George Nicholas Theodor


George Nicholas Theodor, 107, a Greek-born restaurant owner, died of pneumonia Sept. 7 at the Silver Spring home of John Grentzner, his longtime caregiver.

Mr. Theodor was born in the village of Vassara, Greece, and came to the United States in 1910. He settled in Litchfield, Conn., where he owned and operated several restaurants. He moved to Laurel in 1949, where he was co-owner of the Paddock restaurant until 1951, when he retired.

He enjoyed horse racing and frequently attended races at Laurel Park. On his 100th birthday in 1997, the park presented Mr. Theodor with a birthday party, giving him a seat in the owners' boxes, bringing him to the winner's circle for pictures and naming a race in his honor.

He traveled a great deal in his retirement, returning many times to his native Greece. He had lived in Silver Spring since 1973.

His wife, Fannie Theodor, died in 1967.

Survivors include a daughter, Diana Garms, of Avon, Conn.; one brother; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Helen Griffith Warner


Helen Griffith Warner, 95, a secretary with two federal agencies for nearly 50 years, died Sept. 2 at her son's home in Sykesville, Md. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Warner, a native Washingtonian, graduated from Eastern High School and from Strayer Business College (now Strayer University). She joined the former Veterans Administration as a secretary in 1932. In 1952, she became secretary to the director of the tobacco and cotton division of the Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service. She retired in 1980.

She lived in Washington until 1954, when she moved to Wheaton. She had been in Sykesville since 2001.

She had been a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church in Washington since 1950.

From 1980 to 1994, she volunteered with the Montgomery County Library. She received an award from the governor of Maryland in 1993 for her volunteer work.

Her husband of 52 years, retired Marine Chief Warrant Officer Harry W. Warner, died in 1981.

Survivors include her son, Harry W. Warner Jr. of Sykesville; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Cecelia DeSoto

Businesswoman, Teacher

Cecelia Torres DeSoto, 67, a former Alexandria beauty salon owner who had been a teacher at the Tidewater School in Huntingtown since 1995, died Sept. 1 at Washington Hospital Center. She had cancer.

Mrs. DeSoto was born in Phoenix, where she graduated from a beautician's school. She then accompanied her husband on his military and Defense Department assignments, including San Francisco and Stuttgart, until settling in the Washington area in 1973.

From 1974 to 1991, she owned and operated the Alexandria House for Beautiful Hair in Old Town.

At the Tidewater School, a private school in Calvert County, she taught art, music and Spanish to children from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade.

In 2003, she received an associate's degree in social work from the College of Southern Maryland. She lived in Benedict, in Charles County.

She did volunteer work at Safe Harbor, a Prince Frederick shelter for abused women.

Her interests included cooking, decorative painting, antiquing, gardening and boating.

Survivors include her husband of 50 years, M. John DeSoto of Benedict; four children, Cynthia Marson of Brandywine, Katherine Brady of Davidsonville, John DeSoto of Waldorf and Eric DeSoto of Alexandria; four sisters; two brothers; and 11 grandchildren.

Morris Goldman

Sociology Professor

Morris Goldman, 79, a former Gallaudet University sociology professor, died of heart disease Aug. 4 at his home in Washington.

Dr. Goldman joined Gallaudet in September 1957 and retired in 1991. The achievement of which he was most proud was the development, under Dorothy Polakof, of the only professional undergraduate social work program for the deaf in the United States.

Dr. Goldman also advocated for the creation of a criminology concentration within the Department of Sociology, initiated after his retirement. During his tenure, he wrote several books and belonged to many professional organizations, including the American Society of Criminology and the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

He was born in New York City and served in the Army during World War II. He graduated from New York University in 1949. He received a master's degree in political and social science in 1953, followed by a doctorate in philosophy in 1960, both from the New School for Social Research in New York.

Survivors include a sister and a brother.

Robert J. Dawn

Purchasing Manager

Robert J. Dawn, 75, retired purchasing manager for the American Council of Life Insurance, died of complications of heart disease Sept. 5 at Prince William Hospital in Manassas. He lived in Gainesville.

Mr. Dawn joined the American Council of Life Insurance in 1983 and retired in 1994. Before that, he worked for The Washington Post. He began his newspaper career in 1941 as a carrier and later worked in circulation, accounting and purchasing. He retired in 1982 as purchasing manager.

He was born in Springfield, Ill., and came to Washington when he was 7 years old. He graduated from the old Central High School. He served in the Marines from 1952 until 1954 and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Mr. Dawn lived in Dunn Loring for 50 years before moving to Gainesville about two years ago.

He enjoyed golf, bridge and traveling. Never believing the "quit while you're ahead" philosophy, he made a hole-in-one in 1997 and continued playing the game he loved.

His wife of 40 years, Louise Dawn, died in 1990.

Mr. Dawn was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Manassas and served as a lector. He also was a lay Eucharist minister at Grace Episcopal Church in Haymarket. He volunteered at his children's schools and sporting activities. He also worked with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Survivors include his companion of 13 years, Ann Alexander of Gainesville; three children, Karen Dawn of Vienna, Keith Dawn of Port Republic, N.J., and Ralph Dawn of Tantallon; and six grandchildren.

Henry Stanley Schrader

Defense Mapping Agency Employee

Henry Stanley Schrader, 93, a retired optical engineer with the Defense Mapping Agency, died Aug. 27 of a heart attack at his home in Vienna, where he lived for more than 50 years.

Mr. Schrader was born in Buffalo and attended Cornell University, where he studied mechanical engineering.

As a young man, he loved racing sailboats. He won often for the Buffalo Yacht Club as the proud captain of the Valiant, a Snipe craft he sailed on Lake Erie in the 1930s and '40s.

His sailing expertise became so known that the U.S. Naval Academy offered him a position as a sailing instructor. He declined, wishing to support the war efforts with his engineering expertise instead.

He later worked in private industry for the American Optical Co. in Buffalo, where he held patents for bombing sites, projectors and a cancer microscope for Johns Hopkins University.

In 1953, he joined Melpar Inc. (now E-Systems/Raytheon), supporting engineering projects on several military and intelligence community programs. He also worked briefly at General Electric's Advanced Physics Lab in Schenectady, N.Y., as well as at Farrington Electronics in Springfield, where he did pioneering work on optical recognition systems.

In 1965, he joined the Bethesda-based Defense Mapping Agency, now the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. During his years at the agency's Hydrographic/Topographic Center, he received many awards from the federal government for his contributions to the intelligence community and the nation's space program. For example, in 1969, when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, pictures of the event came back to earth in pieces. Optics designed by Mr. Schrader reassembled those pieces into a coherent whole.

Mr. Schrader's wife, Anne-Marie Bernhardt, died in 1989.

Survivors include his son, Gary Mark Schrader of Potomac Falls; and four grandchildren.

Michael E. Ashurst

Pepco Employee

Michael Edwin Ashurst, 47, a Laurel resident and Pepco supervisory electrical engineer based at the utility's control center in West Bethesda, died Aug. 16 near a Pepco substation in Adelphi.

A spokeswoman for the Maryland Medical Examiner's Office said that Mr. Ashurst was electrocuted and that the death was ruled an accident.

Mr. Ashurst, who was the son of an Army officer, was born in Washington and raised mostly in Charles County.

He was a 1974 graduate of Lackey High School in Indian Head, where he attended classes in architecture and drafting and began designing bookcases, storage areas and building additions for area structures. He joined Pepco after high school.

He received an associate's degree from what is now the College of Southern Maryland and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Capital College in Laurel in 1994.

His hobbies included photography, computers and motor mechanics. He also enjoyed operating ham radios, and used the handle "Metro." He was a former member of the Chesapeake Van Club and participated in van rallies nationwide in the mid-1970s.

His marriage to Rebecca Lee Ashurst ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Trina Matthews Ashurst of Laurel; a stepdaughter, Chrissie Estep of Miami; his father, retired Army chief warrant officer Emory B. Ashurst of Stockbridge, Ga.; his mother, Mildred Ashurst of Manassas; two sisters, Sharon Ashurst and Charlotte Goodie, both of Manassas; a half-brother, James Ashurst of Columbia, S.C.; and a half-sister, Denise Splawn of Greenville, S.C.

Agnes M. Hotter

Secretary, Competitive Swimmer

Agnes Maria Walkama Hotter, 84, who worked for 10 years as a secretary and office manager for PE Systems in Springfield, died Sept. 3 of a heart attack and stroke at Tillamook County General Hospital in Oregon.

Mrs. Hotter, formerly of Springfield, had lived in Manzanita, Ore., since 1991.

She was born in Brookline, Mass., and while in high school won a top award for female scholar-athletes. She swam competitively, winning a gold medal in the National American Junior three-mile Long Distance event. She also swam on Massachusetts's first synchronized swimming team.

Mrs. Hotter graduated from Boston University as valedictorian. She worked in education, first as a business course instructor and assistant to the principal at a school in Vermont, then as secretary for the athletic director of Boston University.

In 1948, she became a secretary with the Counter Intelligence Corps in Berlin. There she met her future husband, who also worked at the corps. They later moved to Cape Cod, Mass., to operate a gas station for a few years before deciding to return to Berlin and the corps. Mrs. Hotter lived in that city during the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and when the Berlin Wall went up in 1961.

After moving to Springfield in 1965, she worked as a teacher at a private school in in Annandale and as a H&R Block tax preparer in Springfield. She joined PE Systems, a engineering firm and Department of Defense contractor, in the 1970s.

After retiring in the 1980s, Mrs. Hotter returned to competitive swimming, winning gold medals in the Virginia and Oregon senior games and competing in the National Senior Olympics.

Mrs. Hotter also was a golfer, bowler and skier. She took classes in oil painting, handwriting analysis, and accordion and was an accomplished seamstress. She studied Latin, French, German, Spanish, Finnish and Russian.

She enjoyed traveling and had visited all 50 states, as well as most countries in Europe, and had cruised the Greek Isles and the Caribbean.

Her husband, Joseph John Hotter, whom she married in 1950, died in 1977.

Survivors include three children, Nancy Hotter of Camano Island, Wash., Kathie Hightower of Tacoma, Wash., and Joe Hotter Jr. of Springfield; a sister; a brother; and three granddaughters.