Washington Museum Curator
Lauren Kaminsky, 49, a District resident who had been the chief curator of the planned National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington since August 2004, died June 9 at her mother's home in Shelton, Conn. She had breast cancer.
Ms. Kaminsky settled in the Washington area in 2001 and was director of traveling exhibits for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. At her death, she was working to establish acquisition policies and procedures for the law enforcement museum, which is scheduled to open in 2009.
She was a New York native and a 1977 history graduate of the University of Connecticut. In 1980, she received a master's degree in museum management from the College of William and Mary.
Early in her career, she was curator at the Bush-Holly House in Cos Cob, Conn., and the Clarke House in Chicago. From 1990 to 2000, she was chief curator of Fraunces Tavern Museum in downtown Manhattan.
In addition to her mother, Eve Kaminsky, survivors include an adopted daughter, Emma Kaminsky of Southborough, Mass.; a sister, Lisa Kaminsky of Southborough; and two brothers, Richard Kaminsky of Fairfield, Conn., and James Kaminsky of New York City.
H. Charles Treakle
International Agricultural Economist
H. Charles Treakle, 85, who worked for the Agriculture Department from 1955 to 1983, becoming a Middle East specialist analyzing foreign agricultural trade and development, died May 20 at his home in Arlington County. He had pancreatic cancer.
In the mid-1970s, Mr. Treakle took a three-year assignment with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in Rome.
Hugh Charles Treakle was born on his family farm in Street, in Harford County. He was a 1941 agricultural education graduate of the University of Maryland. While in college, he obtained a pilot's license as a member of the Civil Air Patrol.
He served in the Army Air Forces in the Pacific during World War II and retired from the Air Force reserves as a captain in 1964. His wartime decorations included the Air Medal.
He received a second bachelor's degree, in economics, from George Washington University in 1950 and a master's degree in international economics from American University in 1960.
He was a Boy Scouts cub master and assistant scoutmaster and received the organization's Wood Badge.
His oil and watercolor paintings were exhibited locally, and he did volunteer work at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria.
A son, Thomas C. Treakle, died in 1956.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Marian Burke Treakle of Arlington; four children, Pamela M. Iwanicki of Elkton, Va., Dr. Kevin B. Treakle of Asheville, N.C., Kirk S. Treakle of Chantilly and James B. Treakle of Washington; a sister; and six grandchildren.
Judith Shaffert, 73, a Chevy Chase resident and retired assistant executive director of the Jewish Council for the Aging, died of complications from breast cancer June 15 at Brighton Gardens assisted living center in Chevy Chase.
Ms. Shaffert was born in New York City and graduated from New York University. She moved to Alexandria in 1955 and worked at the Barney Neighborhood House in Southwest Washington while her husband was stationed in the Army at Fort Belvoir.
The family moved throughout the Northeast and resettled in the Washington area in 1966.
Ms. Shaffert worked in refugee resettlement for the Jewish Social Service Agency. She received a master's degree in social work from Catholic University in 1974 and then joined the Jewish Council for the Aging. A licensed clinical social worker, she spent 19 years there, directing the senior aide program and the group homes program. She retired in 1993.
She attended the theater, collected antique jewelry and was a skilled bargain shopper.
Survivors include her husband of 50 years, Kurt Shaffert of Chevy Chase; two daughters, Elona Shaffert of Rehoboth Beach, Del., and Robin Shaffert of Chevy Chase; and two grandsons.
Elizabeth C. Darling Rowell
Elizabeth C. Darling Rowell, 95, a secretary in the U.S. Senate who was named one of the 10 most powerful women in Washington by McCall's magazine in the early 1950s, died of cardiopulmonary failure and pneumonia June 8 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. She was an Arlington resident.
Mrs. Rowell, then known as Betty Darling, was near the center of power in the 1940s and early 1950s. She was the administrative assistant to the secretary of the Senate, Leslie L. Biffle, who was a close friend of Vice President Harry S. Truman.
Mrs. Rowell was the first one to greet Truman as "Mr. President" because he was in a meeting with Biffle when word came from the White House that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died. The next day, Truman returned to Biffle's office for lunch with him, Mrs. Rowell and 17 congressmen. Her contact with the president was frequent; Truman installed a dedicated phone line between his Oval Office desk and Biffle's office.
She continued to work for Biffle, who became a lobbyist and consultant, until his death in 1966. In 1968, she returned to the Senate to work in the office of Sen. John C. Stennis (D-Miss.) for the next three years, until retirement.
Mrs. Rowell was born in Purcellville and raised in Washington, where she was a graduate of the old Central High School. She began working on Capitol Hill in the 1930s.
She was a member of the Discalced Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for 63 years, former president of the Catholic Daughters of America for the Baltimore-Washington archdiocese and former president of the Florence Crittenton Society, a group affiliated with the home for unwed mothers.
Her first husband, Jack Darling, died in 1967. Her second husband, Russell Rowell, died in 1994. Two children from her first marriage also died: Joseph M. Darling in 1995 and Richard C. Darling in 1992.
Survivors include two children from her first marriage, Theresa E. Cummings of Arlington and Jack Darling of Boca Raton, Fla.; 15 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Dorothy L. Mercer
Dorothy L. Mercer, 85, a retired clerk and typist for the federal government, died of an aneurysm June 13 at Civista Hospital in La Plata. She was a Waldorf resident.
Mrs. Mercer was born in Chattanooga and raised in Memphis. She came to Washington in 1944 and went to work at the Navy Yard and later at Andrews Air Force Base. She retired in 1982.
She was a former church secretary of Anacostia Baptist Church and most recently was a member of Temple Hills Baptist Church.
Her first husband, Fred Scruggs, died in 1963, and her second husband, Jesse Mercer, died in 1980.
Survivors include three sons from her first marriage, Robert Scruggs of Greensboro, N.C., Richard Scruggs of Tucson and Thomas Michael Scruggs of St. Leonard, Md.; nine grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
James Ignatius Keane
James Ignatius Keane, 60, a lawyer and consultant specializing in litigation management and computer support systems, died June 10 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He had lung cancer.
A Cheverly native, he was a graduate of Gonzaga High School in Washington, Marquette University in Milwaukee and Georgetown University law school. His father was a criminal defense lawyer.
Early in his career, Mr. Keane clerked for J. Dudley Digges, an associate justice on the Maryland Court of Appeals; was an assistant Maryland attorney general; and served on the team prosecuting the bribery allegations against then-Vice President Spiro T. Agnew stemming from his days as Baltimore County's chief executive.
With the Agnew case relying on voluminous documentation, Mr. Keane felt there was a need to create a computer system to manage the document databases. He began working on creating law-related technology for Aspen Systems Corp., Coopers & Lybrand in New York, Arthur Young & Co. and his own business, the James Keane Co., based at his home in North Potomac.
In 1999, he became the founding chief legal officer of JusticeLink, a Dallas-based company that originated the electronic filing of court documents. The business eventually became a division of Lexis-Nexis.
More recently, Mr. Keane did consulting work and helped found VirtualCourthouse.com, an Internet-based dispute-resolution company.
He was a former chairman of the Maryland State Bar Association's special committee on technology. He was a co-author of "Litigation Support Systems: An Attorney's Guide" (1992).
His marriages to Susan Sheridan Keane and Michele Crewe Keane ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 18 years, Cynthia Potesta Keane, and their daughter, Meghan Keane, both of North Potomac; three sisters, Kathy Keane of Rockville, Paula Lautzenheiser of Springfield and Claire Keane of Rabun Gap, Ga.; and two brothers, Martin Keane of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Kevin Keane of Japan.