Leonard Marvin Kempf

Safety Engineer

Leonard Marvin Kempf, 79, a safety engineer who was on the federal teams that developed and promoted the use of motorcycle helmets, seat belts and the familiar yellow "Yield" traffic sign, died of complications from a stroke May 27 at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Mr. Kempf worked at the Pentagon as a civilian employee of both the Army and the Navy. He retired as director of safety for the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in 1976.

Born in Charlestown, Ind., Mr. Kempf served in the Navy during World War II as a submarine sonar operator aboard the USS Picuda in the Pacific theater. After the war, he attended Indiana University and then went to work for International Harvester in Louisville as a safety engineer.

He subsequently worked at the Army's Jefferson Proving Ground and Thiokol Chemical Corp. before becoming safety director at the Army Air Defense and Artillery Center at Fort Bliss in El Paso from 1955 to 1962.

He came to the Washington area in 1963 and began working on the teams that developed and promoted a wide array of safety devices that Americans now take for granted, including motorcycle helmets, traffic safety signs and vehicular seat belts.

After his retirement, he returned to Indiana in the late 1980s to help develop a curriculum in occupational safety and health for Indiana University's continuing education department.

Mr. Kempf's interests included classical and ancient history, boat building, woodworking and fishing. He was a member of the Bull Run chapter of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II, the Destroyers team of a Thursday night bowling league, the Fort Barnard Community Garden and the Fort Myers Officers Club.

His marriages to Katherine Louise Wood and Deborah Brauchla ended in divorce.

Survivors include four children from his first marriage, Leonard Reid Brady-Kempf of Cocoa, Fla., Katherine DiAn Kempf Jones of Charlotte, Carol Ruth Kempf of Falkland, N.C., and Lydia Dawn Kempf Wagner of Apex, N.C.; a son from his second marriage, Joseph Logan Kempf of Greenwood, Ind.; and two granddaughters.

Mary Alice Gunter

Author, Professor

Mary Alice Gunter, 69, a professor of education, author and member of the Charlottesville City Council, died June 6 of cancer at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville.

Dr. Gunter was a teacher and administrator in the Charlottesville public school system from 1969 to 1979. She was co-director of a federally funded project to help students, teachers and parents adjust to integration.

From 1979 to 1992, she was an associate professor in the department of curriculum and instruction at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education. She was also director of the education foundation of the School of Education's Curry Foundation.

Dr. Gunter was co-author of "Instruction: A Models Approach" (1990), a textbook on teaching methods; and a guide for families dealing with serious illness, "What Can I Say? What Can I Do?" She also wrote two mystery novels set at the University of Virginia.

In 2003, she received an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the School of Education. She was a member of U-Va.'s Raven Society.

Dr. Gunter was born in Asheville, N.C. She graduated from Duke University and received a master's degree in English from Temple University in 1966. She received a doctorate in education from the University of Virginia in 1978.

From 1983 to 1991, Dr. Gunter served two terms on the Charlottesville City Council, focusing on such issues as neighborhood preservation, day care and education.

Survivors include her husband of 49 years, Edgar J. Gunter of Charlottesville; four children, Pamela Friedman and William Gunter, both of Charlottesville, Peter Gunter of Brooklyn, N.Y., and David Gunter of Great Falls; and five grandchildren.

Joseph A. Mikus

Diplomat, Activist

Joseph A. Mikus, 95, a former diplomat for wartime Slovakia, author, history professor and activist, died May 19 in his native village in Slovakia. He had a stroke in March 2004 and remained bedridden until his death, his nephew said.

Mr. Mikus, a resident of Washington for 42 years, wrote prolifically in Slovak newspapers throughout the United States, promoting an independent and free Slovakia. He also belonged to several local and international Slovak societies.

"That's mainly how his crusading efforts happened," said his nephew, Joseph J. Stipkala, adding that his uncle was pleased when the country gained independence in 1993. "His dreams were realized."

Mr. Mikus was born in one of Slovakia's poorest regions, which was then part of Austria-Hungary. After persuading his peasant parents to allow him to abandon farming chores to pursue a college education, he earned a law degree at the University of Bratislava in 1934 and chose a career in the foreign service.

He was a diplomat in the government of Czechoslovakia from 1934 to 1939 and in the Republic of Slovakia, when Slovakia became independent, from 1939 to 1945. When Czechoslovakia was restored in 1945, he worked three more years in the government.

As communism began to make inroads in the country, Mr. Mikus was arrested three times by communist police for ideological reasons but was always released, his nephew said. In 1948, he and his family escaped to Paris, and in 1952 they immigrated to the United States.

Mr. Mikus, who was known as Dr. Mikus, lived in Washington from 1954 to 1995. He received a master of comparative law degree from George Washington University in 1966. He was a member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Washington for 40 years.

He commuted for several years and taught history and international relations at St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y., and Georgian Court College in Lakewood, N.J. He also served at the State Department as travel guide and interpreter in French and Spanish for foreign officials.

He was the author of articles and books on Slovakia in the Slovak, English and French languages. He was a member of the Slovak World Congress as well as the Slovak-American Society and the Central and Eastern European Coalition, both in Washington.

His wife of 45 years, Renee Mikus, died in 1995. After her death, he lived for two years in France and then returned to his native Kriva, Orava, in Slovakia.

In 2002, he received Slovakia's highest honor, the Pribina Cross, First Class, for his contributions to Slovakia's independence.

Survivors include his daughter, Isabelle Mikus-Klemm of Pregnin, France; a sister; and a grandson.

Virginia E. Herold


Virginia E. Herold, 103, a retired secretary, died June 7 at a nursing home in Fort Myers, Fla. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Herold was born in New York City and moved to Washington as a child. She graduated from the old Business High School in the District and worked as a secretary for a real estate office before joining the War Department and later the Navy Department just before World War II. She worked for the federal government for 20 years, then for an accountant, a florist and a Presbyterian Church before retiring to Cape Coral, Fla., in 1976.

Her husband, Samuel P. Herold, died in 1937. A daughter, Margaret E. Herold, died in 1946.

Survivors include her daughter, Mildred H. Williams of Cape Coral; two sons, Samuel G. Herold of Fort Myers and William K. Herold of Victorville, Calif.; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Clinton Walter Kersey Sr.

GSA Manager, Clown

Clinton Walter Kersey Sr., 84, a former General Services Administration manager who also had a clown ministry, died after a heart attack May 16 at his McLean home.

Mr. Kersey, a McLean resident since 1962, took and taught courses in clown ministries since 1985 at Northern Virginia Community College and Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church. He was a fixture for the past decade at the McLean Days festival and in local hospitals and nursing homes. He led excursions to Italy and Panama in his clown persona as "Mr. Eve." His wife, who died last year, was also a clown minister and was known as "Otto."

Born in Lynchburg, Va., he worked for the Lynchburg foundry before joining the Navy Seabees during World War II. He was stationed in Hawaii and Iwo Jima.

After the war, he graduated from Virginia Tech and taught at Jefferson High School in Roanoke, where he was chair of the industrial arts vocational program. In 1955, he moved to Richmond to work for the state Department of Education's property division.

In 1962, he moved to McLean to work for the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare as personal property director of the GSA, a job he held until his retirement in 1985.

He belonged to the Fellowship of Christian Clowns. He was also a member of Columbia Baptist Church for 44 years, serving as a church deacon, Sunday school teacher, Bible study member and choir member. For the past decade, he led the Sunday services at Sunrise Assisted Living and Nursing Home in Falls Church and volunteered with the Baptist World Alliance.

His wife of 58 years, Marion Carr Kersey, died in 2004. A daughter, Nancy Ruth Kersey, died in 1959.

Survivors include three children, Marion Kate Larkin of Olney, Phillip Wade Kersey of Chesapeake Beach and Clinton W. Kersey Jr. of Gaithersburg; and five grandchildren.

Jeffie Bullock Craig

Church Member

Jeffie Bullock Craig, 90, who served in several capacities at Little Falls Presbyterian Church, died of cancer May 9 at her home in Arlington County.

At church in Arlington, she was a president of the Presbyterian Women, a deacon, an elder, a trustee, and a Faith Circle Bible study leader.

She was born on a farm near Aberdeen, Miss., and was valedictorian of her high school class. She attended Miss Peabody's Secretarial School in Memphis.

In the 1960s, she was a secretary for the Army Corps of Engineers in the Washington area. After marrying for a second time in 1967, she retired.

Mrs. Craig was active in a garden club and loved flower arranging.

Her first husband, Simms Walling, died in 1955.

Survivors include her husband of 37 years, William B. Craig of Arlington; a step-daughter, Sue C. Dotson of Naples, Fla.; two step-grandchildren; and one step-great-grandson.

Paul A. Teehan

Army Officer, Consultant

Paul A. Teehan, 76, an Army colonel who became a consultant on security matters, died May 23 of heart and respiratory ailments at a hospital in Palm Bay, Fla. He had homes in Palm Bay and Middlebury, Vt.

Col. Teehan was born in Boston and enlisted in the Army after high school. After his graduation from Boston College in 1951, he became an officer, serving in both Korea and Vietnam. He later worked as a public affairs officer at the Pentagon before his retirement in 1975.

His military honors included two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge and Meritorious Unit Citation.

After retiring, he worked as a consultant on security issues until 1988.

He lived in Bowie and Arlington County before moving to Vermont around 1989.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Anna Teehan of Palm Bay and Middlebury; eight children, Mary Horn of Fishers Island, N.Y., Paul Teehan Jr. of Merritt Island, Fla., John Teehan and Margaret Teehan, both of Crofton, Kathleen Teehan of Arlington, Anne Teehan of Bethesda, and Maureen Teehan and Neil Teehan, both of Bowie; two brothers, Thomas Teehan of Abington, Mass., and Edward Teehan of Seattle; two sisters, Mary Machado of Honolulu and Geraldine Simpson of Bowie; and two grandchildren.

Joseph Mikus was honored for work toward Slovakia's independence. Clinton Kersey took his clown ministry to the elderly and sick.