Mano A. Ceaphus

Reading Expert

Mano A. Ceaphus, 75, a retired reading expert at Howard University's Center for Academic Reinforcement, died of an aneurysm Sept. 3 at George Washington University Hospital.

Mr. Ceaphus was born in Washington and grew up in Mitchellville before moving in with his grandmother in Baltimore. He graduated from Douglas High School in Baltimore in 1947 and attended Morgan State University before enlisting in the Army in 1952.

After his discharge in 1954, he received a bachelor's degree from the University of the District of Columbia in 1956. He received a master's degree in reading from the University of Maryland in 1970 and worked toward his doctorate at Howard University but stopped short of the dissertation.

While an undergraduate, he became an academic and placement counselor at Junior Village in the District, working in the evenings. His first teaching position was at Bruce Evans Middle School in the District, where he developed a module that relied on drama to teach conventional English. He taught at Evans from 1957 to 1961.

He was a District reading consultant for two years and then was assigned to the District's Reading Center for three years, where he worked with classroom teachers to develop writing-across-the-curriculum approaches. He also worked in the Reading Center at Coppin State University in Baltimore and was a reading expert and consultant to numerous academic institutions, including Virginia State College, Norfolk State University and Franklin & Marshall College.

He joined the faculty of Howard University in 1977, where his work in the Center for Academic Reinforcement often involved tutoring athletes. He retired in 1997.

Mr. Ceaphus received a Historically Black Colleges and Universities award for his work with the writing-across-the-curriculum approach.

He traveled to Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, North and South America and elsewhere. He also loved to entertain.

He had no immediate survivors.

Don Dixon


Donald Ralph Dixon, 77, a retired computer operator supervisor for Kiplinger Washington Editors in Hyattsville, died of a brain hemorrhage Sept. 5 at Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina. He had lived in Westminster, S.C., since last year.

Mr. Dixon, who was known as Don, worked at Kiplinger for 25 years before retiring in 1985.

He was born in Southern Maryland and grew up in Queenstown. He served in the Air Force during World War II. He was a former resident of Hyattsville.

Mr. Dixon was a member of the VFW Club in College Park and Moose Lodge 1801 in South Carolina, where he served as governor and had received his third degree.

His marriage to Katherine Dixon ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Bobbie Jo Griffin Dixon of Westminster; three children from his first marriage, Don Dixon Jr., of Stuttgart, Germany, Beverly Shaklee of Fairfax and Patricia Pugliese of Waldorf; two stepchildren, Lance Beers of Leonardtown and Vicki Bate of Laurel; a brother, Charlie Dixon of College Park; a sister, Florence Hurley of Fort Washington; 10 grandchildren; and four step-grandchildren.

Louise Hillman Whitney

Founder of Day Care Center

Louise Whitney, 92, the retired founder and principal of the Louise Whitney School, a nursery and elementary school in Northwest Washington, died of surgical complications Sept. 10 at her home at the Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville.

She was born Louise Hillman on a farm on the plains of northeastern Colorado, near the small town of Grover. Her parents were homesteaders, and she grew up in a farmhouse that had no electricity and no indoor bathroom, and the family rule was one bath a week. She attended first through eighth grades in a one-room schoolhouse. She milked cows every morning, and she worked for room and board in Grover to attend high school.

She graduated from St. Luke's School of Nursing in Denver in 1935 and became a registered nurse. In 1940, she and her husband, Lester Whitney, moved to Washington, where, in 1943, she started a day care center to help the war effort while staying at home with her children. The center grew over the years to nearly 75 children, with multiple teachers and support staff.

Mrs. Whitney baked bread for the children and grew garden vegetables for their lunches. She also taught the kindergarten Sunday school class at Christ Lutheran Church in the District.

In 1960, she decided to return to school. Twelve years later, at 59, she received her bachelor's degree in early childhood education from the University of Maryland.

Mrs. Whitney and her husband moved to Catonsville in 1991. A member of a sewing club in recent years, she crocheted many items for charity. Her son noted that she never quite got the hang of knitting but that orders for her dish towels invariably were backed up.

Her husband died in 1995. Her daughter, Jean Whitney, died in 1994.

Survivors include three sons, Jack Whitney of Astana, Kazakhstan, Steve Whitney of Takoma Park and Eli Whitney of San Antonio; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Susan I. West

FCC Carrier Analyst

Susan I. West, 58, who fielded consumer complaints against telephone companies as a carrier analyst with the Federal Communications Commission before retiring in 2003, died of cardiac arrest Sept. 8 at George Washington University Hospital.

Ms. West, who lived in the District, worked for the commission for 36 years.

She was born in Washington and raised in the Florida towns of Cocoa Beach and Niceville. She returned to the Washington area in 1967, living in Alexandria, Burke, Great Falls and, since 1985, the District.

Her marriage to Venneth West Jr. ended in divorce.

Survivors include a daughter, Allison Dorman of Sandwich, Mass.; a brother; and five grandchildren.

Helen Greenfield Wallace

Government Clerk

Helen Beatrice Greenfield Wallace, 90, a retired clerk typist at the Walter Reed Army Hospital pathology department, was found dead Sept. 3 in a fire at her home in Suitland.

An autopsy is being conducted, and an investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing, according to a spokesman for the Prince George's County Fire Department.

Mrs. Wallace was born in Frederica, Del., and grew up on a farm. She moved to Washington to live with her sister, attended Shaw Junior High School and graduated from Cardozo High School.

In the early 1930s, she began working for the federal government as a clerk typist at the Smithsonian Institution's Castle building, where she was assigned to a laboratory that collected and catalogued specimens.

The laboratory was later moved to the Walter Reed Army Hospital, from which she retired in 1970.

Skilled in needlework, she enjoyed crocheting blankets and making her own clothes. She also cultivated roses and provided care for stray animals.

Her husband, Cero Wallace, died in 1956.

There are no immediate survivors.

Louis Barton Thomas

Clinical Pathologist

Louis Barton Thomas, 86, a clinical pathologist and cancer research specialist who retired in 1978 as chief of the pathology laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, died Sept. 6 at a hospital in Fort Collins, Colo., after a stroke.

Dr. Thomas lived mainly in Kensington while working at NIH for about 20 years. During that time, he helped train new residents in clinical pathology, wrote or co-wrote 101 articles for scientific journals and conducted research on breast and cervical cancer.

He then retired to Fort Collins, where through the Lions Club he helped raise money to create the Rocky Mountain Eye Institute.

Dr. Thomas was born in Medicine Lodge, Kan. He graduated from what is now Albertson College of Idaho and received a medical degree from the University of Chicago. He did his residency and internship in Rochester, Minn., and New York.

His wife, Genevieve C. Thomas, died in 1998. A daughter, Margo Donner, died in 1981.

Survivors include two daughters, Kathie Gilley of Silver Spring and Betsy Fischer of San Jose; a sister, Mary Miller of Fairfax; three brothers, Elmer Thomas of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Weldon Thomas and Lloyd Thomas, both of Wheaton, Ill.; and four grandchildren.

T. Troy Taylor


T. Troy Taylor, 39, a professional huntsman for the Middleburg Hunt, died Sept. 8 in Middleburg of injuries from a motorcycle accident.

Thomas Troy Taylor was born in Jackson, Mich., and developed a love for hunting from neighbors in his rural community. He attended Michigan State University for two years and left school to work as a cowboy in Arizona, Colorado and Montana. He returned home to help care for his ailing father and began his career in the professional hunt service.

He worked for three recognized fox-hunting organizations: the Waterloo Hunt of Grass Lake, Mich., from 1988 to 1994; the Mells Foxhounds of Pulaski, Tenn., from 1994 to 1996; and the Middleburg Hunt, from 1996 until the time of his death.

After moving to Virginia, Mr. Taylor quickly became recognized as a talented huntsman. He was responsible for the care and training of the hounds used in live fox hunting and for managing the hunts.

For the past nine years, he and the Middleburg Hunt paraded down Main Street Middleburg for the town's Christmas celebration. With him were usually 50 of his favorite hounds and more than 100 riders.

An avid sportsman, Mr. Taylor spent hours enjoying and learning about the Virginia countryside. He shared much of this time with his sons and their friends teaching them an appreciation of the local environment. He also volunteered as an inline and ice hockey coach for five years with youth leagues in Loudoun County, where both of his sons are successful players.

Survivors include his wife of 13 years, Pamela Taylor of Middleburg; two sons, Colt Taylor and Connor Taylor, both of Middleburg; two stepsons, Clint Burlett of Middleburg and Chase Burlett of Harrison, Mich.; and his mother, Josephine Taylor of Jackson, Mich.