Correction: An earlier version of the obituary for library assistant Ruth L. Wells incorrectly identified the city in which Mrs. Wells volunteered with the Friends of the Library. It was Wheaton, Md., not Silver Spring, Md. Also, she organized the first parent-run library at the old Forestville Elementary School in Forestville, Md., not Forestville Elementary School in Great Falls, Va. Additionally, an earlier version of the obituary for postal police officer Thomas L. Briscoe incorrectly identified him in one reference as an Army colonel. He was a retired Army staff sergeant. This version has been updated
Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Ruth L. Wells, 96, a library assistant who retired in 1979 from the staff of Montgomery College in Rockville, died March 30 at a son’s home in Greenbelt, Md. The cause was cerebrovascular disease, said a daughter-in-law, Beth Baker.
Mrs. Wells, a Silver Spring resident, was born Ruth Horland in Newark. During World War II, she served in the Women’s Army Corps as an X-ray technician. Early on, she worked as an assistant to a medical entomologist in Bethesda, Md., and was a library assistant for Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. She volunteered with the Friends of the Library in Wheaton, Md., participated in civil rights demonstrations and organized the first parent-run library at the old Forestville Elementary School in Forestville, Md.
James K. Craig, 98, a musician in the U.S. Army Band for 27 years, died April 5 at his home in Chestertown, Md. He had a stroke, said his niece, Sandy Terpeluk.
Mr. Craig, a Chicago native, played clarinet and trumpet for the Army band from 1941 to 1968. After his military service, he played private musical events and caddied for the Chevy Chase Country Club in Maryland until his early 80s. He lived in Chevy Chase before moving to Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 2011.
David A. Brooks, 96, a retired senior partner at Regardie, Brooks and Lewis, a certified public accounting firm in Bethesda, died April 19 at his home in North Bethesda. The cause was cardiorespiratory failure, said a daughter, Dr. Betsy Brooks.
Mr. Brooks was a native Washingtonian. In 1946, he was a founding member of the CPA firm, which was initially based in Washington and called Regardie and Brooks; he retired in his 90s. He was a fellow of the Greater Washington Society of CPAs and a past chairman of Bethesda-based Congregation Beth El’s budget and finance committee. He was a life board member of the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington.
Thomas L. Briscoe, 81, a retired Army staff sergeant who had a second career as a Washington postal police officer, died April 8 at his home in Waldorf, Md. The cause was a heart ailment, said a daughter, Kasandra Briscoe.
Sgt. Briscoe was born in Indian Head, Md., and enlisted in the Air Force in 1951. He later switched to the Army and served in Vietnam before retiring in 1972. He then worked as a postal police officer at the Washington bulk mail center until his second retirement in 1994. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Cynthia Littlefield, 86, a Washington artist who taught art privately at her Washington home and elsewhere, died March 17 at a care center in Washington. The cause was cancer, said a daughter, Prairie Griffith.
Ms. Littlefield was born in Phoenix and had lived in the Washington area for 60 years. In the 1970s and 1980s, she was a front-desk greeter at the Phillips Collection. She specialized in abstract paintings, mainly in oils and watercolors.
Sayre Stevens, 87, who did intelligence work for the CIA and later as vice president of the Arlington-based government contractor System Planning Corp., died April 9 at his home in Lottsburg, Va. The cause was pneumonia, said a son, Duncan Stevens.
Dr. Stevens was born in New York City. He served 22 years with the CIA, retiring in 1979 as deputy director for intelligence with responsibility for all CIA intelligence analysis. At System Planning Corp., where he retired in 1997, he managed groups performing studies and analysis in support of national intelligence and strategic weapon systems programs. A former Silver Spring resident, he moved to Lottsburg on retirement.
Merritt W. DuPuis, 68, a database programmer and designer who had worked for more than 20 years for government contractors such as Northrup Grumman, SAIC, BTG, E-Systems and Mitre Corp., died April 2 at her home in Falls Church, Va. The cause was cancer, said a sister, Kit Vale.
She was born Merritt Wilkinson in Boston and moved to the Washington area as young woman. She retired in 2010 from SAIC.
Robert C. Bigrigg, 79, an Air Force fighter pilot and retired lieutenant colonel who taught computer and investing courses at the Loudoun County Senior Center and did volunteer work in Northern Virginia for Habitat for Humanity, died April 9 at a health care center in Fairfax County. The cause was complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said a daughter, Carin Bigrigg.
Col. Bigrigg, a resident of Sterling, Va., was born in Kansas City, Mo. He retired from the Air Force in 1984 after a 26-year career that included three tours of duty as a combat pilot during the Vietnam War. He settled in the Washington area in 1997 and was a former president and vice president of the Seneca Ridge Homeowners Association in Sterling.
— From staff reports