gilmore "Bim" Wheeler; seven stepchildren from her second marriage; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Mildred Larson Zens

High School Librarian

Mildred Larson Zens, 86, who spent 21 years as a librarian at three Washington high schools, died July 3 at the Washington Home. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Zens began working as a school librarian at Gonzaga College High School in 1964 and moved to Western High in 1972 and Woodrow Wilson High in 1974. She retired in 1985.

She was born in Racine, Wis., and grew up in the close-knit Danish American community there. She received a bachelor's degree in education from Milwaukee-Downer College (now Lawrence University) in 1940 and a master's degree in library science from Catholic University in 1963.

She began teaching in Lake Linden at the northern tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she sometimes ice-skated to work. After teaching English in Muskegon, Mich., she returned to Racine to join the news staff of the Racine Journal Times. As one of a few female reporters then, she earned recognition by cornering exhausted presidential candidate Wendell L. Willkie on his campaign train from Wisconsin to Chicago in 1940.

An interview she conducted with injured World War II pilot Clarence Zens led to marriage in 1944. The couple moved to the Washington area in 1945. While living in Alexandria, Mrs. Zens worked part time in the Alexandria library system. She lived on Capitol Hill for 44 years.

She was a member of the American Library Association and the Library Association of the District of Columbia.

Survivors include her husband, of Washington; and two children, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Zens of Omaha and Karen Zens of Washington.