Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

David Harris, linguistics professor

David Harris, 94, a Georgetown University linguistics professor who retired in 1990, died Aug. 19 at a care center in Washington. The cause was dementia, said Gene Vricella, his executor.

Dr. Harris was born in Rocky River, Ohio. He was a professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville before coming to Washington in the 1960s. He worked briefly at the American Language Institute before joining the Georgetown faculty.

Eric Shettle, research scientist

Eric Shettle, 75, a research scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory from 1990 to 2010, died Aug. 21 at a hospital in Rockville, Md. The cause was myotonic dystrophy, a muscular disorder, said his wife, Carolyn Shettle.


Mr. Shettle, a Rockville resident, was born in New York City. He was a research scientist at the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory in Massachusetts before moving to the Washington area in 1990.


Thomas Gentry, NIH program director

Thomas Gentry, 75, a program director for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism from 1996 to 2012, died Sept. 9 at his home in Rockville, Md. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said his wife, Donna Gentry.

Dr. Gentry was born in Coral Gables, Fla. He did research on alcoholism and treatment in New York before moving to the Washington area in 1996.

Alan Lebowitz, Labor Department officer

Alan Lebowitz, 74, a Labor Department officer who directed regulatory, enforcement and reporting safeguards for retirement and benefits plans for millions of American workers, died Sept. 21 at his home in Potomac, Md. The cause was complications from pancreatic cancer, said a daughter, Holly Rossi.


Mr. Lebowitz, a Boston native, worked at the Internal Revenue Service before joining the Labor Department in 1979. From 1984 until he retired in 2013, he was deputy assistant secretary in the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

In that role, he directed the implementation of measures to protect the integrity of employee benefits during a period when the economic power of U.S. workers was beginning to ebb. He played a role in the investigations and prosecutions of investment executives who misused money belonging to employee benefits and retirement funds.

— From staff reports