Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
pediatrician, medical director
Ted Anders, 87, a pediatrician who treated patients for more than 50 years and directed the medical staff at Children’s National Medical Center, died May 26 at his home in North Bethesda, Md. The cause was coronary artery disease, said a son, Jeffrey Anders.
Dr. Anders was born Theodore Amdursky in Rochester, N.Y., and changed his last name in the 1950s. He served as an Army physician before settling in the Washington area in 1960 and joining a private medical practice that became known as Chevy Chase Pediatrics. He was often cited by Washingtonian magazine as one of the Washington area’s leading pediatricians. He served as chairman of the medical staff at Children’s National Medical Center from 1979 to 1986, longer than any other physician before him, and also was a member of the hospital’s board of directors. He retired in 2010.
Karen Sprecher-Keating, 63, a lawyer who served in the solicitor’s office at the Interior Department, died July 16 at a hospice center in Washington. The cause was liver disease, said a friend, Christine Kessides.
Karen Sprecher was born in Baltimore, grew up in Potomac, Md., and lived in the District. She worked at the law firm Arent Fox from 1987 to 1997, when she joined the Interior Department’s legal office.
Ms. Sprecher-Keating later served as vice president of Keating Investigations and was general counsel of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. She worked on advance teams for Democratic presidential candidates and was a board member of Washington National Cathedral.
Frederic Leiner, 92, an engineer who helped design large-scale telecommunications systems, died July 24 at a retirement facility in Charlottesville. He had complications from dementia, said a son, John Leiner.
Mr. Leiner was born in East St. Louis, Ill., and served with the Army Signal Corps in Europe during World War II. He designed emergency communications systems for municipalities and worked for Northrop Corp. in Massachusetts before transferring to the Washington area in 1967. He later worked at Teleconsult and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory before moving to Mitre Corp. in 1983, where he had a key role in developing telecommunications systems that could withstand nuclear attack. He returned to work for a Northrop subsidiary before retiring from Northrop Grumman in 2008.
He was a longtime resident of Alexandria, Va., and a member of the Opera Society of Northern Virginia.
seamstress, survivor of Cambodian genocide
Sin Chhoeum, 101, who survived more than three years of forced labor during the Cambodian genocide before immigrating to the United States in 1983, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Frederick, Md. Her son, Leth Oun, confirmed the death but did not know the precise cause.
Mrs. Sin was born in Battambang City, in northwestern Cambodia, and worked as a seamstress and tobacco roller. Soon after the communist Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975, her husband — an army officer — was executed, and the family was split up. Mrs. Sin and two of her three children were sent to different forced-labor camps, where they were fed meager rations and spent up to 18 hours each day farming and building dams among the rice paddies.
Nearly 2 million Cambodians, about a quarter of the population, died before Vietnam invaded, ousting dictator Pol Pot in 1979. By then Mrs. Sin was in her early 60s, and the family’s home in Battambang had been destroyed. Reuniting with her children, she left her infant daughter with her mother-in-law, who had cared for the girl during the genocide, and traveled on foot to the Thai border with her two older children, in search of better fortune.
They were eventually picked up by a refugee organization and immigrated to the United States, where Mrs. Sin lived in Silver Spring, Md., and Philadelphia, volunteering at Buddhist temples, before retiring to Frederick in 2007.
Her youngest daughter remained behind in Cambodia, but Mrs. Sin, who was ailing in recent months, had been unable make the trip. “I told her when she’s recovered I’ll buy her a ticket, first class,” her son said. “She was so sick that if she went, we knew she wouldn’t make it back.”
homemaker, gift shop worker
Helen Bobinger, 97, a homemaker who later worked at a gift shop, died Aug. 2 at a hospice center in Pasadena, Md. The cause was pneumonia, said her daughter, Jan Armstrong.
Mrs. Bobinger was born Helen Phillips in Snowville, Va. She grew up there and, after the age of 12, in Baltimore. After her children were grown, she worked at a gift shop in Bladensburg, Md., where she lived for many years. She later lived in Severn, Md., and was a member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Cheverly, Md.
— From staff reports