Dr. George Alonzo Ferguson Jr.

Physicist, Howard Professor

Dr. George Alonzo Ferguson Jr., 82, a retired physicist and former director of Howard University's nuclear engineering program, died of cancer Aug. 14 at his home in Shadyside.

Dr. Ferguson was born in Washington and graduated from Armstrong High School in 1941. He served in the Army during World War II and was stationed in Europe and the Philippines.

He received a bachelor's degree in 1947 and a master's degree the next year, both in physics from Howard. He received his doctorate in physics from Catholic University in 1965. His doctoral research involved the structure determination of hydrogen compounds using the technique of neutron diffraction.

He was chairman of the physics department at Clark College in Atlanta from 1950 to 1953 and a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania in 1953-54.

He conducted research for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory from 1954 to 1975 and served on the faculty of the Howard's School of Engineering from 1966 to 1986. He was responsible for founding Howard's program in nuclear engineering and served as its director from 1967 to 1986.

After retiring, he served as an administrative judge with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

His marriages to Anita Ford Ferguson and Francesca Ferguson ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons from his first marriage, George Ferguson III of Falls Church and Stephen Ferguson of Pasadena, Md.; two sisters, Angella Ferguson of Chevy Chase and Carole Howard of Landover; two granddaughters; and four great-grandchildren.

Jeanne Marie Murphy

Association Executive

Jeanne Marie Murphy, 66, an executive with two national associations, died of ovarian cancer Aug. 7 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. She lived in Alexandria.

Ms. Murphy was director of meetings and member services for the National Council of Catholic Women in Arlington from 1997 until the time of her death. From 1980 to 1992, she was executive director of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, an association of professionals in architecture, engineering, planning, design and construction.

Between 1992 and 1997, she sold real estate in Northern Virginia.

She was born in Auburn, N.Y., graduated from a business college in Syracuse, N.Y., and attended Syracuse University. She had lived in Boston and Los Angeles and, before moving to Alexandria, was marketing coordinator for an architecture firm in Syracuse.

She enjoyed golf and was a past member of Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria. She was a sports fan, particularly of the Boston Red Sox, and enjoyed travel and all things Irish. She was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria.

Survivors include her mother, Irene Murphy, and a sister, Mary Anne Lipe, both of Auburn.

Margaret Ellin Welch Cromer

Spousal-Rights Expert

Margaret Ellin Welch Cromer, 76, who became an expert on the property rights of Civil Service spouses, died of respiratory failure Aug. 6 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

A Washington native, she attended Central High School and graduated from Lackey High School in Indian Head.

In 1948, she married Harry C. Cromer, a federal government auditor, and they lived in Rome and Tokyo in the 1950s. She traveled extensively in Europe and the Far East.

After she and her husband divorced in 1982, Mrs. Cromer set a precedent by obtaining a court order to receive half of her ex-husband's Civil Service retirement pension. She also wrote a newsletter, Civil Service Spouse Equality, which she sent to divorced Civil Service spouses. She also counseled women from across the United States from 1982 through the early 1990s.

Mrs. Cromer collected antiques and art during her travels. In later years, she was especially fond of collecting and personally hand-refinishing American country antiques, mainly from the Shenandoah Valley.

She developed a special friendship with the Swedish-born artist Anders G. Aldrin, whom she met while in Tokyo. She and her husband acquired numerous Aldrin works, creating one of the most extensive collections outside Sweden and California, where Aldrin lived until his death in 1970.

Mrs. Cromer volunteered for many years at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Survivors include a son, Michael Steven Cromer of Memphis; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Rachel Sclar Silk

FDA Chemist

Rachel Sclar Silk, 91, who retired in 1992 from the Food and Drug Administration as a chemist and spent four years at AAC Consulting Group, which helps advise drug and cosmetics companies with regulatory filings, died Aug. 15 at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville. She had ovarian cancer.

Mrs. Silk joined the FDA about 1960 and initially worked in the color and cosmetics division. She published 13 papers in the Journal of Analytical Chemistry on liquid chromatography and color dyestuff additive synthesis for foods, drugs and cosmetics.

In 1964, she transferred to the center for drug evaluation and research in the division of neuropharmocological drug products. She reviewed chemistry and manufacturing controls of drug applications. She also helped write guidelines for submitting active ingredients for drug applications.

She oversaw analysis of the drugs later sold as Prozac and Valium as well as the nicotine patches used to quit smoking. During the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s, she helped analyze the efficacy and packaging of atropine injections to guard against nerve agents.

Mrs. Silk, a Bethesda resident, was a New York native and a 1943 chemistry graduate of George Washington University. She received a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Maryland, where she also did postgraduate work in chemistry.

She worked during the day for the Veterans Administration as a typist while attending college.

Her husband of 36 years, Harry Silk, died in 1994.

Survivors include a son, Julian Silk of Rockville; two sisters; and two brothers.

Louise Irene Williams

Homemaker, Golfer

Louise Irene Williams, 77, a past chairman of the Crofton Ladies Golf Association, died Aug. 11 of complications from diabetes at Calvert Memorial Hospital. She lived in Solomons.

Mrs. Williams, a native of Toledo, Ohio, was a homemaker. She was a resident of Drum Point in Lusby for many years before retiring to Asbury at Solomons in 1998.

She was a skilled golfer and bowler, winning championship titles in both sports. She enjoyed travel, fishing, painting, bingo and spending time with family and friends.

Her husband of 55 years, Charles H. Williams, died in 2002.

Survivors include three children, Walter Williams of Lusby, Charles Williams of Annapolis and Cheryl Robinson of Daytona, Fla.; a sister; a brother; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Susan Rasmussen Burlimann

Medical Secretary

Susan Burlimann, 45, a medical secretary in the offices of physicians Koslow, Hunt and Fernandez in Alexandria for three years, died of cancer Aug. 12 at Reeders Memorial Home in Boonsboro, Md. She lived in Alexandria.

She was born Susan Marie Rasmussen in Gettysburg , Pa., and graduated from Boonsboro High School and the Maryland Medical Secretarial School.

Mrs. Burlimann worked in the office of Dr. Joel Taubin and in a laboratory at Roche Biomedical before joining the Alexandria physicians' office.

She was active in Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington.

A son, Aaron Burlimann, died in 1986.

Survivors include her husband of 24 years, Erwin Nikolaus Burlimann of Alexandria; three children, Nicole Burlimann, Peter Burlimann and Adam Burlimann, all of Alexandria; two sisters, Laura Humphrey of Hagerstown, Md., and Julie Wyttenbach of Richmond; and two brothers, Scott Rasmussen and Jeffrey Rasmussen, both of Baltimore.

Mildred Joan Dodge

Defense Employee

Mildred Joan Dodge, 85, a Defense Department employee at the Pentagon, died Aug. 12 at her home in Falls Church. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Dodge came to the Washington region in about 1950 and held a clerical job with the Navy at the Pentagon until her marriage in 1955.

After raising her family, she returned to work in the early 1970s with the Fairfax County Public Schools, managing the system's film library. She went back to the Pentagon in about 1975, working in a support position in the worldwide personnel division of the Air Force Chief of Staff. She retired in 1990.

Mrs. Dodge was born in Arlington, Mass., and had lived in Falls Church since 1961. In later years, she survived treatment for breast and colon cancer.

Her husband, Howard S. Dodge, died in 1983.

Survivors include a daughter, Cheryl-Ann McCullough of St. Cloud, Fla.; two sons, Leigh Stiles Dodge of Falls Church and Phillip Howard Dodge of Galesburg, Ill.; a sister; and four grandchildren.

Louise M. Barcella

Volunteer, Artist

Louise M. Barcella, 89, who was a volunteer and avocational artist, died of pneumonia Aug. 15 at Reston Hospital Center.

Mrs. Barcella was born in North Haven, Conn., and lived in Boston and Chicago before moving to the Washington region in 1940.

She volunteered for nearly 20 years at the Friendship Village Community Center in Chevy Chase and was a longtime member of the Catholic Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda. She also pursued her interests in painting and sculpture and enjoyed the company of her family.

She lived in Takoma Park and Bethesda before moving to Chevy Chase in the early 1970s. For the past year, Mrs. Barcella lived with her daughter in Vienna.

Her husband of 38 years, Ernest Barcella, died in 1974.

Survivors include two children, Andrea Kelleher of Vienna and E. Lawrence Barcella Jr. of Washington; two sisters, Mary Berniere of North Haven and Ann Carmi of McLean; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Marvin Friedman

Labor Negotiator

Marvin Friedman, 82, a former AFL-CIO economist and researcher who became vice president of Ruttenberg, Friedman, Kilgallon, Gutchess & Associates, a Washington business that advised labor organizations on contracts and other negotiations, died July 29 at a nursing home in Harrisburg, Pa. He had congestive heart failure.

Mr. Friedman, a former Washington resident, was a native of Newark, N.J., and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He was an Army veteran of World War II.

Early in his career, he was research director for the International Chemical Workers Union in Ohio. He settled in the Washington area in the early 1960s to work for the AFL-CIO.

In the late 1960s, he joined the Ruttenberg firm, started by former AFL-CIO and Labor Department official Stanley Ruttenberg. He retired in the early 1980s.

In the late 1970s, he was a member of a presidential commission on coal chaired by Gov. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia.

His hobbies included betting on horses.

He leaves no immediate survivors.

Jeanne Murphy sold real estate in Northern Virginia in the 1990s.