Peter E. Wilkniss
Science Foundation Official
Peter Eberhard Wilkniss, 70, a retired National Science Foundation official specializing in the polar regions who started a polar science consulting firm in Alaska, died June 10 at his home in Anchorage. He had a brain tumor.
Dr. Wilkniss was born in Berlin and received a doctorate in radio-nuclear chemistry from the Technical University of Munich.
He settled in the Washington area in 1961 and spent the next 14 years as a Navy Department civilian employee. He headed the nuclear chemistry branch at the Naval Ordnance Station in Indian Head and became a chemical oceanographer at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington.
While with the Navy, he crossed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans aboard research vessels and sailed on U.S. and Soviet nuclear icebreakers from the North Pole to the Antarctic.
He worked at the National Science Foundation from 1975 to 1998, becoming director of the polar programs division.
He was a head of the National Ozone Expeditions, which led to an understanding of the Antarctic ozone hole, and played a major role in ice-core drilling and other research that provided insights into past climates.
An Antarctic mountain range was named in his honor. He advised the National Research Council, the National Academy of Sciences and other science boards and societies.
He maintained a home in Alexandria and settled in Anchorage in 1999. Among his projects was the preservation of native Alaskan culture and languages.
Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Edith Koester Wilkniss of Alexandria; two children, Peter F. Wilkniss of Los Angeles and Sandra Wilkniss Fall of Chicago; and three grandchildren.
Harold N. Post
Army Colonel, Business Executive
Harold N. Post, 86, a retired Army colonel and business executive in Northern Virginia, died of a heart attack June 11 at a church concert in Locust Grove, Va., where he lived.
Col. Post, who was born in Zumbrota, Minn., attended the University of Minnesota, Georgetown University and the University of Maryland, from which he graduated.
He joined the Minnesota National Guard in 1938 and it was mobilized three years later. He fought in Europe during World War II, landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and helping liberate the Dachau concentration camp.
After the war, he was appointed military governor of Kreis Waldeck, Germany, and director of the local government at Kassel, Germany, where his job was to rebuild the civil infrastructure. Later, he was deputy director of logistics for the Berlin military command, assisting in the final stages of the Berlin airlift.
Col. Post served in Korea as an executive officer with a quartermaster depot. In 1967 and 1968, he was director of supply and logistics for the Army's 1st Logistical Command in Vietnam. His last military assignment was at the Pentagon. He retired in 1973.
Among his decorations were three awards of the Legion of Merit. In 2003, Col. Post was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Quartermaster Regiment.
After his military career, Col. Post was involved in a number of commercial businesses in Northern Virginia. He owned the Tastee-Freeze franchise for the region for several years, and was a manager with a janitorial service and a household products wholesale firm. From 1985 to 1998, he sold real estate through Long & Foster.
He was an elder of the National City Christian Church in Washington. He lived in Fairfax until 1981, when he moved to Locust Grove.
His wife of 49 years, Evelyn Post, died in 1999.
Survivors include include two daughters, Carol Flaherty of Atherton, Calif., and Susan Smith of Tampa; a brother; six grandsons; and two great-granddaughters.
Sherri Lynn Mahoney Woods
Sherri Lynn Mahoney Woods, 39, an assistant comptroller with a Northern Virginia home-building company, died of breast cancer June 3 at Virginia Hospital Center. She lived in Annandale.
Ms. Woods was born in Yokosuka, Japan, and, as the daughter of a Navy officer, also grew up Alaska, Greece and Northern Virginia. She graduated from Falls Church High School in 1984.
She worked at NV Homes, a home-building company, in Fairfax. For the past 15 years, she was employed by Comstock Homebuilding Cos. in Reston.
Ms. Woods was a member of McLean Bible Church. Her faith was an important part of her life, her father said.
Survivors include her husband of 19 years, Steven Woods of Annandale; two daughters, Stephanie Woods and Shannon Woods, both of Annandale; her parents, retired Navy Lt. John and Patricia Mahoney of Pensacola, Fla.; and two brothers.