Byron A. Brim

Army Officer

Byron A. Brim, 85, a lieutenant colonel in the Army and a recipient of the Silver Star Medal during World War II, died of emphysema June 15 at his home in Centreville.

In January 1941, Lt. Col. Brim was drafted into the Army. After the United States entered World War II, he enrolled in Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was sent to the Pacific theater in 1943.

Assigned to the 2nd Engineer Special Brigade, then-Lt. Brim was operating a bulldozer to build a road network in the Schouten Islands of New Guinea on May 27, 1944. During a skirmish with Japanese forces, he entered a cave under fire to rescue a wounded American soldier. He was awarded the Silver Star for his action.

Lt. Col. Brim served in the Korean War and had various assignments in Japan, Germany and Washington in the 1950s. Upon retiring from the Army in 1961, he settled in Alexandria.

He was a civilian employee of the Army Engineer School at Fort Belvoir for 15 years, retiring in 1976 as chief of combat development, equipment and doctrine.

Lt. Col. Brim was born in Medicine Lodge, Kan. His parents died when he was young, and he spent much of his youth as a farmhand. At 16, he joined the Clyde Beatty Cole Brothers Circus as an animal caretaker. He held temporary jobs and was occasionally homeless during the Depression until he entered the Army.

He moved from Alexandria to Centreville in 1977. He was president of the PTA at Edison High School in Fairfax County and was a member of the Kena Shrine Temple in Fairfax County and the Battlefield Equestrian Society. He was also a member of the Main Chapel at Fort Belvoir.

His son, the Rev. Blaine Brim, died in 1995.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Vivian Brim of Centreville; a son, Wayne Brim of Centreville; a brother and a sister; three grandchildren; and two great-grandsons.

Kenneth H. Cook

Navy Department Employee

Kenneth Harold Cook, 90, a Navy Department employee in Washington from 1941 to 1972 who held positions in accounting, procurement, production and logistics as they related to electronic equipment, died July 9 at a nursing home in Winchester, Kan., his birth town. He had congestive heart failure.

For one Navy assignment, Mr. Cook helped coordinate a NATO working group on the standardization of electronic parts.

He moved to Topeka from the District in 1978. He was a Mason and a life member of Almas Shrine Temple in Washington.

His wife, Bethel Graham Cook, whom he married in 1937, died in 1993.

Survivors include a sister, Moyne Ragland of Broomfield, Colo.

Jacques Blaise deSibour Jr.

Business Owner

Jacques Blaise deSibour Jr., 72, who owned and operated a family-run insurance brokerage firm in Washington before retiring in 1994, died of cancer July 9 at his home in Cape May, N.J.

Mr. deSibour was a native Washingtonian whose grandfather was noted architect Jules Henri deSibour, designer of embassies and other Romanesque-style buildings.

Jacques deSibour graduated from St. Albans School for Boys and Princeton University. After serving in Panama during a stint in the Army, he returned to Washington to join his father's insurance brokerage firm, deSibour Associates.

Mr. deSibour took over the management of the firm after the death of his father in 1980.

Over the years, Mr. deSibour was an alumni recruiter for Princeton, interviewing prospective students.

He was also a member of the Metropolitan Club and the Chevy Chase Club.

His marriages to Diane deSibour and Catherine Bennett deSibour ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children from his first marriage, Stephanie deSibour LeVeque of Columbus, Ohio, and Jacques Blaise deSibour III of Blue Hill, Maine; a daughter from his second marriage, Nicole deSibour of Washington; and four grandchildren.

Mary Patrick Gilbert

Government Secretary

Mary Patrick Gilbert, 79, who worked as a secretary at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Bethesda for about 10 years until the mid-1980s, died of cancer July 9 at her home in Olney.

Mrs. Gilbert was a native of Crawfordsville, Ind. She attended Indiana University and Ohio State University.

She came to the Washington area from Oak Ridge, Tenn., in 1973 and settled in Olney in 1996.

Survivors include her husband, Robert Gilbert of Olney; four daughters, Gail Sherman of Olney, Mary Sue Treat of Montgomery Village, Roberta Kogok of Potomac and Rebecca Groves of Rockville; a brother; a sister; 12 grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

Leland 'Lee' Hadcox

Air Force Sergeant, Federal Worker

Leland William "Lee" Hadcox, 68, a retired Air Force master sergeant and Treasury Department staff assistant, died July 7 after a two-car accident that day in Clinton.

A spokesman for the Prince George's County police department said Sgt. Hadcox was driving south on Temple Hill Road near Salima Street and collided with a northbound vehicle that crossed into his lane. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The case is under investigation, the spokesman said.

Sgt. Hadcox, a Temple Hills resident, was born in Danube, N.Y. He was in the Air Force from 1957 to 1980 and served in the Vietnam War. He became a personnel specialist, and his final active-duty assignment was at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

His decorations included two awards of the Air Force Commendation Medal.

He settled in the Washington area in 1980 and spent 21 years at Treasury, working in the tax policy department.

He was a member of Oxon Hill Baptist Church, where he did volunteer work for the youth ministry.

His wife, Rosa Fernandez Hadcox, whom he married in 1961, died in 1982.

Survivors include three children, Rosemary Glick of Seattle, William Hadcox of Chesapeake, Va., and Anna Galloway of Temple Hills; his mother, Inez Hadcox of Fort Plain, N.Y.; two sisters; and six grandchildren.

Benjamin Carter Pope

Claims Adjuster

Benjamin Carter Pope, 93, a retired claims adjuster with Geico, died June 28 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder at Surrey Place, a nursing facility in Lecanto, Fla. He was a former Silver Spring resident.

Mr. Pope was born in Washington and graduated from McKinley Tech High School in the late 1920s. In the 1930s in Washington, he worked for several banks as a messenger, and during World War II he was a volunteer firefighter. In the late 1940s, he became an automotive service manager, first for Cherner Motor Co. and then for Capitol Cadillac in the District.

He worked for Geico as a claims adjuster from 1963 until 1976, when he retired. He moved to Florida in 1990.

Mr. Pope had O negative blood and was always proud that he was regularly called upon to donate blood for babies with Rh negative blood, a widespread, life-threatening condition until the late 1960s.

A former member of the old Greencastle Country Club in Silver Spring, he continued playing golf into his late eighties.

His first wife, Theresa Carmalt Pope, died in 1970. His second wife, Helen Forney Pope, died in 1976.

Survivors include two daughters from his first marriage, Patricia Pope Walker of Lecanto and Susan Pope Beach of Winchester, Va.; a sister; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Hattie H. Priester


Hattie H. Priester, 78, a retired secretary for the Norfolk Southern Railroad, died July 9 of complications of Alzheimer's disease at the Manor Care nursing home in Silver Spring.

She worked at the railroad company from about 1966 to 1987. She previously had worked for two years at the National Geographic Society.

A native of Baltimore, Mrs. Priester lived in the Washington area for 40 years. She lived in Hyattsville from 1969 until 2003, when she moved to Manor Care.

She was a longtime volunteer with several church groups and with the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels and AARP, from which she received several meritorious service awards.

She was a member of the Union Wesley AME Zion Church in Washington and the Alpha Pi Chi Sorority.

Her marriage to John Priester Sr. ended in divorce.

Survivors include a son, John Priester Jr. of Dallas; a sister; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Philip Leon Rothchild

IRS Official

Philip Leon Rothchild, 84, who worked 22 years for the Internal Revenue Service before retiring in 1975 as director of the public affairs division, died July 8 at his home in Silver Spring after a heart attack.

Mr. Rothchild was a native of New York and a graduate of Brooklyn College. He worked as a government statistical analyst in Washington before joining the Army during World War II. He was assigned to the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge, Tenn., as chief of labor statistics.

After the war, he served in the Air Force Reserve and worked as a statistician and management analyst for several federal agencies in New York. He started working as a public information specialist when he joined the IRS in 1953. He was transferred to Washington in 1961 and became assistant director of the IRS public information division.

He was later named assistant to the commissioner for public affairs and director of the public affairs division.

His professional honors include the Treasury Department's Exceptional Service Award.

He was a member of the American Society for Public Administration, the Public Relations Society of America and the National Press Club.

In retirement, Mr. Rothchild volunteered with community service organizations, primarily at Leisure World in Silver Spring, where he had lived since 1977.

He was past president of Leisure World's Fun and Fancy Theatre Group; past chairman of Leisure World's July Fourth Celebration Committee; and a member of the board of his condominium section, several committees of the Community Council and the board of the Foundation of Leisure World, of which he was a founder.

He was a member of Congregation B'nai Shalom in Olney, the University of Maryland's Terrapin Club, the Military Order of the World Wars, B'nai B'rith, Jewish Residents of Leisure World, Jewish War Veterans and the Rossmoor Kiwanis Club.

His first wife, Theresa Eisen Rothchild, died in 1968 after 27 years of marriage.

Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Miriam Ginsberg Rothchild of Silver Spring, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and nurse; two daughters from his first marriage, Marsha Gross of Crofton and Jerilyn Kraft of Highland Beach, Fla.; a sister; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Mary Devine Scheid

Teacher, Designer

Mary Devine Scheid, 94, a former teacher and interior designer, died July 6 at the Carriage Hill nursing home in Bethesda. She had Parkinson's disease.

Mrs. Scheid was born in Chicago and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1932. She moved to the Washington area in 1936.

She was a homemaker throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s. In the late 1950s, she became a teacher at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart and then at Brookmont Elementary School in Bethesda, where she taught for 15 years. She retired from teaching in 1975.

During her last few years of teaching, she began building an interior design business, Mary Scheid Interiors, which she operated out of her home in Bethesda. She had a wide range of clients, including area builders, the military and others who, through word of mouth, found out about her talent and experience. She retired in 1990.

She was instrumental in planning and furnishing Mary's House in Rockville, the first of several Victory Housing homes for the frail and elderly in Prince George's and Montgomery counties. Mrs. Scheid was a longtime member of the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda.

Her husband, Carl A. Scheid, died in 1986.

Survivors include three children, C. Patrick Scheid of Rockville, Paula Brown of Potomac and John T. Scheid of Bethesda; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Ruth West

Treasury Department Employee

Ruth Turner West, 111, who worked at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing from 1917 to 1958, mostly as a note inspector, died June 30 at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park. She had dementia.

Ms. West was a native Washingtonian and a graduate of Armstrong High School. She attended the old Miner Normal School, later Miner Teachers College, but decided she did not want to be a teacher.

She went to the Treasury Department and initially was denied office work because she was black, her family said. A supervisor would only offer her a janitorial position, but she persisted until she received an administrative position, her family said.

Since 1917, she had been a member of Metropolitan AME Church in Washington and formerly sang in the senior choir.

In 1996, she moved to the Adelphi Nursing Home from her home in Washington.

Her hobbies including sewing and gardening.

Her marriage to Arthur Smallwood ended in divorce. Her second husband, William West, died in 1949. A daughter from her first marriage, Ruth Annetta Wesley, died in 1991.

Survivors include three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Byron Brim was awarded a Silver Star for a rescue in World War II.