Helmuth Theobald Scherer, 69, who owned several publishing companies in Northern Virginia, died May 19 of a pulmonary embolism at his home in Winooski, Vt. He was a former resident of Fairfax and Oxon Hill.

Mr. Scherer was born in Yugoslavia on May 8, 1936. His family fled Tito's partisans during the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1940s. They took the last train out of Dresden, Germany, before the city was firebombed. He grew up in Brazil, in Rio Grande do Sul and the bustling city of Porto Allegre, and his father, the Rev. Phillipp Scherer, did missionary work.

From Brazil, the family moved to Canada in 1955. After marrying in 1958, Mr. Scherer and his wife moved to the United States and settled in Kentucky. He graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown College in Kentucky and attended medical school for four years at the University of Kentucky at Lexington to become a medical missionary. Instead, events led him to establish a publishing and printing business in Lexington.

In 1966, Mr. Scherer and his family moved to Oxon Hill, and he began working with Allen Wayne Ltd. in Arlington. Two years later, the family moved to Fairfax, and Mr. Scherer opened his first business, Impressions Unlimited, in McLean.

Mr. Scherer owned and operated several other publishing concerns, including Computer Graphics in Annandale, United Graphics in Merrifield, Domonetic in Fairfax and Reston Graphics in Reston.

He was a member of Georgia Avenue Baptist Church in Glenmont, where he taught Sunday school.

Mr. Scherer moved to Colchester, Vt., on Lake Champlain, in 1990.

His hobby was gardening. He also taught himself computer programming and became a webmaster, establishing Web sites for many Vermont businesses.

His marriage to Irmgard Scherer ended in divorce.

Survivors include four children, Ralph Scherer of Gainesville, Wolfgang Scherer of Vienna, Hans Scherer of Charles Town, W.Va., and Heidemarie Scherer Randall of Marshall; two sisters; and eight grandchildren.

Helmuth T. Scherer owned several publishing and graphics businesses in Northern Virginia.