Ruth Devlin Thomas

County Worker, Church Volunteer

Ruth Devlin Thomas, 88, who held positions with the Montgomery County government and volunteered for her church, died Aug. 15 at a hospital in Norwalk, Conn., of sepsis, after a heart attack and a stroke.

Mrs. Thomas, who was born in Vancouver, B.C., moved to Los Angeles as a child and became a naturalized U.S. citizen at 16. She attended the University of California at Los Angeles for three years before marrying in 1938.

She and her husband, a Navy officer, were living in Hawaii in 1941 when Japanese airplanes attacked Pearl Harbor.

In the 1970s, Mrs. Thomas worked for the Montgomery County school board, ordering supplies and equipment. She was also a clerk in the Montgomery County office of the state register of wills.

She was a member of Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda for more than 50 years and did volunteer work for her church.

Between overseas postings, she and her husband lived in Potomac from 1946 to 1986, when they moved to Leisure World in Silver Spring. Mrs. Thomas moved to a daughter's house in Connecticut in 2001.

Her husband of 55 years, retired Navy Capt. Willis L. Thomas, died in 1993.

Survivors include three daughters, Kathleen Lowe of Montgomery Village, Patricia Ringler of Maryville, Tenn., and Janice Thomas of Norwalk; a sister; and two grandchildren.

John Robert Lester Sr.

D.C. Police Officer

John Robert Lester Sr., 58, a retired D.C. police officer, died of cancer Aug. 31 at his home in Lexington Park.

Mr. Lester was born in Buffalo and served with the Air Force in Vietnam from 1965 to 1968. He moved to the Washington area in 1968 and became a city police officer. He retired in 1994.

He was a member of the American Legion and the Fraternal Order of Police.

His marriages to Georgianna Dusch and Sharon Haines ended in divorce.

Survivors include three children from his first marriage, Louise M. Davis and Carolyn May, both of Elkridge, and John R. Lester Jr. of Crofton; his mother, Eleanor Lester of Buffalo; three brothers; and three grandchildren.

Albert Joseph Stivers

Technical Writer

Albert Joseph Stivers, 78, a technical writer specializing in Navy contracts, died Aug. 22 at a son's home in Chestertown, Md. He had cardiac arrest as a complication of dementia.

Mr. Stivers was a technical writer for nearly 50 years, working primarily with Quanta Systems Corp., a Gaithersburg contractor. He traveled throughout the country and overseas to write technical reports about naval matters. He retired in 1996.

Mr. Stivers, a native of Washington, grew up in Chevy Chase and attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School for one year before moving with his family to Kentucky. He served in the Navy during World War II.

He attended the University of Kentucky before returning to Washington.

For 15 years, he was scoutmaster of Troop 1097 in Gaithersburg, where he lived from 1962 to 2003. He moved to his son's house in Chestertown last year.

Survivors include three children, David Stivers of Chestertown, Mark Stivers of Lancaster, Pa., and Diane Cradoct of La Plata; a sister, Martha Tiernan of Gaithersburg; and 10 grandchildren.