Robert T. Boylan
Mineworkers Union Official
Robert T. Boylan, former executive director of the United Mine Workers of America welfare and retirement fund, died June 21 of melanoma at his home in Bethesda. He died on his 83rd birthday.
Mr. Boylan spent 35 years administering the Mine Workers' retirement fund, since its founding in 1947. During his tenure, the fund spent billions of dollars on medical care and benefits for miners and their families. He retired in 1983.
He was born in Scranton, Pa., to a family with a long history in mining and union activism. His grandfather, Thomas P. Boylan, helped organize Pennsylvania miners in the 19th century. His father, who also worked in the mines, achieved national prominence as president of the United Mine Workers' local No. 1 and was an associate of UMW president John L. Lewis. Mr. Boylan, who worked in the mines for several summers, came to Washington in 1947 as a special assistant to Lewis.
During World War II, he was rejected as an officer candidate because of an eye injury he received as a varsity football player at the University of Pennsylvania. Instead, he enlisted in the Army and served in the infantry in France and Germany. He attained the rank of staff sergeant.
After the war, he returned to the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received a bachelor's degree in economics.
In his youth, he was a skilled boxer, swimmer, handball player and golfer. He remained an active sportsman until weeks before his death, swimming several miles each day. He had lived in Bethesda since 1947 and was a longtime member of Kenwood Country Club.
He was a member of the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda for more than 50 years and belonged to several church organizations, including a men's group that assisted in funeral services several times a week.
His wife, Catherine F. Boylan, died in 1962.
Survivors include three children, Frances Brezna of Falls Church, Richard Boylan of Virginia Beach and John Boylan of Warrenton; and nine grandchildren.
Weir Messick Brown
Treasury Department Official
Weir Messick Brown, 90, an economist, financial adviser and author who retired in 1980 as inspector general for international finance at the Treasury Department, died of pneumonia July 11 at Brighton Gardens nursing home in Bethesda.
Dr. Brown, who had lived in Washington off and on since 1941, was born in Brighton, Ill. He graduated from Oberlin College and received a master's and a doctoral degree in economics from Brown University.
He worked as an economist in the Office of Price Administration before entering the Navy during World War II. After the war, which included service in the Pacific, he joined the research division of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. He then traveled to The Hague as a financial adviser with the Marshall Plan mission to the Netherlands.
He began at the Treasury Department in 1951, when he was named chief of the European division in the international finance office. He later served as a Treasury representative to the Allied high commission for Germany and as Treasury attache to the American embassy in Bonn. In the 1960s and 1970s, he spent a number of years in Paris, first as deputy chief and then as acting chief of the U.S. mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Dr. Brown, a recipient of the Treasury Department's Exceptional Service Award, was a former research fellow and federal executive fellow at the Brookings Institution.
He wrote four books on finance, including "Bank Lending to Business Borrowers: Interest Rates and U.S. Monetary Policy" (1992).
He was a member of the Cosmos Club and the American Economic Association.
His first wife, Vivian Brown, died in 1981.
Survivors include his wife of 21 years, Maxine S. Brown of Washington; a son from his first marriage, Peter D.G. Brown of New Paltz, N.Y.; three stepchildren, Rick Stewart of Rockville, Phillip Stewart of Bethesda and Suzan Meves of Germany; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Chieh Chien Chang
Chieh Chien Chang, 90, a Catholic University professor who was a leading expert on aeronautical engineering and simulated weather conditions, died July 5 of a heart ailment at a hospital in Houston. He had lived in Houston for the past five years.
Dr. Chang was chairman of the department of space science and applied physics at Catholic University from 1962 to 1974 and continued to serve as a professor until 1978. His specialties included fluid mechanics, blood flow, solar wind, plasma physics and weather behavior. He was featured in an article in Time magazine in 1966 for designing the first laboratory simulation of a tornado.
Dr. Chang was born in Beijing, where he began his academic and research career in the 1930s. He helped build China's first wind tunnel for designing aircraft. He fled China in 1937, just ahead of the Japanese occupation.
He came to the United States in 1940 as a scholarship student at California Institute of Technology, from which he received a doctorate in aeronautical engineering in 1950. During World War II, he worked for a research firm in New Rochelle, N.Y., and for Glenn L. Martin Aircraft in Baltimore, exploring the use of wood and lightweight materials in airplane design.
Dr. Chang was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University from 1947 to 1952. After studying in England as a Guggenheim fellow, he taught at the University of Maryland in the 1953-54 school year. He was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota from 1954 to 1961.
After his retirement from Catholic University in 1978, Dr. Chang traveled frequently to China, collaborating with meteorologists to develop ways to control seasonal monsoons. He also was instrumental in improving the science curricula at Chinese universities, including his alma mater, Northeastern University in Shenyang.
In 1991, he played a role in freeing Marshal Chang Hsueh-Liang, a Chinese nationalist leader in the 1930s who had been under house arrest in Taiwan since 1948.
Dr. Chang lived in Silver Spring from 1962 until 1999, when he moved to Houston.
His wife of 64 years, Than Chie Chang, died in 2002.
Survivors include three children, Dr. William Chang of Cincinnati; Dr. David Chang of Houston; and Nancy Chang of New York; and four grandchildren.