James Robert Holland

Army Colonel

James Robert Holland, 63, a retired colonel in the Army, died of respiratory failure Sept. 14 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria.

Col. Holland, who was born in Marmaduke, Ark., graduated with a master's degree in business administration from Arkansas State University. He served in the Army from 1962 through 1988 as a communications specialist in the Signal Corps. He also worked as the chief of the Airborne Command Post Engineering Division for the Defense Information System Agency. In that position, he worked on special projects for Air Force One and the president's helicopter.

After his military retirement, Col. Holland worked for SRA International, specializing in crisis management and Department of Defense health management.

He was an Alexandria resident for more than 25 years. He was a former president of Hexagon, a local volunteer organization, and was vice president of the Pine Harbour Property Owners' Association.

His marriage to Ramona Faye Holland ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 16 years, Elizabeth Claypoole Holland of Alexandria; two daughters, Holly H. Lagasse of Alexandria and Diana H. Mason of Chicago; a brother; and two grandchildren.

Richard Henry Gay


Richard Henry Gay, 56, a surveyor for several Northern Virginia firms, died of liver failure at his home in Bealeton. He lived in Sterling until 2002.

Mr. Gay was born in Clarksburg, W.Va., and graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor's degree in physical education.

He first worked in hospitality services as an assistant manager and manager at the Capital Hilton and the Sheraton Park in Washington. In 1983, he became a surveyor and was employed by various firms in Northern Virginia, working outdoors until he became ill in 1998.

Mr. Gay was an outdoorsman who loved the mountains and the Chesapeake and Atlantic beaches.

He was a major in the 101st Airborne, Army Reserves, and once led his training platoon safely through a tornado while at Fort Benning, Ga.

His marriage to Susan Ewald Gay ended in divorce.

Survivors include his twin brother, Rodney R. Gay of Woodland, Calif.; and his mother, Joan S. Gay of Fairfax.

Joyce Stetson Davis

Antiques Dealer

Joyce Stetson Davis, 84, an antiques dealer in Georgetown and Chevy Chase, died of cardiovascular disease Aug. 22 at her home in Washington. She also had diabetes.

Mrs. Davis was among the first to import Minton majolica ceramics to the United States in the early 1960s. Charles Washburne of Chappaqua, N.Y., a major international dealer in Victorian majolica, said Mrs. Davis "was an amazing knowledge base for anything related to European ceramics."

"She was a true specialist in ceramics and fine porcelain. She had a love of it like few people do," he said.

"She was right on the leading edge."

She kept only two pieces at home in Washington: a mermaid wall bracket and a companion "Pan" boy with hoofed feet. The twins to them hang in Queen Victoria's bedroom in Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

Born in London, she trained in journalism at King's College, London University. She was working for editors at Illustrated Magazine and Animal and Zoo when World War II broke out. Robert Capa, the famous combat photographer, recommended her to the U.S. military, suggesting that she be hired to issue several hundred Signal Corps photos each month to the European press. She was hired and worked for General Dwight D. Eisenhower's office in London and in Paris. She also was stationed in Frankfurt.

After the war, she and her husband, an American pilot, purchased a home in Alexandria that had housed an antiques shop in the rear. Mrs. Davis decided to become a dealer and opened Mermaid Antiques on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown.

The family spent a few years in Paris, where her husband was assigned to the U.S. Embassy, and returned to Washington in the early 1960s.

Mrs. Davis and a partner opened Fleur-de-Lis, a Chevy Chase antiques store specializing in porcelain. Among their items was a rare pair of vases that the shop lent to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art for an exhibition. When Mrs. Davis's business partner moved away, she joined Helmut Schinzel and Laurence Lomax's large Chevy Chase antiques shop, where she worked for 15 years until health forced her retirement.

Her husband, Col. Donald Stetson Davis, died in 1982.

Survivors include a son, Shorlan H. Davis of Washington.

Florence Frawley Ellis

Reporter, English Teacher

Florence Frawley Ellis, 89, a former newspaper reporter and English teacher, died Sept. 15 of congestive heart failure at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney. She was a resident of Leisure World in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Ellis was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and grew up in Philadelphia. She graduated from Rosemont College in 1936 and became a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In 1941, she married William T. Ellis, a career CIA officer. The couple lived in Paris, Havana and Port-au-Prince. They moved to the District in 1968, where Mrs. Ellis taught English at the Washington School of Ballet and the National Ballet School.

She retired in 1968 and pursued her interests in politics and language.

Mr. Ellis died in 1996.

Survivors include two children, Joan Ellis Kenealy of Laytonsville and Robert J. Ellis of Gaithersburg; and six grandchildren.