Anmarie Patricia Donlin

Clerk at House Finance Office

Anmarie Patricia Donlin, 78, who retired as a clerk in the House of Representatives finance office after 37 years on Capitol Hill, died of a heart attack Nov. 19 at her home in Chevy Chase.

She was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and in 1949 joined the secretarial staff of Rep. Michael J. Kirwan (D-Ohio). She worked for Kirwan for 28 years and then joined the House finance office.

She was an active member of the Catholic College Club and the Democratic National Committee. She was a confidante to family members and friends and enjoyed entertaining her grand-nieces and nephews.

Survivors include a sister, Norjean D. Ray of Naples, Fla.

Nora M. Ellis

Performer, Alexandria Native

Nora Margaret Ellis, 54, an Alexandria native who performed in productions of the Little Theatre of Alexandria in the early 1970s, died Dec. 2 at her home in Oakland, Calif. She had breast cancer for 22 years.

Ms. Ellis graduated from a boarding school in Darien, Conn., and Grinnell College in Iowa, where she majored in theater.

She returned to the Washington area, where she worked as a receptionist and researcher for the American Psychological Association. She acted in stage productions at the Little Theatre of Alexandria before moving to Oakland in the mid-1970s.

In San Francisco, she was director of the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations.

Survivors include her husband of 23 years, Dick Nishimoto, and their son, Christopher Nishimoto, both of Oakland; a brother, Joseph Ellis of Amherst, Mass.; and a sister, Judith Ellis of Alexandria.

Col. James Collins Bagg

Pentagon Supply Logistician

James Collins Bagg, 90, a retired Army colonel whose careers in the military and federal civil service totaled more than 60 years, died Dec. 1 at Fairfax Nursing Center. He had prostate cancer.

The Alexandria resident was a veteran of World War II. He served about 31 years in the Army, followed by more than 31 years at the Pentagon as a civilian supply logistician for the Air Force.

At his retirement in 1972, he was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award.

Col. Bagg, the son of a Coast Guard officer, was born at Fort Moultrie, S.C., and raised on various military bases.

He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1938 and received a master's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan in 1951.

He joined the Army in 1940 and, the next year, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps. He served with the European theater logistics staff during World War II.

While assigned to the Headquarters Communications Zone, he helped provide logistical support for the invasion of North Africa in 1942 and the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944. He participated in four European campaigns, including the Battle of the Bulge.

Later military assignments took him to Washington, where he served in the Office of the Quartermaster General and on the Army general staff.

As a civil servant, he worked first for the Air National Guard and then the supply directorate at Air Force headquarters.

His military decorations include three Army Commendation Medals, two Bronze Stars and the Legion of Merit.

He was a member of the George Washington chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Delta Sigma Phi social fraternity and the Pershing Rifles, Sabbard and Blade and Cavalry Club military fraternities.

His marriages to Naomi Saunders and Neva Roberson ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Margot Bagg of Alexandria; a son from his first marriage, Frederick Charles Bagg of Indianapolis; and two granddaughters.

David Ireland Gale Sr.

Chief Administrative Officer

David Ireland Gale Sr., 81, former chief administrative officer for the D.C. Health Department laboratories, died of complications of pneumonia Nov. 10 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. He was a resident of Mount Rainier.

Mr. Gale was born in Mount Penn, Pa., and served in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. He was stationed at the Manhattan Engineering District at Los Alamos, N.M., where the atomic bomb was developed.

He graduated from Catholic University in 1951 and went to work for the District government. He first joined the Department of Motor Vehicles and later moved to the Health Department laboratories, where he worked on programs to combat lead poisoning and sickle cell anemia. He also did graduate work at the University of Maryland.

After retirement in 1980, he served in volunteer positions in his community and his church, St. James Catholic Church in Mount Rainier, including its Montessori program. He was active in Meals-on-Wheels and visited shut-ins under a Prince George's County program until funding was discontinued. He then continued to visit his "clients" at his own expense.

He was a past president of the Serra Club, an Catholic organization to foster religious vocations.

He was a Washington area resident for more than 57 years.

Survivors include his wife, Isabella McCarthy Gale of Columbia, whom he married in 1951; six children, David I. Gale Jr. of Grindelwald, Switzerland, Mary Linehan of Washington, Kevin Gale of Laurel, Elizabeth Gale of Baltimore, James Gale of Silver Spring and John Gale of Stafford; a sister, Dorothy Tomazewski of Reading, Pa.; a brother, Howard Gale of Bowie; 11 grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Nouchette Ahrens

French Teacher, Musician

Nouchette Ahrens, 98, a retired professor who taught French at several schools in the District, died Nov. 24 of cardiac arrest at Northwest Health Care Center in the District.

Mrs. Ahrens was born in Geneva and received a bachelor's degree in music from the University of Geneva in the late 1920s. She worked at the League of Nations in Geneva before marrying a U.S. citizen in 1939 and moving to the Washington area the next year. She became a U.S. citizen in 1948.

An accomplished pianist and organist, she served as the organist and choirmaster at St. Albans Church in the District in the late 1940s and early 1950s. She was a professor of French at Mount Vernon Seminary in the 1950s and also taught French at American University, Mrs. Cook's School and the Sheridan School.

She continued tutoring in her home in the District until the last few months of her life. Among her many students were Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former vice president Al Gore.

An avid mountain climber, she enjoyed hiking the Matterhorn in her youth. She also enjoyed sailing and photography. Always curious about the world around her, she was an enthusiastic traveler who once had to deal with an Egyptian camel that galloped wildly across the desert with Mrs. Ahrens clinging desperately to its lunging neck. In her later years, she went on a safari in the Serengeti and became enamored of giraffes. She also had a quixotic interest in unicorns.

Her husband, Thomas Ahrens, died in 1974. A daughter, Vivette Ricard, died in 2002.

Survivors include a son, Ted Ahrens of Gaithersburg; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Richard A. 'Ricky' Karis


Richard Anthony "Ricky" Karis, 30, a journeyman electrician, died Nov. 12 after being shot in a convenience store parking lot near his home in Landover Hills.

A Prince George's County police spokeswoman said an unknown assailant shot at Mr. Karis's car while the electrician and a friend were in the lot. Mr. Karis died at the scene, and his friend was injured. The case is under investigation.

Mr. Karis was born in Washington and raised in Landover Hills. He was a 1993 graduate of Archbishop Carroll High School in the District, where he played varsity football and baseball. He briefly attended Bowie State University.

He did an apprenticeship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and did award-winning electrical work at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Landover. Recently, he worked for Truland Systems Corp., an electrical contracting company.

He did volunteer work at St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home in Hyattsville and was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Landover Hills.

For years, he was a member of the Landover Hills Boys and Girls Club and played a variety of sports. As an adult, he formed and managed a basketball team, the Landover All Stars.

Recently, he was an assistant coach for the Archbishop Carroll junior varsity baseball team. He unofficially assisted a football team at the Hamilton Recreation Center in Washington.

Survivors include his mother, Deborah R. Pilkerton of Landover Hills; his father, Clarence V. Karis Jr. of Lusby; a sister, Destiny R. Karis of Landover Hills; a half-brother, Shawn Karis of North Beach, Md.; and grandmothers Mary M. Pilkerton of Landover Hills and Rose Deward of Prince Frederick.

Franc Balzer

Head Start Official

Franc Balzer, 94, an official at the national office of Project Head Start, the government-funded program for underprivileged children started during the War on Poverty, died Nov. 24 at Casey House hospice in Rockville after a stroke.

Mrs. Balzer worked for Head Start from 1964 to 1971 and was the first national director of the parent-child centers set up to help children younger than 3.

During this time, she also was a consultant to a White House task force on children and youth.

She was born Frances Aronson in the Bronx, N.Y., and legally shortened her first name at age 16. She was a graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York and received a master's degree from Columbia University.

Early in her career, she worked at camps, day-care centers and nursery schools in New York and New England.

She settled in the Washington area in the early 1950s and in 1953 was founding director of Camp Kaufman, a coeducational summer camp on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

She was national program director of B'nai B'rith Women from 1957 to 1963. She also was briefly an employee at Junior Village, a now-defunct public orphanage in Southwest Washington.

In retirement, she attended clown school and did face painting at school fairs.

She was a board member of Interages, a mentoring program that connects senior citizens with students.

She won several awards for her community service.

Survivors include her husband of 68 years, Alex E. Balzer of Rockville; two children, Harley Balzer of Cabin John and Lynn A. Balzer-Martin of Chevy Chase; and a grandson.

Vera Henderson


Vera Henderson, 93, a homemaker and volunteer who attended Gaithersburg Church of the Nazarene, died Nov. 25 in Wilson Health Care Center at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Henderson, who lived in Gaithersburg for many years, was a native of Pana, Ill. Growing up, she performed in a Scottish band with her brothers and sisters.

As a young woman, she worked for the Curtis Candy Co. in Chicago, first on the production line and later as an administrative assistant.

She lived in Sun City, Ariz., and then Phoenix before moving to the Washington area in 1975. A few years later, she did volunteer work at Asbury Methodist Village.

She enjoyed writing songs and poetry.

Her husband of 36 years, David Henderson, died in 1971.

Survivors include two daughters, Sheila Runnels of Braidwood, Ill., and Nancy Skinner of Gaithersburg; three grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Lillian Holgate Creecy

Navy Wife, Volunteer

Lillian Holgate Creecy, 85, a Navy wife and a member of the Army Navy Club, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 22 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. She lived in Chevy Chase.

She was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, and graduated from Boston University in 1942. She accompanied her husband to his naval and Foreign Service postings, including London, Naples and Geneva.

She had been a resident of the Washington area since 1963 and was involved in charitable work with Independent Living for the Handicapped in Washington.

Her husband, retired Navy Capt. Richard B. L. Creecy, died in 1986.

Survivors include four sons, Richard B. L. Creecy Jr. of Tinian Island in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth, Robert H. Creecy of Fort Washington, Bradford T. Creecy of Virginia Beach and Dexter D. Creecy of Lynchburg, Va.; a sister; and three grandchildren.

Al Capet

Government Economist

Al Capet, 97, a retired economist and statistician with several government agencies, died of pneumonia Nov. 8 at Northwest Regional Hospital in Margate, Fla. A longtime resident of the Washington area, he lived in retirement in Coconut Creek, Fla.

Mr. Capet was born in New York City and grew up in Philadelphia. After graduating from Temple University in 1931, he taught high school French, history and economics and coached the debate team. He moved to the District in the late 1930s.

During World War II, he served in the Army and the Office of Strategic Services, precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency. His OSS duties involved drawing up maps pinpointing German railway traffic in and out of the Ploesti oil fields in Romania. The maps were used for precision bombing by Allied aircraft.

After the war, he returned to the District and worked as an economist and statistician for the departments of the Army, State, Agriculture and Commerce.

During the early 1950s, he left government service and worked as a genealogist. He did research at the Library of Congress, compiling and selling histories of prominent families. The histories featured family coats of arms.

After about two years as a genealogist, he returned to government service, where he worked until his retirement in 1973. He moved to Broward County, Fla., two years later.

While living in the Washington area, he was active in the Samuel Gompers-Ben Franklin Lodge of the Masons in Prince George's County, the Cheverly post of the American Legion, the Pennsylvania State Society of D.C. and his synagogue, Congregation B'nai Jacob-Beth Israel.

He also was an accomplished violinist and composed several songs. He was fluent in French, German and Yiddish.

His first wife, Gertrude Capet, died in 1982.

Survivors include his wife of 21 years, Selma Capet of Coconut Creek; two children from his first marriage, Richard Capet of Fairfax City and Rhoda Naftalis of Jerusalem; 11 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.

Gertrude Moler Swetnam

School Cafeteria Manager

Gertrude Moler Swetnam, 81, who spent 20 years working at Adelphi Elementary School and retired in 1980 as cafeteria manager, died Nov. 25 at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park after a heart attack. She had congestive heart failure.

Mrs. Swetnam, an Adelphi resident, was a native Washingtonian and a graduate of the old Maryland Park High School in Prince George's County.

She was a member of the Luther Rice Memorial Baptist Church in Silver Spring, where she was a Sunday school teacher, deaconess and bowler with church teams.

She also was a member and chaplain of a Lions Club chapter in Silver Spring and did volunteer work with the Montgomery County Detention Center.

In retirement, she and her husband were antique dealers who ran the business Gert's Glass. They were members of the Heisey Collectors of America antique glass organization.

Her husband of 58 years, Russell Swetnam, died in 2003. A son, Russell Swetnam Jr., died last year.

Survivors include a son, Warren Swetnam of Fairfax City, and two grandchildren.

Robert Kent Chaimson

Mechanical Engineer

Robert Kent Chaimson, 91, a retired mechanical engineer for the Naval Research Laboratory, died Dec. 3 at Washington Hospital Center of complications from a fall in his Cheverly home.

Mr. Chaimson was born in the District and graduated from Western High School in 1931. He delivered newspapers in the early 1930s and later in the decade sold souvenirs and memorabilia to gift shops at the Washington Monument and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

In 1945, he joined the naval lab, where he worked with early solar satellites and traveled to South America, Cuba and Mexico to set up tracking stations. He retired in 1979 and then worked for eight years as a consultant to the lab.

While he was working at the lab, he and his brother developed and patented a small cardboard-and-mirror periscope for people at the back of crowds to use at such events as golf tournaments, parades and inaugural activities. Mr. Chaimson came up with the concept and designed the device; his brother built the periscopes.

In the late 1950s, Mr. Chaimson developed an interest in table tennis and served from 1960 to 1964 as vice president and membership chairman of the U.S.A. Table Tennis Association. He also served as president of the D.C. Table Tennis Club. He built a table tennis table for his two daughters, set it up in the family basement and became their coach. Years later, both were inducted into the Table Tennis Hall of Fame.

In retirement, he took up woodworking, specializing in cabinets, children's furniture and wooden clocks. Until he suffered a stroke in 1992, he sold his creations at Eastern Market and other locations. He also was a bridge player and achieved the life master level.

His wife, Leona M. Schneider, died in 1993.

Survivors include his two daughters, Barbara Kaminsky of Oak Hill, Va., and Donna Sakai of Bowie; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Robert E. Rampy

Veteran, Employee of Navy

Robert E. Rampy, 84, who spent 20 years in the Navy and 20 more as a Navy civilian employee, died Dec. 2 at Inova Fairfax Hospital of complications of cancer. He lived in Springfield.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Rampy, a native of Fort Madison, Iowa, joined the Navy in 1941 and was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He retired as a senior chief petty officer in 1961 and immediately went to work as a civilian employee in the office of naval operations at the Pentagon. He was involved in international military assistance programs and traveled often to Germany and Japan.

After retiring from that position in 1981, he joined a Sears store in Springfield, where he repaired lawnmowers for more than a dozen years.

He was a member of St. John's United Methodist Church in Springfield and was a Boy Scout scoutmaster.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Betty Rampy of Springfield; two children, Mike Rampy of Fairfax County and Pat Rampy Dalton of Durham, N.C.; and two grandchildren.

Georgie Brogdon Sparks

Administrative Assistant

Georgie Brogdon Sparks, 83, a homemaker and former administrative assistant, died of a heart attack Nov. 30 at Pawleys Island Rehabilitation Center in Pawleys Island, S.C. Previously, she had lived in the Washington area for more than 40 years.

Mrs. Sparks was born in Florence, S.C., and was valedictorian of her high school class. She received a bachelor's degree from Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., in 1943. She moved to the District that year and became an administrative assistant with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

From 1944 to 1946, she was an administrative assistant with the General Accounting Office.

She was a homemaker until 1955, when she became a teaching assistant at St. Matthew's School in Hyattsville. She retired in 1970.

After her husband's retirement in 1985, the couple moved to Pawleys Island. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mrs. Sparks loved golf, bowling, sewing and crafts.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Raymond E. Sparks of Pawleys Island; three children, Raymond E. "Rick" Sparks of Valley Village, Calif., George William "Bill" Sparks of Charlotte and Kathy Lee Hajjar of Brookeville; a sister; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Louise Millsap Long

Census Executive Assistant

Louise Millsap "Nanna" Long, 79, a retired executive assistant with the U.S. Census Bureau, died of pneumonia Nov. 21 at the Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg.

Mrs. Long was born in Squire, W.Va., and attended business school "until the federal government came to her school and said, 'Come on, we need you,' " said a daughter. She, like many young women of her era, moved to Washington to work during World War II. She was a secretary in the War Department.

After the war, she transferred to the Census Bureau. She eventually became the executive assistant to the assistant director of the bureau before her retirement in 1974.

She was a member of the Forest Memorial United Methodist Church women's group and the Forestville Citizens Association.

After her retirement, she and her husband, whom she met at the Census Bureau, moved to Wildwood, Fla. Their activities included bowling, golfing and square dancing. They traveled around the world while square dancing, performing once for the head of state in Liechtenstein, in Central Europe.

She was a life member of the Phi Beta Kappa Sorority, a business women's service sorority that helped individuals and families in need by providing medical equipment and other services. Her interest in helping children and families continued with her support of a project in India called Affection Village that provided assistance for women and children who would have otherwise ended up in shelters or orphanages.

Her husband, Robert. C. Long, died in 1998.

She moved to Leesburg in 2003 and lived with a daughter.

Survivors include two daughters, Lynda L. Mulvany of Silver Spring and Sherry D. Sherry of Leesburg; two brothers; two sisters; and a grandson.

Ricky Karis also was a coach.