Ira I. Somers

Trade Association Executive

Ira I. Somers, 89, retired executive vice president of what is now the Food Products Association, the country's largest food and beverage trade association, died Aug. 10 at his home in McLean of complications of hip replacement surgery.

Dr. Somers spent his entire career with the predecessor organization of the Food Products Association, beginning in the 1940s as a botany graduate student conducting research at a laboratory in San Francisco.

At the time, the Utah native was working for what was then called the National Canners Association, which with the Army Quartermaster Corps sought to develop methods to eliminate food spoilage in canned foods being shipped to troops in the South Pacific and North Africa.

Dr. Somers was a graduate of what is now Utah State University, and he received a doctorate in botany from Rutgers University in 1941.

He moved to the Washington area in 1957 when he accepted a promotion to manage the canners association's network of research centers. During his career, he also served on a United Nations food safety commission that promoted canning standards internationally and a Pentagon commission that helped develop Meals-Ready-to-Eat for the military.

In 1981, Dr. Somers retired from what was then the National Food Processor Association. He was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was a member of McLean First Ward. In the late 1980s, he served as a church representative on the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Edna Somers of McLean; four children, Rebecca Somers of McLean, Kevin Somers of Falls Church, David Somers of Riverton, Utah, and Rebecca Somers and Janine Gates, both of McLean; a brother; 19 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Richard Keith "Charlie" Brown

Air Force Colonel, Lockheed Executive

Richard Keith "Charlie" Brown, 81, a retired Air Force colonel and former executive with the old Lockheed Aircraft Corp., died of a heart attack Sept. 1 at Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church, where he lived.

Col. Brown, a native of Oskaloosa, Iowa, who was raised in Oakland, Calif., enlisted in the California National Guard at 14. His sergeant discovered his age, Col. Brown once said, and called his father, who allowed him to stay in the Guard as long as the sergeant kept an eye on him.

He joined the Army Reserves while attending the University of California at Berkeley and was called to active duty in 1943. He became a navigator/bombardier and flew combat missions in the Mediterranean.

After World War II, he served with the Air Force Office of Special Investigation and trained as a jet pilot. He served in California, France and Germany. He worked for two years at the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington and then was assigned to the Pentagon to coordinate support for troop movements during the Vietnam War.

He retired in 1972 while assigned to the Air Force deputy chief of staff's office, where he was in charge of the transport of the secretary of state around the world. Among his decorations were two awards of the Legion of Merit and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Col. Brown joined Lockheed in 1973, working in Greece and then in Arlington. He retired a second time in 1987.

He enjoyed lawn care and gardening. He was a member of the Washington Golf and Country Club, the Bolling Officers Club, the Arlington Rotary Club, the Daedalian Society and the Association of Former OSI Special Agents.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Ruth Cass Clifford Brown of Arlington; three children, John Patrick Brown of Raufoss, Norway, Catherine Cass Fenn of Herndon and Deborah Lynn Benson of Arlington; six grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

Donald Henry McJury

Postal Official

Donald McJury, 86, who was the Postal Service's primary contracting officer before retiring as a speechwriter on the Postmaster General's staff in 1972, died Aug. 20 at Washington House in Alexandria. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. McJury joined the Post Office Department in 1952, when he settled in the Washington area. He was responsible for the acquisition of the right-hand-drive vehicles used by the Post Office in residential and rural areas. After testing, he concluded that vehicles with white roofs were 20 degrees cooler. As a result of his research, he had postal vehicles changed from dark tan to their current red, white and blue.

Mr. McJury, a native of Portland, Ore., was a mountaineer who along with a fellow climber made the first ascent of the north face of Mount Hood. He was an Eagle Scout, and as an avid skier, he was a charter member of the National Ski Patrol.

In 1940, he was assigned to Australia with Naval Intelligence. By 1944, with hopes of joining the ski troops, he returned to the United States and joined the Army. Instead, he was assigned to the cavalry at Fort Riley, Kan.

He graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1949. He then rejoined Naval Intelligence and was posted in Singapore in 1950.

Mr. McJury was known for his love of the outdoors. He played tennis and was a member of the Golden Racquets of Fairfax County. As a member of the 70+ Ski Club, he traveled throughout the world to ski and was president of the Fairfax County Senior Ski Club. He was a member of Franconia United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Rosemary McJury of Alexandria; three children, Derrek McJury of Kingstowne, Terry Darcy of Alexandria and Karyn Wickens of the Palmer Point, N.C.; and four grandchildren.

Eleanor B. Chucker


Eleanor Bush Chucker, 72, a Bethesda resident who had spent the last 20 years as a volunteer with Montgomery County's Consumer Affairs Office, died Sept. 3 at Georgetown University Hospital. She had lung cancer.

Mrs. Church was a native Washingtonian, a 1951 graduate of Western High School and a 1955 graduate of George Washington University.

In the 1960s, she did secretarial work in the probation office of U.S. District Court in Washington.

She was a former president of the Western High School alumni association. She also helped preserve the Charles Sumner School in Northwest Washington.

She was a member of Washington Hebrew Congregation, Woodmont Country Club in Rockville and the Brandeis Women organization.

Survivors include her husband of 43 years, Dr. Francis Chucker of Bethesda; a daughter, Elizabeth Chucker Chaconas of Los Angeles; and a brother, William Bush of Potomac.

George S. 'Bud' Davis Jr.

Navy Commander

George S. "Bud" Davis Jr., 84, a retired Navy commander, died Aug. 29 in Brighton Gardens at Friendship Heights in Chevy Chase. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Cmdr. Davis was born in Kalamazoo, Mich., and attended Bullis School, then located in Silver Spring, before entering the U.S. Naval Academy. Because of World War II, his 1943 Academy class graduated a year early.

After three months of special training at the Navy's submarine base at New London, Conn., he left for overseas duty with the Pacific fleet. His submarine performed patrols and special assignments from Australia to Alaska, most of the time in Japanese waters. The vessel and crew were awarded two Presidential Unit Citations, for participation in the battle of Midway and the occupation and defense of the Solomon Islands.

After serving on submarines during World War II, he transferred to surface ships and commanded several destroyers. He also served several tours of duty at the Pentagon before retiring in 1968.

In retirement, Cmdr. Davis volunteered at Suburban Hospital, spent time with his grandchildren and traveled with his wife.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Barbara Davis of Chevy Chase; two children, Dennis M. Davis of Poolesville and Deborah D. Kelsey of Bethesda; and four grandchildren.

Lawrence G. Starkey

Defense Research Analyst

Lawrence G. Starkey, 87, an operations research analyst with the Air Force and a military research institute, died Sept. 7 at his home in Alexandria from complications of surgery on his esophagus.

Dr. Starkey had lived in the Washington area since 1958, when he was named to direct the defense team of the Air Force's Operations Analysis Office at the Pentagon. As a civilian employee of the Air Force, he made several trips to Vietnam, where he established the Air Force Operations Analysis Office to study combat air operations.

In 1965, he joined the research staff of the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, a nonprofit corporation that performs research on military and security issues. He retired in 1988 but continued to work as a consultant until 1998.

His assignments included analyzing weapons systems used in the Gulf War. He led studies on chemical warfare and the management of airspace in Europe. In 1969-70, he was a study leader on a presidential advisory panel that issued a report on defense testing and evaluation.

Dr. Starkey was born in Templeton, Mass., and received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Virginia in 1939. He returned to Virginia for master's and doctoral degrees, both in English, receiving his PhD in 1949.

During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces, including two years in China. He taught English at U-Va. and the University of Delaware before being recalled to serve with the Air Force in the Korean War. He left active duty in 1953 but remained in the Air Force Reserve until 1978, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

From 1953 to 1958, he worked at the Proving Ground Command at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida as chief of the office of operations analysis. He designed and evaluated tests for combat aircraft, including the B-52 bomber.

Dr. Starkey lived in Annandale before moving to Alexandria 30 years ago.

His interests included reading, art, architecture and traveling throughout Europe.

His marriage to Elizabeth Chiles Starkey ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 29 years, Elizabeth Jane Starkey of Alexandria.

Marianne Grigsby Tucker

Hospital Employee

Marianne Grigsby Tucker, 81, who worked in the admissions office at Inova Fairfax Hospital for more than 10 years, died Sept. 4 of complications of a stroke in a nursing home in Charlottesville. She was a longtime resident of Springfield.

She was born in Des Moines and graduated from George Washington University. After leaving the hospital in the 1970s, she worked part time for PriceWaterhouseCoopers for about five years on a quality-control project for the U.S. Postal Service.

She lived in Northern Virginia for more than 60 years, 45 of them in Springfield. She moved to an assisted-living center in Charlottesville three years ago.

Her marriage to David Munroe ended in divorce.

Her husband of 35 years, Bennett Smith Tucker, died in 1988.

Survivors include five children, Mark Munroe Tucker of Minneapolis, Brooke Ann Pry of Missouri City, Tex., James Hunt Tucker of Alexandria, Sally Irene Tucker of Charlottesville and Eric Bennett Tucker of Spotsylvania; two sisters; 10 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.