Avis L. Birely
Montgomery Political Activist
Avis L. Birely, 84, a former president of the Montgomery County Council and longtime Republican party activist, died of cancer July 15 at her home in Ashton.
Mrs. Birely had been a campaign volunteer, fundraising coordinator, election judge and precinct chairwoman before she was elected as a Republican to the Montgomery council in 1966. She served four years, spending about one year as president at the end of her tenure.
On the council, she worked on such issues as transportation, fighting discrimination and improving quality of life. She also sponsored a prison work-release program that became a nationwide model.
She was a community relations liaison to the council in the 1970s and continued her activities with Republican Party organizations. She was especially active with the Olney Women's Republican Club, of which she was a founder and inaugural president.
Over the years, she campaigned for local and national Republican candidates by helping recruit supporters, writing letters to the editor, distributing literature and manning telephones. In 1981, she was a hostess of an inaugural ball at the National Museum of Natural History.
She served on the board of directors of the American Cancer Society, Volunteer Services for the Visually Handicapped and the Washington area chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation.
She was a member of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped and chairwoman of the Suburban Maryland Regional Division of AAA.
Mrs. Birely was a native of Fergus Falls, Minn. As a young woman, she was a legislative aide in the state legislature in Bismarck, N.D. She came to Washington in 1943 to work for the War Production Board.
Survivors include her husband of 62 years, William C. Birely of Ashton; two daughters, Carolyn Sue Birely of Rockville and Nola Seested of Ashton; six stepchildren, William C. Birely Jr. of Philadelphia, Robert C. Birely of Hyannis, Mass., Paris Birely of Los Angeles and Leilani Charlene Sussenguth, Cyd Charisse Birely and Tanya Arlene Nicolai, all of San Francisco; 14 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Robert Lee Blosser
Robert Lee Blosser, 68, owner of Acoustical Ceilings Inc., died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 4 at his home in Annandale.
Mr. Blosser founded the firm 35 years ago and worked there until he became ill recently.
He was born in Harrisonburg, Va., and attended Bridgewater College in Virginia. He served in the Army as a military policeman for two years in the late 1950s, then worked at the FBI laboratory in Washington.
He enjoyed boating and fishing with his family in Luray, Va. He also enjoyed golf.
Survivors include his wife, Bernice Blosser of Annandale; three children, Gregory Blosser of Waynesboro, Va., Lisa Blosser of Fairfax and Alexander Blosser of Annandale; his mother, Gladys Blosser of Harrisonburg; a brother; and a sister.
Priscilla Lombardi Doyle
Dress Shop Owner
Priscilla Lombardi Doyle, 89, retired owner of Encore of Washington, a consignment shop specializing in designer couture, died Aug. 4 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She had Alzheimer's disease.
Mrs. Doyle, a former television and radio network news producer, opened Encore in 1967 as a franchise of the original Encore consignment dress shop in New York. The Washington store was on Macomb Street in the Cleveland Park area and was known among its customers to carry clothing from Jacqueline Kennedy and other fashionable women of her era.
Up until three years ago, when her health began to fail, Mrs. Doyle continued to work at Encore, spending a few hours at the shop, greeting customers.
Mrs. Doyle was born in Winthrop, Mass., and was raised there and in Albany, N.Y., and Indianapolis. She attended the Katharine Gibbs secretarial school in New York and, during World War II, worked as a radio and television producer.
She met her future husband, Robert C. Doyle, a network television director, at the 1948 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
Her husband died in 1999.
Survivors include three children, Diane W. Doyle of Bethesda, Nancy Doyle Palmer of Washington and Robert L. Doyle of Manchester, Mass.; and five grandchildren.
John Patrick Giblin
HUD Deputy Budget Director
John Patrick Giblin, 89, former deputy budget director for the old Housing and Urban Development Department, died of heart disease Aug. 3 at his home in Silver Spring.
Mr. Giblin worked for the Federal Housing Administration for 34 years, mostly before it was wrapped into HUD. He retired in 1971.
Mr. Giblin was born in Carbondale, Pa., and graduated from Southeastern University and served in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II in the Pacific theater.
He was a founding member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Silver Spring and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. He loved to golf, carve wood, sing and dance. He traveled to all 50 states.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Muriel Lundeby Giblin of Silver Spring; two daughters, Marie Patricia Earle of Irrigon, Ore., and Jeanne Catherine Tester of Annapolis; a sister; a brother; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Marian E. Jackson
Fannie Mae Official
Marian E. Jackson, 53, who had been associate general counsel for multifamily technology at Fannie Mae, died of breast cancer Aug. 4 at Capital Hospice in Arlington. She was a Washington resident.
Ms. Jackson was a real estate finance lawyer in Dallas before joining Fannie Mae, the mortgage finance company, in Dallas in 1998. She moved to the Washington office in 2000. She focused on the use of technology in real estate finance transactions and in law practice management.
She was a native of Morton, Tex., and a summa cum laude graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She was a 1977 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin law school.
Survivors include her parents, James and Jo Jackson of Leonard, Tex.; and a twin sister.
Arlington County Teacher's Aide
Marie Sethian, 82, a teacher's aide in Arlington County schools from 1974 to 2003, died Aug. 1 at Virginia Hospital Center. She had complications from pneumonia.
Mrs. Sethian, an Arlington resident, worked mostly at Key Elementary School's English for Speakers of Other Languages program.
She was born in Aleppo, Syria, and settled in the Washington area in 1947. She became a U.S. citizen soon after.
Besides English, she spoke Armenian, Arabic, Turkish and French.
She was a member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Arlington.
Her avocations included gardening, particularly azaleas.
Her husband, Robert D. Sethian, died in 1973.
Survivors include two sons, John D. Sethian of Burke and James A. Sethian of San Francisco; a sister; and two grandchildren.
Agriculture Department Employee
Toby Ehrlich Hayden, 84, who spent about 30 years doing administrative work for the Agriculture Department until retiring in the mid-1980s, died Aug. 5 at Suburban Hospital after an accident while crossing a street in Wheaton.
Mrs. Hayden was walking to her volunteer job with the Montgomery County Police Department when she was struck by a driver backing out of a driveway. The incident is under investigation, police said.
Mrs. Hayden, a Wheaton resident, was a native Washingtonian and a graduate of Eastern High School.
Her husband of 48 years, Charles Laurence Hayden, died in 1988.
Survivors include six children, Dennis Hayden of Bethany Beach, Del., Patricia LaFleur of Cocoa, Fla., Greg Hayden of Tampa, Michael Hayden of Germantown, Judith Trautman of Ashland, Ore., and Carol Clark of Columbia; a brother, Dave Ehrlich of Silver Spring; a sister, Fannie Pritt of Silver Spring; 16 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
David C. Foote
Vienna Plumbing Company Owner
David Christopher Foote, 46, the founder and president of Dave Foote Plumbing in Vienna, died Aug. 5 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He had liver disease.
Mr. Foote was an Arlington native and a 1977 graduate of Madison High School in Vienna. He did plumbing work in Vienna before starting his own business in 1988.
He was involved in civic activities in Vienna, where he lived.
Survivors include his wife of 12 years, B. Alex Ufkas Foote of Vienna; their three children, Christopher, Dakota and Samuel Foote, all of Vienna; his parents, Hazel T. and Richard C. Foote of Vienna; and a sister, Brenda Turman of Centreville.