Joseph Gilchrist Jr.

Teacher, Counselor

Joseph Gilchrist Jr., 64, a Washington native who became a teacher and counselor, died July 21 of cardiovascular disease at a hospital in Detroit, where he lived.

Mr. Gilchrist was born in the District and graduated from Eastern High School and Howard University. In his childhood and youth, he attended New Samaritan Baptist Church on Capitol Hill. He was known to his family as "Jay-Jay."

He received a master's degree in history from Wayne State University in Detroit and worked as a history teacher and counselor in the Detroit public schools from 1965 to 1985. From 1985 until his death, he had a private practice as a licensed professional counselor.

He collected gemstones and art and enjoyed studying African American history.

His wife of more than 30 years, Gretchen Johnson, died in 1994.

Survivors include three brothers, Jerome Gilchrist of Takoma Park, Ronald Gilchrist and Leonard Gilchrist, both of Washington, and two sisters, Vernell Gilchrist Chase and Shirlene Gilchrist Douglas, both of Washington.

Sheng Yen Lee


Sheng Yen Lee, 82, a retired polymer chemist with NASA, died July 20 at his home at Leisure World in Silver Spring after a heart attack.

Dr. Lee was born in Xinyang, China, in Henan province and was a homeless student in Sichuan province during World War II. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry in 1946 in China. Three years later, he became a resident of Taiwan.

He was a chemical engineer in Taiwan before coming to the United States in 1959 as a Fulbright Scholar. He completed his doctorate in chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1964 and then worked as a chemist for the Polymer Corp. in Sarnia, Ontario, from 1965 to 1968.

In 1968, he became a chemist supervisor for Harry Diamond Laboratories in Adelphi, now the Army Research Laboratory. In 1979, he moved to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, where he helped develop materials for the space shuttle heat shield. The author of numerous publications and the recipient of a number of patents, he was one of six finalists for NASA's Inventor of the Year award in 1990.

He retired in 1991.

Dr. Lee was a member of many clubs and organizations in the Washington area, including the Chinese Club of Leisure World. In 1984, he founded the Chinese American Forum, a nonprofit quarterly.

His wife, Winnie Cho Lee, died in 1997.

Survivors include a daughter, May Lee Tate of Davidsonville; and two grandchildren.

Alan R. Paxson

CIA Senior Analyst

Alan R. Paxson, 59, a retired senior analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency who last year was a civilian adviser to the Iraqi government, died of cancer July 7 at Capital Hospice in Arlington. He was a resident of Centreville.

Mr. Paxson was born in Rockville but moved at age 4 to a farm outside Alma, Neb. He graduated from Hastings College in Nebraska and did graduate work at Vanderbilt University in Nashville before moving to Northern Virginia.

He joined the CIA in 1969, spending much of his career in the Directorate of Intelligence as an analyst of European issues. He became chief of the Western Europe division in 1982. He served in France and Germany, where he witnessed the collapse of the Berlin Wall and German reunification. He served in staff positions for several years in the comptroller's and inspector general's offices before retiring in 1996.

Mr. Paxson completed a 1,363-mile solo bicycle trip from Florida to Virginia in 27 days during his first year of retirement. He then accompanied his wife to assignments in Greece and England, returning in 2001.

He went back to work for the CIA in 2001 as an independent contractor, reviewing classified operational files for declassification and release. In early 2004, he spent several months in Baghdad, advising the newly formed Iraqi government.

He was a member of Mensa and the Financial Planning Association and enjoyed golf and bicycling. He was a member of Hidden Creek Country Club in Reston for 20 years.

His marriages to Ann Thomas and Joan Eaton ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of nine years, Jan Jennings Paxson of Centreville; two step-daughters, Stephanie Jennings of Eugene, Ore., and Jessica Jennings of Asheville, N.C.; his parents, Wayne and Velma Paxson of Lincoln, Neb.; two brothers; and a sister.