Helen Bernstein

Secretary, Singer

Helen Bernstein, 83, a Seabrook resident who did secretarial work for the Justice Department and other federal agencies before retiring in the early 1980s, died July 23 at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. She had pancreatic cancer.

Mrs. Bernstein was born Sabriana Longo in Washington and graduated from McKinley Technical High School. As Helen Martin, she sang nationwide with big bands and on the radio.

In the 1980s, she did administrative work for the Prince George's County Department of Aging's foster grandparents program.

Her husband, Bernard Bernstein, died in 1999.

Survivors include two sons, Alfred Bernstein and David Bernstein, both of Seabrook; and a sister, Grace Micknick of Lanham.

Ralph R. Hallen

NSA Budget Director

Ralph R. Hallen, 90, a retired Navy Reserve lieutenant commander and former director of budget for research and development for the National Security Agency, died Aug. 17 of congestive heart failure at Montgomery Hospice in Rockville. He had been a resident of Silver Spring.

Mr. Hallen joined the NSA in 1957 and served in several capacities in signal intelligence. He retired in 1979.

He was a native of Rockford, Ill., and graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1942 with a degree in physics. After college, he was commissioned an officer in the Navy Reserve. On active duty, he served aboard the USS Sangamon, an aircraft carrier, as a radar officer on a Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber. He survived the May 4, 1945, kamikaze attack in which the Sangamon was severely damaged.

He left active duty in 1946 but maintained his Navy Reserve status for 30 years.

After moving to the Washington area in 1946, he became a civilian employee of the Navy. Working as an engineer, he developed instruments and technology for military applications.

For more than 50 years, Mr. Hallen was an active member of Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, where he met his wife-to-be.

His hobbies included investments, gardening and amusing his grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Elma Hallen of Silver Spring; three children, John Hallen of Brookville, Janet Rowe of Olney and Ingrid Kortvelesy of Honolulu; and six grandchildren.

Charles James 'Charlie' Nash

Phone Technician, Volunteer

Charles James "Charlie" Nash, 81, a retired telecommunications technician with the company now known as Verizon and a volunteer with Greenbelt organizations, died July 27 of cardiac arrhythmia at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly.

A longtime resident of Wheaton and Greenbelt, he had lived for the past five months at Rexford Place, an assisted living facility in Lanham.

Mr. Nash was born in the District. In 1943, he left Roosevelt High School without graduating to enlist in the Army, although years later, when his children were in college, he received a general equivalency diploma. He told family members he didn't want to be the only one in the family without a degree.

During World War II, he was a telephone lineman in Europe. He landed at Normandy on D-Day and saw action in northern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe. When he was discharged at Fort Meade on Dec. 25, 1945, he rounded up Army buddies who couldn't make it home for Christmas and took them home to share the holiday with his family.

He resumed working for the company then known as the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. as a lineman in the early years and then as a telecommunications technician. He also served on the White House Communications Team during the Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations. He retired in 1984.

Known as "Charlie Brown" -- as in "You're a good man, Charlie Brown" -- Mr. Nash volunteered with a number of organizations in retirement, including American Legion Post 136, Sons of the American Legion and the Telephone Pioneers of America.

A Greenbelt resident since 1990, he volunteered with the Greenbelt Arts Center, Friends of the Greenbelt Museum and the Holy Cross Sisters Guild. From midnight on Halloween to 6 a.m., he sat up to keep the "Mother and Child" statue at Greenbelt's Roosevelt Center from being vandalized. He also was a life member of the Greenbelt Golden Age Club.

A longtime member of Hughes United Methodist Church in Wheaton, he was head usher and a member of the board of trustees. He also worked with the congregation's Habitat for Humanity program and its Christmas in April project.

His first wife, Ora Elizabeth "Lib" Nash, died in 1984.

Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Elizabeth Pels Nash of Greenbelt; two children from his first marriage, Nash Nash Simonet of Olney, Charles J. Nash Jr. of Gaithersburg; and two grandchildren.