Max Sokol

Aeronautical Engineer

Max Sokol, 89, a longtime aeronautical engineer who retired from the Internal Revenue Service in 1985, died of congestive heart failure Sept. 16 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He had lived in Washington since 1973.

Mr. Sokol was a native of Detroit and a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he studied aeronautical, mechanical and civil engineering.

He spent most of his early career designing aircraft while employed with Brewster Aeronautical in New York, Boeing-Vertol Corp. in Morton, Pa., and RCA in Camden, N.J. While at RCA, he also helped design a management information system for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's manned lunar space program.

Mr. Sokol, who held various design patents, worked briefly as a consultant in the aeronautical industry when he came to Washington in 1973. That year, he joined the engineering evaluation department of the IRS, and in 1985 he retired from his civil service position.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Mimi Sokol of Washington; three daughters, Maxine Champion of Washington, Marcia Traversaro of Half Moon Bay, Calif., and Marlene Davis of Wynnewood, Pa.; a granddaughter; and two great-granddaughters.

David E. Mark

State Department Official

David Everett Mark, 81, a former Bethesda resident who served in the Foreign Service from 1946 to 1981, retiring as a deputy assistant secretary of state, died Sept. 17 near Malta, Mont., after a two-car accident.

A spokeswoman with the Montana Highway Patrol said Mr. Mark was driving east on U.S. Highway 2 that day when his car crossed into oncoming traffic. The accident is under investigation.

Mr. Mark, a New York native, was a graduate of Columbia University and its law school. He was an Army Air Forces veteran of World War II.

His State Department assignments included deputy head of the Intelligence and Research Bureau and ambassador to Burundi from 1974 to 1977.

After leaving the State Department, he did consulting work in international affairs for Alcoa in Pittsburgh, helped establish the U.S. Embassy in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and helped the nation write its constitution.

Most recently, he was a resident of New York, where he was a guide and translator as well as an adjunct professor of global affairs at New York University.

Survivors include his wife, Elisabeth Lewis Mark of Leawood, Kan., from whom he was separated; three children, Leslie Mark of Leawood, Andrea Chiou of Fairfax County and Clayton Mark of Overland Park, Kan.; a niece he helped raise, Elena Strunk of Washington; and seven grandchildren.

James A. Bistline

Railroad Lawyer

James Adams Bistline, 90, a lawyer who retired from Norfolk Southern railroad in 1986 as assistant to the president, died Sept. 20 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. He had congestive heart failure.

Mr. Bistline, an Alexandria resident, joined the law department of Southern Railway in 1948. He worked for Norfolk Southern after its 1982 merger with Southern. The latter part of his career was spent overseeing the rail line's vintage steam-operated locomotives.

He lectured about trains at the Smithsonian Institution and appeared on the History Channel.

Mr. Bistline was born in Newport, Pa., and spent his high school years in Cumberland, Md. He was a 1937 graduate of Duke University, where he was first in his class, and a 1940 graduate of Columbia University law school.

During World War II, he served in the Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps. He also participated in the post-war Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals. He later retired as a colonel in the Army reserve.

He was a former chairman of the International Bar Association's public utilities committee and the Federal Bar Association's railroad committee.

He was a former commander of the Washington chapter of the Military Order of Foreign Wars. He was an elder and member at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in Alexandria.

His wife, Lillian Hunter Bistline, whom he married in 1949, died in 1996. A son, James H. Bistline, died in 1971.

Survivors include two sons, Scott A. Bistline of Alexandria and Mark H. Bistline of Newport, R.I.; and a granddaughter.