Joseph Michael Walsh

Labor Department Attorney

Joseph Michael Walsh, 80, a retired attorney in the Department of Labor, died of smoke inhalation Dec. 2 in a fire at the Leisure World retirement complex in Silver Spring.

Mr. Walsh was supervising attorney in the solicitor's office at the Labor Department until his retirement in 1988. He previously worked in Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration office, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration office.

He was born in Pottsville, Pa., and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a belly gunner on a B-24, flying in combat missions over Italy and other parts of Europe. He was also a member of the Army Air Corps boxing team.

He graduated from Catholic University and from Georgetown University Law School in 1955. He worked as an attorney in Pennsylvania and Maryland before joining the federal government. He worked for the Interior Department from the mid-1960s until about 1975.

He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rockville, where he was a coach and official for basketball, softball and baseball. He lived in the Rockville and Silver Spring areas until 1986, when he moved to Pennsylvania, and then returned to Silver Spring three months ago.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Clara Shaw Walsh of Silver Spring; five children, Joseph M. Walsh Jr. of Los Angeles, Richard F. Walsh of Crofton, William R. Walsh of Silver Spring, Nanette M. Walsh of Silver Spring and Timothy R. Walsh of Silver Spring; and eight grandchildren.

Robert O. Stone

Engineer, Developer

Robert O. Stone, 82, an engineer for the National Bureau of Standards and a developer, died of a pulmonary embolism Dec. 4 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. He was a resident of Montgomery Village.

Mr. Stone's primary work involved developing microwave, electronic and mechanical instrumentation for the military and civilian government uses. He worked for the agency that became the National Institute and Standards and Technology from 1947 to 1978, when he retired.

He was born in Poolesville and graduated from George Washington University with a degree in electrical engineering. He served in the Navy during World War II as an electronic technician at domestic bases.

He served on the board of the Quince Orchard Association, the developer of residential and commercial property, and was president of Stone Brothers Inc., a development company, from 1960 until it dissolved in 1989.

His first wife, Marguerite Casassa Stone, died in 1975.

Survivors include his wife of 28 years, Phyllis L. Stone of Montgomery Village; a son from his first marriage, Timothy H. Stone of Wilmington, N.C.; four stepchildren, Burt Elder of Sharpsburg, Rick Elder of Hagerstown, Steven Elder of Fort Worth, and Lisa Martin of Greencastle, Pa.; and 10 grandchildren.

Bruce Merkle

Congressional Aide

Bruce Merkle, 73, a former congressional aide and Agriculture Department press secretary, died of kidney failure Nov. 16 at his home in Vienna.

Mr. Merkle was born in Indianapolis and worked on the family farm until serving in the Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. He was stationed on Eniwetok.

He moved to Washington after leaving the Army. He graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1959. Mr. Merkle briefly worked for U.S. Rep. William Bray (R-Ind.), then for a retired Army general before securing a job as a researcher with the Republican National Committee in 1962.

He returned to work for Bray from 1964 until 1974. He then joined the Agriculture Department as a press secretary until his retirement in 1996. He then worked for the CVS drugstore in Oakton.

His marriages to Patricia Miles and Barbara Anderson ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons, Philip Merkle and William Merkle, both of Tucson.

Ann Hawks Post

Foreign Service Spouse

Ann Hawks Post, 75, the wife of a Foreign Service officer, died Nov. 30 at her home in Clarksburg. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Post was born in Madison, Wis., and grew up in Horicon, Wis., which was part of a congressional district represented by her father, Rep. Charles Hawks (R-Wis.), from 1939 to 1941. After her father's term in Washington, the family moved to Wynnewood, Pa., and she completed high school there.

She graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College and was a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

She married in 1952 and spent the next 33 years as an active participant in the diplomatic career of her husband. They served in countries in Africa and in Hong Kong, Portugal, Canada and Pakistan.

After her husband's retirement in 1985, the couple moved to Chevy Chase and, about 10 years ago, to Clarksburg.

Survivors include her husband, Richard Saint Frances Post of Clarksburg; and three children, Jonathan Brinker Post of Cherry Plain, N.Y., Patrick Hawks Post of Poolesville, and Bridget Elizabeth Post of Corrales, N.M.

Walter Burke Doyle

Magazine Associate Editor

Walter Burke Doyle, 82, whose career spanned the military, the Foreign Service and public relations before he became an associate editor for the Korea Monitor in Annandale, died Nov. 30 of kidney failure at the Sleepy Hollow nursing home in Annandale. He lived in the Lake Barcroft community in Falls Church.

Mr. Doyle worked for the weekly magazine the past two years and wrote articles on the economy. He also was a member of the vestry at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Brookville.

Mr. Doyle was born in Springfield, Mass., and graduated from Yale University in 1945. He was a reporter for the Hartford Courant in Connecticut before and after World War II.

In 1943, he joined the American Friends Service ambulance corps and served with the British 8th Army in Egypt, Libya and Italy, where he drove casualties to medical field stations during the Battle of Cassino. Later, he served as a trustee of the American Field Service international student exchange program.

He worked for the Marshall Plan and the Foreign Service as an information officer in the early NATO years, traveling to Denmark, France, Turkey, Austria and Italy. As press attache in the U.S. Embassy in Rome, he served under Ambassador Clare Boothe Luce and worked on the Trieste settlement, the economic rebuilding of Italy, the deployment of missile forces in the Mediterranean area and the evacuation of American civilians during the 1950 Suez War.

After eight years in Europe, Mr. Doyle joined the public relations staff of Texaco Inc., where he was manager of the corporation's philanthropy programs and was responsible for Texaco's sponsorship of the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday matinee broadcasts. He retired from Texaco in 1982. He later became a consultant to the College of Engineering at the University of Utah.

His wife, Eloise Clark, whom he married in 1950, died in 1979.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Bonnie H. Durrance-Doyle of Falls Church; a son from his first marriage, Brian Doyle of Birmingham, Mich.; a stepdaughter, Deirdre Durrance Lim of Lake Barcroft; and two grandchildren.

Gertrude Sachs Hershey

Homemaker, Stamp Collector

Gertrude Sachs Hershey, 85, a homemaker who also worked with her husband in the family furniture business, died Dec. 6 of complications from a stroke at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville. She was a longtime Rockville resident before moving to Leisure World in 2001 and then to the Hebrew Home earlier this year.

Mrs. Hershey was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where her father was the proprietor of the city's first Hart Schaffner & Marx men's clothing outlet. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in 1942 and during World War II worked for the office of the provost marshal in San Juan. She also wrote a social column for a local newspaper.

After her marriage to a Navy officer stationed in San Juan, she moved with him to New York City and then to the District. Throughout the 1950s, she worked as a homemaker and tutored children in Spanish. When her youngest child started school, she joined her husband at the Hershey Furniture Company in Langley Park. She retired in 1981.

Mrs. Hershey was an avid stamp collector and belonged to several local stamp clubs. She also was an amateur artist and a longtime member of Hadassah.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Max Hershey of Rockville; three children, Anne Garner of Owings Mills, Jeff Hershey of Olney and David Hershey of Potomac; and five grandchildren.

William Penkowsky

DOE Linguist

William Penkowsky, 81, a Russian linguist who retired from the Department of Energy in 1977, died of pneumonia Nov. 20 at Holy Cross Hospital. He lived in Kensington.

Mr. Penkowsky, who had lived in the Washington area since 1948, began working for the federal government in 1952 with the National Security Agency. He also worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Throughout his career he worked as a Russian linguist, and he enjoyed accompanying Russian scientists in the United States and in Russia on inspection tours of atomic energy installations.

After he retired, he translated naval documents and worked on writing fiction.

Mr. Penkowsky was born in New Haven, Conn., to Russian immigrant parents who met on the Brooklyn Bridge shortly after arriving in America.

During World War II, he was in the V-12 program while a student at Yale University. He graduated in 1945 and then went to Parris Island, S.C., the Marine Corps officer training school at Quantico and later to Camp Pendleton in California. He reached the rank of second lieutenant. After his service, he attended the Russian Institute at Columbia University.

Survivors include his wife since 1948, Peyton Lewis Penkowsky of Kensington; five children, Stephen Penkowsky of San Francisco, Alexis Chalabi of Beaumont, Calif., Gregory Penkowsky of Denver, Tara Fasshauer of Birmingham, Ala., and Lisa Penkowsky Davis of Kensington; two sisters; and six grandchildren.

Wallace Frederick Schnee

Army Officer, Musician

Wallace Frederick Schnee, 67, who rose from an Army band to the officer corps, died Dec. 4 at Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg, Va., from the effects of a stroke. A former Alexandria resident, he lived in Colonial Heights, Va.

Maj. Schnee was born in Sandusky, Ohio, and graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. He worked for the United Nations in New York before joining an Army band in 1962 as a pianist.

He was stationed in Panama and Germany and toured Europe and South America with the band. After 10 years, he entered the Army officer corps and worked in the Army Adjutant General's Corps. He retired in 1982 with the rank of major.

Maj. Schnee lived in Richmond before moving to Alexandria in 1987. He was a civilian employee of the Department of the Army before joining the Army Corps of Engineers as a computer and logistical expert at Fort Belvoir.

In 2000, he retired and moved to Colonial Heights. He continued to play piano at churches, theaters and other functions.

He collected records and books and enjoyed genealogy, Scrabble and crossword puzzles.

He leaves no immediate survivors.

Thomas Dexter Strong

Secret Service Agent

Thomas Dexter Strong, 73, a retired Secret Service agent, died of complications of diabetes Dec. 4 at Anne Arundel Medical Center. He lived in Arnold.

Mr. Strong worked for the Secret Service from 1959 until 1985, serving as an inspector in the Washington headquarters and as a field agent in New England and the Midwest.

He was born in Saginaw, Mich., and raised in Plymouth and Grand Rapids, Mich. He was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War.

He graduated from Michigan State University's police administration school and then worked a year as a probationary officer in Saginaw before joining the Secret Service.

He took some time off in 1967 to establish the public safety department at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.

After his Secret Service retirement, he worked for 10 years in the inspector general's office at the Department of Education. He later conducted background investigations for an organization that does security clearance work.

Mr. Strong was past president of the Association of Former Agents of the U.S. Secret Service. He played racquetball in the Senior Olympics.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Nancy Jean Pickard Strong of Arnold; three children, Lauren S. Cowan of Crofton, Thomas M. Strong of Ashburn and Mark J. Strong of Baltimore; a brother; and seven grandchildren.

Harry Robert Feaganes

Railroad Repairman

Harry Robert Feaganes, 88, a railroad repairman, died of congestive heart disease Dec. 6 at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., his city of residence.

Mr. Feaganes was born in Potomac and attended Alexandria public schools. He went to work for the RF&P Railroad in Alexandria immediately after school and worked as a car repairman there for 30 years. He also ran a small gas station in the area.

He retired in 1973 and later lived in Luray, Va., and Florida.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Willie C. Feaganes, and two children, John C. Feaganes and Judith B. Feaganes, all of St. Petersburg; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter.