Local

Those we have lost to the coronavirus in Virginia, Maryland and D.C.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Jerold Samet, 75 (Family photo); Chantee Mack, 44 (Family photo); Margot Kernan, 93 (Lisa Kernan); Herbert Melgar, 56 (Family photo); Elsi Mabelicia Campos, 60 (Family photo); Don Brook, 75 (Abby Sevcik)
By
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The number of known coronavirus cases in the District, Maryland and Virginia has surpassed 1 million. More than 17,000 people across the area have died of covid-19. Among the victims have been teachers, nurses, veterans, small-business owners and government workers. Here are their stories.

We’re reporting on the lives of the victims and the impact they had in their communities. Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Tell The Washington Post.

• • •

Mercia Bowser, 64

Washington, Feb. 24

Bowser, who was the eldest of six siblings, had retired from a career serving children, the elderly and people with behavioral disorders. She was the sister of D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser.

Read more about Mercia Bowser

• • •

Blanca Kling, 68

Prince George’s County, Jan. 27

Over decades working for the Montgomery County police, Kling comforted victims of crime and disaster. She was a trusted voice in the county’s growing Latino community.

Read more about Blanca King

• • •
Tiffany Shackelford, of Alexandria, on a family trip to Alaska. (Family photo) (Family photo)

Tiffany Shackelford, 46

Alexandria, Dec. 27

Shackelford, who worked in news and public policy, was known as fun-loving and warm. Friends said she was happiest when she was with her 9-year-old son.

Read more about Tiffany Shackelford

• • •

Richard S. Madaleno Sr., 78

Bethesda, Dec. 12

A Navy veteran, Madaleno built a long career as a sales and marketing executive in the construction industry and later owned a construction management company. He was also an artful storyteller who could spend hours at a dinner party captivating a crowd.

Read more about Richard S. Madaleno Sr.

• • •

John D. Bowen, 84

Colesville, Dec. 8

Cheryl Diday said her father was a “walking encyclopedia of information.” Bowen was fascinated with the past, especially family genealogy and military history. He used his research skills to assist veterans and their families in the Battle of the Bulge Association.

Read more about John D. Bowen

• • •
Jerry Samet was known as a “collector of friends.” (Family photo)

Jerry Samet, 75

Spencerville, Dec. 2

Samet was a gregarious sort, a lifelong networker, a “collector of friends,” as one of them put it. A former grand master, or president, of all Masonic lodges in the District, a local political activist and the owner of a haberdashery, he immersed himself in youth-leadership programs for decades, mentoring thousands of teenagers.

Read more about Jerry Samet

• • •
Elsi Mabelicia Campos had six grandchildren. (Family photo)

Elsi Mabelicia Campos, 60

Alexandria, Nov. 30

Campos, a devoted Catholic, worked her way from cleaning hotel rooms as a recent immigrant from El Salvador in the 1970s to supervising teams of custodians for one of the largest cleaning companies in the D.C. area. It allowed her to help her relatives flee civil war in her home country, to raise two children as a single mother, to care for her elderly parents and to build a life for her six grandchildren.

Read more about Elsi Mabelicia Campos

• • •

Charlie Lund, 82

Chevy Chase, Nov. 30

Lund’s daughters recall him reading “War and Peace” to them before tucking them in at night when they were children. Lund, a former English professor, had a lifelong love of reading and learning.

Read more about Charlie Lund

• • •

Jerrold M. Post, 86

Bethesda, Nov. 22

Post, a pioneering psychological profiler for the Central Intelligence Agency who later became a consultant, had a long career that included advising President Jimmy Carter before the Camp David peace accords and producing psychological profiles of terrorists. He also published a book about President Donald Trump.

Read more about Jerrold Post

• • •

William Beaver, 87

Waterford, Nov. 12

Decades ago, Beaver, a medical educator and researcher, played a key role in the FDA’s development of rules for safe clinical drug trials. He was also an avid woodworker who built and restored furniture.

Read more about William Beaver

• • •
Don Brooks died just a few months shy of his retirement. (Abby Sevcik)

Don Brooks, 75

Washington, Oct. 24

For more than a half-century, Brooks helped run the historic Dupont Circle home of the Carnegie Institution for Science. Brooks, who was close to his family, was months shy of his retirement when he died.

Read more about Don Brooks

• • •

Miriam Gershfeld, 89, loved to play the viola. She is shown here with her husband, Norman. (Family photo)

Miriam Gershfeld, 89

Bethesda, Oct. 18

One of Gershfeld’s great loves was the viola. Well into her 80s, she played at noon every Friday in a group dubbed “The Arthritis String Quartet.” Her favorite composer was Franz Schubert.

Read more about Miriam Gershfeld

• • •
Margot and Michael Kernan in Italy in an undated family photograph. (Lisa Kernan)

Margot Kernan, 93

Mitchellville, Sept. 23

Kernan was a video artist whose work was shown in New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. One of her greatest loves was teaching.

Read more about Margot Kernan

• • •
Ronnie Hogue Sr. was the first African American to receive a full athletic scholarship to the University of Georgia. (Family photo)

Ronnie Hogue Sr., 69

Washington, Sept. 18

As the first African American to receive a full athletic scholarship to the University of Georgia, Hogue battled racism in the Deep South and set a path that dozens of young athletes have followed. He was drafted by the then-Washington Bullets, though he was not ultimately chosen for the team. He lived in the Washington suburbs and raised a family while building a career as a retail manager.

Read more about Ronnie Hogue Sr.

• • •

Stephen F. Williams, 83

Washington, Aug. 7

Williams, a longtime appeals court judge, was a fierce advocate of the philosophy that free markets create free societies. He presided over a host of significant legal cases that touched on energy deregulation, gun control, the powers of independent prosecutors and the Civil Rights Act.

Read more about Stephen F. Williams

• • •

Patrick Ellis was the longtime host of a popular gospel radio show. (WHUR)

Patrick Ellis, 77

Annapolis, July 16

In one of the country’s leading gospel markets, Ellis hosted 96.3 WHUR-FM’s Sunday morning gospel program for more than four decades, building a devoted audience that made his “Gospel Spirit” show the most popular program in its time slot.

Read more about Patrick Ellis

• • •

Santos Rodriguez, 45

Hyattsville, July 4

One of the proudest moments of Rodriguez’s life was the day he moved into his Hyattsville home with his family 15 years ago and realized a dream to become a homeowner. Seeing his children graduate from college was his other dream.

Read more about Santos Rodriguez

• • •

Jennifer Marmer, 64

Silver Spring, June 30

Marmer was a lawyer by trade and a musician for fun. She taught herself to play the guitar at a young age and fell into music wholeheartedly.

Read more about Jennifer Marmer

• • •

Garry Garber, 89

Baltimore County, June 20

When the District’s Latin American Youth Center ran into financial trouble, Garber, a champion bantamweight boxer and community advocate who spent decades as a social worker with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, fought to keep it from going under.

Read more about Garry Garber

• • •

Howard Croft, 78

Baltimore, June 20

Some of Croft’s most important social activism came in the trenches of local politics, focused on statehood for D.C. residents.

Read more about Howard Croft

• • •

(Family photo) ( and Family photo/Family photo)

Elaine Fanning, 97

Bethesda, June 16

During World War II, Fanning lived with her parents in New York and worked for the Daily News, where she wrote a column that offered social services tips for military personnel, her family said.

Read more about Elaine Fanning

• • •

Joseph Woods, 83

Montgomery County, June 7

Woods, who had worked for the Energy Department, loved dancing and the beach. In retirement, he and his wife joined an Irish folk dance troupe, the Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers, which took them to various St. Patrick’s Day parades and a program in Ireland.

Read more about Joseph Woods

• • •

Jesus Collazos, 67

Arlington, June 6

Collazos immigrated to the United States from Columbia and settled in Arlington, Va., where he spent 25 years as a postal worker. He and his wife raised a family in a home he bought after admiring it on his delivery route.

Read more about Jesus Collazos

• • •

(D.C. Police)

Keith Darnell Williams Sr., 53

Prince George’s County, June 4

Williams, a longtime D.C. police officer, spent much of his time on the force mentoring kids as a school resource officer. Family and friends knew him as a practical joker with a kind heart.

Read more about Keith Williams

• • •

Iraj Askarinam, 76

Washington, June 2

Askarinam, an immigrant from Iran, began his work in Washington in jobs washing dishes and busing restaurant tables. He learned to cook Italian food and eventually opened his own restaurant, the Spaghetti Garden, in Adams Morgan in 1981. He became known as ‘Mr. Spaghetti.’

Read more about Iraj Askarinam

• • •

Anatol Surak, 90

Rockville, June 1

Surak emigrated from war-torn Belarus to a displaced-persons camp in Germany, fleeing Soviet and Nazi occupation during World War II. In 1950, Surak sailed to the United States on the USS General C.C. Ballou as part of a refugee resettlement program in the war’s wake.

Read more about Anatol Surak

• • •

Luevella Jackson, 87

Washington, May 30

Jackson witnessed and participated in decades of Black history — and always did so with a song in her heart. She was a lover of music and pillar of her church and neighborhood.

Read more about Luevella Jackson

• • •

((Family photo))

Robert M. Laughlin, 85

Alexandria, May 28

Through years of rigorous field work, Laughlin, curator of Mesoamerican ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, helped revive the Tzotzil language, rescuing it from terminal dilution.

Read more about Robert Laughlin

• • •

Robert Shawn, 100

Herndon, May 24

Born in the Bronx, Shawn was the oldest of three sons. All were passionate about airplanes and went on to serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II. When Paris was liberated, Shawn, a fighter pilot, flew a P-51 Mustang under the Eiffel Tower. The stunt surprised and awed his colleagues.

Read more about Robert Shawn

• • •

Marvin H. Wagner, 90

Springfield, May 23

Wagner helped craft some of the nation’s first drunken-driving laws based on blood alcohol content as an official with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He went on to become an attorney representing juvenile offenders in Virginia.

Read more about Marvin H. Wagner

• • •

(Family photo)

Otilia Levi, 97

Gaithersburg, May 23

Levi, who fled Romania with her family in 1941, helped other Jews hide from Nazis during World War II. She later taught herself how to make miniature dollhouses and dried flower arrangements, a meticulous art form that led to the opening of Otilia’s Originals in Prince George’s Plaza.

Read more about Otilia Levi

• • •

Edward McCaffrey, 90

Olney, May 22

McCaffrey rose through the ranks of the Postal Service, where he began in the mailroom in 1949 and eventually became assistant postmaster general in 1977. McCaffrey visited places as far away as Switzerland and Brazil to learn more about the profession and further his career.

Read more about Edward McCaffrey

• • •

Ricardo Leon, 61

Silver Spring, May 22

Growing up in Guatemala, Leon learned his first skills as a builder from his father. After he came to the United States, he founded and grew his own home improvement business. Now Leon’s wife and four children are trying to keep that legacy going.

Read more about Ricardo Leon

• • •

(Baltimore Sun)

Mary Wilson, 83

Baltimore, May 21

Wilson was known for her magic with animals. She was the first African American woman to serve as a senior zookeeper at what is now the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. “She took time to sit and watch animals, enjoying the world from their perspective, not ours,” said Mike McClure, who worked with Wilson.

Read more about Mary Wilson

• • •

Isidoro Armenta, 73

Wheaton, May 21

Armenta grew up in the Mexican port city of Tampico, off the Gulf of Mexico, surviving his neighborhood’s sometimes unforgiving streets by taking up boxing, baseball and basketball. After coming to the United States, Armenta landed a job as foreman for a Bethesda concrete construction company and later became a co-pastor of his Maryland church. He became a U.S. citizen in the 1990s.

Read more about Isidoro Armenta

• • •
(Tina Hager/(Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum))

William Roosevelt Jerman, 91

Woodbridge, May 16

Jerman, a longtime butler at the White House, was a man who left an impression. He had served presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama. “With his kindness and care, Wilson Jerman helped make the White House a home for decades of First Families, including ours,” Michelle Obama said after his death.

Read more about William Roosevelt Jerman

• • •

Dar’Yana Dyson, 15

Dundalk, May 16

Dyson, who loved music and dancing, wanted to become a cosmetologist.

Read more about Dar’Yana Dyson

• • •

Haruko Adkins, 90

Fairfax County, May 16

Adkins never forgot the training she received as a young woman in Japan on how to arrange flowers. She consistently helped a group at Goodwin House, a retirement community in the Baileys Crossroads area of Fairfax County, Va., arrange flowers for the hallways and common areas.

Read more about Haruko Adkins

• • •

Margaret Lerner, 97

Rockville, May 14

Lerner, a Lumbee Indian who lost her parents to illness when she was a teen, was a hero and role model to many of her relatives. She built a life in Washington, including working for the National Security Agency, but remained active in the affairs of her tribe in North Carolina.

Read more about Margaret Lerner

• • •

Jose Mardoqueo Reyes, 54

Washington, May 12

Reyes, who came to the United States as a war refugee from El Salvador, was a well-known Internet radio presence in the Washington region’s Spanish-speaking community. He and his wife raised three children in the Washington area.

Read more about Jose Mardoqueo Reyes

• • •
(Family photo)

Chantee Mack, 44

Silver Spring, May 11

Mack worked in the Prince George’s County Health Department’s sexually transmitted disease clinic, informing people of their test results. It was at work that her family believes she contracted covid-19. She was one of more than 100 clinical staff who the county deemed essential to assist with the county’s coronavirus response.

Read more about Chantee Mack

• • •
((Family photo))

Dave Parker, 80

McLean, May 10

Parker had a love of nature that led him to visit each of the country’s national parks. While working for the Interior Department, he helped write legislation creating the Redwood and North Cascades National Parks, and he promoted visits to the park system.

Read more about Dave Parker

• • •
(Family photo)

Herbert ‘Wolf’ Melgar, 56

Prince George’s County, May 9

Melgar was a broadcaster who organized major Hispanic festivals in the Washington region and galvanized the Salvadoran diaspora to stay engaged in the future of their home country. Melgar co-hosted the well-known weekly talk show Salvavisión, an Internet platform he used to discuss political and social affairs in his native El Salvador, reaching thousands of Spanish speaking homes in the region.

Read more about Herbet Melgar

• • •

Patricia Thompson, 79

Rockville, May 9

Thompson, a federal employee who worked on health-care policy, would have been “outraged” at the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis, her daughter said. Thompson worked as an administrator reviewing grant applications for the Department of Health and Human Services. After retirement she became a master naturalist.

Read more about Patricia Thompson

• • •

Anne Stephansky, 93

Olney, May 8

Stephansky was a clinical social worker who went on to become a therapist recognized in the D.C. region for her innovation. After about a decade working at government-funded clinics, she switched to private psychotherapy, which in the late ’70s was still a relatively new frontier for social workers and a field dominated by psychologists and psychiatrists. Believing that she and her colleagues had valuable insights to offer, Stephansky helped set up a novel kind of practice where psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers collaborated as equals.

Read more about Anne Stephansky

• • •
(Family photo/(Family photo))

Phyllis and Stanley Kylis, 93 and 92

Landsdowne, May 6 and April 29

Phyllis and Stanley Kylis met on a blind date in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. She was a nurse and a flight attendant who wanted to travel the world. He was a soldier with a knack for languages. They shared a lifetime of love that transcended borders before they died of coronavirus just a week apart.

Read more about Phyllis and Stanley Kylis

• • •
(Family photo)

Arlene Chesley, 78

Charles County, May 6

Chesley moved into Charles County Nursing and Rehabilitation — now Sagepoint Senior Living — in 1999. Doctors told her after a brain aneurysm and stroke that she would be lucky to live for five years. She lived another 21, years filled with bingo, music — Diana Ross and the Supremes were her favorite — and visits from her six grandchildren.

Read more about Arlene Chesley

• • •

John Valentine Sr., 75

Upper Marlboro, May 6

Valentine started working at Metro washing buses. With a natural talent for fixing cars, he quickly became a bus mechanic and worked for decades at the transit agency’s garage in Bladensburg. He retired from Metro after 29 years. Valentine believed that “if you love what you do, you’re not really working,” his daughter said. Family said he loved fixing things — from buses to cars, to lawn mowers and washing machines for friends.

Read more about John Valentine Sr.

• • •

Donald Gross, 83

Fairfax County, May 5

Anne Henry-Gross said she and her husband had shared “the desire to serve others and to serve God.” Donald Gross was once a priest and worked in the Capuchins religious order, serving in Baltimore, Washington and Newark. He left the priesthood at 39, before meeting his future wife.

Read more about Donald Gross

• • •
(Family photo)

Connie Galmeijer, 92

Rockville, May 5

Galmeijer was a Japanese immigrant and mother of three. Her excellent calligraphy skills helped her get a job as a library technical assistant in the East Asia Collection at the University of Maryland’s McKeldin Library in College Park, where she worked for 27 years.

Read more about Connie Galmeijer

• • •

Bradley Fields, 68

Washington, May 5

Fields delighted tens of thousands of schoolchildren and families with his intimate blend of Vaudeville-style storytelling and magic. “I like the kids show. You can get pure wonder, pure thrills,” Fields said in a 2017 interview with Vaudevisuals.com. “But I also like the grown-up shows where you can bring people back to that sense of wonder.”

Read more about Bradley Fields

• • •
(Family photo)

Jaimala ‘Mala’ Singh, 65

Lutherville, May 5

Growing up in India, Singh designed saris and tapestries there, then moved for marriage to Baltimore in 1980, eventually becoming one of the country’s top-selling designers for Calico, a design-store chain. But to those who knew her well, Singh was most memorable as a whirlwind of caring — a charismatic, attentive mother, aunt, wife and friend in stylish Punjabi clothing who was always present if someone was hurting or in need.

Read more about Jaimala Singh

• • •
(Family photo)

Shirley Strang, 87

Fairfax, May 3

Strang died in the Virginian, an apartment complex for seniors in Fairfax County, Va. — near three school campuses where she spent nearly two decades as a Fairfax County Public Schools art teacher.

Read more about Shirley Strang

• • •

Meyer Rubin, 96

Manassas, May 2

Rubin was a researcher whose work at the U.S. Geological Survey included major contributions in radiocarbon dating, mass spectrometry, climate science, archaeology and water. He and his colleagues predicted the massive Mount St. Helens volcano eruption four decades ago by examining previous eruptions.

Read more about Meyer Rubin

• • •
(Family photo)

Patricia Weissenborn, 100

Springfield, May 1

Weissenborn had spunk enough at age 19 to go to the courthouse in rural Montana in 1938 to change her name to match a movie star’s. In her 20s, she ditched her job teaching in a one-room schoolhouse and headed solo to Oregon, for office work at a shipyard gearing up for World War II. She insisted on driving into her 92nd year, outfoxing her daughter, who had purposely locked the keys in the car, by calling AAA and then hiding her Oldsmobile.

Read more about Patricia Weissenborn

• • •
(Family photo)

Ruth E. Shinn, 97

Potomac, May 1

Shinn was a nationally known advocate for gender, racial and LGBT justice who was known in her family for a childlike joy about things like sharks’ teeth, blooming mountain laurels and swimming. After she retired in 1995, younger people in her family associated her with hosting big, warm gatherings at her cottage on the Chesapeake Bay, blowing huge bubbles and swimming several times a week into her 90s.

Read more about Ruth Shinn

• • •

Darrell Jones, 39

Prince George’s County, April 30

Jones, who had a passion for go-go music, worked as a security guard at Miriam’s Kitchen, a homeless services organization in Foggy Bottom. He left behind a 5-month-old son.

Read more about Darrell Jones

• • •
(Lena H. Sun)

Yu Lihua, 90

Gaithersburg, April 30

Lihua was one of the most important Chinese American writers of her day. She published more than two dozen books, the fruit of a fascination — and obsession — with writing that spanned 75 years. The work guided her and her mostly Chinese-speaking readers through heartbreak, divorce, struggles over identity and belonging, and questions of sex, sexism, friendship and family. She pushed herself, and those she loved, with a mantra she held onto from a grade-school teacher who read one of her early stories: “You can make something of yourself.”

Read more about Yu Lihua

• • •
(Yuletta Pringle)

Alyce Gullattee, 91

Washington, April 30

It was not unusual for Gullattee, a pioneering psychiatrist and devoted civil rights activist, to wander alone down alleys in Northwest Washington, at the height of the crack epidemic of the 1980s, searching for a patient she feared had overdosed. She would become one of the nation’s most respected experts on substance abuse in a career that spanned half a century at Howard University, where she served as an associate professor of psychiatry and as director of the school’s Institute on Substance Abuse and Addiction. Before her death, Gullattee was the oldest faculty member at Howard.

Read more about Alyce Gullattee

• • •
(Family photo) ( and Family photo/Family photo)

Norma Darling, 93

Arlington, April 29

Darling was a ping-pong powerhouse at Walter Reed, refusing to go easy on soldiers wounded in World War II. Fred Darling, her husband, challenged Darling to a match after his eardrums were blown out from fighting in the Pacific. It was the seed of a love story that would take the Darlings and their two daughters to Army posts across the globe.

Read more about Norma Darling

• • •

(Family photo)

James Cooley, 82

Silver Spring, April 28

For more than three decades, Cooley devoted his mathematics talent to the nation’s space program, tackling challenges such as the orbital mechanics of satellites and puzzling out various aspects of mission design for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. By the time he retired from the center in Greenbelt, Md., in 1997, Cooley had risen to become an aerospace engineer with supervisory duties, according to NASA.

Read more about James Cooley

• • •

Richard Paul Thornell, 83

Washington, April 28

Thornell worked under Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver to help set up the first Peace Corps program. He later became a professor at the Howard University School of Law.

Read more about Richard Paul Thornell

• • •

Nora Caplan, 93

Sandy Springs, April 25

Caplan, a mother of two and a longtime librarian, enjoyed sharing stories of her childhood and travels in a column she wrote for a community newspaper. At 88, Caplan fulfilled her dream to write and publish a book. “Noni’s Little Problem” was semi-autobiographical, about a young girl in the 1930s who found that showing kindness was the best way to deal with bullying.

Read more about Nora Caplan

• • •
( and family photo/(Family photo))

Mardena Dobson, 89

Washington, April 25

Dobson always brought extra money on field trips — if a student couldn’t afford lunch or snacks, the D.C. teacher would sneak them some pocket change for food. The longtime educator at Kimball Elementary in Southeast Washington loved teaching young students, delighting in seeing first- and second-graders learn how to read.

Read more about Mardena Dobson

• • •
(Cynthia Frankenburg/National Museum of the American Indian)

Roger Whiteside, 67

Fort Washington, April 24

When he was in high school, Whiteside got a camera as a gift. It launched him on a decades-long career as a photographer, including 14 years as a staff photographer for the National Museum of the American Indian. His former wife, Carolyn Bell, said his “sweet, humorous” nature helped him photograph a variety of people.

Read more about Roger Whiteside

• • •

Annie Mae Fuller, 82, and Connie D. Madden, 64

Suitland and Washington, April 24 and April 27

Fuller was known for her sweet potato pies. Connie D. Madden worked as a teacher’s aide. Mother and daughter died within days of each other in April.

Read more about Annie Mae Fuller and Connie Madden

• • •
(Family photo)

Gerald Slater, 86

Washington, April 24

In two decades as an executive at PBS and then WETA, Slater played a key role in the development of public television, expanding its coverage of public affairs and the arts. In 1974, during the Senate’s Watergate hearings, he took responsibility for offering up the hearings in prime time, shifting the system’s image.

Read more about Gerald Slater

• • •
(Bill Campbell)

Edna Adams, 105

Washington, April 21

Adams defied expectations her entire life. Born in 1914, she lived to see the other side of the 1918 flu pandemic, women’s suffrage, the Great Depression and two world wars — all before she moved from her home in Clover, S.C., to the District in the mid-1950s, where worked for more than two decades as a sales associate at Jelleff’s, a department store in Northwest Washington, until it closed in 1979.

Read more about Edna Adams

• • •
(Family photo)

Wogene Debele, 43

Takoma Park, April 21

Debele, who immigrated from Ethiopia with her family almost a decade ago, was eight months pregnant when she decided to return to Holy Cross Hospital a second time for “a checkup” in late March. It was the last time Debele’s husband and three children would have her in their midst. She also left behind a newborn son, who was born a month premature the day Debele was admitted to the hospital.

Read more about Wogene Debele

• • •
(Family photo)

William E. “Bill” Jackman, 85

Reston, April 21

Jackman, a retired press spokesman who loved to travel the world with his wife of 60 years, was also a big sports fan. He became a Washington Capitals season-ticket holder in 1974, the hockey team’s inaugural year, and had season tickets to the Washington Bullets, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals at various points in his life.

Read more about William Jackman

• • •

H.G. Carrillo, 59

Berwyn Heights, April 20

Carrillo was chairman of the literary PEN/Faulkner Foundation and a beloved storyteller, telling kaleidoscopic fiction that plumbed the meaning of the Cuban American experience he said he lived. It wasn’t until his death, a week before his 60th birthday, that Carrillo’s fans, friends and husband learned his true identity — a man from Michigan, born in Detroit, with no known Latino heritage.

Read more about H.G. Carrillo

• • •

Calvin Richardson, 57

Maryland, April 19

Richardson worked at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, where he was an addiction therapist who ran substance abuse recovery groups and did case management. “He was always extremely warm and gentle. The veterans loved him,” a colleague said.

Read more about Calvin Richardson

• • •
(First American Bankshares)

Jack W. Beddow, 98

Rockville, April 19

Beddow was a retired top executive at First American Bankshares who helped guide what was once the largest financial institution in the Washington area as it became embroiled in the BCCI bank-fraud scandal of the 1980s. He served as president, chief executive and director of First American Bankshares for three years until his retirement in 1991. At the time, the $11 billion privately owned financial-holding company operated more than 250 branches.

Read more about Jack Beddow

• • •

Veronica Norman, 75

Prince George’s County, April 18

Norman worked as a nurse at St. Elizabeths Hospital, the District’s psychiatric facility, for 40 years. “She loved helping people and never got tired of it,” her niece said. “She celebrated her birthday, but if they needed her, she would go to work.”

Read more about Veronica Norman

• • •

Carla Thompson, 67

Washington, April 18

Thompson, a patient at St. Elizabeths Hospital who was struck by covid-19, had no family she was in touch with to mark her passing, advocates said. She was undergoing treatment for leukemia and voluntarily living at the District-owned hospital, where she was civilly committed as an outpatient in 2016. She was the fifth of 10 patients to die amid a coronavirus outbreak at the city’s public psychiatric facility.

Read more about Carla Thompson

• • •
(Family photo)

Ruth Hunter, 96

Washington, April 17

Hunter came to the District in 1944 as a government girl — the young women who arrived to work for federal agencies during World War II, many of them from small towns like her birthplace, Apollo, Pa. She continued at the Pentagon after the war and lived the next eight decades in the District.

Read more about Ruth Hunter

• • •

Dolores Guindon Gaffney, 95

Springfield, April 17

Gaffney was 17 when she came to Washington in 1941, joining other young women who arrived to help keep the government running during World War II. She worked for the Department of the Navy and later as a secretary in Fairfax County schools.

Read more about Dolores Gaffney

• • •
(Family photo)

Van Martel Brathwaite, 67

Beltsville, April 16

Brathwaite served as assistant general counsel for the D.C. Department of Health for more than two decades. He had a passion for the law and for his Seventh-day Adventist congregation, but his greatest devotion was to his daughter Caprice.

Read more about Van Martel Brathwaite

• • •
(Courtesy of Florie Matondo)

Zoao Makumbi Sr., 75

Prince George’s County, April 16

Makumbi had his dream job as a psychologist at an elementary school in Northeast Washington. He told his family every year that he planned to retire, but the work, he believed, was too important. Makumbi’s winding path to becoming a school psychologist spanned two continents and five decades — from Congo to a General Motors factory in Michigan to Howard University to Houston Elementary in Ward 7.

Read more about Zoao Makumbi Sr.

• • •

Alfred Veerhoff, 82

Kensington, April 16

Veerhoff was born into a storied D.C. art family that opened its first gallery in the 1870s, but he decided early in life to follow his own path. Instead of art, Veerhoff studied English literature in college and chose journalism as a career.

Read more about Alfred Veerhoff

• • •

James Weaver, 82

Rochester, N.Y., April 16

Weaver worked for four decades in what is now the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution’s performing arts department. He brought in musicians, storytellers and dancers, and used the museum’s collection of more than 5,000 instruments to re-create historical music.

Read more about James Weaver

• • •
(Family photo)

Celine Tracy, 91

Bethesda, April 15

Tracy’s whole life was defined by her love of music. She began giving piano lessons to children in 1983 and continued doing so through her retirement in 1999. “She just was a fabulous pianist and believed fully that music would not only integrate your hands and your mind, but also your heart,” said her daughter Cynthia Tracy. “She was a true musician.”

Read more about Celine Tracy

• • •
(Carrie Kelly)

Lawrence, 69, and Minnette Nokes, 71

Carroll County, April 15 and April 7

Lawrence Nokes was admitted to Carroll Hospital Center on March 30 and intubated. After about a week in a coma, his prognosis improved, his family recalled. He started to breathe on his own. When he regained consciousness, Nokes asked for just one person: Minnette, his wife of 24 years.

Minnette Nokes had died days earlier, on April 7, a day before her 72nd birthday, of a heart attack. The medical examiner’s office said she posthumously tested positive for the coronavirus. Once Lawrence Nokes found out, his breathing grew raspy again. He died on April 15, eight days after his wife.

Read more about Lawrence and Minnette Nokes

• • •
(Courtesy of Donna Miller)

Michael Miller, 60

Temple Hills, April 15

Miller was rarely spotted alone. In the nine years he worked at the Silver Spring bus depot, he was most often seen in “a crowd of fellas,” and on summer weekends he hosted barbecues at his Temple Hills home, playing ’70s music while grilling ribs. There was nothing that pleased Miller more, said his wife, Donna Miller, than seeing the people around him having a good time. He was the first Montgomery County government employee to lose to his life to the disease.

Read more about Michael Miller

• • •

Marian Briefel, 90

Silver Spring, April 14

A longtime Silver Spring resident, her family described Briefel as a kind and caring woman who readily took in relatives and friends at various times because of need or circumstance.

Read more about Marian Briefel

• • •

Jeanette B. Iten, 88

Rockville, April 14

A former Girl Scout, Iten led the program in Staunton, Va., where she raised her family for a half-century. She once took about 30 girls camping and taught them first aid.

Read more about Jeanette B. Iten

• • •

Rosalie Lois Shaver, 89

Fairfax, April 14

Shaver joined Fairfax County Public Schools in 1973 as an instructional aide, assigned to a special-education class for students with hearing impairments. Her interactions with the students so impressed other teachers and administrators that they urged her become a fully certified teacher. She did, and a decade later she was named Teacher of the Year at Mantua Elementary School in Fairfax.

Read more about Rosalie Lois Shaver

• • •
(Landon School)

Bob Condit, 79

Vienna, April 13

Condit was a true believer in community service. Not only did he personally try to help others whenever he could, he also instilled the value of service in thousands of students over a 35-year career at Landon School, an independent college preparatory school for boys in Bethesda.

Read more about Bob Condit

• • •
(Family photo)

Charles H. Simpkinson, 85

Silver Spring, April 13

During his career as a psychotherapist, Simpkinson took a holistic approach to his work that combined psychotherapy, spirituality and creativity, his family said. Simpkinson had a passion for the Washington Redskins and enjoyed sailing in his younger days.

Read more about Charles Simpkinson

• • •
((Family photo))

Antoinette “Annette” Meyer, 95

Crownsville, April 13

Meyer was the first female deputy sheriff in Prince George’s County. She worked on the force from 1963 to 2000, when she retired at the age of 74. Even then, she could fire a 9mm pistol well enough to keep her sidearm. She died at the Fairfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Anne Arundel County.

Read more about Annette Meyer

• • •
(Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

Jerry Givens, 67

Richmond, April 13

Givens led the second-busiest execution team in the country for 17 years, presiding over 62 executions in Virginia before turning against capital punishment and becoming one of the country’s most prominent opponents of the death penalty. He organized protests, testified before lawmakers and met with the family members of incarcerated people and their victims, as well as with corrections officers whom he urged not to perform executions.

Read more about Jerry Givens

• • •
(Family photo)

Brian R. Miller, 52

Alexandria, April 13

Miller overcame blindness, and a sometimes unaccommodating public education system, to get multiple degrees, including a PhD. That journey led him to a career with the U.S. Education Department’s Rehabilitation Services Administration, where he helped students with disabilities like his, and to a rich and busy life filled with friends and travel.

Read more about Brian Miller

• • •
(Courtesy of Elizabeth Weller, Deon Crowell’s attorney)

Deon M. Crowell, 51

Washington, April 13

Crowell had been in the D.C. jail since 2018, when he was charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a D.C. woman. His was the first in-custody death attributed to covid-19 at the facility. His attorney had petitioned a D.C. Superior Court judge to have her client released as he awaited trial, arguing that Crowell’s diabetes and other health challenges associated with the disease put him at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Read more about Deon M. Crowell

• • •
(Santos-Gaffney family)

Theodore Gaffney, 92

Washington, April 12

Gaffney, a Washington freelance photographer, was asked by Jet magazine to travel with the Freedom Riders in the spring of 1961. He found himself risking his life and documenting one of the most tumultuous 48 hours in civil rights history. Gaffney would live six more decades and take many more pictures of presidents, and even Queen Elizabeth, according to his family.

Read more about Theodore Gaffney

• • •
(Landon School)

Maclear “Mac” Jacoby Jr., 93

Gaithersburg, April 11

Jacoby led a life defined by service — first in the U.S. Navy during World War II and then fighting in Korea as a member of the Air Force. In 1955, Jacoby turned his attention to educating children. During a 65-year career at Bethesda’s Landon School — the longest in the school’s history — Jacoby served many roles, including two decades as a math teacher, head of the middle school and as a varsity tennis coach.

Read more about Maclear Jacoby Jr.

• • •

Cynthia Whiting, 66

Charles County, April 11

Whiting loved her only granddaughter so much that when the little girl pointed out places on a map that she wanted to go, Whiting would make it happen. “She spoiled her grand-baby rotten,” said her daughter, Angelica Whiting, 33. “Every time you saw my daughter, my mom was right there.” Now, Angelica Whiting is struggling to help 7-year-old Mackenzie understand that her grandmother is gone, and why she did not get to say goodbye.

Read more about Cynthia Whiting

• • •
(Courtesy of Jan Hirschfeld)

Steve Joltin, 75

Rockville, April 11

Joltin, who spent his retirement years playing poker and hunting for undiscovered gems, tested positive for the novel coronavirus on April 10. His doctor told his wife, Barbara, that he still appeared healthy and was likely to make a full recovery. But the next day, just after midnight, she was awakened by a call from the nursing facility. Steve had died.

Read more about Steve Joltin

• • •
(Clement Britt/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Gerald Glenn, 66

Chesterfield, April 11

Glenn was the founder and leader since 1995 of the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Chesterfield, Va. He died on the eve of Easter. Glenn was the first Black chaplain of that community’s police department and was a police officer before becoming a pastor. “He was a friend and pillar of [the] Richmond faith community,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tweeted following his death.

Read more about Rev. Gerald Glenn

• • •
(Family photo)

Rhonda Clark, 58

District Heights, April 9

Clark was a mother of three who worked 14 years in the Prince George’s County school system. Known to many as “Lil Honey,” Clark was family-minded and fun-loving, with roots in Southwest Washington and a talent for cooking and the card game bid whist. Those who did not know her nickname might have guessed it from the license plates on her white Lexus.

Read more about Rhonda Clark

• • •
((Family photo))

Curtis Orr, 55

Lanham, April 9

Orr, the youngest of 10 children, emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to the United States when he was 25. Growing up impoverished with no indoor plumbing and no clothing or shoes of his own, Orr was determined to not only do well but to also be generous when he became successful. In late March, days before Orr started feeling weak, he went to the grocery store to stock up on food for his family. While there, he picked up cases of water to drop off at the homes of some elderly friends. He also made a stop to deliver a few masks to a friend, a front-line worker, who needed them for her family.

Read more about Curtis Orr

• • •

Valerie Ball, 77

Arlington, April 8

A native of British Columbia, Ball moved in her mid-20s to the Washington area with a friend from Montreal to work at the International Monetary Fund. During her 30-year career at the IMF, she rose from typist to administrative assistant, a trajectory that allowed her to travel the world.

Read more about Valerie Ball

• • •
(Family photo)

Chianti Jackson Harpool, 51

Baltimore, April 8

Jackson Harpool moved easily from the streets of Baltimore, where she once worked as a social worker helping the homeless and drug-addicted, to a political fundraiser in the city on the arm of her husband, who owns a public relations and marketing firm. She spent a week at home waiting for test results, then was rushed to the hospital as her condition deteriorated. Before she died, Jackson Harpool told her husband that she was sorry. “What are you sorry about?” he recalled asking. “I didn’t know I was this sick,” she said.

Read more about Chianti Jackson Harpool

• • •

Betty Jane Jones, 81

Seat Pleasant, April 8

Jones was the kind of cook who could draw her children inside just by the smells. When she took her bread pudding to a cookout, it never made it past the front door. The host would meet her and grab it, keeping it hidden for a select few. Food was how Jones bonded with family.

Read more about Betty Jane Jones

• • •
(Family photo)

Irwin Schorr, 89

Silver Spring, April 7

Schorr, a retired IBM employee and bibliophile, always thought there was something more to learn. Two weeks before he died of covid-19, Schorr signed up for remote saxophone lessons from an unemployed musician in Baltimore.

Read more about Irwin Schorr

• • •
(Courtesy of Linda Flowers)

James N. Flowers Jr., 84

Fort Washington, April 6

Flowers founded a house of worship in a vacant auto garage in 1982 and in 38 years built it into a handsome brick church with about 200 congregants in Seat Pleasant, Md. “My dad was just a special, humble, fair, caring man of God,” said his daughter, Linda Flowers. He was the lead singer of a band on the rise on the D.C. club circuit during the 1950s and 1960s.

Read more about James Flowers

• • •
(Courtesy of Michael Hyland)

Annis Creese, 72

Hyattsville, April 5

Creese was in her final year of teaching Spanish at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Md. Nearly everyone who crossed paths with her could feel her warmth, which she projected so strongly some of the children she taught called her “Mom.” Creese left behind two grown children and the hundreds of students who passed through her classroom at the Prince George’s County school over her 25 years there.

Read more about Annis Creese

• • •

Betty Robinson, 91

Silver Spring, April 5

Robinson, an avid reader and mother of two, loved Washington for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Her children said she often took them to see the city’s museums and, when Robinson retired, she eventually volunteered at the Smithsonian.

Read more about Betty Robinson

• • •
(Courtesy of Dave Bainum)

Peter Bainum, 82

Bethesda, April 3

Bainum’s writings weren’t the sort you’d come across in your neighborhood bookstore. One of his volumes, for instance, is titled, “Orbital Mechanics and Formation Flying: A Digital Control Perspective.” But in the field of aerospace engineering, the former Howard University professor was “a star,” his son said.

Read more about Peter Bainum

• • •
Horace and Violet Saunders dancing in 2011, when they were both 88. (Courtesy of Saunders family)

Violet and Horace Saunders, 96

Mount Airy, April 2 and March 29

Saunders was the mayor of every room he walked into — a gregarious chap for whom all life was a performance — while Violet, in her quiet, gracious style, “kept him in his place, kept him grounded,” their granddaughter recalled. If he was holding forth and got carried away, Vi, pleasantly exasperated, might roll her eyes. They died five days apart after catching the virus in Pleasant View Nursing Home, in Mount Airy, Md.

Read more about Violet and Horace Saunders

• • •
(Family photo)

Samuel Kramer, 91

Potomac, April 2

Kramer was a founding member of Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac and spent decades in government service. He worked at the Bureau of the Budget, which eventually became the Office of Management and Budget, and at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, from which he retired as deputy director in 1997. He died in the hospital on the morning he was scheduled to be discharged.

Read more about Samuel Kramer

• • •
(Family photo)

Sean Boynes, 46

Bowie, April 2

Boynes was a natural comedian and loving father who always knew when any of “his girls” — his daughters, his wife or his mother — needed a hug. He was born in Silver Spring, graduated from Gonzaga High School, graduated with three degrees from Howard University, and was a member of the Air Force before becoming a manager of a pharmacy, where he worked until the day he developed symptoms of covid-19.

Read more about Sean Boynes

• • •
(Family photo)

Richard ‘Dick’ Passman, 94

Silver Spring, April 1

Passman, a retired aeronautical engineer, designed some of the country’s first fastest aircraft and worked on the first spy satellite during the Cold War. At Bell Aircraft, he worked on the Bell X-1, the plane piloted by Chuck Yeager that was the first to break the speed of sound.

Read more about Richard Passman

• • •
(Lucian Perkins/The Washington Post)

David C. Driskell, 88

Hyattsville, April 1

Driskell was an artist, art historian, art collector, art teacher, author and curator who became a primary sponsor and advocate for the role of African American art in the national culture. As an artist, Driskell was best known for a 1956 painting, “Behold Thy Son,” a graphic representation of the mutilated corpse of Emmett Till. He served on the art faculties of several historically Black colleges but was best known for his affiliation with the University of Maryland from 1977 to 1998.

Read more about David Driskell

• • •
(Zenobia Shepherd)

Leilani Margurite Jordan, 27

Upper Marlboro, April 1

Jordan’s mother called her “Butterfly,” for her love of butterflies. She worked part time at a Giant supermarket in Largo and continued to work despite the spread of the coronavirus. Jordan’s mother, Zenobia Shepherd, tried to explain the risks of working. But she said Jordan, who had a disability that caused “cognitive delays,” impaired her vision and left her reliant on a service dog, probably did not fully understand the potential dangers of the coronavirus. And her daughter’s desire to help others, Shepherd said, was overpowering.

Read more about Leilani Jordan

• • •
(Courtesy of Kenneth J. Moore Jr.)

Kenneth J. Moore, 52

Prince George’s County, April 1

Moore was a father figure wherever he went. By day, he helped counsel and guard teenagers who had been arrested in the District for the city’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. On nights and weekends, he was a dad to his three sons, two stepchildren and many other youths he encountered as his children grew up in Prince George’s County.

Read more about Kenneth J. Moore

• • •
(Courtesy of Alice Matthews)

Sterling Matthews, 60

Chester, March 31

Matthews was a veteran of both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army. He was working in support services at Fort Belvoir when he became ill. He went to the hospital on March 23 to be tested for the coronavirus but was told he had pneumonia and sent home. The Chester, Va., resident returned four days later by ambulance and died four days after that at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center.

Read more about Sterling Matthews

• • •
(Courtesy of Nate Garland)

Jerry Manley, 58

Huntingtown, March 31

Manley was a retired police sergeant beloved for his generosity and wisecracking humor, a devoted volunteer for charities and a married father of four. “A gentle giant who’d give you the shirt off his back and not expect anything in return,” said his neighbor Kelly Brogan.

Read more about Jerry Manley

• • •
(Tracy Shavell)

Gary Holmberg, 77

Mount Airy, March 29

Holmberg was a retired D.C. firefighter who loved sports, pranks and being outside. He grew up in the District and joined the D.C. National Guard after graduating from Anacostia High School. He served for 22 years as a firefighter, retiring in 1988 from Engine 15.

Read more about Gary Holmberg

• • •
(Family photo)

Chad Capule, 49

Cheverly, March 29

Capule was an IT project manager. His family remembers him as a cheerful and inquisitive man who was known as a peacemaker. For eight years, he organized a trivia fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Dupont Circle, his wife said. He even appeared on one episode of “Jeopardy!” in 2015. He died at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, Wis., where he had traveled in March to oversee the installation of a computer system at the hospital.

Read more about Chad Capule

• • •
(Family photo)

Eastern Stewart Jr., 71

Bowie, March 29

Stewart, a military veteran, could manage a crowd and de-escalate conflict like no one else. He was the house manager at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts and had worked for nearly a decade at the 800-seat Bowie performing arts center.

Read more about Eastern Stewart

• • •
(Preston Keres/The Washington Post)

Terrance Burke, 54

Hyattsville, March 27

Burke was a well-known school counselor and basketball coach at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Md. The Navy veteran had asthma but was physically fit and ate a healthy diet. His death came as a shock to his family.

Read more about Terrance Burke

• • •
(Family photo)

Noel Sinkiat, 64

Olney, March 27

Sinkiat planned to retire in December after 41 years of working as a nurse at Howard University Hospital. He would finally go on a long motorcycle trip with his friends. He was the first member of National Nurses United, which represents about 150,000 health-care workers nationwide, to succumb to the virus, the union said.

Read more about Noel Sinkiat

• • •
(Family photo)

Maria Linda Villanueva Sun, 61

Newport News, March 25

Sun was, at various times in her life, a restaurateur, interior designer, accountant, stay-at-home mom and Army wife. It was the last of these roles that brought the longtime San Francisco Bay area resident to Newport News, Va., where her husband had recently been transferred to Fort Eustis. The couple bought a house in October and were still in the process of moving some items from the West Coast when Sun died of covid-19.

Read more about Maria Linda Villanueva Sun

• • •
(Office of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser)

George Valentine, 66

Washington, March 27

Valentine was a longtime lawyer in the D.C. Attorney General’s Office who later worked as a legal adviser to Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D). Those who worked with Valentine described him as a stellar attorney who knew the city and its laws. Valentine, who went on to Harvard Law School from a small historically Black university in Alabama, dedicated a long career to public service and mentored young lawyers.

Read more about George Valentine

• • •
(Family photo)

Keith Redding, 59

Fort Washington, March 25

Keith Redding had an easy grin and good-natured sense of humor, according to his wife, Dana. They were both members of the Fort Foote Baptist Church motorcycle ministry in Fort Washington, Md.

Read more about Keith Redding

• • •
(Courtesy of Valerie Balser)

Susan Rokus, 73

Loudoun County, March 25

Rokus, a Loudoun County Public Schools reading tutor, died of health complications related to the coronavirus. Rokus started as a first-grade teacher in 1969 and retired in 2014, staying on part time to tutor struggling readers at two elementary schools. She was the first known death in the county.

Read more about Susan Rokus

• • •
(Courtesy of Katharine Maddox)

Sterling “Ruffin” Maddox Jr., 78

Arlington, March 24

Maddox was a trained civil engineer. He was born and raised in Montgomery County and crossed the Potomac River only in the past decade to live close to his daughters and beloved grandsons in Northern Virginia. He served a brief stint in the Maryland Legislature five decades ago and later became a developer, helping establish neighborhoods in the region.

Read more about Sterling Maddox

• • •

Michael John Summers, 65

Suitland, March 22

Summers had a talent for photography. It was skill that served him well in his work as a real estate appraiser. He was a quiet man who enjoyed attending church and occasional trips to Atlantic City.

Read more about Michael John Summers

• • •
(Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America)

John-Sebastian Laird-Hammond, 59

Washington, March 20

Laird-Hammond had been a member of Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America since the late 1980s and had for the past 14 years run its day-to-day operations as business manager. He was the first person to die of the novel coronavirus in the District.

Read more about John-Sebastian Laird-Hammond

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