Melvin James Daugherty

Electronics Technician

Melvin James Daugherty, 88, an electronics technician at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for 34 years, died Nov.12 of a stroke at the Millennium nursing home in Fort Washington. He had lived in Oxon Hill.

Mr. Daugherty was instrumental in the development and testing of the transponder used in naval aircraft. After retiring in 1980, he continued to work in the electronics field as a consultant.

He was born in Hastings, Neb., and came to the Washington area in 1936 and worked at the Government Printing Office. He had a lifelong interest in electronics and graduated from the Capital Radio and Electronics Institute and worked as a television repairman.

During World War II, he served with the 1st Marine Division in the Pacific theater and saw combat in the battles of Guadalcanal, Peleliu and New Britain.

He was a world traveler, and he enjoyed the arts, sports events, boating and working in and around his home.

Survivors include his wife, Jean Gwen Daugherty, whom he married in 1943; four children, Glenn A. Daugherty of Alexandria, Russell J. Daugherty of North Potomac, Janet S. Parrack of Newark, Del., and Robyn G. Daugherty of Silver Spring; two brothers; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Harold David Cohen


Harold David Cohen, 91, a retired lawyer who practiced in Washington for more than 50 years, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 14 at his home in the District.

Mr. Cohen was born in Kingston, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1935. He received his law degree from Cornell in 1937.

After briefly practicing law in Ithaca, N.Y., and New York City, he became a law clerk for Judge Henry Edgerton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1940 to 1941. He was with the Federal Communications Commission from 1941 to 1943.

From 1943 to 1946 and from 1947 to 1951, he was an appellate litigator in the Tax, Criminal and Antitrust divisions of the Justice Department and argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was in private practice during the year between his stints at Justice. He worked with the Office of Price Stabilization from 1951 to 1952, where he was deputy general counsel.

He left government service in 1952 to join the District law firm of Pierson, Ball & Dowd, where he represented some of the leading communications companies of the day. He also maintained an appellate practice, returning to the Supreme Court in 1974 to argue on behalf of the appellant in a seminal copyright law case, Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken. The court ruled 7 to 2 in his client's favor.

Mr. Cohen was regarded as a mentor by many of his firm's younger lawyers. He retired in 1986.

He was a member and one-time vice president of Temple Sinai in the District. A member of Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, he served for many years as secretary of the club's executive committee and as chairman of the bylaws committee.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Alice Brody Cohen of the District; two children, Barbara Cohen Grant of Corvallis, Ore., and Jonathan Victor Cohen of Bethesda; a sister; and five grandchildren.

William Franklin Hall

Sales Representative

William Franklin Hall, 89, a retired sales representative who sold office equipment to veterans hospitals, died of complications of pneumonia Nov. 16 at his home in Chevy Chase.

Mr. Hall started his career in the early 1950s, working for Diebold Inc. in Washington until 1964. He then spent about 14 years at Sperry Rand's Univac division, retiring in 1978.

Coming out of retirement, he worked about four years with Spacesaver Systems Inc. in Kensington.

Mr. Hall, who had lived in the Washington area since 1945, was born in Winona, W.Va. He graduated from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., in 1940 and entered an Army Air Corps flight school the next year.

During World War II, he served in the 10th Air Force in India, and the primary missions were flying supplies over the Himalayas, or "the Hump," to China and supporting Allied troops fighting in Burma.

After the war, he was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve.

He was a past vestryman at All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase and a member of the Columbia Country Club.

Survivors include his wife, Gertrude H. Hall of Chevy Chase; two children, Diane H. Wolf of Rockville and William Scott Hall of Bethesda; and two grandchildren.

William R. Hunnicutt

Navy Captain, Farmer

William R. Hunnicutt, 91, a Navy captain who retired after 30 years and took up farming, died Nov. 18 of complications of a stroke at the Arleigh Burke Pavilion in McLean. He had lived in Washington.

Capt. Hunnicutt, who was known as Bill, was born in Fort Pierce, Fla., and attended the University of Florida for a year before graduating from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1938. He served as an ensign on the battleship Tennessee and transferred to the destroyer Bagley, on which he earned a commendation medal as a gunnery officer defending Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. While serving as executive officer on the destroyer Burke, he received a Bronze Star for the sinking of a four-ship Japanese convoy. As commanding officer of the destroyer Aulick in Okinawa, he was awarded a Silver Star.

After World War II, he commanded the destroyers Winslow and O'Hare and then served at the Pentagon in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, where he played a pivotal role in the Cuban missile crisis.

After retiring in 1967, Capt. Hunnicutt purchased a 220-acre working farm in Willow Hill, Pa., restored numerous stone outbuildings and maintained the functioning four-story mill that dates to 1820. He also kept homes in Virginia Beach and Georgetown. He had lived in the Washington area since 1954.

He was a member of the Lions Club of Mercersburg and a 40-year member of the Chevy Chase Club.

His wife, Barron Blewett Hunnicutt, died in 1983.

There are no immediate survivors.

Martha Beth Kominic Roberts

Church Member

Martha Beth Kominic Roberts, 83, a Silver Spring resident and member of Christian Community Presbyterian Church in Bowie, died Nov. 22 of heart disease at Laurel Regional Hospital.

Mrs. Roberts was a Bowie resident for more than 25 years before moving to Silver Spring.

Born in Douglas, Ga., she graduated from Emory Junior College. She moved to the Washington area in the 1970s.

Her first husband, Stanley Kominic, died in 1992. Her second husband, Howard Roberts, died in 2003.

Survivors include two children from the first marriage, Claire Terrill of Bowie and Stanley Kominic of Forest, Va., and one grandchild.