S. William Kight Jr.


S. William Kight Jr., 80, a chemical engineer who retired in 1991 as senior manager of the Pentagon heating and cooling plant, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease June 13 at Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge. He lived in Lake Ridge.

Mr. Kight helped manage the plant while working 17 years for the federal government, first with the General Services Administration and then the Defense Department.

Earlier, he worked for chemical engineering and utility companies in New York, North Carolina, Utah and Georgia.

Mr. Kight, who lived in the Washington area for 28 years, was a native of Norfolk. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and received a law degree from La Salle University in Pennsylvania in 1973.

He served 12 years in the Navy, beginning on his 17th birthday, Oct. 9, 1941. He served as a gunner and ordnance man in the Pacific and North Africa during World War II.

He was a Mason and former master of Occoquan Lodge No. 310; a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion; and a volunteer with the Court Appointed Special Advocates, a program to help abused and neglected children. He also served as a docent at Gunston Hall and volunteered as a tutor at the District's old Lorton Correction Complex in Fairfax.

Mr. Kight gave 13 gallons of blood to the Red Cross over 50 years until the early 1990s. He was a member of the Castaways Repertory Theatre in Woodbridge, the National Sojourners and the Kentucky Colonels.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Barbara Bernick Kight of Lake Ridge; two children, Michael Gary Kight of Slidell, La., and Anne Kight Lloyd of Annandale; two sisters; two brothers; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Sandra Shoemaker Sonner

Montgomery College Official

Sandra Shoemaker Sonner, 70, a senior program director in the office of continuing education at Montgomery College, died July 1 of cancer at her home in Centreville, Md. Her primary residence was in Rockville, where she had lived since 1965.

She began her career at Montgomery College in 1984 and had a key role in developing gifted and talented programs, courses in English as a second language, faculty awards and programs for senior citizens. When she retired in January 2004, she was presented the college's Silver Medallion award.

Mrs. Sonner, who did not use her given name of Mary, was born in Los Angeles. She moved to the Washington area in her teens and graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1953. She was a 1957 graduate of George Washington University, where she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

She received two master's degrees, one in higher education administration from George Washington University (1987) and a second in counseling from Johns Hopkins University (1994).

She taught American history at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1958-59 and was on the staff of Sen. Warren G. Magnuson (D-Wash.) from 1959 to 1962. She was the co-owner of Rockville Antiques from 1976 to 1979.

Mrs. Sonner enjoyed gardening and travel and recently returned from two months in Sarajevo, Bosnia. She was a member of the Rockville Rotary Club and volunteered with career counseling and literacy programs. She and her husband sponsored many international exchange students.

Survivors include her husband of 47 years, retired Court of Special Appeals judge Andrew L. Sonner of Rockville; six children, Mary Costello of Kennett Square, Pa., John Sonner of Acton, Mass., Kenneth Sonner of Atlantic Beach, N.Y., Molly Andolina of Oak Park, Ill., Timothy Sonner of Bend, Ore., and Theodore Sonner of Rockville; a brother, Alan Shoemaker of Lothian; and seven grandchildren.

William Lee Savidge

Navy Captain

William Lee Savidge, 89, a retired Navy captain and former executive with Seatrain Shipping Corp., died June 28 of complications of multiple infections at Rappahannock General Hospital in Kilmarnock, Va. He was a resident of Deltaville, Va.

Capt. Savidge was born in Tacoma, Wash. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1939. During World War II, he served on several cruisers, including the USS Savannah and the USS Columbia, taking part in engagements in the Pacific theater.

During the 1950s, he served at naval headquarters at the Pentagon, working on the command staff for destroyers based in the Atlantic. His first major command was a destroyer, the USS Stockham. He attended the Naval War College and served again at naval headquarters before moving to California, where he assumed command of the USS Renville, part of the Amphibious Command, which assisted in the early buildup of U.S. forces in Southeast Asia. In 1962, he assumed command of the Naval Weapons Station in Concord, Calif.

He returned to the Washington area in 1965 and went to work at the Pentagon in the Naval Ordnance Systems Command. He retired from the Navy in 1968.

He worked as an executive with New York City-based Seatrain Shipping from 1968 until 1972, when he retired again.

Capt. Savidge and his family lived in McLean and Great Falls during his tours of duty in the Washington area. He moved to Deltaville in 1977.

His first wife, Anne Ellis Robinson, died in 1966. His second wife, Ann McNeil Coe, died in 1995.

Survivors include three children from the first marriage, Ruth Robinson Savidge of Washington, William Lee Savidge Jr. of Berkeley, Calif., and Dwight Stillwell Savidge of Madeira Beach, Fla.; five stepchildren from the second marriage, Conway Coe of Deltaville, Roy Coe of Fauquier County, Nellie Coe of Kansas City, Mo., Malcolm Coe of Richmond and William Coe of Deltaville; a sister, Catherine Savidge of San Francisco; and six grandchildren.

Rose Margaret Sedeen

National Geographic Writer, Editor

Rose Margaret Roherty Sedeen, 78, a retired writer and editor for the National Geographic Society, died June 13 at her country home on Aaron Mountain near Washington, Va. The cause of death was complications of leucopenia, anemia and thrombocytosis.

A lover of the written word, Mrs. Sedeen wrote and edited books about natural history, geography, travel and America's ethnic heritage. She also was a rigorous editor and a friend to writers and editors who produced National Geographic publications in the 1970s and 1980s.

She was born in Janesville, Wis., and grew up in Rockford, Ill. She enrolled at Rockford College in 1945 but dropped out of school after her marriage. She attended summer school for many years and received her undergraduate degree from the college in 1963.

Beginning in the early 1950s, she taught elementary school and then junior high and high school English, all in Ohio. She received her master's degree in English from Ohio State University in 1967 and worked on her doctorate at Ohio State from 1971 to 1974, the year she moved to the Washington area to join the staff of the National Geographic Society as a researcher.

She became a research writer in 1976, an editor and writer in 1979 and managing editor of the National Geographic Book Service in 1985. She became managing editor of the Book Division in 1990.

Mrs. Sedeen was a member of a small team of writers and photographers allowed into Russia and China in the late 1970s, an expedition that resulted in several books that she edited, including "Great Rivers of the World" (1984), in which she wrote a chapter about the River Volga, and "The Soviet Union Today" (1990).

She was editor of "National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe" (1980), "Mountain Worlds" (1988) and "Our Fifty States" (1991). She authored a lavishly illustrated coffee table book, "Star-Spangled Banner: Our Nation and Its Flag," published in 1993 and again after Sept. 11, 2001. She retired in 1994 but continued to work for National Geographic as a consultant.

She lived in Annandale until 1980, when she moved to Washington, Va.

Her marriage to Albert F. Sedeen ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children, Matthew Sedeen of Hodgesville, W.Va., and Katie Sedeen-Darnall of Castleton, Va.; two sisters, Alice Mihos of Annandale and Catherine Pollin of Fairfax City; six grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

Mary Lillian McMahon

School Superintendent Assistant

Mary Lillian McMahon, 84, a retired assistant to the vice superintendent of the D.C. public schools, died July 5 at Casey House of Rockville of complications of a stroke.

Mrs. McMahon, a native of Washington, attended Eastern High School and graduated from Anacostia High School in 1939.

During World War II, she was a secretary in the War Production Board's aluminum and magnesium division.

In 1953, she began working with the D.C. Board of Education and was promoted to assistant to the assistant superintendent for junior and senior high schools. She later served as assistant to the deputy superintendent and acting superintendent of D.C. public schools. She received several commendations for outstanding service.

Mrs. McMahon was past vice president of the American Association of Retired Persons, Suitland Chapter 939, a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees Southern Maryland Chapter 1260, and a life member of the National Association of Educational Office Professionals. She was past secretary of the Good Samaritan Society.

Mrs. McMahon moved to Leisure World in Silver Spring in 1991.

She was also active in the Leisure World chapter of the Italian Club, the Holy Cross Hospital Auxiliary, the Bauer Club and several leisure clubs. She was a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Silver Spring.

Her marriage to William A. Callaway Jr. ended in divorce.

Survivors include her husband of 44 years, John Kevin McMahon of Silver Spring; three children from her first marriage, Judith Callaway Leapley of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Mary Theresa Callaway of Washington and William A. Callaway III of Daly City, Calif.; a stepdaughter, Kathleen McMahon Collin of Milwaukee; two grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Patricia Ann McNeill

Postal Clerk

Patricia Ann McNeill, 62, a retired clerk with the U.S. Postal Service, died June 21 of pneumonia at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

She was born in Dunn, N.C., and received an associate's degree from Fayetteville State University.

She moved to Washington in 1967. She worked as a clerk at Drug Fair in Silver Spring and as a sales associate for W. Bell & Co. before joining the Postal Service.

She spent 26 years as a clerk at the main post office at Massachusetts Avenue and North Capitol Street and later at the Brentwood branch. She retired on disability in 2000.

Her love for cooking became well-known at the Postal Service, where she catered many functions for her co-workers. One of her specialties was barbecue pork. She also received many requests for her pineapple upside-down cake, her pineapple coconut cake and her flavorful rum cake.

She sometimes catered weddings and would always share a dinner plate with neighbors on her block at 13th and Buchanan Streets NW. "She loved to cook, and she loved to feed people," said her daughter, Monica Harrison.

Ms. McNeill possessed "an ear and eyes" for people in need, said her son-in-law, the Rev. Troy Harrison. She gave away lots of clothes and shared what money she had with neighbors and friends who asked. She took old shoe boxes and filled them with toiletries, underwear, socks and snacks and sent them to incarcerated relatives.

Her hobbies included shopping, especially for bargains, and working word puzzles.

In 1999, she was baptized by her son-in-law at the Faithful and True Christian Center in Silver Spring.

In addition to her daughter, of Silver Spring, survivors include another child, Janoski McNeill of Washington; three brothers, James McNeill of Dale City and George McNeill and Delon McNeill, both of Washington; three sisters, Leanna Bell of Dunn, N.C., Rosetta McBride of Philadelphia and Teresa Davis of Marin, S.C.; and seven grandchildren.

Norbert 'Bill' Immen

Journalist, Protester

Norbert "Bill" Immen, 81, a retired Washington journalist who led a two-year-long renters' protest at a District apartment building in the early 1980s, died June 27 of sepsis and pneumonia at Shady Grove Hospital.

Mr. Immen was born in Jamaica, N.Y. He told friends that "every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Bill" but that he'd rather be Bill than Norbert. He renamed himself. He moved to Washington in 1942.

In World War II, he was a sergeant in the 328th Infantry Regiment, 26th Division, 3rd Army, during the Northern France and Rhineland campaigns.

After his discharge, he returned to Washington. He received a bachelor's degree in English from George Washington University in 1950, even though he had no high school degree. He was an English department secretary while working on his degree.

He was a reporter for the Army-Navy-Air Force Journal, the Kiplinger Letter and the Army-Navy-Air Force Register before joining Federal Publications in the late 1960s. He was editor of the Transportation Business Report, one of the Federal Publications, before his retirement in the late 1980s.

Mr. Immen had been a resident of the Van Ness South apartment complex, near Van Ness Street NW and Connecticut Avenue, since 1970, when he organized a group of residents to protest the conversion of rental apartments to condominium units. The group, Save Van Ness South for Everyone, was made up of tenants who could not afford to buy their apartments in the 624-unit complex.

"People have the idea that we are wealthy," he told The Washington Post in 1983. "A lot of us are just working stiffs, and 334 people in our building are senior citizens."

Mr. Immen and his fellow protesters found a pro bono lawyer to represent them and prevailed in court. The conversion plan was halted.

Mr. Immen was an ardent fisherman, a cook and a storyteller.

His marriage to Dorothy Ekman Immen ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sisters.

Sandra SonnerPatricia McNeill