Aida Eugenia Fernandez


Aida Eugenia Fernandez, 94, who made dresses and wedding cakes for more than 70 years, died Aug. 17 at the home of her granddaughter in Goodyear, Ariz. She had colon cancer.

Mrs. Fernandez was a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she learned to sew at age 7. She began making dresses professionally while in her teens.

In 1928, when she was 17, she married a Spanish-born businessman and lived in New York City for several years. She returned to San Juan in the 1930s and continued to live there after the death of her husband, Gaspar Fernandez, in 1945.

Mrs. Fernandez lived in Montgomery County, primarily in Rockville and Derwood, from 1961 to 2004. For decades, she made elaborate gowns and wedding dresses for private clients. She also made all of her family's clothing.

She designed the dresses herself, said granddaughter Grizelle Apodaca, and never used a pattern. She made hundreds of wedding gowns, most of them with intricate folds, lacework and sequins, all applied by hand. Each dress took two to three weeks to make. She made the wedding dresses for her daughter and granddaughter and continued to sew professionally until five years ago.

Mrs. Fernandez also made elaborate wedding cakes for many years. Her recipe was always the same -- anise, with an apricot paste between layers -- and she designed and made the flowers, lace designs, swirls and other ornamental elements of her cakes.

She would bake the cake a week before the wedding, freeze it, then apply the decorations to the frozen cake two to three days before the wedding. She used a paintbrush to apply food coloring to the flowers and other colored parts of the cake. She made her final wedding cake in 2001, for her grandson.

Mrs. Fernandez was a member of the Puerto Rican American Women's League and the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women. She was also a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Silver Spring and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Derwood.

Her daughter, Aida F. Pagan, died in 2004.

Survivors include three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandson.

Perditta Annunciatia Long

Nurse, Volunteer, Military Spouse

Perditta Annunciatia Long, 92, a nurse, volunteer and military spouse, died of complications from lung cancer Aug. 20 at Johnson Center at Falcons Landing, in Sterling, where she lived.

Mrs. Long was born in Windom, Minn., and grew up on a family farm in northwestern Minnesota. She graduated in 1934 from nursing school in Fargo, N.D. Four years later, she joined the Army Nurse Corps. She married in 1941 and accompanied her husband on tours of duty with the Air Force. In the 1950s, she was vice president and welfare chair of the Sandia, N.M., base women's club, where she led fundraising.

She volunteered with the Red Cross at military medical facilities, working most recently as an aide at the Fort Myer Dental Clinic.

Mrs. Long was a member of St. John's Catholic Church in McLean from 1966 to 1998, when she moved to Sterling. For many years, she led the parish outreach program with Powhatan Nursing Home and contributed needlework and crafts to the church's annual fundraisers.

She valued her friends and with them enjoyed square and round dancing, blue crab and oyster feasts, beach trips and anniversary celebrations, as well as trips to Latin America, the Middle East and Europe.

Her husband of 60 years, retired Air Force Col. Paul Joseph Long, died in 2001.

Survivors include four children, Dayle West of Sterling, Doreen Morgan of Bainbridge Island, Wash., Renee Anderson of Reston and Patricia Long of Berkeley, Calif.; a sister; and four grandchildren.

Ruth Berkey Reichley

Teacher, Office Worker

Ruth Berkey Reichley, 91, a retired teacher and office worker, died after a heart attack Aug. 20 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. She had lived in Arlington since 1948.

Mrs. Reichley, a native of Homestead, Pa., graduated from Chatham College in Pittsburgh and then taught music in area schools before World War II. During the war, she worked with the American Red Cross, serving in England, Germany and West Virginia.

She taught science at Arlington County's Thomas Jefferson Junior High School for one school year, in 1948. After raising her children, she returned to work as an office employee at Great Eastern Sign & Design in McLean for three years until 1978.

Mrs. Reichley was a deacon of Little Falls Presbyterian Church, past president of Planned Parenthood of Arlington and past president of Associated Alumnae Clubs of Washington.

Her husband, Norman P. Reichley, died in 1979.

Survivors include two sons, David Reichley of Woodstock, Va., and Paul Reichley of Fairfax.

William C. Boehm

Army Colonel

William C. Boehm, 85, a retired Army colonel and a veteran of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, died Aug. 17 of cardiac arrest at Washington Hospital Center. He had been undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease.

Col. Boehm, an Alexandria resident since 1963, was born in Chicago and attended Central YMCA College of Chicago (now Roosevelt University) before World War II interrupted his education. He later received bachelor's and master's degrees in government and politics from the University of Maryland.

During the war, he was an infantry officer in the South Pacific, participating in the Guadalcanal, Central Solomons and Luzon campaigns. During the Korean War, he was a staff officer based in Tokyo.

In the late 1950s, he went to flight school to become a helicopter pilot and helped develop the Army's aviation program. He served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970, as an Army aviator and as deputy commander of the 1st Aviation Brigade. He retired in 1974.

His decorations included the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, five awards of the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and six air medals.

Col. Boehm worked for Boeing for three years as a research and development adviser before retiring again in 1977. In retirement, he enjoyed golf, dancing and bridge at the Hollin Hall Senior Center in Alexandria. He also became a vigorous opponent of the current conflict in Iraq. Speaking to senior citizens and others, he contended that the war made no sense historically or strategically.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Reva B. Boehm of Alexandria; a son, Dr. Timothy M. Boehm of Little Rock; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Edgar Maynard Bisgyer


Edgar Maynard Bisgyer, 80, a retired editor with the American Statistical Association, died Aug. 21 of cardiopulmonary arrest at his home in Falls Church.

Mr. Bisgyer was born in New York. During World War II, he served in the Navy in the South Pacific, based on Guam. He attended George Washington University from 1945 to 1948, majoring in English, but left before receiving his degree to take a job with the American Statistical Association.

He served as managing editor of the organization's various publications until his retirement in 1984. He also served concurrently as business manager for the Population Association of America from 1971 to 1988.

In retirement, Mr. Bisgyer was on the board of directors of Skyline Towers, his condominium residence in Falls Church, serving as treasurer, vice president and president. An inveterate reader, he particularly enjoyed English historical fiction. He traveled a great deal, to England and elsewhere around the world, and regularly visited his extended family across the country. When he and his three older sisters got together, they dubbed their reunions "sibling revelry."

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Mercedes Bisgyer of Falls Church; four daughters, Delia Bisgyer of Burke, Magda Liska of Appomattox, Va., and Nina Bisgyer and Rebecca Bisgyer, both of Washington; and three sisters, Isabelle Friedlieb of San Diego, Roma Foldy of Cleveland and Judith Simmons of Rockville.

George Harrington Roos Jr.

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel

George Harrington Roos Jr., 83, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who worked for 20 years with the Department of Defense, died of congestive heart failure and diabetes Aug. 19 at his home in Broad Run.

After retiring from the Defense Department's Army Materiel Command at Arlington Hall in 1988, Col. Roos worked at Weber's Pet Supermarket in Arlington until 1992.

Col. Roos, a native of Wellsville, N.Y., retired from the Air Force in 1968, after 20 years of service.

He raised collies and had served as president of the Collie Club of America. For 25 years, Col. Roos also was the American Kennel Club delegate for the St. Joseph Kennel Club and the Old Dominion Kennel Club.

His wife, Barbara Carlene Roos, died in 1993.

Survivors include two children, Ronald Charles Roos of Kula, Hawaii, and Shelley Carlene Roos of Broad Run; and a granddaughter.

Aida Eugenia Fernandez