George C. Washington

Businessman, Public Relations Official

George Clifford Washington, 68, who served in the Navy, operated a seafood business and did public relations and lobbying work, died July 3 at Rappahannock General Hospital in Kilmarnock, Va., after strokes.

Mr. Washington lived in the Washington area from 1991 to 2001, when he moved from Alexandria to White Stone, on Virginia's Northern Neck.

He was a native of Alexandria City, Ala. He served in the Navy from 1955 to 1965 and retired as a chief petty officer. His final active-duty assignment was in Norfolk as assistant to the Atlantic Fleet public relations and information officer.

Afterward, he was national director of public relations for Disabled American Veterans and helped design and coordinate community-development programs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

From 1976 to 1984, he owned and operated a seafood processing, wholesaling and exporting operation in White Stone. He was also a founder of the Virginia Waterman's Association and did lobbying work in Richmond and Washington on behalf of commercial fishermen.

He was former vice chairman of the Virginia Marine Products Board and president of the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Development Foundation.

He was a former member of the Plymouth Haven Baptist Church in Alexandria and chairman of the properties committee.

His marriage to Anne Johnston Washington ended in divorce.

Survivors include three daughters, Lee Anne Washington of Richmond, Edna Whay of Lancaster, Va., and Amanda Lackert of Kilmarnock; a brother, Joseph C. Washington of Baltimore; and four grandchildren.

M. Elliott Carroll


M. Elliott Carroll, 81, an architect who retired in the late 1980s as executive assistant to the architect of the Capitol, died July 11 at his home in Chevy Chase. He had pulmonary fibrosis.

Starting in the early 1970s, Mr. Carroll was a top assistant to and chief spokesman for the longtime architect of the Capitol, George M. White.

Mr. Carroll managed the design-financing competition for the Thurgood Marshall Judiciary Building near Union Station and helped prepare the master plan for the long-range development of the U.S. Capitol and the area that abuts it.

Marshall Elliott Carroll was a native of Durham, N.C., and a graduate of Harvard University, where he also received a master's degree in architecture from the design school.

He served in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II and was a Navy veteran of the Korean War. He retired from the reserves in 1973 as a captain.

He was an architect in North Carolina before settling in the Washington area in 1960. He spent 11 years on the headquarters staff of the American Institute of Architects, where his final job was deputy executive vice president.

While at the AIA, he helped accredit predominantly black architecture schools and establish scholarship programs that would increase the number of minority architects.

During his Washington career, he had a private consulting practice in historic preservation and served on teams of restoration consultants nationwide.

He also was a former member of the Old Georgetown Board, a division of the Commission of Fine Arts.

He was a former president of the Association for Preservation Technology, chairman of the Historic American Landscape Survey Foundation and a member of the D.C. Zoning Commission, the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment and the National Capital Memorial Commission.

He was a former vice president of the International Council on Monuments and Sites and chairman of its U.S. committee.

He was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

He was former village treasurer and mayor of the Village of Drummond, a community in Chevy Chase.

A son, Frederick Carroll, died in 2001.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy Grune Carroll of Chevy Chase, whom he married in 1953; two children, Jane Carroll of Silver Spring and Marshall E. "Tim" Carroll Jr. of Bakersfield, Calif.; a sister; and two granddaughters.

James E. Crosby

Verizon Marketing Official

James Erik Crosby, 59, who retired in 2001 after 30 years at what became Verizon, where he did marketing and account-management work for Defense Department telecommunications systems, died June 29 at Georgetown University Hospital. He had lung cancer.

Mr. Crosby was born in Frankfort, Mich., and raised in Arlington, where he was a 1963 graduate of Yorktown High School. He attended West Virginia University.

After retiring from Verizon, he did part-time work at the front desk of Elite Fitness Concepts, a fitness center in Great Falls, the town where he lived.

He was a golfer and a former member of River Bend Golf and Country Club in Great Falls.

Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Suzanne Herndon Crosby of Great Falls; a daughter, Christine Taylor of Leesburg; two brothers, Andrew Crosby of Manassas and Peter Crosby of Broad Run; a sister, Ellen Crosby of Frankfort; and two grandchildren.

Jo-Ann Hornsleth Neilsen

Bookstore Manager

Jo-Ann Hornsleth Neilsen, 62, who managed the Crown Books store in Annapolis and became a district manager for the bookstore chain, died June 28 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington. She had amyloidosis, a bone-marrow disease.

She worked for Crown Books, a Washington chain that went bankrupt in 1998, for more than 20 years. She began as a clerk in 1977 and, two years later, was named manager of a new Crown store on Main Street in downtown Annapolis. Stocking books on nautical and historical themes, in line with the tastes of the city, Mrs. Neilsen made the store profitable and popular. She received many awards for sales and management.

In 1990, she was named district manager, overseeing Crown stores from Annapolis to Northern Virginia. She stayed with the company through its bankruptcy reorganization, leaving in 1999 to sell real estate briefly in Prince George's County.

Mrs. Neilsen was born in South Orange, N.J., and grew up in Westport, Conn. She graduated from what is now Connecticut College. After moving many times with her husband, who was in the Air Force, she settled in Crofton in 1976. She moved to a daughter's home in Bethesda in 1999.

A longtime game-show aficionado, Mrs. Neilsen appeared on "Jeopardy!" and "Sale of the Century" in the 1970s.

After surviving breast cancer, she received a diagnosis of amyloidosis in 2001. She underwent a stem-cell transplant at the Mayo Clinic in January 2002 and became outspoken in educating medical professionals and others about the rare condition.

Her marriage to Finn K. Neilsen ended in divorce.

Survivors include three children, Finn K. Neilsen Jr. of Edgewater, Dana Neilsen Rice of Bethesda and Kendra Neilsen Myles of Odenton; a sister; a brother; and five grandchildren.

Burt W. Roper

Commerce Department Official

Burt William Roper, 90, who retired from the Commerce Department in 1972 as assistant general counsel for legislation, died July 8 at his home in Silver Spring. He had colon carcinoma.

Born in New York City, Mr. Roper was a graduate of City College and the New York Law School. Beginning in 1938, he was an associate in the Manhattan law firm of Simpson, Brady, Noonan and Kaufman.

In 1942, he began working for the Commerce Department as chief counsel of the bureau of foreign and domestic commerce and general counsel of the Business and Defense Services Administration.

During the Korean War, he served as counsel for the defense materials system of the department's National Production Authority.

His awards included the Silver Medal for meritorious service and the Gold Medal for distinguished service.

He wrote various works on legislative subjects, among them a comprehensive survey of state laws regulating advertising.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Miriam Wickner Roper of Rockville; two children, Madeline Roper of Rockville and Robert Roper of Baltimore; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Helen Opilla

Accounts Manager

Helen Mattie Opilla, 84, an accounts manager at Market Tire in Rockville from the early 1960s to 1986, when she lived in the Washington area, died July 10 at Johnston-Willis hospital in Midlothian, Va., after a stroke.

Mrs. Opilla, a native of Upper Lehigh, Pa., moved to Midlothian from Silver Spring in 1986.

She was a former member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Rockville.

Her husband of 30 years, Joseph Opilla, died in 1976.

Survivors include two sons, Thomas Opilla of Laurel and Steven Opilla of Midlothian; a sister; and two grandchildren.