Patricia Lorene Ward Buck


Patricia Lorene Ward Buck, 80, who was active in patriotic and genealogical organizations, died of bladder cancer Sept. 14 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She had lived in University Park since 1957.

Mrs. Buck held offices and chairmanships with the D.C. Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was regent of its Fort McHenry chapter.

She also served in local, state and national offices as a senior leader with the Children of the American Revolution patriotic organization.

Mrs. Buck belonged to Chapter IX of the Colonial Dames of America, the Blue Grass chapter of the Colonial Daughters of the Seventeenth Century, Dames of the Court of Honor, Daughters of American Colonists, D.C. Society of the Daughters of the War of 1812 and the Order of the Crown in America.

She was born in Clarksburg, W.Va., and raised in Latonia, Ky., and Washington, where she graduated from Central High School in 1943.

She attended Mary Washington College and George Washington University, where she was a member of Chi Omega social sorority.

In 1945, she married James Marshall Buck, an Air Force officer, and for the next 12 years she accompanied him on his various military assignments. He retired as a lieutenant colonel.

In addition to her husband, of University Park, survivors include a son, James Marshall Buck II of Memphis; a daughter, ToddBrookes Buck of College Park; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Andrew E. Taylor


Andrew E. "Pat" Taylor, 80, an intellectual property lawyer and senior partner in the law firm of Larson and Taylor, died of an internal hemorrhage Sept. 15 at his home in Bethesda.

Mr. Taylor, a native Washingtonian, graduated from St. Albans School in 1943 and entered the Navy's V-12 program, which was intended to provide college-educated officers for the fleet. He attended Dartmouth College under the program and later graduated from Tufts University with a degree in mechanical engineering.

After his discharge, he joined the U.S. Patent Office as a patent examiner while attending George Washington University Law School at night. He graduated in 1953 and joined the firm that became Larson and Taylor, working there for more than 40 years. He retired in 1996.

Mr. Taylor served on the development board of Children's Hospital.

He enjoyed sailing and maintained a summer home in Osterville, Mass., on Cape Cod. He also enjoyed his dogs, golf and bridge. He was a member of the Chevy Chase Club. An avid Redskins fan, he was a season ticket holder for more than 35 years.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Marianna Bate Taylor of Bethesda; four sons, Andrew E. Taylor Jr. of Newton, Mass., Brewster B. Taylor of Alexandria, Christopher C. Taylor of Pittsburgh and David S. Taylor of Newton; and 12 grandchildren.

Maxine Reynolds Baker


Maxine Reynolds Baker, 90, a retired D.C. public schoolteacher, died Sept. 10 at Sunrise Assisted Living Center in McLean. The death certificate said the cause was advanced age.

Mrs. Baker was born in Greensboro, N.C., and moved to Washington as a child. She graduated from Howard University in 1938 and took graduate classes at D.C. Teacher's College, Howard and American University. After college, she worked at the War Department, where she established and maintained the library.

In 1945, she moved to Homestead, Pa., and graduated first in her class from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1951. She returned to the Washington area in 1954, resuming her job at the War Department.

She became a teacher in 1960 and taught home economics for 20 years at MacFarland, Banneker and Gordon, which at the time were junior high schools. She retired in 1980.

She was a member of Berean Baptist Church for 78 years, where she was a member of the Deaconess Board for 30 years and recently was designated deaconess emerita. She was also a member of the Baker's Dozen, Chum's Club and Delta Sigma Theta.

Mrs. Baker enjoyed sewing, needlepoint and volunteering at Providence Hospital.

Survivors include her daughter, Maxine B. Baker of McLean; and a sister, Lillian Denning of Silver Spring.

P. Wardham Collyer

Optical Engineer

P. Wardham Collyer, 92, a volunteer and a former optical engineer, died of a stroke Sept. 13 at Wilson Health Care Center in Gaithersburg.

Mr. Collyer, who was known as Ward, was born in Lima, N.Y., and graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He later did graduate work at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

He lived in Stamford, Conn., for 47 years and led the optical engineering department at Barnes Engineering Co. He was awarded 12 patents. He was a member of the Stamford Board of Representatives from 1952 to 1955.

After moving to Gaithersburg in 1996, he became a member of Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church and volunteered at Asbury Methodist Village.

His wife of 58 years, Dorothy Lea Pratt Collyer, died in 1998.

Survivors include his wife, Helen Boone Collyer, whom he married in 1999, of Gaithersburg; two sons from his first marriage, Stanley C. Collyer of Potomac and Philip L. Collyer of Chevy Chase; two grandsons; and one great-granddaughter.

Evelyn Elizabeth Crawford

State Department Receptionist

Evelyn Elizabeth Crawford, 84, a retired State Department receptionist, died of acute leukemia Sept. 12 at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham. She was a Largo resident.

Mrs. Crawford, a native Washingtonian, graduated from Cardoza Senior High School. She began working for the federal government in 1946. In 1983, she retired from the State Department, where she had worked as a receptionist in the passport office.

Mrs. Crawford was a member of the Gospel Bible Missionary Baptist Church in Capitol Heights.

Her husband, John Crawford, died in 1979.

Survivors include three daughters, Sharron DuBose of Largo, Jennifer Crawford-Blake of Largo and Michele Casey of Greenbelt; a sister, Audrey Marshall of Washington; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Luella Eldridge

Executive Assistant

Luella Eldridge, 93, an executive assistant with the State Department, died of congestive heart failure Sept. 2 at her home in Oakton.

Miss Eldridge, who was born on a farm in Glover, Vt., came to Washington in the early 1930s. She held various government jobs before joining the State Department in the 1950s. As an executive assistant, she had several assignments overseas, as well as at State Department headquarters in Washington. She retired in 1973.

She was a graduate of George Washington University and received a master's degree in education from GWU in 1964.

After her retirement, Miss Eldridge pursued an interest in genealogy. She published a family history in which she traced her ancestry to the 17th century.

She was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and supported many educational and cultural organizations.

Survivors include two sisters, Ruth Adams of Youngstown, Ohio, and Beverly Eldridge of Newport, Vt.; and two brothers, Mulford Eldridge of Wolcott, Vt., and Rodney Eldridge of Oakton.

Ruth Elizabeth McVay

Civil Rights Compliance Officer

Ruth Elizabeth McVay, 75, a retired Department of Health and Human Services employee charged with ensuring health care provider compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, died of cancer Aug. 18 at Arleigh Burke Pavilion, a retirement community in McLean.

Ms. McVay was born in Buffalo and received her undergraduate degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1950.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, she led the Buffalo Project, an initiative of the Buffalo Children's Hospital to make its services more accessible to area children.

During the early days of the U.S. Office of Civil Rights, she worked through the National Institutes of Health to collect and process data on all medical facilities, hospitals and nursing homes to ensure nondiscrimination as a condition of participating in the newly created Medicare program. She led more than 700 staff members and volunteers in a nationwide effort to collect the voluminous information over a four-month period in 1966.

Thanks in large part to their efforts, medical facilities throughout the South went from 98 percent noncompliance with civil rights mandates to 99 percent compliance in a short time. She and members of her multiracial team also made an effort to integrate hotels and restaurants throughout the South as they worked to complete the medical survey.

Ms. McVay spent the rest of her career with the Department of Health and Human Services monitoring the nation's medical facilities to ensure compliance with the law. She worked over the years as a statistician, as director of planning and evaluation and as acting division director for Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights. Long before her retirement in 1996, she developed a reputation for her ability to cut through bureaucratic red tape.

Last year, on the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the Department of Health and Human Services honored Ms. McVay with the designation Civil Rights Champion for her "diligent work . . . sometimes in the face of concerted resistance . . . to ensure healthcare-provider compliance with the Civil Rights Act's non-discrimination mandate."

She had no immediate survivors.

Charles Franklin Willis

Printer, College Athlete

Charles Franklin Willis, 74, a printer with the Government Printing Office who was an outstanding collegiate athlete, died Sept. 16 of cancer at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He lived in Woodbridge.

Mr. Willis, who went by his middle name, Franklin, was born in Memphis and was deaf from birth. He was an outstanding high school athlete at the Tennessee School for the Deaf.

As a student at Gallaudet University in Washington in the 1950s, he was a star performer on the football, wrestling and track teams. He was such an outstanding running back and punter that he was scouted by professional teams. He graduated from Gallaudet in 1956 and was named to the university's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.

Mr. Willis taught and coached at the Tennessee School for the Deaf for two years, lived briefly in California and then moved to St. Louis, where he worked for eight years as a printer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper.

He settled in Woodbridge in 1967 and worked at the Government Printing Office until his retirement in 1994.

His hobbies included carving and painting realistic waterfowl decoys, which were considered of professional quality. He also enjoyed playing golf.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Carolyn Willis of Woodbridge; three sons, Michael Willis of Memphis, Randy Willis of Durango, Colo., and Gary Willis of Woodbridge; his mother, Helen Willis of Gaithersburg; two sisters, Charline Brewer of Gaithersburg and Julia Harrod of Tampa; a granddaughter; and two great-grandchildren.