Carrie Christie Deibler


Carrie Christie Deibler, 81, a former real estate agent in the Washington area and the owner of a popular Rehoboth Beach, Del., inn, died of cancer Sept. 8 at her home in Coronado, Calif. She was a former Bethesda resident.

Mrs. Deibler was born Carrie Janetis in Washington and graduated from Central High School in 1942. She married the same year and moved to New York, where she worked briefly as a model.

In 1945, she moved back to the Washington area, where she worked as a homemaker and volunteered as a Grey Lady at the National Institutes of Health. She also volunteered with the Democratic Party during local and national elections.

In the mid-1960s, after the death of her husband, she worked as a real estate agent for CBS Realty, J.F. Begg Realty and Shannon & Luchs Realty in the District.

In 1974, she and her second husband bought the historic Dinner Bell Inn, a restaurant and hotel in Rehoboth Beach, five blocks from the ocean. They served breakfast, lunch and dinner during the summer season and managed a hostelry that included a 10-room motel, a 20-room addition and the house next door. Mrs. Deibler, whose parties in earlier years had earned her the title "the Pearl Mesta of Bethesda," also was known for her festive end-of-season Halloween parties in Rehoboth Beach.

She and her husband retired in 1994 and moved to Lancaster, Pa.

After her husband's death, she worked in retail and then moved in 2002 to Coronado to start a new life near two grandsons who lived across the bay in San Diego. In Coronado, she volunteered at Sharp Hospital.

Her first husband, John C. Christie, died in 1964. A daughter from her first marriage, JoAnn Christie, died in 1973. Her second husband, David H. Deibler Jr., died in 1997.

Survivors include a daughter from her first marriage, Maria Hynes of Easton, N.H.; two stepchildren from her second marriage, Karen Tomasian of Washington and Christopher Deibler of St. Louis; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Ralph Paul Desmond Jr.

Navy Officer, Math Teacher

Ralph Paul Desmond Jr., 88, a retired Navy captain who taught math at Fort Hunt High School in Alexandria for 12 years until 1977, died Sept. 28 of aspiration pneumonia at The Fairfax. He had lived at the Fort Belvoir retirement community for the past 15 years and was a former resident of Alexandria.

Capt. Desmond was born in Huntington, Calif., and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in the Class of 1940. He was a World War II veteran, and as a career naval officer served in the Mediterranean on the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. He also commanded three ships, the USS Ammen, the USS Mullany and the USS Mount Katmai. Capt. Desmond taught at the Naval Academy from 1953 to 1955, and he worked in Japan for the Military Assistance Advisory Group from 1958 to 1960.

After his last tour of duty at the Pentagon from 1961 to 1965, he retired from the Navy and began teaching high school math.

He was involved in Class of 1940 reunions and was on the welcoming committee and council at The Fairfax.

Survivors include his wife of more than 60 years, Luly Desmond of Fort Belvoir; three children, Nancy Peterson of Boston, Anne Oliver of Brevard, N.C., and Donald Desmond of Holbrook, Mass.; five grandchildren; three stepgrandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Irene D. Hahl

Alexandria Volunteer

Irene D. Hahl, 81, a volunteer who started community-oriented programs at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Alexandria, died of complications from an arterial blood clot Sept. 23 at the National Lutheran Home in Rockville.

She founded the church's Retired Luncheon, which provided a home-cooked meal and social gathering for seniors, and the Good Samaritan Fund, a financial assistance program.

Mrs. Hahl, who moved to the National Lutheran Home in 1996 after 45 years in Alexandria, was born in Minneapolis and was a graduate of the University of Minnesota.

As a young woman, she taught high school home economics in Cokato, Minn.

In 1982, she self-published a cookbook titled, "Around the Family Table," a collection of heirloom, original and favorite family recipes.

Survivors include her husband, Robert G. Hahl of Rockville; four children, John Hahl of Springfield, Mary Bracke of Plainsboro, N.J., Charles Hahl of Centreville and Sara Hahl of Alexandria; a sister; a brother; and eight grandchildren.

William Johnson

Government Electrician

William Johnson, 85, a government electrician who retired in the early 1980s after about 25 years with the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, died of kidney failure Sept. 30 at Casey House hospice in Rockville.

Mr. Johnson, who lived in Highland, was a native of Honolulu.

He served in the Army during World War II, with Company K of the 106th Infantry Division, and received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star after fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.

In 1952, he settled in the Washington area, where he initially worked at a Naval weapons plant and then for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

He was past commander of American Legion Post 41 in Upper Marlboro.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Joyce Johnson, and their son, William K. Johnson, both of Highland; a brother; a sister; and two grandchildren.

Sarah Jessie Rosen

Communications Director

Sarah Jessie Rosen, 28, communications director for the Distilled Spirits Council who previously worked on several Democratic political campaigns, died Sept. 30 in a traffic accident in Versailles, Ky. She was a District resident.

Ms. Rosen had worked for the council for nine months. She was in Louisville on a business trip, touring the area's distilleries, when a pickup truck struck the vehicle in which she was riding.

A New York City native and Tufts University graduate, Ms. Rosen came to Washington in 2001 after a brief stint as an assistant producer on NBC's "Dateline" program. In Washington, she went to work for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and also worked in the press offices of Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Rep. Jane F. Harman (D-Calif.). During the 2002 Maryland Democratic primary, she was a spokeswoman for unsuccessful candidate Ira S. Shapiro.

During the 2004 presidential election, she was communications director for the Arizona Democratic Party.

Ms. Rosen recently bought a condominium in Washington, her father said, and was volunteering with the Red Cross and the Coaching for College program at Shaw Junior High School. She also volunteered with Dress for Success and for a project aiming to put a woman in the White House.

Survivors include her parents, Sam and Edna Rosen of New York City, and a sister.

Louise McElhaney Scruggs


Louise McElhaney Scruggs, 86, whose energetic personality served her well as a waitress in the Washington area and in Las Vegas, died Oct. 1 at Manor Care nursing home in Chevy Chase. She had Alzheimer's disease.

She was born in Gadsden, Ala., and during the Depression she quit high school to support her family by picking crops. She later worked in the cotton mills in Gadsden.

She moved to Washington in 1942 and worked banquets at the Sheraton Hotel on Connecticut Avenue and in a number of steakhouses until 1986. One of the perks of her job, especially at the Sheraton, was meeting important people. One of them was President Harry S. Truman.

Her son Jan C. Scruggs of Annapolis recalled his mother telling a story about a brief exchange she had with the country's 33rd president in 1948. "I said, 'I'm just a waitress, and it is good to meet a president,' " she recounted. "He said . . . 'You're more than just a waitress. You are a very special person.' "

She encountered many celebrities, including Liberace, while working in Las Vegas from 1986 to 1996. She returned to the Washington area, settling in Bladensburg and working again in restaurants. She last worked at the 94th Aero Squadron in College Park, retiring in 1998.

Mrs. Scruggs read the Bible regularly and attended Riverdale Baptist Church.

She volunteered with her church occasionally and with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which her son Jan founded.

Her marriage to James Travis Scruggs ended in divorce.

In addition to her son Jan, survivors include three other children, Ronald J. Scruggs of Tampa, Robert D. Scruggs of Orlando and Barbara Slayton of Alexandria; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Mary Wall Sullivan

CIA Personnel Officer

Mary Wall Sullivan, 69, a former Arlington resident and retired personnel officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, died of cancer Sept. 29 at a medical center in Neptune, N.J.

During her 21-year career, Mrs. Sullivan rotated through several of the agency's directorates, including science and technology, administration and operations. Mrs. Sullivan, who lived in Arlington for more than 50 years, was born in Bayonne, N.J.

She returned to New Jersey, settling in Spring Lake, soon after her retirement from the CIA in 1999.

Survivors include her husband of 48 years, Alexander M. Sullivan of Spring Lake; six children, Karen Sullivan of Springfield, Mark Sullivan of Middleton, Wis., Maryrose Sullivan of Boston, Nancy Donoghue of Sterling, Diane Ferguson of Torrington, Conn., and Robert Sullivan of Oakton; a brother; a sister; and eight grandchildren.