Geoffrey Miller Cornman

Technology Company Founder

Geoffrey Miller Cornman, 40, a founding partner of an information systems company in Reston, died July 13 of a brain tumor at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria. He lived in Vienna.

In 1994, Mr. Cornman was one of three founders of Prism Inc., an information technology company that matched software engineers with contractors and other companies looking for computer expertise. In 1999 and 2000, it was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing privately held firms in the country.

Mr. Cornman had worked previously at the Registrar, an information company that placed software specialists in the workplace.

He was born in West Chester, Pa., and grew up in Arlington County. He graduated in 1982 from Gonzaga College High School, where he was captain of the baseball team. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia in 1986.

He was a member of Thomas a Becket Catholic Church in Reston.

Survivors include his wife, Carol L. Cornman, and two daughters, Ashton and Grace, all of Vienna; his parents, John and Donna Cornman of Arlington; a sister, Jennifer C. Cornman of Granville, Ohio; and a brother, J. Whitney Cornman of Rockville.

Margaret Yniestra Van Evera


Margaret Yniestra Van Evera, 88, a volunteer for cultural and religious organizations, died July 15 of congestive heart failure at her daughter's home in Reisterstown, Md., where she had lived for the past year.

Mrs. Van Evera had lived in Chevy Chase and later in the District since 1960. She was a longtime member of Christ the King Catholic Church in Silver Spring and was active in church groups. She was a volunteer at the Opportunity Shop, a Georgetown thrift store operated by the Christ Child Society of Washington.

She was a member of the Arts Club of Washington, an organization that supports cultural activities and historic preservation, and the Pilgrims of St. Mary's, a group promoting interest in Maryland history.

She also was a supporter of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in the District, which awarded her an honorary diploma for her fundraising efforts.

As the young wife of a Navy officer, she edited and published a cookbook by Navy wives at a naval air base in Olathe, Kan.

Mrs. Van Evera was born and raised in Pensacola, Fla. She attended the University of Alabama.

Her husband of 47 years, retired Navy Capt. John Rynier Van Evera, died in 1985.

Survivors include three daughters, Margretta Forrester of St. Louis, Laura Shimmons of Alexandria and Anna Van Evera of Reisterstown; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Robert Franklin May

Communications Satellite Expert

Robert Franklin May, 85, a retired Department of Defense official who negotiated U.S. communications and satellite policies, died July 19 at his home in the District. He had brain cancer.

At the time of his retirement in 2000, he was special assistant for international affairs at the Air Force Frequency Management Agency. He talked with member states of the United Nations to establish international regulations for satellites and uses of radio systems.

Mr. May was born in Ann Arbor, Mich. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in business administration. He spent four years with the University of Michigan Aeronautical Research Center in Ann Arbor.

During World War II, he joined the Navy and was sent to radar school at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was then assigned to a Marine squadron in California.

When he left the University of Michigan, he spent 19 years as a systems management engineer specializing in aircraft, guided missile and electronics systems with Chrysler Corp., Douglas Aircraft Corp., Convair Corp. and Bendix Corp.

Mr. May moved to the Washington area in 1965 to take a position in the Defense Department as a systems analyst and operation research manager dealing with world environment, military operations and systems 20 years into the future.

Mr. May was active in local theater groups, doing lighting and directing for the Theater Lobby, Bleeker Street Players, the Arts Club of Washington, Little Theatre of Alexandria and New Playwrights. He was a founding member and past president of the Georgetown Workshop Theater.

"He was one of these guys who, at the age of 75, would clamber up into the lights to fix something, when younger guys would be afraid to," his friend Frank Lorson recalled. "He was a character."

Following his retirement, Mr. May volunteered at the information desk of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

His marriage to Beverly Brown ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Evelyn Woolston-May of Washington; six children from his first marriage, Douglas May of Blowing Rock, N.C., Gregory May of Plymouth, Mich., Jeffrey May of Huntington, W.Va., Theodore May of Washburn, Wis., Anthony May of Boise, Idaho, and Molly Thoma of Brooklyn, Wis.; a stepson, Peter Woolston of Madison, Conn.; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandson; and a sister.

Ellen Starkey Bennett

Ham Radio Operator

Ellen Starkey Bennett, 86, a native Washingtonian whose many hobbies included operating a ham radio, died July 18 of a stroke at her home in Earlysville, Va.

She was born in Washington, graduated from the old Western High School in the District and attended Southern Seminary College, now known as Southern Virginia University. After marrying in 1939, she did not work outside the home. She and her husband enjoyed sailing, flying gliders, camping and hiking.

She lived in Chevy Chase until 1976, when she and her husband moved to Mount Desert Island, Maine. In 1997, she moved to Earlysville, living in a house she designed when she was 80.

She was a painter and photographer and, in her later years, took up weaving and ham radio. Through her interest in ham radio, she made friends with people from across the country and would sometimes travel to meet them.

Her husband of 52 years, Lowell W. Bennett, died in 1992.

Survivors include three children, Dr. Donald Bennett of Hellerup, Denmark, Barbara Ulfeldt of Camino, Calif., and Molly Delappe of Earlysville; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandson.