John R. Pancella

Science Educator

John R. Pancella, 74, a supervisor of science education in Montgomery County who later became a travel consultant, died Oct. 27 of cancer at Casey House hospice in Rockville. He was a Rockville resident.

Dr. Pancella began his 20-year career in the Montgomery public school system in 1965 as a science teacher at Richard Montgomery High School. In 1968, he became science supervisor for elementary education and later worked in testing. For more than 10 years, he was science supervisor for the county's secondary schools.

He developed curricula, initiated new science programs and helped plan the Montgomery Blair High School science magnet program. He retired in 1985.

Dr. Pancella was born in Dunbar, Pa., and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He served in the Army from 1953 to 1955 and was discharged with the rank of captain. He began his educational career as a high school biology teacher in Pittsburgh from 1955 to 1960.

He received a master's degree in zoology in 1962 and a doctorate in science supervision and zoology in 1970, both from the University of Maryland. While in graduate school, he taught courses in anatomy and physiology and science education at the University of Maryland.

In 1967, he was an editor of "Studying Teaching," a college textbook for the training of science teachers. He also published articles on his research, booklets on science teaching and cassette tapes for children's science education programs.

After retiring from the Montgomery schools, Dr. Pancella was a science book reviewer for professional journals and gave presentations on science education at colleges, secondary schools and teachers' conferences. In 1989, he was a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development, helping to establish a national science curriculum in Egypt.

A world traveler, he toured more than 70 countries. He was a trip director for the Shillelaghs travel club in Vienna, for which he organized and led tours to Nepal, India, Thailand and Antarctica.

Dr. Pancella also enjoyed language and collected lists of unusual words.

There are no immediate survivors.

Richard Garnitz

Commerce Official

Richard Garnitz, 84, retired director of export marketing assistance with the Department of Commerce, died of a stroke Oct. 30 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. He was a Silver Spring resident.

Mr. Garnitz worked for the Commerce Department from 1962 until he retired in 1981. He then started a consulting firm and taught at the college and professional level until his death.

He was born in Chicago and grew up in South Bend, Ind. He graduated from Ohio State University and attended Columbia Law School. He also graduated from the State Department's school of advanced international economics.

During World War II, he served in the Army medical services in the United States. After the war, he worked at his family's furniture company in Indiana until 1962, when he moved to Washington as assistant director of the Commerce Department's trade missions program. In 1966, he served in Tokyo as director of the embassy's trade center, and in 1969, he became a commercial attache at the embassy in Stockholm and director of the trade center there.

Returning to Washington in 1972, he was deputy director and then director of the Commerce Department's office of international marketing and in 1979 took his final government assignment.

He then formed Zucca and Garnitz International Trade Consultants, assisting foreign governments' and businesses' investments in U.S. markets. After 1985, he taught real estate continuing education courses and international trade basics at Montgomery College and the Professional Development Institute.

Mr. Garnitz was given the Commerce Department's outstanding achievement awards in 1966, 1973 and 1978 and its silver medal award for meritorious federal service in 1973.

Outside of work, he liked to golf, walk, read, attend theater and travel. He also enjoyed gourmet dining. He was a past president of his condominium building association at Leisure World.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Sydelle Garnitz of Silver Spring; two children, Daniel Garnitz of Germantown and Joan Harris of Bluemount, Va.; a brother; and a grandson.

Mary Elizabeth Spelman

Sales Associate

Mary Elizabeth Spelman, 80, a sales associate at Woodward & Lothrop for 26 years until 1995, when the department store closed, died of cancer Oct. 22 at her home in Silver Spring.

She was born in Boston and attended business school. She married in 1948 and became a Navy wife.

Mrs. Spelman managed an office for a cerebral palsy organization for five years in Norfolk, bearing responsibilities from emptying wastebaskets and recording contributions to paying the bills.

She moved to Silver Spring in 1968.

Her husband of 54 years, Eugene F. Spelman, died in 2003.

Survivors include four children, Joan Spelman of Silver Spring, Peggy Renoe of Edgewater, Kathie Sher of Olney and Martin Spelman of Edgewater; seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.