David Albert Feldman
Washington Area Native
David Albert Feldman, 53, a District area native who graduated from Temple Hills' Crossland High School in 1969, was found dead Sept. 16 near his home in Tonasket, Wash.
According to Okanogan (Wash.) County coroner Karl F. Sloan, Mr. Feldman was fatally injured when a pile of logs he had been cutting into firewood collapsed on top of him. The accident occurred on or about Sept. 9, the coroner said.
In his youth, Mr. Feldman attended schools in the District and Prince George's County. He excelled at golf, once helping his Oakcrest Country Club team win a Washington area junior golf championship.
In the mid-1970s, Mr. Feldman moved to a 50-acre farm in Tonasket, a rural, mountainous area along the eastern bank of the Okanogan River.
His marriage to Ingrid Feldman ended in divorce.
Survivors include his mother, Dorothy Feldman of Glen Burnie; two brothers, Mark Feldman of Falls Church and Paul Feldman of Severna Park; and a sister, Sara Smith of Severna Park.
Mildred Early Conrad
Girl Scout Field Director
Mildred Early Conrad, 97, a former field director for the Washington area Girl Scouts of America, died of complications from pneumonia Sept. 9 at a rest home in Chelsea, Mich.
Mrs. Conrad, who had lived in the District for 49 years, trained adult leaders and directed day camps for the Girl Scouts from 1954 until she retired in 1971. She moved to Michigan in 1997.
She was born in St. Cloud, Minn., and grew up in Great Falls, Mont. After high school, she became a teacher in one-room schools while attending summer sessions at the state's Normal School, now the University of Montana-Western, in Dillon, Mont. She received a two-year diploma from State Teachers College in Bellingham, Wash., and then earned a bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1932. She attended graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley and in her later years, when a granddaughter became deaf, she took sign language courses at Gallaudet College.
Mrs. Conrad moved to the Washington area in 1948. She volunteered for the International Visitors Information Service and served on the board of the Meridian House. She was a member of Altrusa International Inc., a community service organization for professional women, for 28 years. She was also a member of the Audubon Society and the Poetry Society of Virginia. She enjoyed nature, hiking, gardening, reading, travel and theater.
Her husband of 36 years, Herbert S. Conrad, died in 1970. Her daughter, Alice Roark, and granddaughter, Laurie Roark, both died in 1980.
Survivors include a daughter, Mary Browning of Ann Arbor, Mich.; nine grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.
Ray Louis Simmons
Chief Petty Officer, Engineer
Ray Louis Simmons, 79, a retired Navy chief petty officer who worked as a weapons control systems designer for Vitro Corp., died of complications of pneumonia Oct. 2 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Chief Simmons, a Pittsburgh native, entered the Navy at age 17, at the start of World War II. He served in the Pacific, where he survived a kamikaze attack on the escort carrier Santee.
After the war, he left the Navy for a few years to study electrical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He rejoined the military and continued to serve until retiring from the Navy in 1967.
He immediately began a second career, working 25 years for Vitro Corp., in Silver Spring and then Rockville. He retired in 1992.
Chief Simmons lived in Rockville, where he was a member of St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, before moving to Gaithersburg in 1998.
He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Fleet Reserve Club.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Eleanore Simmons of Germantown; six children, Maryann Cushing of Chicago, Ray Simmons II of Grasonville, Md., Gary Simmons of Woodbine, David Simmons of Germantown and Denise Crawford and Kevin Simmons, both of Poolesville; 11 grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
Robert St. Clair Swanson
Robert St. Clair Swanson, 88, a former research scientist with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which was NASA's predecessor, died of a heart attack Sept. 7 in Texarkana, Tex. He lived in Fairfax City.
Mr. Swanson was born in Bridgeport, Neb., and grew up in Long Beach, Calif. He received his undergraduate degree in electrical-mechanical engineering in 1938 and later his master's degree in engineering, both from the University of California at Berkeley.
He joined NACA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., in 1938 and became head of the Stability Wind Tunnel Section. After World War II, he returned to California, where he was chief of the Airframes Division for the Naval Air Missile Test Center and head of the Aerodynamics and Thermodynamics Department of Lockheed Missile Systems (now Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space). He also was president of AstroConsultants and taught advanced courses at the University of California.
In 1970, he returned to Virginia to work as a research staff member for the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, where he was involved in the analysis of missile interception problems. He also worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency and was an adjunct staff member at the agency until retiring in 2001.
Mr. Swanson was a member and officer of the American Astronautical Society, a member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the British Interplanetary Society, the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute and the Swedish Astronautical Society.
In the 1950s, he became interested in scuba diving. When Jacques Cousteau, co-inventor of the Aqua Lung, came to the United States on a promotional tour, Mr. Swanson became one of the first U.S. purchasers of the equipment.
In later years, he became an enthusiastic square dancer and remained an active member of square dancing groups until his death.
His marriage to Ollie Welborn Swanson ended in divorce.
Survivors include his companion of 23 years, Velma Burnett of Fairfax; a daughter from his marriage, Susan Swanson Worthen of Lakeland, Fla., and a stepson, Carl Bergen of Seattle; and three grandsons.
Peter A. Chapola
Navy Lieutenant Commander
Peter A. Chapola, 89, a Navy veteran of World War II and Korea and a longtime resident of Falls Church, died Sept. 23 of a stroke at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo. He had moved to Grand Junction in 2003.
Cmdr. Chapola was born in Paterson, N.J., and grew up in Edinboro, Pa. He joined the Navy in 1934 and during World War II served in the Pacific aboard the USS Augusta and the USS Colorado. He also served during the Korean War. He retired in 1960 with the rank of lieutenant commander.
After his retirement, he worked as a marketing consultant for Canadian Marconi, an electronics company, until retiring again in 1992. He was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9274 in Falls Church and was the post chaplain. He also was active in the Rotary Club in Falls Church and Grand Junction.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Eleanor Chapola of Grand Junction; three children, Robert Chapola of Woodbridge, Peter Chapola of Grand Junction and Jo Ann Chapola Powers of Seattle; a brother; and a sister.