Harold L. Kassens

FCC Official

Harold L. Kassens, 87, a broadcast engineer and longtime official with the Federal Communications Commission, died Nov. 27 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington of complications following knee-replacement surgery. He lived in Arlington.

Mr. Kassens, a native of Chicago, graduated from Indiana University in 1939 and did graduate work at Purdue and Harvard universities and at MIT.

During World War II, he served in the Army Signal Corps in the Pacific.

He joined the FCC in 1941, and his assignments included chief of the rules and standards division. He retired in 1974 as assistant chief of the FCC broadcast bureau.

From 1975 to 1982, he was a partner with A.D. Ring and Associates, a consulting radio engineering company.

Mr. Kassens was a fellow of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

He received awards from the National Association of FM Broadcasters and the Washington chapter of Broadcast Pioneers.

He was a member of Arlington Forest United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday school and was treasurer and chairman of the church board. He was a member of the Arlington Senior Golf Club and a volunteer with Mended Hearts, a volunteer organization that counsels heart patients.

His wife of 63 years, Betty Thom Kassens, died last year.

Survivors include two daughters, Rebecca M. Kassens of Arlington and Amy Kassens Delery of New Orleans, and two granddaughters.

Mary Jane Kennelly

School Founder

Mary Jane Campbell Kennelly, 64, the co-founder and chief executive of the Foundation Schools, private, nonprofit Washington area schools for emotionally disturbed students, died Dec. 2 at her home in Bethesda. She had a pulmonary disease.

Starting in the mid-1970s, Mrs. Kennelly taught biology at an in-house school for troubled students run by the Psychiatric Institute of Washington. She rose to principal before she and a colleague, Dr. John Meeks, established the Foundation Schools in 1993 as an entity distinct from the institute.

There are now two schools in Largo and one in Rockville.

At her death, she was also executive director of the Foundation for Contemporary Mental Health, a Rockville-based addiction treatment center for adults.

She was a native of Bayonne, N.J., and a graduate of Boston University. She received a master's degree in education from the University of Southern California.

Early on, she was a Catholic nun around Philadelphia. She settled in the Washington area in 1971 and spent two years teaching science at the Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda.

She had a second home in Vero Beach, Fla.

Survivors include her husband, James Kennelly, whom she married in 1971, of Bethesda and Vero Beach; a daughter, Eileen Sorabella of New York; four brothers; and two sisters.

Leonard R. Winnick

Insurance Broker

Leonard R. Winnick, 77, an independent insurance broker, died Dec. 1 of kidney failure at Potomac Valley Nursing and Wellness Center in Rockville. He lived in Potomac.

Mr. Winnick was born in Philadelphia and raised in Washington. He was a graduate of the old Central High School.

Near the end of World War II, he served in the Army and was part of the Allied army of occupation in Japan after the war.

After graduating from the University of Maryland, he entered the insurance business as a salesman for New York Life and Prudential. In the 1970s, he became an independent insurance broker, operating out of his home. He retired in 1988.

He lived in Adelphi and Colesville before moving to Potomac in 1972. He enjoyed sports and was particularly fond of horse racing.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Jeanne Winnick of Potomac; a son, Larry Winnick of Fairfax County; and two grandsons.

Betty Wharton Smith


Betty Wharton Smith, 75, a salesclerk at local clothing stores, died of cardiopulmonary failure Nov. 22 at Bel Pre Health and Rehabilitation Center in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Smith was born in Washington and graduated from Anna L. Burdick Vocational High School. She was a nursery school teacher from about 1946 to 1951.

She was a clerk with the FBI in the early 1950s before becoming a salesclerk for the Farnsworth-Reed menswear store at Seven Corners.

In the early 1960s, she joined Rizik Brothers, a women's clothing store on Connecticut Avenue NW.

From about 1980 to 1988, she was a clerk at Lady Hamilton in Arlington and later worked at T.H. Mandy in the District. She retired in 1991.

Mrs. Smith volunteered at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

She had a severe stroke in 1992 and had been in a nursing home for the past 13 years.

Her first husband, Cader Andrew Bryson, died in 1951.

Her marriage to Bill Smith ended in divorce.

Survivors include a son from her first marriage, Cader Andrew Bryson of Mount Rainier, Wash.; three children from her second marriage, William E. Smith of Brandywine, Thomas H. Smith of Chesapeake Beach and Elizabeth A. Smith of Upper Marlboro; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Harold G. Gilley

D.C. Transit Official

Harold Grissom Gilley, 96, who spent more than 30 years working for what is now the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority before retiring in 1972 as a division supervisor in the safety department, died Dec. 2 at the Falls Church home he shared with a granddaughter. He had congestive heart failure.

Mr. Gilley was born on a family farm in Spray, N.C. Early in his life, he was a middleweight boxer and worked for mills owned and operated in North Carolina and southwestern Virginia by the Marshall Field and Co. of Chicago.

He settled in the Washington area in the late 1930s and for many years lived in the Tysons Corner area of Fairfax County.

He grew flower and vegetable gardens and, with his son, hunted squirrel and raccoons where Tysons Corner Center now sits. He also took camping trips to Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.

His wife, Nell Rickman Gilley, whom he married in 1929, died in 1985. His son, Ronald L. Gilley, died in 1990.

Survivors include two sisters, Lois Carter of Summerfield, N.C., and Mary McClure of Hopewell, Va.; three granddaughters; and five great-grandchildren.

Peter H. Sorum

Political Consultant, Ombudsman

Peter H. Sorum, 58, a longtime political consultant who for the past three years was acting national ombudsman at the U.S. Small Business Administration, died Nov. 28 at Genesis ElderCare in Arlington. He had complications from injuries from a fall in October.

Mr. Sorum was a born in Winona, Minn., and graduated with a degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management from Michigan State University.

In the early 1970s, Mr. Sorum, who was also a graduate student and assistant to the registrar at Michigan State, became active in Michigan politics. He worked on the campaigns of Gov. William G. Milliken (R) and President Richard M. Nixon.

Mr. Sorum came to Washington in the mid-1970s when he was asked to serve as a special assistant to President Gerald R. Ford, first lady Betty Ford and their children. In the ensuing years, he crisscrossed the United States and traveled to 10 countries, predominantly as an advance man for the Fords.

He also helped make the arrangements for President Ford's visit to China in 1975. The contacts he made during that trip led to him to bring delegations of Chinese business leaders to this country as a consultant in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr. Sorum was also a vice president of fundraising organizations for the campaigns of various senators and a senior political adviser to the White House during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

In 2001, he accepted an appointment as a senior adviser to the Small Business Administration's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

His pastimes included watching Michigan State athletic teams.

His memberships included the board of the Washington area alumni association of Michigan State.

His marriage to Marguerite Sorum ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of nine years, Mary Claire Hamlin of Alexandria; a daughter from his first marriage, Priscilla Alden Sorum of St. Louis; his mother, May Evelyn Sorum of Rochester, Minn.; a sister; and two brothers.

Carol Mason

Real Estate Agent

Carol Ann Mason, 53, a real estate agent who had spent most of the past 18 years working with Long & Foster in Northern Virginia, died Dec. 1 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She had pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, a rare lung condition.

Ms. Mason, a Springfield resident, worked in real estate with a business partner, Judy Semler. Ms. Mason was a top producer with the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors and a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Club.

She was born in Quepos, Costa Rica, where her father was an executive with United Fruit Co. She was raised in Westwood, Mass.

She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and received a master's degree in international relations from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

She settled in the Washington area in the mid-1970s and began doing management work for the Ranch House restaurant chain.

Survivors include her father and stepmother, William Boyd Mason and Lois Vars Mason of Westerly, R.I.; and a sister.

Cletus Joseph Bechtoldt

Chemist, Metallurgist

Cletus Joseph Bechtoldt, 85, a chemist and metallurgist with the National Bureau of Standards, died Nov. 30 of pneumonia at Holy Cross Hospital. He was a Silver Spring resident.

Mr. Bechtoldt was born in Belleville, Ill., and moved to Washington in 1941 to work for the War Department. He served with the Army Corps of Engineers in Europe during World War II, and his decorations included the Bronze Star.

He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from George Washington University in 1950. He worked for the National Bureau of Standards, now called the National Institute of Standards and Technology, from 1950 until his retirement in the early 1980s. During his career, he received numerous awards and citations for his work in metallurgy.

He was a member of St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Silver Spring and was active in various community activities, including the Boy Scouts. He enjoyed gardening and hiking and was particularly fond of Skyline Drive and the Billy Goat Trail along the C&O Canal.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Marguerite Bechtoldt of Silver Spring; six children, Michelle M. Bechtoldt of Woodbridge, Jacqueline M. Jenkins and Charles C. Bechtoldt, both of Silver Spring, Eliane J. Bechtoldt of Germantown, Helen L. Bechtoldt of Beltsville and John J. Bechtoldt of Burtonsville; four sisters; four brothers; and four grandchildren.

James R. Williams

Insurance Association Executive

James R. Williams, 88, an executive with an insurance association in New York and Washington, died Nov. 22 of heart disease at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. He lived in Alexandria.

Mr. Williams was transferred to Washington in 1977, when he was vice president of the Health Insurance Institute. The institute later merged with the American Council of Life Insurers. He retired in 1979.

In retirement, he joined the Peace Corps and served in the Philippines. He volunteered in the 1980s with the International Executive Service Corps, a service organization, and helped establish hospitals and insurance programs in Colombia.

Mr. Williams was born in Jasper, Minn. He graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., and did graduate work there in economics and sociology. During World War II, he was a captain in the Army Air Forces and served in Italy.

In 1945, he became an underwriter for an insurance company in Chicago. He became editor of the publications division of the Health and Accident Underwriters Conference in Chicago in 1947 and later was named director of public relations.

In 1956, he moved to New York as vice president of the public relations division of the Health Insurance Institute. He moved to Washington 21 years later.

He was a member of the University Club in Washington and Immanuel-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church in Alexandria. Through his church, he sponsored exchange students from Uganda, who stayed at his home.

Mr. Williams lived in Lynchburg for several years in the early 1990s. He was a docent at Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson's summer home near Lynchburg.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Barbara D. Williams of Alexandria; three sons, James R. Williams Jr. of Arlington, Tex., Charles Williams of Dallas and Mark Williams of Washington; and four grandchildren.

Mary Williams Taylor

Secretary, Dancer

Mary Williams Taylor, 94, a National Institutes of Health secretary who performed and taught modern dance in the Washington area, died Nov. 14 at Rebecca House, an assisted living center in Potomac. She had dementia.

Mrs. Taylor, a former Bethesda resident, did secretarial work off and on as she raised her daughters. She spent the 1960s and 1970s at NIH, retiring as secretary for the head of the molecular biology lab.

She was born in Lynchburg and raised in Washington, where she was a graduate of the old Central High School and attended George Washington University.

She had taken ballet since childhood and performed classical dance before switching to a modern style. With modern, she once told The Washington Post, "you create your own dance patterns as you develop a story. Every movement of head, arms and body follows logically and has meaning."

Often using the first name "Marta," she was a member of the performing dance troupes of Marian Chace and Evelyn Davis in the 1930s and 1940s. She then began teaching modern dance for about a decade.

She and her husband did square and Scottish dancing into the 1980s.

Mrs. Taylor was a charter member of Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, where she volunteered and was involved in groups and classes. She acted in productions of the Cedar Lane Stage.

She also was a Girl Scout leader.

Her husband, Robert S. Taylor, whom she married in 1939, died in 1987.

Survivors include three daughters, Constance Taylor of San Francisco, Jane Birnn of Burlington, Vt., and Amy Taylor of Bethesda; a sister, Grace Lloyd-Davies of Bethesda; and a granddaughter.

Howard 'Honeyboy' Williams

Home Health Aide, Roller Skater

Howard Cordell "Honeyboy" Williams, 77, a home health care aide, former bicycle messenger and well-known local roller skater, died of heart disease Nov. 29 at his daughter's home in Washington.

A native Washingtonian, Mr. Williams was educated in the District's public schools and attended Randall Junior High School. He served in the Army from 1951 to 1953. He worked a variety of jobs and boxed at the Metropolitan Boys Club as a welterweight and lightweight.

To keep in shape and to earn a living, he worked for several courier services, delivering documents on his bicycle in downtown Washington. He worked as a home health care aide for more than 15 years, most recently with St. John's Community Services.

He also was an energetic presence in the roller-skating community and received a number of awards, including SkateGroove.com's Adrenaline Award in 2004 and the D.C./Maryland Skaters Legends Award this year

His first wife, Betty S. Hagler Williams, died in 1962.

Survivors include three children, Verdina B. Smith of Washington, LaJudon Jackson of Waldorf and Lisle Turner of Washington; eight grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter.

Harold L.

KassensPeter H.