Rebecca Morgan Viverette
Navy Wife, Church Member
Rebecca Catherine Morgan Viverette, 88, a Navy wife, volunteer and church member, died of respiratory failure Oct. 3 at Fairfax Nursing Center, where she lived.
She was born in Rocky Mount, N.C., and took piano, voice and dance lessons as a child and played basketball in high school. After graduating from college in North Carolina, she then went to work for Belk-Tyler's, an upscale clothing store chain, working as a regional buyer.
Over the years, she developed as a soprano. She also attained a reputation as a budding pianist and played on local radio stations. Pursuing another childhood dream, she began to enter and win dance competitions, excelling in the jitterbug.
She married in 1943 and became a Navy wife, living in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the World War II. One of her favorite places was the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles. One night she played and sang there, dedicating a song to her husband who was away in the South Pacific.
After 15 years of moving about the country, the couple settled in Alexandria in 1950s. As a stay-at-home mother, she supported her daughter's school, civic and sports organizations.
She was a member of First Baptist Church of Alexandria, where she served as a Sunday school teacher and held other positions. She did volunteer work through the church's community programs and was involved in assisting flood victims of Hurricane Agnes in 1972.
Mrs. Viverette was active in many ladies auxiliary organizations supporting her husband's interests, including the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Knights of St. Patrick and veterans organizations.
Her husband, retired Lt. Cmdr. William Emite Viverette, died in 2004.
Survivors include her daughter, Sherri V. Battershell of Leesburg; a brother; and four grandchildren.
Joan Webster Allen
Joan Webster Allen, 78, a retired urban planner as well as political and community activist, died Oct. 31 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington after a fall at her home in Arlington.
While at the Urban Institute in the late 1980s, Mrs. Allen contributed to the book "The Private Sector in State Service Delivery: Examples of Innovative Practices" (1989) and co-wrote several articles.
She took a particular interest in housing and transportation issues. As a private citizen in the 1960s, she advocated public financing of the planned Metro rapid transit system in Northern Virginia.
She was chairwoman of the Arlington County Planning Commission in 1976 and president of the county League of Women Voters chapter from 1967 to 1969. She also was active in Arlingtonians for a Better County and was a volunteer for the county Democratic Party.
Joan Webster Emmett was born in Oakland, Calif., and raised in neighboring Piedmont. She was a 1948 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where she edited the school newspaper as a senior.
While working as an assistant to the managing editor of the Stockton (Calif.) Record, she met William H. Allen, whom she married in 1950. He was an Associated Press reporter who later received a law degree.
In 1956, she moved with her family to the Washington area. After raising children, she received a master's degree in urban and regional planning from George Washington University in 1984.
She did volunteer work for the Arlington Housing Corp., which once named her volunteer of the year. She also delivered meals to homebound Arlington residents.
She was a member of Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ in Arlington.
Besides her husband, of Arlington, survivors include three sons, Edwin Allen of Arlington, Neal Allen of Orinda, Calif., and Kent Allen of Washington; a sister; and eight grandchildren.
Marine Corps Colonel
Keith O'Keefe, 80, a Marine Corps colonel and aviator, died Oct. 26 of congestive heart failure at his home at The Fairfax, a military retirement community at Fort Belvoir.
Col. O'Keefe, who was known as "K.O.," was born in Dighton, Kan., and graduated from high school in Omaha. After his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1948, he became a Marine Corps officer.
After qualifying as a naval aviator, he flew combat missions as a fighter pilot in the Korean War. From 1964 to 1966, he was commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron 214, the same unit made famous as the "Black Sheep" squadron of World War II.
He attended the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and in 1972 received a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University.
In 1972-73, Col. O'Keefe was the commanding officer of Marine Air Group 15 of the 1st Marine Air Wing in Vietnam. He attended the National War College in 1976 and retired from the Marines in 1978.
His decorations included the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals and Navy Commendation Medal.
After his retirement, Col. O'Keefe was active in real estate investment and land development. He lived in Fairfax Station until October.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Natalie Brown O'Keefe of The Fairfax; four children, Shawn Klupchak of Chicago and Gene O'Keefe, Kitty MacFadden and P.D. O'Keefe, all of Fairfax Station; a sister; seven grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
William P. Benninghoven
Silver Spring Pastor
William P. Benninghoven, 61, a pastor at Immanuel's Church in Silver Spring, died of respiratory failure Oct. 21 at Holy Cross Hospital.
Mr. Benninghoven started working as a part-time minister at the church in 1992, becoming full time in 2001. Previously, he was a salesman in the wire industry, working for Arcade Electronics in Alexandria and before that, for Alpha Wire. While in those jobs, he volunteered many hours each week at his church.
A native Washingtonian, he moved to Silver Spring as a youth and graduated from Montgomery Blair High School and Montgomery College. He attended American University.
A fan of magic since his teenage years, he turned a hobby into a sideline in 1968, entertaining as Benny the Magic Clown at schools and children's hospitals and for soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was past president of the Washington chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians in 1966.
He became involved in youth ministry at Montrose Baptist Church in 1982, starting its open gym program for youth. When he moved to Immanuel's Church a decade later, he started a summer mission trip to South Florida for middle school students. He also worked with small group ministries and an urgent-prayer line at the church.
Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Tootie Benninghoven of Silver Spring; three children, William Edward Benninghoven of Cape Coral, Fla., Deane Roland Benninghoven of Seattle and Sandra Dai Avant of Silver Spring; and a grandson.
Robert S. Carter
Robert S. Carter, 79, a nuclear physicist with the old National Bureau of Standards, died Oct. 28 of septicemia at Memorial Hospital in Easton, Md., where he lived.
Dr. Carter was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and was a radar technician in the Navy during World War II. He graduated from Princeton University, and he received a doctorate in nuclear physics from Harvard University in 1951.
He was a research scientist with Westinghouse in the 1950s and came to the Washington area in 1958 to join the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology). He supervised a team that built a nuclear reactor for research purposes and helped the bureau become a center of reactor research.
He continued to make refinements in reactor capabilities throughout his career and retired in 1989 as chief of the Reactor Radiation Division.
Dr. Carter lived in Bethesda and Potomac before moving to Easton after his retirement. He enjoyed sailing, tennis, building model ships and trains and international travel.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Marie "Toni" Russo Carter of Easton; four children, Army Col. Robert S. Carter Jr. of Fort Lewis, Wash., Dr. Susan Carter Oldrieve of Westlake, Ohio, Dr. Edward Carter of Seattle and Lissa Carter of Vienna; and nine grandchildren.