Mark R. Metz


Mark Ryan Metz, 21, a Takoma Park native who went to elementary school in Silver Spring and had been a student since April at the Wyoming Technical Institute in Laramie, died July 10 at a Laramie hospital of injuries sustained while riding an all-terrain vehicle.

The Laramie Boomerang newspaper reported that Mr. Metz lost control of the vehicle after hitting a rocky embankment at high speed. He was not wearing a helmet, but the state does not require a helmet for ATV drivers and passengers older than 18, the paper reported.

Mr. Metz attended Westover Elementary and Charles Drew Elementary schools in Silver Spring. He graduated from high school in Danville, Calif. His interests were in computer programming, and he also built his first complete car engine at age 19. At the time of his death, he was enrolled in an automotive business school and living in Laramie.

Survivors include his parents, Martin Metz and Donna Rolen Metz of San Marcos, Calif.; two sisters; and his grandparents, Bob and Betty Rolen of Silver Spring.

Leroy Trice Gravatte Jr.

Real Estate Broker

Leroy Trice Gravatte Jr., 94, a longtime area real estate broker, died July 24 at his home in Alexandria. The cause of death was reported as "failure to thrive."

Mr. Gravatte was born in Washington and graduated from McKinley Technical High School in 1929. He received his undergraduate degree in mathematics in 1933 from the University of Maryland, where he was a catcher nicknamed "Tripod" on the varsity baseball team.

Shortly after graduation, he joined his father's real estate firm in the District, L.T. Gravatte and Sons Realtors. He stayed until 1955, when he opened his own company, L. Trice Gravatte Jr. Realtor, also in the District. He bought, sold and developed residential and commercial properties, primarily in the Capitol Heights area and along Wisconsin Avenue NW in Georgetown. He closed the business in 1985 but continued to manage investment properties for himself and others.

In 1944, Mr. Gravatte and his wife bought a beach cottage in Bethany Beach, Del., which was their summer residence for many years. Swimming in the ocean was his favorite pastime over the years; he was at the beach a couple of weeks before his death. He also enjoyed taking his grandsons fishing, crabbing and clamming. When one of his sons purchased a beachfront bed and breakfast in Bethany Beach called the Addy Sea, Mr. Gravatte and his wife helped run the three-story, 14-bedroom Victorian-era showplace.

He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Alexandria for more than 50 years and was a candidate for the Alexandria City Council in the early 1950s. He was a senior member of the Old Dominion Boat Club and a life member of the Henry Knox Field Masonic Temple, Alexandria Scottish Rite and Kenya Temple Shrine.

He was a member of the Springfield Golf and Country Club. On one of his last golf outings, he played with his son, grandson and great-grandson.

Mr. Gravatte's wife, Frances Miller Gravatte, died in June.

Survivors include two sons, Leroy Trice Gravatte III of Springfield and Bethany Beach and Charles Miller Gravatte of Hamilton; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

William E. 'Sonny' Waters

U.S. Capitol Police Captain

William Earl "Sonny" Waters, 75, who spent 20 years with the U.S. Capitol Police before retiring in 1986 with the rank of captain, died July 26 at his home in Silver Spring. He had pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Waters was born in Washington, where he attended Phelps Vocational High School. He served in the Army from 1947 to 1957 and was in the military police. He was a Korean War veteran.

He did administrative work for the Post Office Department in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

A daughter, Karen Davis, died in 2000.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Doris Files Waters of Silver Spring; a son, Gary S. Waters of Bowie; three sisters, Carolyn Bell of New Port Richey, Fla., Mary Chase of Fort Washington and Audrey Neal of Accokeek; and two granddaughters.

Elizabeth 'Betty' La Due

Accountant, Volunteer

Elizabeth "Betty" La Due, 95, an accountant with an Alexandria bank, died of congestive heart failure July 11 at Capital Hospice in Arlington.

Mrs. La Due had lived in Alexandria since 1952. From 1954 to 1975, she worked in the accounting department of the old United Virginia Bank -- now part of SunTrust -- in Alexandria.

After her retirement, she volunteered for a variety of programs to help the elderly, which included driving people to medical appointments. She participated in many activities at Del Ray United Methodist Church and Cameron United Methodist Church, both in Alexandria. She continued volunteering until she was 88.

Mrs. La Due was born in Fayette County, Pa., and grew up in Moriah Center, N.Y. She attended business college in Albany, N.Y., and worked for Sears Roebuck in Boston in the late 1920s and as a telephone operator in Port Henry, N.Y., in the 1930s.

She enjoyed gardening and travel and was well known throughout her neighborhood.

Her first marriage, to Fay McLaughlin, ended in divorce.

Her second husband, Milton La Due, died in 1968 after 20 years of marriage.

Survivors include her companion of 10 years, Charles H. Eggert of Alexandria.

Gloria Christine Bunnell

Office Assistant

Gloria Christine Bunnell, 82, who worked for many years in her family's furniture refinishing business, died July 25 at Washington Hospital Center of complications related to kidney failure. She was a resident of Hyattsville.

Mrs. Bunnell was born in Washington and graduated from Anacostia High School. She had lived in Chillum and Hyattsville for more than 60 years.

In 1958, she joined her husband in business at Bunnell Furniture Refinishing in Seabrook. Mrs. Bunnell did office work, bookkeeping and a variety of other duties for the company. She and her husband retired in 1992.

For more than 30 years, the Bunnells had a second home in Bridgeville, Del., where Mrs. Bunnell enjoyed gardening.

Survivors include her husband of 64 years, George O. Bunnell of Hyattsville; three daughters, Janeanne Reyes of Odenton, Stephanie Strebe of Bowie and Leslie Lammons of Columbia; a sister, Betty Ramey of Lanham; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Samuel 'Frenchie' Folks Sr.


Samuel French "Frenchie" Folks Sr., 83, a retired electrician, died July 25 at his home in Tuxedo of complications from a massive stroke.

Mr. Folks was born in Mustoe, Va. He received his high school equivalency diploma after enlisting in the Army in 1941. He was a radar man and electronics technician in Europe during World War II.

He settled in the Washington area in the early 1950s and took a job as an electrician with Northeast Electric Co., a business owned by his brother-in-law. He was with the company until his retirement in 1990.

He was a volunteer firefighter for the Tuxedo-Cheverly Fire Department in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a deer hunter, fisherman and Redskins fan.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Theola Folks of Tuxedo; four children, Samuel Folks Sr. of Beltsville, Bill Folks of Davidsonville, Thomas Folks of Ocean City and Brenda Felesky of Bladensburg; two sisters, Lucy Friedeman of Shady Side and Francis Soper of Silver Spring; and four grandchildren.