Andrew Conversano Jr.

Human Resources Employee

Andrew Conversano Jr., 76, a retired human resources professional with the federal government, died of cancer Aug. 8 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Gaithersburg. He was a Potomac resident.

Mr. Conversano was born in the District and dropped out of high school to enlist in the Navy near the end of World War II. After two years in the Navy, he returned to McKinley High School, graduating in 1949. He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1953 and a master's degree in human resources from George Washington University in the late 1950s.

In 1956, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice, working in personnel. In 1959, he moved to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he was involved with the original manned spaceflights and for a time was chief of organization and staffing.

In 1975, he moved to the National Science Foundation, where he was a union negotiator for the government. He retired in 2000.

Mr. Conversano was an avid book collector and owned numerous first editions. A photographer, he enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and had visited almost every national park. He loved seeking out good restaurants wherever he traveled; New Orleans was a favorite destination. He also went on numerous cruises to Alaska, New England and elsewhere.

Mr. Conversano was married to Elinor Conversano from 1955 until they divorced in 1990. They remarried this year.

In addition to his wife, of Potomac, survivors include a daughter, Cynthia Bailey of Leesburg; four sons, Andrew Bryant Conversano of Gaithersburg, Richard Anthony Conversano of Pittsburgh, John Philip Conversano of Potomac and James Thomas Conversano of Silver Spring; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Leon H. Hammerman

Computer Systems Manager

Leon H. Hammerman, 77, a longtime computer systems manager with the company now known as Unisys, died July 29 of acute leukemia at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. A former Washington resident, he had lived at Goodwin House Alexandria since 2002.

Mr. Hammerman was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of a tailor who had emigrated from what is now Belarus. After high school, he got a job with the New York transit system working with business machines. He moved to Washington in the early 1950s. He went to work for Remington Rand Inc., which became Sperry Rand Corp. and, eventually, Unisys.

He joined Remington Rand about the time it introduced the Univac computer, the first computer commercially available to the business world. Although he did not have a college education, Mr. Hammerman soon was teaching classes in programming the Univac 120. He then began programming the medium-sized Univac 1004, 1005 and 1050 models on large projects, mostly for the Army.

He also served as program systems manager, responsible for programming, installing and implementing computer systems at Army installations worldwide. He lived in Germany in the 1960s while on assignment for Univac, and in the 1970s, he worked for the company on Army projects in Thailand and Vietnam. He retired in 1985.

Mr. Hammerman loved to travel and attended numerous courses with Elderhostel, an educational and travel organization. His favorite place was in Hawaii.

He also was a superb bridge player. A member of the American Contract Bridge League and the Northern Virginia Bridge Association, he competed at sectional, national and regional levels. The American League ranked him as a "diamond life master," with more than 5,000 lifetime points.

Survivors include a brother, Herbert Hammerman of Arlington, and a sister, Ruth Kuperberg of Somers, N.Y.

George B. Arnold


George Bernard Arnold, 68, who worked at the Gillette Research Institute in Montgomery County for 34 years until he retired as a senior research biochemist in 2000, died July 24 at his home in Montgomery Village. He had colon cancer.

Mr. Arnold was a native of Taneytown, in Carroll County, Md., and a graduate of Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg. He received a master's degree in biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University and did doctoral work in biochemistry at Georgetown University.

He was a Boy Scout and cub leader and a former member of the Whetstone Homes Corp. architectural committee in Montgomery Village. He also was a former referee for the Whetstone swim team.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Elizabeth Nolan Arnold of Montgomery Village; five children, Mary Beth Porter of Alexandria, Brian Arnold of Southborough, Mass., Karen Hallinan of Carlsbad, Calif., Julie Rhine of Atlanta and Christine Kenney of Arlington; three sisters, Helen Gorman of Taneytown, Mary Ann Cobb of Bethesda and Julia Rosenwald of Chestertown, Md.; a brother, Joseph Arnold of Salisbury, Md.; and eight grandchildren.