The Nov. 14 obituary of Mary A. Alfredson gave her wrong birthplace. She was born in Menomonie, Wis. (Published 11/20/04)

Jack Dale Rinker

Bookkeeper, Actor

Jack Dale Rinker, 76, a retired bookkeeper who was active in community theater, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 9 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He lived in Rockville.

Born in Edinburg, Va., Mr. Rinker served in the Navy and then moved to the Washington area, where he became a bookkeeper and purchasing agent for several businesses, including Miller Construction Co. and the Charles G. Stott office supply company, from which he retired about 1990.

Mr. Rinker worked with many theater groups in the area, most recently with the Rockville Little Theater, where he acted and danced. He also sang in choirs, and his voice attracted the attention of nearby spectators at Washington Redskins games.

He had no immediate survivors.

Martha Bowen Strange

Calligrapher, Homemaker

Martha Bowen Strange, 92, an artist and homemaker, died Nov. 10 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington from complications of renal failure. A longtime Arlington resident, she had lived for the past seven years at the Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center in Arlington.

Mrs. Strange, who was born in Washington, was a descendant of the original settlers of Falls Church. She graduated from Western High School in 1929 and, in the early 1930s, from Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C., and the School of Fine and Applied Art in New York. She married a Navy officer in 1943 and spent most of her life in the Washington area.

After the death of her husband, Navy Capt. Robert O. Strange, in 1955, she worked as a calligrapher for the State Department, lettering formal invitations, place cards and exequaturs. Perhaps the highlight of her career was the massive effort required to engrave all the invitations to the state funeral of President John F. Kennedy. She was with the State Department until the late 1970s.

She also produced high-fashion illustrations, scientific fish drawings for the Smithsonian Institution and numerous landscapes and portraits. In her later years, she produced prizewinning needlework, embroidery and hand-hooked woolen rugs.

Survivors include three children, John B. Strange of Madison, Ala., Georgia Gerstein of Arlington and Robert O. Strange Jr. of Fairfax Station; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Joseph Patrick Donohue

Retired Math Teacher

Joseph Patrick Donohue, 88, a former math teacher at the Woodberry Forest School near Orange, Va., died of congestive heart failure Nov. 7 at the Fairfax retirement community at Fort Belvoir.

Mr. Donohue had lived for the past nine years at the Fairfax, where every Sunday he set up for and was a reader at Mass.

From 1962 to 1985, when he retired, he taught math and coached golf at Woodberry. During his time at the school, the golf teams won seven Virginia Prep League championships and at least five Eastern Interscholastic Golf Association championships. He also served as vice president of the EIGA for five years.

Mr. Donohue was elected an honorary graduate of the Woodberry Class of 1985 -- the eighth person to have that distinction in the 115-year history of the school.

He was born in Lawrence, Mass., the youngest of six children. He graduated in 1940 from West Point, where he played golf, hockey and soccer. He then was assigned to Fort Sill, Okla., where he attended the last course for horse artillery. Later, he was assigned to the newly motorized 7th Battalion Field Artillery, 1st Division at Fort Ethan Allen, Vt., and then moved to several other postings.

During World War II, he had brief postings at Fort Sill, Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort McNair in Washington. He then was assigned to the newly built Pentagon, where he served in the artillery office of personnel until medical retirement in 1946 as a lieutenant colonel.

He was recalled from retirement during the Korean War to teach math at West Point in 1951. During his four years there, he took night classes and summer leave to receive a master's degree at Columbia Teachers College.

After retiring from West Point in 1955, he became assistant headmaster at the Hun School in Princeton, N.J., where he also taught math. After seven years, he went to Woodberry, where he resided on campus.

He then lived in Orange for 10 years before moving to the Fairfax in 1995.

His wife of 58 years, Lucille Margaret Donohue, died in 2000.

Survivors include four sons, J. Patrick Donohue Jr. of Columbia, S.C., Michael Francis Donohue of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., Timothy Conway Donohue of Reston and James Matthew Donohue of Tallahassee; seven grandchildren; and three great-granddaughters.

Cora Davison Reed

Ambassador's Wife

Cora Davison Reed, 84, who served as an official hostess when her husband was an ambassador and the governor of Maine, died Nov. 7 at the Washington Home hospice in Washington following a stroke. She lived in the District.

Mrs. Reed, a Washington resident for 37 years, accompanied her husband, John H. Reed, when he was ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives in the 1970s. She was also the hostess when her husband was governor of Maine from 1959 to 1967.

On Sept. 1, Mrs. Reed was honored by the Maine Senate and House of Representatives "for dedicated service to the people of Maine during her years as First Lady."

She was born and grew up in Haverhill, Mass., and graduated from the former McIntosh School of Business in Lawrence, Mass. She was a secretary with a shoe company in Haverhill before becoming executive secretary to the commanding officer of the Naval Supply Depot in Newport, R.I., during World War II.

After marrying in 1944, she moved with her husband to Fort Fairfield, Maine. She lived at the governor's mansion in Augusta, Maine, while her husband was governor. She came to Washington in 1967, when her husband was appointed to the National Transportation Safety Board.

She was a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star and a member of the Philomathian Club, a women's literary society. She was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Washington. She supported many animal welfare causes and was especially fond of Persian cats.

She and her husband spent summers at their cottage in Smithfield, Maine.

Survivors include her husband of 60 years, of Washington; two daughters, Cheryl Reed of Alexandria and Ruth Ann Duford of Groveland, Mass.; a brother; and three grandchildren.

Doris J. Chamberlin

Red Cross Volunteer

Doris J. Chamberlin, 89, a longtime Red Cross volunteer for the National Institutes of Health, died Nov. 9 of dementia at the Maplewood Park Place retirement community in Bethesda.

Mrs. Chamberlin was born in Oakland, Neb. After graduating from high school, she moved to Omaha, where she became a fashion buyer for a local department store. In 1940, she married Edgar C. Chamberlin, a Western Union executive, and the couple lived in several cities throughout the Midwest. The Chamberlins lived in Hillsdale, N.J., from 1945 to 1969, when they moved to Bethesda.

In addition to her volunteer work with the Red Cross, Mrs. Chamberlin was active with the Girl Scouts of America and was a longtime member of the Potomac Home and Garden Club.

Her husband died in 1995.

Survivors include two children, Mary E. Chamberlin of Bernardsville, N.J., and David R. Chamberlin of Aspen, Colo.; two brothers, Arthur Johnson of Sitka, Alaska, and James Johnson of Fairbanks, Alaska, and a sister, Janice Sanderson of Potomac; and one granddaughter.

Dorothy Treml Stahl

National Symphony Cellist

Dorothy Treml Stahl, 89, retired co-principal cellist of the National Symphony Orchestra, died Oct. 21 at the Allen Morgan nursing home in Memphis from complications of Alzheimer's disease. She was a longtime Vienna resident before moving to Memphis to live with her daughter four years ago.

Mrs. Stahl, who was born in Turners Falls, Mass., began playing the cello at age 6 and was deemed a child prodigy. She graduated summa cum laude from Smith College in 1936 and from the Juilliard School of Music two years later, where she studied with the English cellist Felix Salmond.

Throughout the 1940s, her primary focus was her family. In the early 1950s, she began playing with the Catholic University String Quartet and the American University String Quartet. Emerson Myers, a local pianist with whom she had worked at Catholic University, urged her to audition for the National Symphony Orchestra. She joined the orchestra in 1953.

She was co-principal cellist until her retirement in 1985. In addition, she was principal cellist of the National Gallery Orchestra in the 1950s and was a member of the American University Lywen String Quartet during the 1960s.

"Her love and passion and zest for life were music and her family," her daughter said. "She twisted with Danny Kaye, played for the Kennedys, was on the presidential yacht Sequoia, did a gig on stage with Jack Benny and played 'The Mass' with Leonard Bernstein. It was an incredible experience."

Mrs. Stahl's husband, Michael Stahl, died in 1989.

Survivors include two children, Margaret "Meg" Clifton of Memphis and Michael Stahl of Los Angeles; two sisters; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

H. Marie Dell


H. Marie Dell, 81, who helped run the family business, R&R Venetian Blinds in Alexandria, died Nov. 9 of cancer at Sunrise at Mount Vernon assisted living center. She was a longtime resident of Alexandria.

Mrs. Dell joined her husband in the family-owned business in1971, working as an accounts manager and bookkeeper. She retired in 1992. Her sons continue to operate the more than 50-year-old business.

Mrs. Dell, who was born Hulda Marie Miller in Lincoln, Neb., was the daughter of German and Russian immigrants. She moved to Washington in 1942, joining many other young women to work on behalf of the war effort.

While in Washington, she met Marvin Lloyd Dell, whom she married in 1946. The family moved to the Fort Hunt area of Alexandria in 1959, when Fort Hunt Road was a dirt byway and horse stables were just down the block.

In the 1960s, Mrs. Dell was a secretary to generals at Fort Belvoir, working in the Department of Mechanical and Technical Equipment at the U.S. Army Engineer School.

She was a founding member of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church and was active in the church's Ruth-Rachel Circle. She was a Ki-wife for Mount Vernon Kiwanis, of which her husband was a charter member. Mrs. Dell, known as "Rusty" because of her red hair, was a fabulous cook and loved gospel music.

Her husband died in 2000.

Survivors include three children, Bruce Dell and Keith Dell, both of Alexandria, and Marcia White of Virginia Beach; and five grandchildren.

Jane DelVecchio Ellis Reichert


Jane DelVecchio Ellis Reichert, 82, a bookkeeper and former hardware-chain executive, died Nov. 6 of cancer at her home in Chevy Chase.

Mrs. Reichert, a Washington native, was the granddaughter of the founder of Peoples Hardware, a chain of stores in the Washington area from 1911 to 1977. For the first three years of her life, she lived above the original Peoples Hardware at Florida Avenue, Benning Road and Bladensburg Road in Northeast Washington. The family later moved to the Crestwood section of Northwest Washington.

She graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1939 and attended Swarthmore College and George Washington University.

In the 1960s and 1970s, she was a bookkeeper for Allied Realty Co. and Ted Lingo Realty Co., both in Bethesda, and for Universal Floors in the District. She was also executive vice president of Peoples Hardware, which eventually expanded to 21 stores. She helped oversee its sale to McIntire Hardware in 1977.

Mrs. Reichert had lived in Chevy Chase since 1952. She was a member of the Sanctuary Sodality of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Chevy Chase. She was a Democratic Party precinct chairman in Chevy Chase and a volunteer with the Red Cross.

Her marriages to Kent Ellis and James H. Reichert ended in divorce.

Survivors include a son from the first marriage, Stephen M.R. Ellis of Darnestown; a daughter from the second marriage, Iris M. Reichert of Chevy Chase; three sisters, Claire D. Johnston of Bethesda, Marie D. Valenza of St. Leonard and Iris D. Cotter of Damascus; and three granddaughters.

Vernon E. Forseth

Air Force Colonel, Real Estate Broker

Vernon E. Forseth, 83, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and real estate broker, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 27 at his home in Ocean Pines, Md.

Col. Forseth, a bombardier and navigator during World War II, was shot down on his 25th mission, was captured and survived eight months in a German prisoner-of-war camp. Held at Stalag Luft III, he was one of the 11,000 prisoners forced to march from Sagan to Spremberg in January 1945. He was freed from the Moosburg prison camp when American troops arrived in April 1945.

His cousin, Gaylord Forseth, was in the liberating force and found him at the prison camp. Col. Forseth told his family that he would never forget the sound of his cousin calling out his name, and he viewed every day of his life after that a gift.

Born on a dairy farm in Iola, Wis., Col. Forseth graduated as his high school's valedictorian and then headed to Chicago. Drafted in 1942, he was assigned to the infantry and was the Browning automatic rifle operator for his squad. He was offered the opportunity to attend Officer Candidate School, but he requested a transfer to the Army Air Forces instead.

After the war, Col. Forseth received his bachelor's degree from Sacramento State University and remained in the Air Force. His subsequent assignments included serving as a bombardier/navigator instructor at Mather Field in Sacramento, an Air Force ROTC instructor at the University of Illinois, a security officer with the Office of Strategic Intelligence in Washington, a training officer in the Panama Canal Zone and in Korea, and as a security officer at Andrews Air Force Base.

After retiring in 1971 from the military, Col. Forseth obtained his real estate sales and brokerage licenses and worked for a variety of real estate offices in the area. When he retired again, he moved from his Springfield home to Punta Gorda, Fla., in 1988. He also had the home in Ocean Pines.

He was a man of a few words known for a great sense of humor. Col. Forseth was a member of the Springfield Lions Club.

Survivors include his wife, LaVerne Forseth of Ocean Pines; four children, Wayne Forseth of Redwood City, Calif., Larry Forseth of Springfield, Debra Schuetz of Lovettsville and Mark Forseth of Myersville; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Mary A. Alfredson


Mary A. Alfredson, 63, a retired secretary, died of cancer Nov. 7 at her daughter's home in Houston. She lived in Herndon.

Mrs. Alfredson was born in Menominee, Mich., and graduated from the Wahpeton School of Science in North Dakota. She moved to the Washington area 18 years ago and worked as an executive secretary at Sprint from 1986 to 1997.

She was a member of Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Sterling.

Survivors include her husband, Norman C. Alfredson of Herndon; two daughters, Kirsten Robinson of Houston and Julie Hazen of Lovettsville; a brother; a sister; and three grandchildren.