Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
medical library director
Donald Lindberg, 85, director of the National Library of Medicine for 31 years who was instrumental in making medical information available online, died Aug. 16 at a hospital in Bethesda, Md. He died of injuries suffered in an accidental fall, the National Institutes of Health said in an announcement.
As medical library chief, Dr. Lindberg oversaw the creation of a common vocabulary for medical terms, conditions, treatments and research. He also supervised the digitization of medical research materials and was instrumental in launching several online medical databases.
While serving as chief of the National Library of Medicine, Dr. Lindberg also was the first director of the government-wide Office of High-Performance Computing and Communications, which set standards for connecting to the Internet.
He was the author of three books and more than 200 academic publications and served as an editor and editorial board member of nine publications, including the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Lindberg “is considered by many to be the country’s senior statesman for computers and medicine,” Francis S. Collins, director of the National Library of Medicine’s parent organization, the National Institutes of Health, said in a statement.
A New York City native, Dr. Lindberg was a professor of medicine at the University of Missouri for 25 years before being named director of the National Library of Medicine in 1984. He lived in Germantown, Md.
VOA division leader
Akbar Ayazi, 65, an Afghan-born Voice of America journalist who since 2015 had directed the agency’s South and Central Asia division, died Aug. 25 at a hospital in Falls Church, Va. The cause was lung cancer and pneumonia, the VOA said in an announcement.
Mr. Ayazi, a native of Kandahar, joined the news staff of the U.S. government’s international broadcast agency two years after immigrating to the United States in 1980, following the Soviet invasion of his homeland.
He was chief of VOA’s Pashto language service in 2005 when he left for Prague, where he served for 10 years at the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcast service.
In 2009 he moderated an Afghan election presidential debate pitting the incumbent, Hamid Karzai, against two challengers, current President Ashraf Ghani and current Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
Returning to VOA, Mr. Ayazi directed the agency’s broadcasting over a region stretching from Turkey to Afghanistan. He established an extremism watch unit to monitor and report violent political extremism around the world. He was a resident of Woodbridge, Va.
Mary Freese, 82, a bookkeeper who volunteered with her church and with Scouting groups, died July 7 at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. The cause of death was listed as advanced arthritis, said her son, Gregg Freese.
Mrs. Freese was born Mary Parsons in Fountain Hill, Pa., and lived in Takoma Park, Md., from 1956 to 2013. She was a part-time bookkeeper in the 1970s and 1980s at St. Patrick’s Church and Episcopal Day School in Washington and the D.C. Baptist Convention.
She served as a volunteer treasurer for more than 25 years at Clifton Park Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Md., and volunteered with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
Philomena Jurey, 91, the former editor in chief of Voice of America who served as the broadcaster’s White House correspondent during the Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan presidencies, died July 26 at a care center in Hillsdale, Pa. The cause was complications from vascular dementia, said a niece, Marian Fiscus.
Mrs. Jurey was born Philomena Sparano in New Castle, Pa., and worked for newspapers in Virginia and Ohio before joining Voice of America in 1961. She retired in 1989. Four years ago, she moved to Pennsylvania from Washington.
— From staff reports