Robert S. Nichols
Army, N.Va. Psychologist
Robert S. Nichols, 76, an Army psychologist who later was director of mental health services for the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, died of cancer Oct. 3 at his home in Rockville.
Dr. Nichols worked for the community services board from 1983 to 1994, after more than 30 years in the Army. During his military service, he advocated the use of psychological knowledge to improve Army operations, support and personnel.
He was the first psychologist sent by the Army to study community mental health at Harvard University in 1963, the first psychologist to graduate from the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College and the first clinician to serve on the War College faculty. He was briefly on the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and staff supervisor over the Army's medical education and training programs. His last assignment was as a psychology consultant to the Army's surgeon general.
Dr. Nichols, who retired at the rank of colonel, set up community-oriented mental health internships for other Army psychologists and helped teach the next generation of mental health professionals how to apply their expertise in the military.
He was a native of Passaic, N.J., graduated from Lehigh University and had started clinical psychology studies at the University of Rochester when he was selected for an Army training program. He received his doctoral degree in 1956.
He interned at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and became interested in community mental health while working with children attending school on the post at Fort Bragg, N.C.
A board-certified psychologist, he received the John C. Flanagan Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Military Psychology of the American Psychological Association. He was lauded for his advocacy work by the Association for the Advancement of Psychology. He also received the Legion of Merit. He enjoyed traveling and was past president of the Seneca Valley Sugarloafers Volksmarch Club.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Rose Ann Cowell Nichols of Rockville; three children, David Nichols of Cincinnati, Kathryn Nichols of Harrisburg, Pa., and Steven Nichols of Gaithersburg; and three grandchildren.
Frederick Peterson Jessup
Retired Foreign Service Officer
Frederick Peterson Jessup, 85, a retired Foreign Service officer who served on the staff of the National Security Council and who later produced book-length oral histories, died of cancer Sept. 25 at his home in Chevy Chase.
Mr. Jessup, known to friends as Peter, was born in New York and graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., in 1941. He worked as a copy aide for the New York Daily News before entering the Navy and serving four years in the European, Mediterranean and Pacific theatres. After World War II, he was editor of the magazine 47 and of Neue Auslese, a magazine of the U.S. Army reeducation program for post-war Germany.
In 1949, he began his career in the Foreign Service and served as senior staff officer under the command of Gen. Lucien Truscott in Germany. He served in Switzerland as a political officer in the U.S. consulate and twice was posted with the U.S. Embassy in Israel. Beginning with the Johnson administration, he served in the White House on the National Security Council from 1963 to 1972.
After retiring in 1979, Mr. Jessup entered the then-new field of oral history, producing more than 40 book-length biographies in areas such as theater, diplomacy and science for Columbia University, Boston University and the Association of Diplomatic Studies. He "primed the pump" as people recounted their lives until about eight years ago, his wife, China Jessup, said.
He also developed a news clipping service for individuals with special interests.
A lifelong tennis player and local tournament organizer, he was a member of St. Albans Tennis Club and had organized the yearly mixed doubles tournament for the Alliance Francaise, for which he served on the board of directors.
A passionate theater lover and supporter, he had served on the board of directors of the Studio Theatre in Washington since shortly after its inception. He was also a volunteer reader of world news for Metropolitan Washington Ear, a news service for the blind. "For 10 years, he got up every Tuesday morning to be there at 6 a.m. to read all the international news," his wife said.
Mr. Jessup assembled an extensive library and rare book collection with specialties in theater, the Middle East, the Spanish Civil War and the Joseph McCarthy years. He was the great grandson of Rev. Henry Harris Jessup, a founder of American University in Beirut.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, of Chevy Chase; four children, Theodore C. Jessup of New York, Alexandra Altman of East Calais, Vt., Francecsa Jessup of Caracas, Venezuela, and Kristin Moore of Arlington; a brother, John McVickar of Richmond; a sister, Madeleine Edwards of San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and five grandchildren.
Grace Evelyn Henry
Church Member, Needle Crafter
Grace Evelyn Henry, 76, a church member and needle crafter, died Sept. 10 of complications from pneumonia at Laurel Regional Hospital. A longtime Rockville resident, she had moved to Riderwood Village in Silver Spring in 2004.
Mrs. Henry was born in Chicago and grew up in Alexandria. She graduated from George Washington High School in 1947 and attended George Washington University. That is where she met her future husband, who gave her the name "Rusty" to distinguish her from a mutual friend who also was named Grace. Grace Henry was Rusty for the rest of her life.
After her marriage, she lived in Maryville, Tenn.; Henderson, Nev.; San Pedro, Calif., and Berkeley, Calif. Her husband recalled that in 1961, when he came home with the news that he had a job offer back in the Washington area, she dropped the papers she was carrying, ran across the room and leaped into his arms. She and her family settled in Rockville.
During the frequent moves early in her marriage and later in Rockville, Mrs. Henry shaped her daily life around family, church and community. She was a longtime member of Christ Episcopal Church in Rockville and volunteered at the Rockville Senior Center, the Twinbrook Library and the Society for Theater Arts in Rockville.
She was a receptionist for radio station WINX in Rockville from 1986 until her retirement in 1993. In 1989, she was named employee of the year for her friendliness and her cheerful willingness to do whatever needed to be done, including voice-overs for commercials.
She was a judge and exhibitor of needlework at the Montgomery County Fair, and in 2001, her crocheted white parasol won a grand champion purple rosette in the needlework division.
Living at Riderwood Village, a retirement community, she attended Christ Episcopal Church and the Protestant Church of Riderwood. She also participated in the Intercessor's Guild and was a member of the Quilt Club, the Town Center Library Committee and the Red Hat Society.
Survivors include her husband of 56 years, James J. Henry of Silver Spring; three children, James A. Henry of Hagerstown, Beverly G. Gorman of Leesburg and Gail I. Smith of Springfield; and seven grandchildren.
Keith Allen Gagner
Keith Allen Gagner, 53, a former Smithsonian Institution employee who in recent months had been a retail clerk at the Pen & Prose shop at Reagan National Airport, died Oct. 3 at his home in Washington. He had an apparent heart attack.
Mr. Gagner worked at the Smithsonian from 1983 to 1997 as a cash-count supervisor of money collected from museum gift shops. He briefly did clerical work at the National Gallery of Art before becoming a salesclerk at a Chocolate Moose gift store in Washington from 1999 until this March.
He was a native of Grand Rapids, Minn., and a graduate of the Eveleth (Minn.) Vocational Technical Institute. Early in his career, he ran a movie house in his home town and was a waiter in Minneapolis.
Survivors include his companion of 25 years, P. Richard Melintz of Washington; his mother, Doris Gagner of Grand Rapids; seven sisters; and five brothers.