Harold 'Buck' Alsop
Harold "Buck" Alsop, 78, a Western Electric warehouse supervisor for many years, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Nov. 4 at his son's home in Harrington, Del.
Mr. Alsop was born in the District and graduated from Anacostia High School. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces' 992nd Air Materials Squadron, attaining the rank of corporal. He received his discharge in 1947.
He joined Western Electric (the supply and manufacturing division of the Bell System) that year and remained with the company's Arlington facility until it closed in 1988, when he retired. In retirement, he spent many hours in Friendship, Md., gardening with longtime friend Ambrose Baldwin at Trent Hall Farm in St. Mary's County.
Mr. Alsop also was a firefighter. He joined the Forestville Volunteer Fire Department in 1953 and was an active member until his illness. He served as president and vice president, and was on the board of directors for more than 35 years. He and his wife helped get Sunday bingo started at the firehouse, which continues.
Mr. Alsop's wife, Magdaline "Lynne" Flaherty Alsop, died in 1997.
Survivors include his son, Garry R. Alsop of Harrington; and two grandchildren.
Gary Morgan Claypoole
Gary Morgan Claypoole, 62, who served as chief of the telecommunications division at the Defense Department's Defense Information Systems agency, died of a stroke Nov. 6 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He was a resident of Clifton.
Mr. Claypoole retired from the Defense Department in 1999 after a 39-year career. In retirement, Mr. Claypoole, an avid golfer, worked as a starter and ranger at the Westfields and Twin Lakes golf courses in Clifton.
Mr. Claypoole was a fourth-generation Washingtonian whose family dates back to 1850. He graduated from Northwood High School in Silver Spring and served in the Coast Guard Reserve.
He volunteered at the Hillandale and Morningside fire departments, and served as chief of the Morningside department from 1967 to 1970. He was a football coach in the Chantilly Youth Association in the 1970s and 1980s.
Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Janice Claypoole of Clifton; two children, Joanne Mann of Danville, Va., and Kimberly McCuen of Woodbridge; two brothers, Ernest Claypoole of Glenelg and Richard Claypoole of Wheaton; and four grandchildren.
Edna Mae Beville
Designer and Artist
Edna Mae Beville, 94, a fashion enthusiast and artist who was the first lady of Takoma Park when her husband served as the town's mayor, died of a viral infection Nov. 4 at the Maplewood Park Place senior living facility in Bethesda.
Mrs. Beville was the wife of broadcast executive Ross H. Beville, who was mayor of Takoma Park from 1950 to 1954.
About that time, she helped organize the Takoma Park Art Association and served as its inaugural president. She went on to exhibit many of her landscape oil paintings in art shows sponsored by the association.
In recent years, she created floral designs with pastels, despite failing health from a broken hip and a stroke.
Mrs. Beville, who had lived in the Washington area since 1941, was also a master seamstress who once won a national fashion design competition. Her suit of eggshell linen with sheath skirt and box jacket won the 1961 Ideal Clubwoman's Costume Contest held by Vogue Pattern Service and the General Federation of Women's Clubs, of which she was a member.
Her prize included trips to fashion salons in London, Paris and Rome, where she met with leading designers and attended receptions in her honor.
Mrs. Beville was born near Cleburne, Tex., and raised on the high plains of Texas. She and her husband moved east in 1936 to pursue his career in radio engineering and electronics. They briefly lived in the District, then Philadelphia and Huntington, Long Island, before returning to the Washington area. She moved to Bethesda in 1960.
She was active in a number of organizations, including the Women's Club of Chevy Chase, the Rock Creek Women's Republican Club and Concord Methodist Church in Bethesda.
Her husband died in 1989.
Survivors include two children, LaFon B. Ward of Jackson, Wyo., and Ross Harwood Beville of Carmel, Calif.; a sister and a brother; seven grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
John G. Thomas
Government Procurement Officer
John G. Thomas, 76, a career government contracting and procurement officer who retired in 1990 as chief of contract management for the Health Resources and Services Administration, died of lymphoma Nov. 5 at his home in Oakton.
Mr. Thomas worked for the Health Resources and Services Administration for about 20 years. Earlier, he had worked in procurement for the Center for Disease Control and the Indian Health Service.
Mr. Thomas, who lived in the Washington area since 1968, was born in Toledo and raised in Sunfield, Mich. He served as an Army corporal in Japan during the Korean War, and in 1956 he graduated from Michigan State University.
He spent the early years of his civil service career working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and what is now the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland.
After the death of his wife, Dorothy M. Thomas, in 1995, Mr. Thomas became active in the Widowed Persons Service, volunteering as a grief counselor and bereavement support trainer.
He was also active in AARP.
Survivors include two children, Jill S. Thomas of Durham, N.C., and Jody Lee Thomas of Falls Church; and a sister.
Joseph Lawrence Yurkanin
Air Force Chief Master Sergeant
Joseph Lawrence Yurkanin, 74, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant who later held civilian positions with defense agencies, died Nov. 4 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center of complications from a fall during a visit to the hospital at Andrews Air Force Base. He lived in Temple Hills.
He entered the Air Force in 1947, serving in Air Weather Service, recruiting, life support and supply capacities. He served at numerous bases in the United States and around the world, including one tour of duty in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967. He retired in 1975 with the rank of chief master sergeant.
He received the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal, among other decorations.
In retirement, Sgt. Yurkanin managed a contracting company at Andrews Air Force Base in 1976 and 1977 and worked with the Defense Mapping Agency in Washington from 1977 to 1983. He held a position in logistics and planning with the Defense Intelligence Agency at Bolling Air Force Base from 1983 until his civilian retirement in 1991.
He had lived in Temple Hills since 1975. He was a member of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in Camp Springs and later of St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Port Tobacco, where he was a lector until the time of his death.
He was also active in Post 9619 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Morningside. He was post commander in 1988 and 1989, transportation director and Maryland chairman of Voice of Democracy, an annual student essay contest sponsored by the VFW.
He was a member of the American Legion and Knights of Columbus. He also raised money for juvenile diabetes research and volunteered for many other charities and organizations.
Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Monica Yurkanin of Temple Hills; five children, Shawn Yurkanin of Burke, retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gregory Yurkanin of Louisville, Christopher Yurkanin of Austin, Mary Dela Vega of Port Tobacco and Ann Smith of Odenton; four sisters; five brothers; and five grandchildren.
George Edward Barrow IV
George Edward Barrow IV, 49, a banker in the Washington area for more than 20 years, died Nov. 5 of liver failure at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. He lived in Arlington.
Mr. Barrow moved to the Washington area in 1978 and entered banking at First Virginia Bank. From the early 1980s to 2001, he was vice president of private banking at American Security Bank, later part of Bank of America, in Washington. For the past three years, he was a private mortgage banker with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in McLean.
An active supporter of the arts, Mr. Barrow was a trustee of the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington and a member of its strategic planning team since 1997. He was a member of the board of directors of the Studio Theatre in Washington from 1994 to 1997.
He served on the board of directors of the Helen Hayes Awards from 1995 to 1999.
He was born in Newport News, Va., and graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., in 1977. He taught high school English in Hanover County, Va., for a year before moving to Washington.
Survivors include two sisters.
Frances E. McFall
D.C. Elementary School Teacher
Frances E. McFall, 66, a public school teacher for more than 30 years who taught an estimated 1,000 D.C. students, died of cancer Nov. 5 at her home in the District.
Always an elementary school teacher, she worked at the former William Syphax School in Southwest Washington and Amidon Elementary in Southwest before moving to Francis Scott Key Elementary, which was within walking distance of her home of 44 years in the Palisades neighborhood.
Mrs. McFall taught third grade there for the last decade or more and was in such demand that she kept working as a substitute teacher after her 2001 retirement. She also instructed adults with limited English proficiency in workplaces and tutored neighborhood students who wanted to improve their performance.
She contributed to the neighborhood newsletter and was revered as a local historian as well as a teacher.
She was born in Vinemont, Pa., and attended Albright College in Reading, Pa., before moving to Washington in 1960. She received a bachelor's degree and, in 1991, a master's degree in linguistics, both from American University. She was a member of Palisades Community Church.
Mrs. McFall took a leave from the city schools from 1983 to 1986 to teach elementary students at a U.S. military base on Okinawa, Japan.
She was an enthusiastic walker, covering an estimated 25 miles a week, and several times strode the length of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, though not on a single trip. She was a member of the C&O Walking Club and once spent three weeks walking through Spain.
Her marriage to David McFall ended in divorce.
Survivors include three children, Mark D. McFall of Brookeville, Kathleen S. McFall of Portland, Ore., and John J. McFall of Stafford; two sisters; and five grandchildren.
William E. Spencer
William E. Spencer, 79, a supervisory program analyst for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, died of multiple myeloma Oct. 21 at his home in Fort Myers, Fla.
Mr. Spencer began his tenure with the EEOC in 1978, when he moved to Washington to work for its chairman at the time, Eleanor Holmes Norton. He continued working there until he retired in 1989. He moved from Washington to Florida in 2003.
Mr. Spencer was born in Cleveland and graduated from Cleveland Technical Trade School and Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. During World War II, he served in the Navy as an electrician's mate second class, repairing ships in the Pacific theater.
He was deputy director of the Cleveland regional office of the EEOC when he moved to Washington, on special assignment to Holmes Norton.
Mr. Spencer was a member of several golf clubs, including the Washington Invitational and the Nomads, and was most proud of having played a round at the historic St. Andrews course in Scotland. He also enjoyed fishing, photography, travel and making golf clubs.
His first marriage to Olga Coffee ended in divorce. His second wife, Rosalie Robinson, whom he married in 1950, died in 1987. His third wife, Brenda Brush, died in 1997.
Survivors include a sister, Dr. Thelma L. Spencer, and brother, Charles L. Spencer, both of Gaithersburg.