Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
UDC interim president
Claude Ford, 90, a University of the District of Columbia administrator who served two terms as interim president during moments of turmoil for the fledgling college, died May 27 at his home in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was colon cancer, said a daughter, the Rev. Diane Ford Dessables.
Mr. Ford was born in Washington, trained as an architect and spent his early career as director of preliminary planning at what was the Veterans Administration. In 1968, he joined the Washington Technical Institute as campus planning and development director. As the institute’s interim president in 1977, he led the design and construction of the future campus of UDC in Upper Northwest Washington. The technical school was one of three public colleges that merged to form UDC.
Mr. Ford was named interim president of UDC in 1983 and again in 1985. He served in other executive positions before retiring in 1994 as professor of architecture in residence. He was a member of Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ in the District and sang in its choir.
Marine Corps major
William Hayden III, 87, a retired Marine Corps major who was a member of the service’s rifle and pistol team, died May 14 at a hospital in Englewood, Fla. The cause was pneumonia and cardiopulmonary arrest, said a daughter, Patricia Moore.
Maj. Hayden, a Detroit native, served in the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1972 and was a veteran of the wars in Korea and Vietnam. He settled in the Washington area after his military retirement and spent about 30 years with the National Rifle Association as a firearms trainer. His family said he helped set up a Marine Corps sniper training program at Quantico, Va., in 1977. He moved to Florida from Fairfax City in 2015.
gas company employee
B. Gordon Dickey, 95, who spent 35 years working at the Washington Gas Light Co. before retiring in 1987 as assistant to the president, died June 11 at the home of a daughter in Conyers, Ga. The cause was cardiac arrest, said a daughter, Lelia Sinclair Baldassari.
Basil Gordon Dickey was born in Dayton, Ohio, and moved to Washington as a child. He was a member of the Cosmos Club and the Washington Cathedral Association. In 2001, he left Washington initially for Nashville and then a year ago moved to Georgia.
Eugene Becker, 90, a deputy director for administration of the National Security Agency who retired in 1993 after more than 40 years with the agency, died June 9 at a hospital in Columbia, Md. The cause was congestive heart failure, said a daughter, Nancy Becker.
Mr. Becker, a resident of Ellicott City, Md., was born in New York City. He began his career in 1952 as a linguist at the Armed Forces Security Agency, an NSA predecessor. In 1996, he helped establish the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation. He retired as foundation president in 2012.
Margaret Armstrong, 63, vice president of communications for the International Dairy Foods Association from 2007 to 2017, died May 21 at a hospital in Washington. The cause was cancer, said a sister-in-law, Barbara Goglia.
Ms. Armstrong was born in Towson, Md., and had lived in Washington since 1995. From 1995 to 2007, she worked for the D.C. government and affiliated agencies, including as a policy adviser and communications director for Mayor Anthony A. Williams. She also held several positions for the National Capital Revitalization Corp.
Elizabeth Kitsos-Kang, 53, an actress and teacher of theater arts in public schools, facilities for seniors and summer camps, died June 9 at her home in Arlington, Va. The cause was cancer, said a friend and colleague, Allyson Currin.
She was born in Evanston, Ill., and moved to the Washington area as an adolescent. She was on the George Washington University theater faculty from 1996 to 2018. As an actress, she specialized in comic roles at local theaters. In 1997, she co-founded the Education Theatre Company, which promotes theater appreciation.
— From staff reports