Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Lionel Weinstock, 91, a designer of protective clothing for the Navy Department, died Aug. 3 at a hospital in Olney, Md. The cause was a heart attack, said a son, Jordan Weinstock.
Mr. Weinstock, a resident of Silver Spring, Md., was born in the New York City borough of Queens. He worked for the Navy Department at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in New Jersey before moving to the Washington area in 1966. He retired from the Navy in 1986 after 30 years of service. He was a member of Shaare Tefila Congregation in Silver Spring.
Ezra Cummings Jr., 78, an Army colonel who commanded paratrooper units during the Vietnam War and retired in 1987 from the Army’s Adjutant General Corps, died May 7 at a hospital in Fort Belvoir, Va. The cause was cancer, said his former wife, Thelma Cummings.
Col. Cummings, who lived in Falls Church, was born in Washington. He began his Army career in 1960 and served in Korea, Okinawa, Germany, Washington and other stateside posts in addition to Vietnam. His awards included the Bronze Star Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal and an Army Commendation Medal. In retirement, he was a management consultant with Breil Worldwide Management until 2014.
Charity Thomas, 96, a nurse who worked at the National Institutes of Health in the 1960s and at the Veterans Administration hospital in Washington in the 1970s, died Aug. 24 at her home in Washington. The cause was Alzheimer’s disease, said a granddaughter, Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery.
Mrs. Thomas was born Charity Valentine in Spartanburg, S.C., and moved to the Washington area in 1941. She did volunteer work at the Tenth Street Baptist Church in the District, where she helped feed the homeless, served in a marriage ministry and sang in choirs.
Edgar McLean, 89, a research physicist who spent more than 50 years working for the Naval Research Laboratory, retired in 1998 and remained on contract another decade, died Aug. 24 at his home in Oxon Hill, Md. The cause was myelodysplastic syndrome, said his wife, Anna McLean.
Mr. McLean, a native of Gastonia, N.C., settled in the Washington area in 1951. Much of his work centered on lasers and their possible use in fusion, and he helped to develop one of the world’s first X-ray lasers in the 1980s. He also served as a science fair judge in Prince George’s County for more than 50 years.
Tazuko Schmitz, 71, a real estate broker who had owned and operated Global Estates Inc. in Bethesda, Md., for more than 30 years, died Aug. 17 at her home in Bethesda. The cause was breast cancer, said a stepdaughter, Catherine Bise.
Mrs. Schmitz was born Tazuko Omori in Japan’s Oita prefecture. She worked at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo in the early 1970s and lived in Panama and Germany before settling in the Washington area in 1985. That year, she worked on interior design at the Japanese embassy’s new chancery building. She was a former docent at the National Gallery of Art and also founded an association dedicated to the appreciation of Japanese culture, called Wa No Kai.
Jarda Wroblewski, 65, a professor of pharmacology and physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center, died Aug. 21 while on a visit to his native Warsaw. His wife, Barbara Wroblewski, quoted a Polish coroner as saying he died of pulmonary cardiovascular failure.
Dr. Wroblewski, a resident of Kensington, Md., joined the Georgetown medical faculty in 1985 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health. His research into metabotropic glutamate receptors helped advance the understanding of how the human brain works. He sailed in the Caribbean Sea and was a gourmet cook, who on occasions prepared elaborate meals for up to 80 guests.
Joseph O’Leary, 96, an Army colonel who served in combat roles in the Philippines, during World War II, and later in the Korean and Vietnam wars, died Sept. 9 at a military retirement facility in Washington. The cause was a stroke, said a daughter, Kathleen O’Leary.
Col. O’Leary, a Houston native, served almost three decades in the Army before retiring in 1971 as Army liaison officer to the Senate. Afterward, he was Republican staff director for the Senate Rules Committee, then in 1976 helped establish a Washington consulting firm where he worked for several law firms. Later he was a legislative consultant to the Winston & Strawn law firm. He continued working until he was in his early 90s.
His major avocation was square-dance calling. In 1958, he called square dances at the U.S. Pavilion at the Brussels World’s Fair.
— From staff reports