Melvin Bowman Landes
Melvin Bowman Landes, 96, who was a principal of Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria for nearly 30 years, died of pneumonia July 29 at the Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Alexandria.
Mr. Landes began his teaching career at age 18 in a two-room school in Rockingham County, near Harrisonburg, Va. He became principal at Mathias Junior High School in Mathias, W.Va., in 1930. Five years later, he came to Fairfax County as a seventh-grade teacher and principal of Vienna Elementary School.
From 1937 to 1938, he was principal of Groveton Elementary in Alexandria. He was principal of Lee-Jackson Elementary in Mathews, Va., from 1940 to 1945. He worked at Mount Vernon High School from 1945 until his retirement in 1973. The school's stadium bears his name.
Mr. Landes, a Harrisonburg native, graduated from McPherson College in Kansas and received a master's degree in business from George Washington University.
He lived in the Washington area for 38 years, before leaving Alexandria in 1973 to move to Mathews. He returned to the Washington area in 1999 and was living in Alexandria when he died.
Mr. Landes was considered "the dean" of Fairfax County educators. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa professional education society and the National Education Association.
He was an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren and preached at churches into his eighties. He also was a former deacon and Sunday school teacher at Groveton Baptist Church in Alexandria and Mathews Baptist Church in Mathews.
His wife of more than 50 years, Ava Mae Strawderman Landes, died in 1991.
Survivors include two daughters, Roberta Jeanne Landes Roberts of Midland and Paula Gaye Landes Givens of Stafford; one brother; one grandson; and one great-granddaughter.
Georgetown English Professor
Keith Fort, 71, a Georgetown University English professor emeritus who co-established a minority scholarship program, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Aug. 19 at Georgetown University Hospital. He lived in Washington.
Dr. Fort, a member of Georgetown's faculty for 37 years, taught courses ranging from introductory expository writing to advanced studies in the theory and evolution of satire. He wrote numerous scholarly articles on satire, Gnosticism and the techniques of teaching writing. He also wrote short stories.
In 1969, he won Georgetown's Edward Bunn award as outstanding teacher of the year. In 1999, the year of his retirement, he was recognized by Georgetown's faculty senate for his service to that body. He then was the founding president of the university's retired faculty association.
He was one of three professors in the late 1960s and early 1970s who started a faculty fund that later became a university-funded program called Community Scholars, which was intended to draw more students of color from D.C. public schools to the university.
He was credited by colleagues with helping to democratize the university's governing structure. One example was when he spearheaded a drive to document students' rights on grading, a movement that ran into some resistance from faculty, said Ray Reno, another professor emeritus of English.
Dr. Fort, a native of Chattanooga, received his bachelor's degree from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received a master's degree in 1961 and a doctoral degree in 1964, both from the University of Minnesota in English and comparative literature.
He received a Fulbright scholarship for advanced study at the Universite Montpellier in France and later obtained a Fulbright travel grant. He served in the Air Force for 18 months and was discharged as a captain in the Reserve in 1957.
Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Deborah C. Fort of Washington; two daughters, Kathleen Fort of Washington and Cindy Fort of Damariscotta Mills, Maine; and a brother, James Fort of Madison, Va.
Sallie Arrington Dixon
Health Services Supervisor
Sallie Arrington Dixon, 94, a church member, community leader and retired health services supervisor at the Eastern Star Home, died Aug. 18 at her home in Charlottesville. She had heart disease and cancer.
Born in Radiant, Va., Mrs. Dixon arrived in Washington at the age of 5. She moved to New York at age 14 to work as a nanny and returned to Washington in 1942 after marrying.
She raised her family and was a community leader in Anacostia. From 1968 until she retired in the mid-1970s, she worked at the Eastern Star Home. In 1980, Shiloh Baptist Church on Ninth Street NW gave her its Humanitarian Award for service and leadership in the community.
She returned to the region of her childhood home in Madison County in the early 1970s and became vice chairperson of the Madison County Democratic Party, working in local and state political campaigns.
Her husband of 44 years, James Washington Dixon, died in 1979. A son, U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. James Walter Dixon, was killed in 1964 in an airplane accident while on active duty in the Philippines.
Survivors include a son, Arrington Liggins Dixon, a former D.C. Council chairman; three sisters; and three grandchildren.
George Severn Tyler III
Real Estate Developer
George Severn Tyler III, 69, an Annapolis restaurateur, antiques dealer, real estate developer and blue-water sailor, died of kidney failure Aug. 18 at Memorial Hospital at Easton.
Mr. Tyler owned and sold businesses in the District, Maryland and the Virgin Islands. He bought an antiques shop on Capitol Hill in Washington in the early 1960s, before the renovation of historic homes there really got underway. He bought Marmaduke's Pub in Eastport in 1969 and later the Captain's Table restaurant in Annapolis, Steamboat Landing and the Backfin restaurants in Galesville and the St. Michaels Inn in St. Michaels. He sold all of them.
While living in Galesville in the 1980s, he built several high-rise office buildings in Washington, served on the President's Council for Housing the Homeless and was featured in a BBC film for constructing the largest timepiece in the world, larger than "Big Ben."
His last work in the District was as a construction supervisor on the restoration of the Willard Hotel and the Occidental Restaurant.
A competitive yachtsman, Mr. Tyler competed in many races on the Chesapeake in his Columbia 24 sailboat, Tippecanoe, and as skipper of other vessels. He sailed in the Annapolis/Newport, Newport/Bermuda and Southern Ocean Racing Circuit races for many years. He was also the downwind helmsman on American Eagle with Ted Turner.
In 1987, he and his wife sailed to the Caribbean and lived aboard their 50-foot sailboat, Childe, for several years before settling on St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. They kept a summer home in St. Michaels.
Mr. Tyler was born in Baltimore and attended the University of Baltimore. He played semi-professional football and was one of the founders and players of the Annapolis Lacrosse Club and Baltimore Lacrosse Club. He moved with his family to Annapolis in 1966.
Mr. Tyler collected West Indian mahogany colonial furniture. He enjoyed sailing and traveling and was an aficionado of opera, fine art and gourmet dining.
His marriages to Jean Keen and Elizabeth Rumsey Finkle ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Cindy Patterson Tyler of St. Michaels and St. Croix; a son from his first marriage, George S. Tyler IV of Davidsonville; two children from his second marriage, Hamilton Tyler of Millersville and Caroline Tyler Huddleston of Centreville; a sister; and two grandsons.
Joseph Albert Strowder
Joseph Albert Strowder, 91, who spent more than 30 years working for railroads and then worked as a corrections officer, died Aug. 6 of prostate cancer at his home in the District.
Mr. Strowder moved to Washington in 1939 and worked for more than 20 years as a waiter with the old Seaboard Air Line Railroad. In 1966, he became the first African American steward in that railroad's history. His experiences were chronicled in a Voice of America documentary in 1987. He also was featured in a recent book about Pullman porters, "Rising From the Rails" by Larry Tye, and appeared at a reading at the Library of Congress four days before his death.
After leaving the railroad in 1968, Mr. Strowder was a corrections officer at the Lorton Youth Correction Facility until his retirement in 1976.
He was born in Pensacola, Fla., and raised in Omaha. He worked in hotels before joining the Union Pacific Railroad in the mid-1930s. During World War II, he served with the Army in France, reaching the rank of staff sergeant.
He was president of the Retired Railroad Men's Club in Washington for 34 years. He was a founder of the Royal Family Block Club, a neighborhood association in Northeast Washington, serving as president for 27 years. He was a member of Bethesda Baptist Church in the District for 52 years and was treasurer of the usher board. He also was a lifetime member of the NAACP.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Korea Strowder of Washington; two daughters, Kathryn Gray of Temple Hills and Jo A. Strowder of Washington; and two grandchildren.
William R. Faust
Navy Department Physicist
William Roscoe Faust, 86, who spent 31 years as a civilian physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington and retired from the lab in 1972 as associate director of research, died Aug. 20 at Washington Hospital Center of complications from an angioplasty a day earlier.
Dr. Faust, a resident of Huntingtown, was born in Shawnee, Okla.
He was a 1939 electrical engineering graduate of Oklahoma State University and received a master's degree in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1941. He received a doctorate in physics from the University of Maryland in 1949.
He contributed articles to professional journals and held several patents. He was a fellow of the American Physical Society, and his memberships included the Washington Academy of Sciences and Sons of the American Revolution of Prince George's County.
He was an amateur radio operator and played bridge.
His wife of 58 years, Mary Dees Faust, died in 2000.
Survivors include three children, Margaret Adele Hilton of Chesapeake Beach and Hugh H. Faust and Mary Elizabeth Shugart, both of Huntingtown; and three grandchildren.
Gareth Ivorian-Jones, 61, a lawyer with the International Finance Corp., died July 28 of injuries from an automobile accident on the Caribbean island of Carriacou in Grenada, where he had a home. He also had a home in McLean.
He worked with the IFC, a member organization of the World Bank, for 30 years. He managed legal affairs for the IFC, particularly the negotiation of loans to organizations in developing nations.
For most of his tenure, he worked in Washington. He did a great deal of international travel and was assigned to IFC field offices in Zimbabwe and South Africa from 1995 to 1999. He retired in 2003.
His full name was Owain Gareth Gruffydd Ivorian-Jones. He was born in Wales. He graduated from the University of Wales and from the Guildford College of Law in England.
He worked for the British High Commission in Uganda from 1968 to 1971. He spent two years in London working for the International Coffee Organization before taking his position with the IFC in Washington in 1973.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Elizabeth Cynthia Ivorian-Jones of McLean and Carriacou; two daughters, Elen Ivorian Rogers of Beverly Farms, Mass., and Lisa Ivorian Gray of Washington; a sister; and two grandchildren.
Rita N. Beasley
Rita N. Beasley, 89, a volunteer, died of complications from a stroke Aug. 20 at the Orange County Nursing Home in Orange, Va.
Mrs. Beasley, a native of New Rochelle, N.Y., attended art school in New York and then became a seamstress, making costumes for the actresses Shirley Temple and Tallulah Bankhead when they appeared on Broadway.
She married and moved to the Washington area in 1951, settling in McLean, where she became a member of St. John's Catholic Church. Mrs. Beasley used her seamstress skills to make all the vestments for the parish priests. She also ran the church bazaar and was the director of Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes for four years.
She also was the volunteer regional administrator of the AARP in McLean from 1975 to 1980.
Her husband, Arnold R. Beasley, died in 1998.
Survivors include a daughter, Mary Catherine Beasley of Vienna; four sisters; a brother; and two grandsons.