Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Claudia Bourne Farrell, 75, a spokeswoman for the Federal Trade Commission in the 1970s and again from 1994 to 2012, died Jan. 27 at her home in Washington. The cause was complications from emphysema, said Peter Kaplan, deputy director of the agency’s public affairs office.
Mrs. Farrell was born Claudia Bourne in Chicago. Early in her career, she was a press secretary for Sen. Charles H. Percy (R-Ill.) and a public affairs officer for NASA. At the FTC, she worked on the agency’s response to consumer protection, antitrust and privacy issues, among other topics. Between her two stints at the FTC, she did public relations consulting.
Virginia Atwood, 96, a procurement specialist who retired in 1972 from the Army Materiel Command after 32 years, died Jan. 9 at a hospice center in Arlington, Va. The cause was complications from heart disease, said a daughter, Elizabeth V. Romaine.
Mrs. Atwood was born Virginia Carrier in Falmouth, Ky., and settled in Washington in 1939. She lived in Arlington, where she was a member of the Washington Golf and Country Club.
Renee Serveiss, 94, a part-time seamstress in New York for the fashion designer Oleg Cassini, died Dec. 30 at her home in Reston, Va. The cause was breast cancer, said a son, Victor Serveiss.
Mrs. Serveiss was born Renata Rossi on a farm near Pisa, Italy. After World War II, she moved to New York and worked for Cassini in the 1950s and ’60s. She settled in the Washington area in 1992 and lived at Lake Anne Fellowship House, where she was involved in the craft club.
Vincent Lee-Thorp, 88, who spent 25 years as president and chief executive of what became Summer Consultants before retiring in 1997, died Jan. 3 at a hospital in Reston, Va. The cause was complications from cardiac arrhythmia, said a son, Robin Lee-Thorp.
Mr. Lee-Thorp, a resident of Great Falls, Va., was born in Witbank (now eMalahleni), South Africa. He settled in the Washington area in 1952 and was a mechanical and electrical engineer with various companies until helping start what was then Smith and Lee-Thorp in 1963. He was a past Washington-chapter president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. He wrote a book, “Washington Engineered” (2006).
Raymond Ruf, 84, a founding partner of DMR Associates, a commercial heating and air conditioning company in Gaithersburg, Md., died Jan. 16 at a hospice center in Rockville, Md. The cause was a cerebral hemorrhage, said a daughter, Christine Kameen.
Mr. Ruf, a New York native, served in the Air Force Reserve in the 1960s and reached the rank of captain. He also was an engineer at Trane Co. during that time. He helped start DMR in 1969 and sold his interest in 1993. He was a past Washington-chapter president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
He served on the vestry at St. James Episcopal Church in Potomac, Md., where he was also a licensed pastoral visiting lay eucharistic minister. He was a former board member of the Ivymont School in Potomac, for students with learning problems and disabilities.
Barbara Cohen, 76, a secretary from the 1980s to the early 2010s at the Kilmer Center in Vienna, Va., a Fairfax County public school for children with severe disabilities, died Feb. 8 at a hospice center in Aldie, Va. The cause was cancer, said a daughter, Lora O’Brien.
Mrs. Cohen, a Fairfax County resident, was born Barbara Maddox in Greensboro, N.C., and settled in the Washington area in 1957. She worked for the commonwealth of Virginia for many years helping rescue abused animals and served on the board of the SPCA of Northern Virginia as a dog chairman.
— From staff reports