Mary E. Keegan Anastos

Religious Education Director

The Rev. Mary Elizabeth Keegan Anastos, 77, former religious education director at Bethesda's Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, died of complications from a stroke Oct. 14 at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Rev. Anastos developed the denomination's sex education program during the 1970s and was president of the Liberal Religious Educators Association from 1971 to 1973.

She was born in Cambridge, Mass., and attended Radcliffe College. She married in 1947.

In the late 1950s in Massachusetts, she served as a teacher and chair of the religious education committee at Belmont Unitarian Church and director of religious education at a church in Haverhill. She then continued that work in Weston.

In 1969, she moved to Bethesda to work at Cedar Lane Unitarian Church. In 1980, she was ordained as its minister of religious education.

She moved to the Unitarian Universalist Association headquarters in Boston in 1980 as director of religious education and later became director of curriculum development. She stayed in that position until 1992, when she retired. She returned temporarily to work as interim director of ministerial settlement.

After waiting until her five children had college degrees -- and yearning for the degree she did not finish in her youth -- Rev. Anastos enrolled at Goddard College at Norwich University and received a bachelor's degree in 1987. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1990 by Meadville Lombard School of Religion at the University of Chicago in honor of her three decades of work. Her family said her life was "devoted to moral responsibility and social justice, including feminism in action as well as word."

Upon retirement, she enjoyed travel alone and with family and friends to Mexico, Japan, Transylvania, France, Greece and Ireland, as well as within the United States. She cooked and served at a weekly soup kitchen in Cambridge.

Her marriage to T. George Anastos ended in divorce. Her companion of three years, Ben Constan, died in 1999. A daughter, Beth Anastos, died in 1984.

Survivors include four children, Dr. Kathryn Anastos of Yonkers, N.Y., Ellen Anastos of Portland, Maine, Peter Anastos of Yarmouth, Maine, and the Rev. George C. Anastos of Greenfield, Mass.; and six grandchildren.

Joseph Alonzo Berry Jr.

Physician and Medical Executive

Joseph Alonzo Berry Jr., 59, a physician and an executive at AmeriChoice in Vienna, died of pulmonary hypertension Oct. 13 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

He was born in Chicago and was a graduate of Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass., Princeton University and Howard University Medical School in 1972. He also was a fellow at the State University of New York's Downstate Medical School and completed his internship at Harlem Hospital Center in New York.

Dr. Berry established the Roanoke Amaranth Rural Health Group in Jackson, N.C., and practiced in Albuquerque and Edina, Minn., before moving to the Washington area in 2001 to join AmeriChoice as vice president of standards and practices and medical management. He was employed there at the time of his death.

Survivors include his wife, Miriam Welch Berry of Stafford; five sons, Michael Alonzo Berry of Blackstone, Va., Jeffrey Duane Berry and Kevin Sean Berry, both of Newport News, Va., Charles Ashley Berry of St. Louis and Jamil Ajani Berry of Stafford; a daughter, Miraj Adia Berry of West Warwick, R.I.; two sisters, Constance Berry Newman of Washington and Barbara Joeann Berry De Veaux of Nashua, N.H.; and 13 grandchildren.

James H. Skidmore

Public Relations Director

James H. Skidmore, 79, former director of public relations for NCR Corp. who helped create standards for the computer industry, died of cancer Oct. 11 at Georgetown University Hospital. He was a McLean resident.

Mr. Skidmore was NCR's chief liaison to the federal government and managed the company's Washington office from 1984 to 1990. He served as chairman of the Interagency Committee on Automatic Data Processing and as secretary general of the Corporation for Open Systems.

His career in the computer industry began with RCA's federal systems division in Washington. He joined Honeywell Federal Systems in 1962 as director of its Air Force programs division. By 1969, he was a senior executive in Honeywell's operations in Frankfurt, West Germany. While in West Germany, he started his computer training and services company, Computer Systems Methodology, which he later sold to Control Data Corp. Mr. Skidmore returned to Washington and worked for the Department of Health and Human Services until joining NCR in 1984.

He was born in Richwood, W.Va., and during World War II served as a cryptographer in the European theater. He was the first to break the coded message announcing big band leader Glenn Miller's death in a plane crash over the English Channel on Dec. 15, 1944.

Mr. Skidmore was a golfer and skier.

His marriage to Bobbi Glover ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Elizabeth Skidmore of McLean; a daughter from his first marriage, Karen Skidmore of McLean; and a sister.

Helen D. Wright

Defense Secretary

Helen D. Wright, 87, a retired secretary with the Department of Defense's military transport management center, died Oct. 11 at Cherrydale Health Care Center in Arlington. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Wright worked with the Department of Defense from 1965 to 1992.

She was born in Berwyn, Ill., and graduated from Strayer College. She lived in Arlington for more than 50 years. Her husband, Daniel D. Wright, died in 1988. Her son Daniel D. Wright Jr. died in 1950 and son Edward J. Wright died in 1997.

Survivors include three children, John R. Wright of Oklahoma City, Robert Wright of Southwest, Pa., and Barbara J. Delaney of Ogden, Utah; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.