The Washington Post

Washington area obituaries of note

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

Richard S. Berkey Jr., CIA officer

Richard S. Berkey Jr., 75, a CIA operations officer who helped acquire and publish banned and hard-to-find books and information in the former Soviet Union during the Cold War, died June 29 at his home in Vienna, Va. The cause was cancer, said his wife, Susan Berkey.

Mr. Berkey was born in New Brunswick, N.J. He joined the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in 1960, after serving as an Army intelligence officer. He served much of his career overseas in Europe and received the agency’s Career Commendation Medal and Intelligence Commendation Medal. After his retirement, he was an independent contractor for the agency for eight years. His memberships included a Washington-based group, Command Wine Food Atlantic.

Neil E. Munch, aerospace engineer

Neil E. Munch, 87, a former General Electric aerospace engineer who founded Munch Engineering in Gaithersburg, Md., died July 1 at a hospital in Rockville, Md. The cause was respiratory failure, pneumonia and multiple heart attacks, said a son, William Munch.

Mr. Munch, a Gaithersburg resident, was a native Washingtonian and grew up in Riverdale, Md. He worked for 30 years at GE, where he specialized in advanced engineering projects in rocket propulsion and space travel. He left to form Munch Engineering in 1986 and did contract work with GE until his retirement in 2006. He was a founding director of the Natural Philosophy Alliance and was awarded the society’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. He also was a scoutmaster for more than 50 years and a member of Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church.

David C. Carroll, security guard

David C. Carroll, 85, a security guard for the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase in the early to mid-1980s, died June 29 at a hospital in Bethesda. The cause was liver cancer, said a niece, Sharon Allen.

Mr. Carroll was born in Chicago and moved to Kensington, Md., in 1968. He was a telegrapher at the American Red Cross, among other jobs, before doing security work at 4-H. His memberships included the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Thomas C. Luche, USAID officer

Thomas C. Luche, 80, a former officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development whose specialties included rural and commercial development, died June 19 in a car accident in Alden, N.Y., where he was traveling on vacation. According to media reports, the Erie County sheriff’s office said that his vehicle entered an intersection without yielding the right of way to another car. The crash remains under investigation.

Mr. Luche was born in Brooklyn. He began his career in foreign assistance programs in Vietnam as a volunteer refugee settlement officer in 1957 and later joined USAID. He served in Thailand, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Ghana and Cape Verde off the west African coast, where he helped to plant 4 million drought-resistant trees and worked with the U.S. ambassador to introduce a two-party political system. He retired in 1995 and moved a few years later to Mount Dora, Fla., from Reston, Va.

Charles A. Young, scientist

Charles A. Young, 91, a scientist with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory for 26 years, died June 29 at his home in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was chronic lung disease, said his wife, Norma Young.

Dr. Young was born in Nether Dallachy, Scotland. He came to the United States after World War II as a radar specialist at the British Embassy. In 1963, he joined the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where his specialties included electronic warfare and Naval fleet defense programs. He retired in 1989.

Geoffrey V. Forman, computer consultant

Geoffrey V. Forman, 56, a self-employed computer consultant, died July 10 at his home in Bethesda, Md. The cause was leukodystrophy, a degeneration of white matter in the brain, said his wife, Elizabeth Lee.

Mr. Forman was born in Roanoke and had lived in the Washington area since 1989. His work as a computer consultant included working with small businesses and providing help-desk functions in situations where person-to-person meetings were supplanted by virtual meetings.

Curtis Prendergast, journalist

Curtis Prendergast, 98, a retired Time-Life News Service correspondent and bureau chief in Tokyo, Paris, Johannesburg and London and a “founding father” of the European edition of Time in 1973, died July 17 at his home in Bethesda, Md. The cause was complications from pneumonia, said a daughter, Sarah Serino.

Mr. Prendergast, a native of Stockton, Calif., was in the Foreign Service for three years before joining Time in 1950 as a Korean War correspondent in Seoul. He later covered conflicts in Algeria, South Africa and Northern Ireland as well as a nine-year stint in Paris coinciding with the presidency of Charles de Gaulle in the 1960s. He officially retired from Time in 1973 but continued working as its United Nations correspondent from 1974 to 1980.

— From staff reports

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