George S. Woolley Jr.
Businessman, Civic Leader
George S. Woolley Jr., 74, a Kensington businessman and civic activist, died of complications from lupus Oct. 2 at Montgomery General Hospital. He lived in Rockville.
Mr. Woolley owned and operated VaculandAmerican Country Crafts for 32 years. The business began in the 1960s as a vacuum-cleaner sales and service center and expanded into Oriental rugs and pool tables. After his grandchildren were born, Mr. Woolley started to sell stuffed animals (and briefly added Kensington Zoo to the store's name) and eventually began carrying crafts made by local artisans.
The business closed when he retired in 1997.
Mr. Woolley was the founder and president of the Kensington Business District Association and participated in many civic committees, including the Kensington centennial-year celebration committee, fire department fundraisers and the establishment of a county police department field office in Kensington.
He helped revitalize the central business district of Kensington, raised funds for Muscular Dystrophy and the Salvation Army Flood Relief Charities and helped sponsor Kensington National Night Out.
Mr. Woolley wrote numerous letters to the editor to The Washington Post with his opinions on how to keep migratory birds from being killed en masse by wind power turbines; Metrorail's definition of "regular" and "discount" fares; Maryland school spending; the cost of illuminating the Maryland State House; and The Post's publication of other letters about grammar and usage "when there are so many more important issues."
Mr. Woolley was born in Jamaica, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1952 with a degree in agriculture. He then taught vocational agriculture in New York and managed two dairy farms before moving to Montgomery County in 1956.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Barbara Helen Rockerfeller Woolley of Rockville; five children, Robert G. Woolley of Phoenix, Joanne Venit and Carol Wilt of Rockville, Susan Landry of Tampa and Debra Syfert of Westminster, Md.; a sister; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Frances P. Chess
Frances P. Chess, 71, a clerical specialist for Fairfax County Circuit Court from 1995 to 2000, died of cancer Oct. 3 at the Halquist Memorial Hospice Center in Arlington. She lived in Annandale.
Mrs. Chess was born in the Bronx, N.Y. , where she lived until retiring in 1986 as a purchasing agent. She then moved to the Washington area and took care of her ailing husband, Leo Chess, who died in 1990.
She was a member of St. Raymond of Penafort Catholic Church in Fairfax Station and then St. Michael Catholic Church in Annandale.
She retired from her position with Fairfax County in 2000.
Survivors include four sons, Thomas Chess of Fairfax Station, Robert Chess of Gaithersburg, and Andrew Chess and William Chess, both of Centreville; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Ruthie Louise Jackson Taylor
Lawyer, Former UDC Counsel
Ruthie Louise Jackson Taylor, 69, a lawyer who served as general counsel for the University of the District of Columbia for two years, died Sept. 30 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. She had breast cancer.
Mrs. Taylor operated a solo law practice in Washington, handling mostly personal injury cases. She was at UDC from 1984 to 1986.
Since moving to Silver Spring in 1972, she had served as an attorney-adviser for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and as chief legal counsel on its age discrimination study. She also was a hearing officer and administrative judge on a contract basis for the National Capital Housing Authority, the Office of Hearings and Appeals for the Interior Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
From 1978 to 1980, she was director of the National Bar Association/EEO Loan Fund Project, and then served two years as assistant chair of the Personnel Appeals Board for the General Accounting Office.
Mrs. Taylor was born in Leighton, Ala., the youngest of six children. She graduated from Alabama A&M in Normal with a bachelor's degree in English and studied for a master's degree at Cornell University in New York before returning to Alabama to teach high school English in Anniston. There, she met and married a young soldier stationed at Fort McClellan.
In 1960, she entered Howard University School of Law as one of only two female students in her class. She graduated in 1965, after several breaks to give birth to her two daughters.
While her husband was in Vietnam, Mrs. Taylor finished law school and later returned to Alabama A&M as an associate professor of English. Later, while her husband was assigned to Fort Rucker in Alabama, she taught for two years at the base's educational center. In 1968, while he attended Meharry Medical School in Nashville, Mrs. Taylor worked as an associate professor at Tennessee State University, and as an associate metropolitan attorney for Nashville.
Mrs. Taylor was a member of Zion Baptist Church in Washington.
She was a founding member of the Potomac Valley Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the Emanons, a social club. She was a member of the National Bar, the Women's Bar and the Washington Bar associations. She received many honors and awards, including Most Outstanding Personality of the South in 1971 and the NBA Women Lawyer's Division Award in 1980.
Survivors include her husband of 44 years, Dr. Joseph Eugene Taylor Jr. of Silver Spring; two daughters, Millicent Patrie Taylor-Daugherty and Monica Terre Taylor, both of Atlanta; a sister; and three grandchildren.
Bronson Tweedy, 90, a former deputy to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, died of cancer Oct. 5 at his home in Chevy Chase.
Mr. Tweedy was born in London to American parents; his father was a banker working in London. He went to school in England as a child and spent six months with a family in Freiburg, Germany, arriving the day that Adolf Hitler became chancellor.
He graduated from Princeton University in 1937, with a degree in European history, and went into advertising at Benton and Bowles in New York City. In 1942, he volunteered for naval intelligence and served in North Africa and Europe interrogating German U-boat crews.
After the war, he briefly returned to advertising before being recruited by the CIA. He was dispatched to Bern, Switzerland, in the late 1940s, returning to Washington in 1950. He served as chief of station in Vienna from 1953 to 1956, in London from 1956 to 1959 and again in the late 1960s.
He was the agency's first head of the Africa Division and chief of the Eastern European Division from 1959 to 1966. He retired in 1973 as deputy to the director of the CIA, Richard Helms.
After his retirement, he worked for more than 25 years with Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, first as a reader and then as national chairman for the organization, which provides recordings of textbooks for the visually, physically and perceptually disabled throughout the world.
His wife of 64 years, Mary Louise King, died in July of this year.
Survivors include a son, Lawrence Tweedy of Moriarty, N.M.; a daughter, Anne Tiffany of Leesburg; and two grandchildren.