Ralph Thomas Carpenter

GAO Lawyer

Ralph Thomas Carpenter, 93, a lawyer for the General Accounting Office, died July 1 of pneumonia at the Carroll Lutheran Village nursing home in Westminster, Md.

Mr. Carpenter came to Washington in 1934 to work for the Veterans Administration. After graduating from Washington College of Law (now part of American University) in 1937, he joined the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress. He served in its legal division from 1941 until his retirement in 1970. He was assistant comptroller of the agency at the time he retired.

He was born on his family's farm in Pepin County, Wis., and rode a horse six miles each way to high school. His great-aunt was the mother of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the "Little House on the Prairie" books. He attended a business college in LaCrosse, Wis., and worked at a bank and at a military retirement home in Milwaukee before moving to Washington.

He lived in Kensington from 1937 to 1978 and was a member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Kensington. He lived in Sarasota, Fla., from 1978 to March of this year.

Mr. Carpenter traveled extensively throughout the United States and overseas. He volunteered for Meals on Wheels and enjoyed woodcarving, gardening, cooking and baking.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Helmi N. Carpenter of Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster; three children, Sandra Jones of Eldersburg, Md., Carol Maurer of Littlestown, Pa., and Thomas Q. Carpenter of Mount Airy, Md.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Ruth Elaine Conner

Church Member

Ruth Elaine Conner, 81, a housewife and church member, died of pneumonia July 9 at Inova Cameron Glen Care Center in Reston.

Mrs. Conner was a native of Toronto and moved to Washington in 1946, when she married. She lived in Hyattsville, Riverdale and College Park before moving to Reston in 1996.

She was a member of St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church in Riverdale. She enjoyed playing bingo and making trips to Atlantic City.

Her husband of 50 years, Paul C. Conner Sr., died in 1996.

Survivors include six children, Paul Carter Conner II of Louisville, Michael Conner of Frederick, Paula Perry of Grove City, Ohio, Ruth Anne Bowles of Callaway, Va., Janice Rodriguez of Centreville and David Anderson, whose last known address was in West Virginia; two brothers; 22 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Dr. Joseph D. Connor

Family Physician

Dr. Joseph D. Connor, 77, a Bethesda family physician for many years, died of cancer July 12 at his home in Bethesda.

Dr. Connor was born in Washington and graduated from St. John's College High School in 1945. He attended Catholic University and received his medical degree from George Washington University in 1950. During the Korean War, he served as an Army battalion surgeon with the 35th regiment, 25th division. He received the Bronze Star.

After the war, he established his family-medicine practice in the family home, delivering several generations of babies and serving Bethesda-area families for a half-century. He retired in 2000.

In his spare time, Dr. Connor built model ships and enjoyed CB radio.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Marie Gallegos Connor of Bethesda; seven children, Dolores Elliot of Acton, Mass., Sheila Kerber of Greenwood Village, Colo., Jean Osborne of Wesley Chapel, Fla., Catherine Connor and Joseph Connor, both of Rockville, Christopher Connor of Chevy Chase and Gregory Connor of Durham, N.C.; a sister, Joan Connor Lee of Chevy Chase; and 15 grandchildren.

Constantino 'Gus' Heon

Business Owner

Constantino "Gus" Heon, 74, a Washington native who owned several businesses, died of cardiovascular disease July 10 at Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland in Rockville.

As a child, Mr. Heon, the son of Greek-immigrant parents, lived above his family's Heon's restaurant in Georgetown -- now the site of Nathan's at Wisconsin Avenue and M Street NW. He graduated from St. John's College High School in 1950, then served in the Coast Guard for two years.

For many years, Mr. Heon helped run several family businesses, including Heritage House restaurant in Georgetown, which operated from 1964 to 1969, and the Chevy Chase Lake swimming pool, which closed in 1972. He owned and managed the Georgetown Theater, and retired when the theater closed in 1986.

Mr. Heon lived in Washington and Kensington before moving to Rockville in 1977. He enjoyed travel and gardening. He also was a member of the American Legion and was a licensed pilot.

His wife of 33 years, Sue Heon, died in 1985.

Survivors include his wife of 10 years, Helen Heon of Rockville; two children from his first marriage, George Heon of Frederick and Angie Nys of West Palm Beach, Fla.; a brother, Louis Heon of Kensington; two sisters, Mary Carpousis and Becky Heon, both of Washington; and a grandson.