Ann Elizabeth Colby

Administrative Assistant

Ann Elizabeth Colby, 86, a retired C&P Telephone Co. administrative assistant, died of pneumonia Oct. 9 at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Ms. Colby worked more than three decades for C&P Telephone, until 1976.

For many of those years, she performed with the C&P Singers. She enjoyed listening to big-band music, cheering for the Washington Redskins and collecting items associated with Hawaii, which she visited at least six times.

Ms. Colby was born in Washington and raised in Arlington, where she graduated from Washington & Lee High School in 1937. She lived in the Ballston area of Arlington for most of her adult life and moved to Alexandria in 1993.

Survivors include a brother, Jack W. Colby of Alexandria.

Ruth Mae Jarrell

NSA Worker, Church Leader

Ruth Mae Jarrell, 85, a long-time church leader who spent 30 years with the National Security Agency before retiring in 1973, died Oct. 7 of sepsis at Frederick Memorial Hospital. Most recently, she was a resident of Lorien Nursing Home in Mount Airy.

During her career with NSA, Miss Jarrell worked two years with the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department.

A dedicated church member, Miss Jarrell belonged to Faith Pentecostal Holiness Church, now called Word of Hope Fellowship in Silver Spring, for 50 years.

She also served in several capacities in the mid-Atlantic conference of International Pentecostal Holiness Church. She was director of the Christian Education Ministries, president of the Sunday school board and regional director of the teen talent program. She served as Sunday school superintendent, directed vacation Bible schools, taught teacher-training courses and served in the summer church camp for more than 30 years.

"If she wasn't directing, she was working as a counselor or in whatever capacity she was needed," said her niece, Shari Darr Benson of Frederick, whom Miss Jarrell raised after her mother's death.

Miss Jarrell was the author of the book "Using Puppets For God" (1975) and often entertained with puppets at senior citizen centers. She also visited nursing homes as Ruthy the Clown and the Sunshine Singers.

Miss Jarrell was born in Henderson, N.C., the second of 10 children. She graduated from Homes Bible College in Greenville, S.C., in 1943, then moved to the Washington area. She had lived in Silver Spring and New Market, Md.

Miss Jarrell was a supporter of international mission work and the recipient of numerous awards for her area volunteer efforts. She was honored by Montgomery County for her work with elderly stroke patients at the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center

In addition to her niece, survivors include three sisters, Maggie Harris and Myrtle Parham, both of Henderson, and Catherine Floyd of Baltimore; and a brother, Robert Jarrell of Charleston, S.C.

Jim Wessel


Jim Wessel, 90, a former Associated Press broadcast executive, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 8 at Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge. He was a resident of Lake of the Woods, Va.

Mr. Wessel was born in Cincinnati and graduated from the School of Journalism at Ohio State University in 1938. At Ohio State, he was editor of the campus daily newspaper.

He began a 40-year career in broadcast journalism as news editor at WPCO in Cincinnati. In 1939, he joined Transradio Press in Philadelphia, where he served as news editor at WCAU. He later became sports editor of Transradio, based in Chicago. In 1940, he became news director of WBEN and WEBR in Buffalo, one of the few occasions in which a person has served as news director at two major AM stations simultaneously.

Later in 1940, he moved to New York, where he began a 33-year career with the Associated Press Broadcast Department. During World War II, he was a military analyst and wrote the daily script for "Behind the War News."

After the war, he was named sports editor, serving in that position until 1949. From 1949 to 1978, he served as night news supervisor, day editor supervisor, director of special projects and, at his retirement in 1978, national broadcast executive responsible for member relations in the eastern half of the United States.

As a reporter, Mr. Wessel covered all the major sports events of the 1940s, as well as the assassination and burial of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and the first moon landing in 1969. He also supervised the Associated Press's first audio coverage of a news event, the Apollo 15 moon landing.

In addition, he produced AP's annual audio news review, "The World in Sound," narrated by lifelong friend Morgan Beatty. He wrote the script and edited the tapes for "Eisenhower," a Caedmon Records production narrated by Bob Considine.

He was active in the development of AP Broadcasters, for which he served as assistant secretary and editor of its publication, "News From APB." He was a member of the National Press Club, the New York Press Club, the Radio-Television News Directors Association, Sigma Delta Chi and Broadcast Pioneers.

Mr. Wessel moved to Lake of the Woods in 1981 and fulfilled his lifelong retirement dream of "playing at least 18 holes every day the weather and my body will let me."

His wife, Alberta Wessel, died last year.

Survivors include his daughter, Lynne Barden of Tantallon.