The Washington Post

Washington area obituaries of note

Correction: An earlier version of the obituary for teacher, coach and administrator Arnold J. Thurmond Sr. incorrectly spelled the name of a now-defunct school where he taught and coached. It was the Parker-Gray School, not the Parker-Grey School. This version has been updated.

Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

G. Adrian Birney,
real estate broker

G. Adrian Birney, 77, a Capitol Hill real estate broker and former English teacher at high schools and colleges in California and Baltimore, died July 13 at a hospice in Arlington. The cause was cancer, said his wife, Alice Lotvin Birney.

Dr. Birney, a resident of Washington since 1973, was born in Steubenville, Ohio. In 1975, he began his real estate career, which included work at several brokerages, including Rodman, Barbara Held Inc., City Sites, Prudential and Coldwell Banker. He retired in 2005.

Arnold J. Thurmond Sr.,
teacher, coach, administrator

Arnold J. Thurmond Sr., 90, an Alexandria public school teacher, coach, counselor and administrator who retired in 1985 from George Washington High School, died June 18 at a rehabilitation center in Springfield, Va. The cause was respiratory failure, said a son, A. Jacy Thurmond Jr.

Mr. Thurmond, an Arlington resident, was born in Ethel, W.Va. He taught physical education and coached basketball at the old Parker-Gray High School in Alexandria before joining George Washington High School in 1965. He became a guidance counselor, student dean and ultimately assistant principal. After retiring, he worked part time as an administrator and dean at T.C. Williams High School’s night program until the mid-1990s. Last year, he was inducted into the City of Alexandria’s African American Hall of Fame, which is located in the Charles Houston Recreation Center.

Mary Jane Keller,
reporter, teacher’s aide

Mary Jane Keller, 90, a reporter at the old Washington Times–Herald who later was a composition assistant at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md., died June 24 at an assisted living center in the District. The cause was complications from dementia, said a son, Richard Keller.

Mrs. Keller was born Mary Jane Dempsey in Washington. She joined the Washington Times–Herald as a copy girl in 1943. After the paper was bought by The Washington Post in 1954, she accompanied her husband on military assignments and wrote freelance stories. From 1983 until 1993, she was a composition assistant at Montgomery Blair High School. She tutored at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Bethesda and did volunteer work with So Others Might Eat.

Betty L. Conner,
nurse, homemaker

Betty L. Conner, 84, a former Rockville homemaker whose memberships included the G Street Doll Club of Rockville, the Montgomery County Republican Club and the West Virginia State Society, died July 4 at a hospital in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was heart ailments, said a daughter, Kim Conner.

Mrs. Conner was born Betty Luzier in Mount Morris, Pa. She worked as a registered nurse at a hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., before settling in the Washington area in 1953. She moved to Silver Spring in the mid-2000s.

Gertrude B. Kaufman,
piano teacher

Gertrude B. Kaufman, 103, who gave private piano lessons at her home in Silver Spring, Md., from the 1950s until the early 1980s, died July 9 at an assisted-living community in Silver Spring. The cause was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said a son, Lawrence Kaufman.

Mrs. Kaufman was born Gertrude Brady in St. Joseph, Mo., and moved to the Washington area in 1946. Her memberships included the National Council of Jewish Women and Temple Emanuel, a Reform synagogue in Kensington, Md.

Steve M. Kreutner,
defense contract manager

Steve M. Kreutner, 60, a retired Navy captain who worked as a program manager for Washington defense contractors, died June 7 at a hospital in Washington. The cause was liver failure, said a daughter, Jessica Hogue.

Capt. Kreutner, an Arlington resident, was born in Wichita, Kan. He served 26 years in the Navy before moving to Washington in 2001 to work at Tri Star Engineering. From 2011 until his retirement in 2013, he worked at the McLean-based Alion Science and Technology.

H. Ralph Taylor,
housing developer

H. Ralph Taylor, 95, a housing developer who led national and local urban renewal projects in Southwest and Northeast Washington, died June 14 at a hospital in Rockville, Md. The cause was respiratory failure, said a son, Allan Taylor.

Mr. Taylor, a resident of Chevy Chase, Md., was born in Somerville, Mass. He moved to the Washington area in 1966 to serve as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s assistant secretary for model cities. He was the executive vice president at the Mid-City Development Corp. from 1969 to 1975 and then was executive vice president of the Fort Lincoln New Town Corp., the developer of the Fort Lincoln neighborhood in Northeast Washington, until his retirement in 1984. He was a founding board member of the Community Preservation and Development Corp., a District-based nonprofit group that develops affordable housing throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Archie L. Paschall Sr.,
Navy analyst

Archie L. Paschall Sr., 84, who worked as a civilian program analyst for the Navy at the Pentagon from the late 1960s until his retirement in 1988, died June 20 at a nursing and rehabilitation center in Adelphi, Md. The cause was sepsis and endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart’s lining, said a son, A. Lamar Paschall Jr.

Mr. Paschall, a resident of Adelphi, was born in Gould, Ark., and moved to the Washington area in 1947. Early in his career, he worked for the Food and Drug Administration’s personnel division. His memberships included the American Legion, the National City Christian Church in Washington and University Christian Church in Hyattsville, Md.

H. Richard Chew,
Arlington lawyer

H. Richard Chew, 87, a former CIA lawyer who later opened a general law practice in Arlington, died July 5 at his home in Arlington, Va. The cause was cancer, said his wife, Judith Brown.

Mr. Chew, a lifelong Arlington resident, joined the CIA in 1950 and worked in the Foreign Broadcast Information Service in Frankfurt, Germany, and the CIA Office of General Counsel. From 1962 until the early 1990s, he had a law practice in Arlington, although he officially retired in 2001. He enjoyed sailing and was a member of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

— From staff reports

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