Mrs. Withers, a resident of Silver Spring, Md., was born Daisy Portee in Camden, S.C. She accompanied her husband to Asia and Africa for his assignments with what became the U.S. Agency for International Development. She taught English to Buddhist monks in Laos and, in 1960, served as principal of a makeshift school in Bangkok established for American children evacuated from Laos amid political turmoil.
She settled in the Washington area in the late 1970s and, in 1983, was among the first recipients of The Washington Post’s Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award. The next year, she was a finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
James O'Leary, Catholic University professor
James O’Leary, 72, who served as chairman of the Department of Politics at Catholic University from 1984 to 1989, died Jan. 24 at a retirement community in McLean, Va. The cause was cancer, said his daughter, Abigail O’Leary.
Dr. O’Leary, a McLean resident, was born in Berkeley, Calif. He settled in the Washington area in 1966 and taught at Catholic University from 1977 to 2019. He served as assistant director of policy coordination for President-elect Ronald Reagan’s White House transition team between 1980 and 1981. He belonged to the American Political Science Association and other professional associations.
Thomas Nees, pastor, nonprofit director
Thomas Nees, 83, a Nazarene pastor and founding director of the Washington-based Community of Hope, which provides health insurance and emergency housing to low-income families, died Jan. 24 at a hospital in the District. The cause was complications from heart surgery, said his wife, Patricia Nees.
The Rev. Nees, a resident of Arnold, Md., was born in Kalispell, Mont. He settled in the Washington area in 1971 and then served as pastor until 1975 at the First Church of the Nazarene in the District. Community of Hope began as a ministry of the church, and the Rev. Nees served as director for 12 years after it became an independent nonprofit organization in 1980. In later years, he volunteered as a mentor to chaplains at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Samuel Shelburne Jr., pediatric neurologist
Samuel Shelburne Jr., 86, who taught neurology and pediatrics at George Washington University from 1976 to 2015, died Jan. 7 at a hospital in Washington. The cause was a stroke, said his son, Samuel Shelburne III.
Dr. Shelburne, a resident of Bethesda, Md., was born in Dallas. He led the division of child neurology at Children’s National Hospital from the late 1970s to 1990. He previously served as chairman and founding member of the division of child neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He was a founding member of the Child Neurology Society.
Milton Corn, medical school dean
Milton Corn, 93, former dean of the Georgetown University School of Medicine and deputy director for research and education at the National Library of Medicine, died Feb. 7 at his winter home in Palm Beach, Fla. The cause was cancer, said his wife, Gilan Corn.
Dr. Corn, a resident of Arlington, Va., was born in Berlin, emigrated to the United States with his family at 6 and grew up in Hartford, Conn. In 1973, he joined the medical staff at Georgetown, where he served as a professor of medicine, acting medical director of Georgetown University Hospital and, from 1985 to 1989, as dean of the School of Medicine, where he pioneered emergency medicine training.
He joined the staff of the National Library of Medicine, a unit of the National Institutes of Health, in 1990. He directed its grants program. He had been its deputy director of research and education since 2009.
— From staff reports