Neil Joseph McEleney
Catholic Priest, Scholar
The Rev. Neil Joseph McEleney, 77, a faculty member at Washington area Catholic colleges, died Aug. 19 of acute anemia at Carroll Manor, a retirement home for priests in Washington.
Father McEleney, a priest with the Paulist order, was on the faculty of St. Paul's College in Washington from 1957 to 1972. He taught scripture at Catholic University from 1979 to 1994. He also taught in the pastoral service program at Trinity College in the District.
He was a scholar of scriptural studies and was regarded as an authority on the Sermon on the Mount and Maccabees, two books in the Old Testament Apocrypha. He was the author of "The Growth of the Gospels" (1979) and of dozens of articles and book reviews about theology and the Bible, for general and scholarly audiences.
From 1953 to 1997, Father McEleney was active in the Catholic Biblical Association, which promotes the scholarly study of scripture, serving as the group's president in 1979 and 1980. He was editor of the association's official publication, Catholic Biblical Quarterly.
He was born in Charlestown, Mass. He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a master's degree in theology from St. Paul's. He was ordained a priest in 1953.
He received a licentiate in sacred theology -- a graduate degree -- from Catholic University. He received two advanced degrees in scriptural studies from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He also studied at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies in Jerusalem.
In 1968, Father McEleney helped found the Washington Theological Consortium, an interdenominational religious group. In the mid-1970s, he taught at St. Patrick's Seminary and University in Menlo Park, Calif.
Survivors include two sisters, Margaret MacDonald of Bowie and Mary Flynn of Boston.
Jack W. Osman
Advertising Sales Representative
Jack W. Osman, 63, an advertising sales representative for various publishers and magazines, died of lung cancer Aug. 25 at his home in Alexandria.
Mr. Osman, who had lived in Alexandria since 1984, was born in Cleveland and attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., in 1960-61. In the 1970s and 1980s, he took courses at the University of Pittsburgh School of Business and the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. From 1962 to 1964, he served in the Army.
During his career in advertising, he worked for McGraw-Hill Publications, U.S. News & World Report and Compass Publications, where he last worked in 2001.
His marriage to Barbara Osman of Pittsburgh ended in divorce.
Survivors include his companion of 20 years, Sandra Socrates; two sons from his marriage, Jon C. Osman and T.J. Osman, both of Pittsburgh; his mother, Evelyn A. Osman of Lancaster, Pa.; a sister; and six grandchildren.
Robert Andrew Langston
Robert Andrew Langston, 53, an architect who practiced in Virginia, Maryland and the District, died of cancer Aug. 24 at his home in Alexandria.
Mr. Langston's projects include contributions to the design of Gallery Place and the Portal Project in the District, Wayfarer's Restaurant in Alexandria and designs for office layouts for IBM and the Peace Corps headquarters. He also designed numerous residences in the area.
Mr. Langston was born in Dayton, Ohio, and grew up in Alexandria. At T.C. Williams High School, he was a member of the National Honor Society and the football, gymnastics and math teams. He also was a Washington Post newspaper carrier and an Eagle Scout.
He received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Virginia School of Architecture in 1973, where he graduated first in his class and was initiated into the Phi Eta Sigma honorary fraternity. He received a master's degree in architecture from the University of Washington in 1975 and was a member of the Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society in Architecture and Allied Arts.
He began his career as urban designer and planner for the National Capital Planning Commission, where, in 1975-76, he directed a study of the visual structure of Washington. From 1976 to 1980, he was a chief designer for the office of Vlastimil Koubek and, in 1980-81, for Edward Janke and Associates. He established his private practice, Robert A. Langston AIA Architects Ltd. in 1981.
Mr. Langston was an active member of the American Institute of Architects, as well as an avid supporter of youth athletic programs and the Alexandria chapter of Optimist International.
His marriage to Mary H. Rogers ended in divorce.
Survivors include two sons, John Langston of Alexandria and Zachary Langston of Colorado Springs; his father, James F. Langston of Alexandria; a brother, Thomas F. Langston of Sedalia, Mo.; and a sister, Ellen L. Branigan of Columbia.
Paul Evan Johnson
Paul Evan Johnson, 96, a retired immigration officer and teacher, died Aug. 15 of complications from a broken hip at Fairfax Nursing Center. He had lived at the Gables at Mount Vernon in Alexandria since 2001.
Mr. Johnson was born in Chicago and grew up in Racine, Wis. His father was captain of a wooden sailing vessel, hauling coal and timber on the Great Lakes. He played the violin in a high school orchestra and was active in a local Baptist Church youth group.
When he moved to Washington in 1929, he lived in a boarding house on P Street NW, where he met, courted and married the proprietor's daughter, Della Anita Austin, who graduated from Walter Reed Nursing School in 1932. The couple lived over Klein's Dress Shop on B Street SE, after marrying in 1930.
Mr. Johnson joined the agency then known as the U.S. Immigration Service in 1929, while he went to school nights at George Washington University. He graduated in 1934 with a bachelor's degree in government.
He put in 35 years with the immigration agency, retiring in 1964 as officer in charge of the Norfolk office. He moved to Black Mountain, N.C., where he taught geography at Owen High School and Montreat-Anderson College for seven years. A sports fan, he kept statistics for the high school teams, and in his last year of teaching, Owen High School students dedicated their high school yearbook to him.
He moved to Front Royal in 1972 and Annandale in 1982. In both places, he participated in numerous volunteer activities, including transporting the elderly to their medical appointments and serving as a reading and math volunteer at Annandale Terrace Elementary School.
In 1988, he moved to Paul Springs Retirement Community in Alexandria, where he continued his volunteer activities, which included serving as a bingo caller at the nursing home where his wife lived before her death in 1993.
Survivors include a daughter, Joyce Sheap of Annandale; a son, John Johnson of Wachapreague, Va.; three granddaughters; and two great-granddaughters.
Richard Carl Schlenker
Richard Carl Schlenker, 81, a central office technician with Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. for 42 years, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 20 at his home in Wheaton.
Mr. Schlenker, a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., moved to Takoma Park in 1941 to attend Bliss Electrical School and work part time for C&P. Within 11 months, he was drafted into the Army and participated in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. He later served 10 years in the Army Reserve.
After the war, he married and settled in Maryland, resuming his work with C&P.
His love of history led to his affiliation with numerous hereditary, lineage, genealogical, patriotic and historical societies. He was a member of 10 veterans and 12 Masonic groups.
Mr. Schlenker sang and directed the C&P Telephone Glee Club, Wheaton Presbyterian Church Choir, Rossmoor Chapel Choir and Scottish Rite and Shrine choral groups. He was ordained as a Presbyterian elder. He was commissioner of the Washington area Boy Scouts of America for 25 years.
His wife of 51 years, Dorris Weidner Schlenker, died in 1997.
Survivors include his companion, Mildred Ames of Wheaton; two sons, David Schlenker of Derwood and Daniel Schlenker of Rockville; four daughters, Dianne Irani of Rockville, Dawn Samen and Dale Majewski, both of Layhill, and Deborah Gerhart of Mount Airy; and eight grandchildren.
William J. Elvin
William J. Elvin, 86, associate editor of the McLean Providence Journal weekly newspaper, died of complications of pulmonary fibrosis Aug. 26 at Virginia Hospital Center.
Mr. Elvin had worked in Washington area newspapers since the end of World War II, when he became the managing editor of the Fairfax Standard for a year. He then worked for the former Washington Star for eight years, where he covered Arlington County before becoming assistant state editor for Virginia. Upon his resignation, the Star's state editor, George Porter, said Mr. Elvin "well deserved the reputation of being the best organized man in the office. And in time of crisis there was none steadier or more reliable. It made me feel good just to have you around."
Mr. Elvin bought the McLean Providence Journal in 1956, which he published and edited until 1986, when he sold it to Dear Communications. He remained at the newspaper as the associate editor and was working there up to two weeks before his death.
Mr. Elvin, a native of Dumfries, Scotland, moved with his parents to Frostburg, Md., when he was 6 years old. He graduated from Beall High School in Frostburg in 1936, and was editor of the school newspaper.
He graduated from the University of Michigan, where he was assistant editor of the Michigan Daily. During World War II, he was an infantry officer in the Third Army and was wounded in France in 1944, receiving the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. He lived in McLean from 1957 until his death.
Mr. Elvin was a past president of the McLean Lions Club and the McLean Historical Club, a founding member of the McLean Business and Professional Association, and a director of the McLean Citizens Association.
His marriage to Jane Legge Elvin ended in divorce.
Survivors include his companion, Ruth McGoff of McLean; four children, William John Elvin of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Jan Elisabeth Elvin of Washington, George Andrew Elvin of Urbana, Ill., and Martha Kimberley Elvin of Newville, Pa.; a sister, Mary Anderson Elvin Simons of Timonium, Md.; six grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
Frances Catherine Irving
Volunteer and Nurse
Frances Catherine Irving, 93, a volunteer and registered nurse, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Aug. 25 at Maplewood Park Place in Bethesda, where she lived.
Mrs. Irving, born in Cumberland, Md., spent her entire life in the state of Maryland. She received her nursing degree from Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Washington and practiced nursing in Washington before her marriage.
She was a volunteer at the National Arboretum, where she assisted in building the Trail for the Blind, a venue where a sightless person can tour a garden and feel examples of flora of the United States.
Mrs. Irving also was president of the Mother's Club of St. John's College High School in 1958, was active in the Georgetown Visitation parents program and volunteered at the cafeteria at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Bethesda. She was an avid bridge player and a member of the Cosmos Club.
Her husband of 60 years, Dr. George W. Irving Jr., died in 1997.
She is survived by her son, Dr. George W. Irving III (colonel, USAF, retired) of Fair Oaks Ranch, Tex.; her daughter Mary Constance Irving Fitzpatrick of Cape Coral, Fla.; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Douglas A. Strobel
Douglas A. Strobel, 76, a cartographer for the National Geographic Society for 40 years, died after a heart attack Aug. 23 at Montgomery General Hospital. He was a resident of Olney.
Mr. Strobel, a native Washingtonian, worked on many maps during his career, concentrating on the world atlas book maps, his wife, Gertrudel, said. But it was his work on the Yellowstone National Park map that so piqued his curiosity that he wanted to visit; he and his wife took a bus tour of the park two years ago.
Former colleagues at the Society said he was technically adept and editorially skilled, an old-time cartographer who worked for years as a senior draftsman, updating boundaries, shorelines and transportation networks in pen-and-ink renderings that would be turned into the maps used in books, magazines and products. Mr. Strobel graduated in 1946 from Roosevelt High School, where he was a center and defensive tackle on the football team. He worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in Arlington as a topographical draftsman from 1946 to 1952.
He served as an aerial photographer for the Navy during the 1950s, then joined National Geographic. He retired in 1992.
Mr. Strobel was a Cub Scout packmaster and a coach for the girls CYO softball team. For more than 50 years, he was a member of the Holy Name Society at The Shrine of St. Jude's Catholic Church in Rockville. He was a past grand knight for the Blessed Manyanet Knights of Columbus Council 5567 and a member of the Cardinal Patrick O'Boyle Assembly. He was a past president of the St. Jude's Leisure Club. He enjoyed traveling, gardening and watching birds.
Survivors include his wife of more than 50 years, Gertrude "Trudy" Mae Ulias Strobel of Olney; four children, David B. Strobel of Mt. Airy, Thomas A. Strobel of Sterling, Marie A. Strobel Lussier of Charleston, S.C., and Joseph M. Strobel of South Riding.; a brother, Clifford Strobel, Rohrersville, Md.; and eight grandchildren.