Lester Shelpark BuilderLester Shelpark, 87, whose Shell Construction Co. in Washington specialized in making contemporary-style additions to residential properties, died Feb. 10 at Nofei Hasharon retirement complex in Natanya, Israel. He had complications of osteoporosis.
He started his business in 1951 and worked frequently with Washington architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. In 1972, Mr. Shelpark moved to Israel from the District and remained involved in construction there for many more years.
A native of Stolin, Poland, he settled in New York in 1929 after his family fled anti-Semitism. In 1937, he moved to Washington to work in his family's grocery business. During World War II, he served in the Navy in the Pacific.
He was a former member of Shaare Tefila Congregation, a Conservative synagogue that began in Washington and is now in Silver Spring.
He enjoyed sculpting, and in 2004 he designed and made a mural in response to a Palestinian suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus in which infants were among the casualties.
His wife, Sonia Biskin Shelpark, whom he married in 1942, died 2001.
Survivors include two daughters, Dianne Bugash of Gaithersburg and Linda Brand of Tel Aviv; a sister, Ceil Loeb of Bethesda and Deerfield Beach, Fla.; and three grandchildren.
Robert L. Sammons EconomistRobert L. Sammons, 94, a retired government economist, died Feb. 18 of end-stage cardiac disease at Sunrise of Silver Spring assisted living community. He was a longtime Silver Spring resident.
Mr. Sammons was born in Cambridge, Minn., and grew up in Westbrook, Minn. He graduated cum laude in 1940 and received a master's degree in 1943, both in economics from George Washington University. He received a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University in 1960.
He began his career in the federal government in 1934, doing clerical work and auditing for what was then the Bureau of Internal Revenue. From 1940 to 1953, he was director of the Balance of Payments Division of the Department of Commerce and from 1953 to 1956, a statistical consultant with the Puerto Rico Planning Board.
From 1956 to 1972, he was with the Federal Reserve Board, serving as head of the Latin American Section and staff officer in charge of the foreign credit restraint program. He retired as associate director of the Division of International Finance.
He also taught courses on Latin American development at George Washington University, and from 1969 to 1971, while on leave from the Federal Reserve Board, he worked in Paris with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Mr. Sammons was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church in the District since his arrival in Washington in 1934. A board member, deacon and church moderator, he worked on a number of committees, usually those related to church finances and property development.
As a Montgomery County resident and outdoors enthusiast, he became involved in county park development. He also loved to square-dance and was a member, with his mother, of Bethesda Squares and other square-dance clubs. In retirement, he was a member of the National Economists Club and enjoyed regular Wednesday luncheons with fellow economists.
His wife, Nell King Sammons, died in 2000.
Survivors include six children, J. Lee Sammons of Denver, William C. Sammons of Columbia, Barbara Bicchieri of Ellensburg, Wash., Laurence K. Sammons of Seattle, Dorothy Lohse of Pocatello, Idaho, and Deborah S. Hoxie of Kensington; a brother; a sister; 15 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Catherine Dubbert Wagner SecretaryCatherine Dubbert Wagner, 85, a former Bowie resident and church secretary, died Feb. 5 at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn., of complications of the flu.
Mrs. Wagner worked as a secretary at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Bowie in the 1970s and early 1980s.
She and her husband moved from Bowie to The Woodlands, Tex., in 1981 and settled in Minneapolis in 2000.
Mrs. Wagner was born in Cawker City, Kan. She worked as a legal secretary in Beloit, Kan., before moving to Washington during World War II to work for the Civil Service Commission.
She took up painting in the 1970s and produced more than 70 oil paintings for relatives and friends.
Her husband of 54 years, William Wagner, died in 2001.
Survivors include five children, Karla Wagner of Minneapolis, Cheryl Wagner of Washington, William Wagner Jr. of Joplin, Mo., James Wagner of Phoenix and Daniel Wagner of Bowie; two brothers; a sister; six grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
Marilyn Couric Registered NurseMarilyn Couric, 54, an Arlington resident who worked in the late 1990s as a registered nurse in Northern Virginia, died Feb. 19 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. She had sepsis.
Mrs. Couric was a licensed practical nurse in the late 1980s and was a registered nurse at Arlington Hospital (now Virginia Hospital Center), Manor Care nursing home in Arlington and Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church.
Marilyn Autrey was born in Stuttgart, Germany, where her father was stationed as an Army officer. She received her nursing degree from Marymount University in 1994.
Before nursing, she did administrative work at the Securities and Exchange Commission and MCI, the telecommunications company.
Her hobbies included gardening and collecting antiques.
Her marriage to James Brier ended in divorce.
Survivors include her husband of 22 years, John M. Couric Jr. of Arlington; a daughter from her first marriage, Robyn Smith of South Riding, Va.; two sons from her second marriage, Martin Couric and Alec Couric, both of Arlington; her mother, Hazel Autrey of Falls Church; a sister, Cynthia Freeman of Yorktown, Va.; and a granddaughter.