Clifford B. Diffell

Inventory Manager

Clifford B. Diffell, 85, who worked at Andrews Air Force Base for about 25 years before retiring in the late 1980s as a warehouse inventory manager, died July 17 at Montgomery General Hospital. He had prostate cancer.

Mr. Diffell, who had lived in the Washington area since 1951, was born and educated in London.

A British Army veteran, he served as an engineer with the British Expeditionary Force in France at the beginning of World War II.

He was evacuated to England from Dunkirk and served as a fireman and ordnance disposal specialist during the Blitz on London. He was then assigned to the China-Burma-India theater, where he took part in the construction of the Burma Road. He was wounded in the Battle of Imphal-Kohima, named after two towns in eastern India.

While working for the Allied Control Commission in Germany after the war, he met and married Dorothy K. Murphy. They moved to Kenosha, Wis., and then to Morningside in 1951.

After the death of his wife in 1989, Mr. Diffell moved to Rossmoor Leisure World in Silver Spring.

Survivors include seven children, Mark Diffell of Thurmont, Jerry Diffell of Blacksburg, Va., Jim Diffell of Columbia, Chris Diffell of Washington, Kate Blackwell of Nacogdoches, Tex., Pat Dobzinski of Gaithersburg and Mary Diffell of Kensington; a sister; and six grandchildren.

Eugene Edward Volpe

Quality Engineer

Eugene Edward Volpe, 60, a quality engineer for Orbital Sciences Corp., died of cancer July 20 at his home in Millersville.

Mr. Volpe was born in Latrobe, Pa. After graduating from high school, he worked in electronics in Pennsylvania, California and Maryland. He moved to Millersville in 1985.

At Orbital, which he joined in 1996, Mr. Volpe did quality engineering work on the Hubbell space telescope through the company's contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center. When he wasn't on the job, he enjoyed working on his cabin in the mountains of Garrett County in Western Maryland and playing his guitar.

His marriage to Nancy Stovich ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Gloria Volpe of Millersville; two children from the first marriage, Eugene E. Volpe Jr. of Westminster, Md., and Kimberly Volpe of Sykesville, Md.; a daughter from the second marriage, Angela Volpe of Catonsville, Md.; his mother, Josephine Volpe of Derry, Pa.; two sisters; three brothers; and a grandson.

Lenore 'Lynn' Preston

Montgomery County Teacher

Lenore Jacobsen "Lynn" Preston, 79, an employee of the Montgomery County school system who taught in the county's general equivalency diploma program for a decade before retiring in 1997, died July 13 at Casey House hospice in Rockville. She had cancer.

Mrs. Preston, a Potomac resident, did secretarial work at the old Georgetown Hill Elementary School in Rockville from 1971 to 1979. She then spent two years as secretary to the headmaster at St. Albans School in Washington.

In the mid-1980s, after receiving a college degree, she taught English at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and helped students learn computer skills at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington.

As part of the GED program, she taught inmates at the Rockville jail.

She was born in Chicago and raised in Washington, where she was a 1942 graduate of McKinley Technical High School. She was a 1983 summa cum laude English graduate of the University of Maryland.

Early in her career, she did secretarial work for the Washington Federation of Churches.

She was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Rockville, where she sang in the choir and sang solos in operettas performed at the church. She was a founder of the Town and Country Women's Club.

She wrote a book about her daughter, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, who died in 1999.

Survivors include her husband of 54 years, John E. Preston of Potomac; two children, Pamela Kelly of La Crosse, Wis., and Richard Preston of Yardley, Pa.; a half brother; and nine grandchildren.