Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Lawrence Margolis, 81, a jurist who served for more than three decades as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, died Jan. 18 at a hospital in the District. The cause was acute cardiovascular disease, said a daughter, Aleta Margolis.
Mr. Margolis, a District resident, was born in Philadelphia. His legal career included service as a D.C. assistant attorney general, a Justice Department prosecutor, an assistant U.S. attorney for the District and a magistrate in U.S. District Court in Washington.
In the last capacity, he oversaw early legal proceedings in the case of John W. Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Appointed by Reagan, Mr. Margolis joined the Court of Federal Claims in 1983. He took senior status in 1997 but remained on recall until shortly before his death.
Mr. Margolis was active with the Rotary Club in Washington and Rotary International and was named Rotarian of the Decade, his daughter said. He was a former trustee of Drexel University in Philadelphia, a leader of the George Washington University law school alumni organization and an advocate for the school’s night law program.
Arthur Lerner, 65, a lawyer whose specialties with the Washington firm Crowell & Moring included antitrust matters, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and health reform initiatives, died Nov. 8 at a hospice center in Rockville, Md. The cause was pancreatic cancer, said a brother, Richard Lerner.
Mr. Lerner, a resident of Chevy Chase, Md., was born in Newark. He came to the Washington area in 1976 and spent 10 years at the Federal Trade Commission. He entered private practice in 1986, first with the firm Michaels & Wishner. In 2000, he joined Crowell & Moring, where he maintained a partnership until his death.
Anita Schelp, 93, a former labor negotiator in Chicago who settled in the Washington area in 1960 and became involved in community groups, died Dec. 30 at a senior community in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was complications from dementia, said a son, Paul Schelp.
Mrs. Schelp was born Anita Dunne in Chicago, where she helped businesses, including General Instrument, in negotiations with labor groups. In the Washington area, she was a past president of the Parents’ Pre-School Council and her memberships included the Washington Club and the Capital Speakers Club. She was a docent at the Corcoran Gallery and the National Gallery of Art.
Brian Clukey, 53, an advocate for people with developmental disabilities, died Jan. 7 at a hospice center in Arlington, Va. The cause was early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and complications from Down syndrome, said his mother, Marcia Clukey.
Mr. Clukey was born in Syracuse, N.Y., and settled in the Washington area in 1998. He served two terms on the Virginia Board for People With Disabilities and served on the National Council on Disability. He was a board member of the Arc of Northern Virginia, an advocacy and service organization for people with developmental disabilities, and what is now the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He lived in Falls Church, Va.
Guido Fenzi, 89, who served in the State Department from 1956 to 1985 as an economic specialist and in retirement became an expert on imperial Russian coins, died Jan. 2 at his home in the District. The cause was complications from Parkinson’s disease, said his wife, Jewell Fenzi.
Mr. Fenzi was born in Santa Barbara, Calif. His Foreign Service career took him to embassies and consulates in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and South America. He retired in 1985 and chaired the Dupont Circle Citizens Association’s zoning committee.
He volunteered for the National Museum of American History’s National Numismatic Collection. He taught himself Cyrillic and spent 25 years researching and authenticating the noted coin collection of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, a member of the Romanov family, and published articles in the journal of the Russian Numismatic Society. He wrote a book, “The Rubles of Peter the Great: From the Collection of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, 1704-1725.”
William L. Bird, 91, an engineer and official with the Rural Electrification Administration for 42 years who retired in 1991, died Dec. 24 at the home of a daughter in Edgewater, Md. The cause was prostate cancer, said a son, Mark Bird.
Mr. Bird, a resident of Galesville, Md., was born in Greenup, Ky., and moved to the Washington area as an infant. He served in the Army during World War II and was captured by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge in January 1945. He was held as a prisoner of war for more than two months. He retired from the REA as telephone program director. He was a former Sunday school teacher at the United Methodist Church of Landover Hills, Md.
Edward Berlin, 77, a lawyer who specialized in public utilities law, died Dec. 25 at a hospital in Durham, N.C. The cause was acute respiratory failure, said a son, Douglas Berlin.
Mr. Berlin was born in the Bronx and came to Washington in 1961 to work for the Justice Department. After serving on the Federal Power Commission and the New York Public Service Commission, he joined the Washington firm of Leva, Hawes, Symington, Martin and Oppenheimer.
In 1982, Mr. Berlin formed the firm that became Swidler & Berlin, where he served as chairman for 24 years. He retired in 2006. He was a longtime resident of McLean, Va., and later lived in Arlington, Va., and Spotsylvania, Va.
Mary Rose, 73, a medical investigator and researcher from 1984 to 2016 at Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University, died Dec. 28 at a hospital in the District. The cause was cancer, said her husband, Michael Smith.
Dr. Rose, a resident of Rockville, Md., was born Mary Callaghan in Boston. Her research specialties included the fundamental mechanisms of chronic lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis and asthma. Her research was published in more than 60 reviews, papers and book chapters.
Joseph Miller, 95, a political consultant and lobbyist who specialized in concerns affecting the Pacific Northwest, and whose clients included the port of Portland, Ore., and the United Steelworkers, died Jan. 4 at a rehabilitation center in Bethesda, Md. The cause was complications from a stroke, said a daughter, Sue Miller.
Mr. Miller, a District resident, was born in New York City. He worked for newspapers in the Pacific Northwest before coming to the Washington area in 1956 as executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He worked as a lobbyist from 1961 until his retirement in the early 2000s.
Potarazu Krishna Rao, a meteorologist who retired in 2002 as chief scientist at the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, died Jan. 19 at his home in Rockville, Md. The cause was complications from a stroke, said a son, Sreedhar Potarazu.
Dr. Rao was born in Andhra state, India. He joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1961, focusing on the use of satellites for weather forecasting. He rose to the senior executive service, published more than 60 scientific papers and received a NOAA award for distinguished service. He was a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the New York Academy of Sciences and Britain’s Royal Meteorological Society. He was a founding member of Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, Md.
— From staff reports