Nancy Grube Williams

Civic Volunteer

Nancy Grube Williams, 80, a volunteer with numerous civic and charitable organizations, died of cardiopulmonary arrest Oct. 14 at a convalescent center in Williamsburg. She lived in the District and Bethesda for more than 40 years before moving to Williamsburg in 1987.

Mrs. Williams founded and administered the extracurricular Foreign Languages in Elementary Schools program in Montgomery County in the 1960s, which introduced foreign languages to thousands of children starting in third grade.

Mrs. Williams, who was born and raised in Lancaster, Pa., graduated in 1946 from the College of William and Mary, where she was elected president of her class and served as managing editor of the school newspaper and president of the debate society.

She then moved to Washington and pursued graduate studies in international affairs at George Washington University. Mrs. Williams worked for the Department of State and the Senate Republican Policy Committee before serving for four years as a legislative assistant to Sen. James H. Duff (R-Pa.).

Mrs. Williams was a member of the Women's Board of the Washington Heart Association, as well as the boards of the Florence Crittenton Home, the YWCA and the Salvation Army. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Association of University Women, the Pan-American Liaison Committee and the Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club of Washington. She was an accomplished chef and enjoyed music, travel, reading and entertaining.

In the final years of her life, Mrs. Williams was trained and commissioned as a Stephen Minister and dedicated herself to nondenominational outreach work.

Her marriage to James D. Williams Jr. ended in divorce.

Survivors include four children, James D. Williams III of Troy, Mich., John M. Williams and David E. Williams II, both of Atlanta, and Nancy Love Williams of Baden, Pa.; a sister, Marianne Hughes of Buckeystown; a brother, Charles S. Grube Jr. of Lancaster; and three grandchildren.

Judith Betances Shope

Translator, Homemaker

Judith Betances Shope, 90, a former translator for the Department of War, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 19 at a nursing home in Corvallis, Ore., where she lived. For nearly 40 years, she lived in the District, Clinton and Camp Springs.

Mrs. Shope, who was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was the great-granddaughter of Ramon Emeterio Betances, a legendary physician who battled cholera and slavery and fought for the independence of Puerto Rico from Spain.

Mrs. Shope worked as a secretary for several newspapers and the Red Cross in San Juan and for the Air Force in New York City. She moved to Washington in the 1940s to work as a translator for the Department of War. She married and raised a family, moving to Clinton and then Camp Springs.

Her first marriage, to Donald Morocco, ended in divorce. Her second husband, Frank Shope, died in 1971.

Survivors include a daughter from her first marriage, Judith Morocco Glover of La Plata, and three daughters from her second marriage, Sarah Bolfick of Gaston, Ore., Lucille Parkerson of La Plata and Priscilla Vail of Corvallis, Ore.; two sisters; a brother; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Patricia Karig Ruffner

Artist, Horsewoman

Patricia Karig Ruffner, 83, an artist and horsewoman, died Oct. 16 of emphysema at her home in Marshall, Va.

Mrs. Ruffner was born in Orange, N.J., and graduated from St. Agnes School in Alexandria in 1939. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, she studied art during the summers in Boston and New York City, as well as at the Phillips Art School in Washington.

A lifelong freelance artist known for her rendition of animals, she worked for the Walt Disney Studio in Los Angeles in 1943-44, after winning a drawing contest.

A horsewoman who taught riding to her teachers at St. Agnes, she established Patty's Riding School in Burke in the mid-1940s. She moved the school to Alexandria and then back to Burke in the ensuing years. It was in business until 1976, when she and her family moved to Pleasant Valley Farm in Marshall.

With her daughter and husband, she owned Carousel Antiques in Alexandria and Middleburg from 1969 to 1986.

Mrs. Ruffner was a member of the Bull Run Hunt Club, the Middleburg Garden Club, the Piedmont Driving Club and the American Polled Hereford Association.

She was preceded in death by three husbands, Edward Alexis Smith, Harry Davie Archer Jr. and Richard Laidley Ruffner Jr.

Survivors include five children, Alexis Smith of Luray, Va., and Robin Smith Williams of Slate Mills, Va., both from the first marriage; Devon Archer Schreiner of Warrenton, from the second marriage; Mary Keith Ruffner of Delaplane and Richard Laidley Ruffner III of Jeffersonton, Va., both from the third marriage; a sister, Keating Karig Carrier of Alexandria; and three grandsons.

Frank C. Frantz

Government Official

Frank C. Frantz, 78, who retired in 1976 as assistant to the commissioner of Medicaid at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, died Oct. 11 at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota, Fla. He had a stroke.

Mr. Frantz began his government career in Washington in the early 1960s as a special assistant on the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging. He later worked for the Senate Subcommittee on Housing for the Elderly before joining the health and education department, where he worked for about 14 years.

During his career in government, he worked on seminal federal initiatives, including the drafting of Medicare and Medicaid legislation, as well as regulations related to health and fire safety standards in nursing homes.

In retirement, Mr. Frantz founded and published "Preservation Reports," a monthly newsletter covering urban conservation and renewal issues.

Mr. Frantz, who moved to Sarasota in 1977, was a native of Knoxville, Tenn. He graduated from the University of Tennessee and served in the Navy during World War II.

His marriage to Mary Ann Frantz ended in divorce.

Survivors include six sons, Edwin Frantz of Los Angeles, John Frantz of Sterling, Robert Frantz of Washington, Alexander Frantz of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Frank Frantz Jr. and Michael Frantz, both of Sarasota; 10 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Thomas Fortson Curry

Electrical Engineer

Thomas Fortson Curry, 77, an electrical engineer, died of lung cancer Oct. 19 at his home in Vienna.

Dr. Curry was deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for command, control and communications from 1980 to 1983. Previously, he was assistant director for systems evaluation for four years in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

He went into the private sector in 1983, working for 10 years at Dallas-based E-Systems as chief scientist before joining a family consulting company, C-Systems Inc., where he was chief engineer.

Dr. Curry was born in Thomasville, Ga. He enlisted in the Army in 1944, served during World War II and was recalled for the Korean War. Studying electrical engineering, he received a bachelor's degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1949, a master's degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1954 and a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University in 1959.

He worked from 1958 to 1964 as director of the electronics research laboratory at the Syracuse University Research Corp., then worked as chairman of the board of Curry, McLaughlin and Len Inc.; as chief engineer at Melpar Inc.; and as vice president for Microwave Systems.

He was a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a member of numerous engineering honorary societies.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann Curry of Vienna; six children, Bostick Underwood Curry of Redwood City, Calif., Thomas Lee Curry of Port St. Joe, Fla., Ruth Ann Browne of Conway, Ark., David Cook Kemper Curry of Potsdam, N.Y., Laurie Fortson Daugherty of Vienna and Clinton Moul Curry of Culpeper; 17 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Kenneth Lee Woodfin

Rear Admiral

Kenneth Lee Woodfin, 81, a retired rear admiral in the Navy, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 14 in a Dallas hospital.

He lived in Washington for more than 20 years. He retired in 1975 after 32 years in the military.

Adm. Woodfin, who was born in Houston, graduated from Southern Methodist University and received a master's degree in business administration from Stanford University in 1955.

He was commissioned into the Navy as an ensign in 1944. He served in convoy escort operations in the Atlantic and in amphibious and subchaser operations in the Pacific during World War II.

After the war, he transferred to the Navy Supply Corps and worked as Adm. Hyman G. Rickover's finance officer for many years while the Navy nuclear power program was starting. He also was commander at the Navy Finance Center, deputy commander for contracts at the Naval Ships Command and deputy chief of naval materiel for procurement and production.

Upon his retirement, he was appointed deputy administrator for procurement at NASA in Washington. In 1976, he became senior vice president of Roe Enterprises, an international architectural, engineering and construction firm in New Jersey.

He retired again in 1985 and moved to Dallas, where he was a management and tax consultant, served on corporate boards and was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas Graduate School of Management.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Jimmie Ruth Cargile Woodfin of Dallas; three daughters, Kathryn Plemons of Austin, Tex., Susan Woodfin of Cairo, Egypt, and Karen Burrow of Carmel, Ind.; a son, Kenneth Woodfin of Houston; and seven grandchildren.