Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
James M. Dunn, 83, executive director of what is now the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in Washington from 1981 to 1999, died July 4 at a retirement center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The cause was a heart attack, said Cherilyn Crowe, the committee’s communications director.
The Rev. Dunn, a native of Fort Worth, was a former official with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. On joining what then was the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, he worked to protect the separation of church and state. From 1999 to 2014, he was an adjunct professor of Christianity and public policy at Wake Forest University’s divinity school in Winston-Salem. He moved to Winston-Salem from Washington in 2002.
Marion P. Lelong, 94, a patent lawyer who practiced in Arlington, Va., for 20 years, died July 7 at a hospital in Arlington.
The cause was pneumonia and metastatic prostate cancer, said a sister, Marguerite Kelly, the former “Family Almanac” columnist for The Washington Post.
Mr. Lelong, a resident of Falls Church, Va., was born in New Orleans. Before moving to the Washington area in 1968, he worked in the marble industry in Pittsburgh and the paper industry in Charleston, S.C. He retired in the early 1990s from the patent law firm of Depaoli & O’Brien. In 2011, he self-published “9/11 Deceptions,” a book challenging government and media accounts of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Joseph A. Fortuna, 71, a physician, U.S. Public Health Service officer and legislative assistant in the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Health Services and Mental Health Administration, died June 17 at a hospital in New Orleans. The cause was complications of cancer, said his wife, Grace K. Fortuna.
Dr. Fortuna was born in Washington. As an officer in the Public Health Service, he directed process changes in the emergency medicine department at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Md., including the creation of a helicopter-facilitated rapid response trauma team. In the early 1990s, he was a medical officer at a General Motors assembly plant in Baltimore.
Dr. Fortuna, a former Rockville resident, moved to Philadelphia around 2000 and to New Orleans about 10 years ago. His work in New Orleans included service as medical director of the emergency medical unit at what is now Ochsner Baptist Medical Center.
John B. Sims, 91, a retired Marine Corps colonel who served in World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and later ran a retirement program at a savings and loan, died June 28 at an assisted-living center in Fairfax County, Va. The cause was coronary arteriosclerosis, said a daughter, Kathleen Sims.
Col. Sims, a resident of McLean, Va., from 1972 to 2013, was born at Parris Island, S.C., and was the son of a Marine officer. He served 33 years in the Marine Corps before retiring in 1976. His career included service in China and Japan, and in Uruguay, where he was naval attache at the U.S. Embassy. He also was chief of logistics for the Marine Corps in the Atlantic fleet.
After his military retirement, he worked for First Federal Savings and Loan in Arlington, Va. He retired in 1989 from the S&L, which by then had become Continental Federal Savings and Loan. He was an amateur artist and drew cartoons.
Padman S. Sarma, 83, a research scientist who specialized in virus studies at the National Cancer Institute and retired in 1995, died June 24 at a nursing home in Rockville, Md. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said a son, Navin Sarma.
Dr. Sarma, a Rockville resident, was born in Visakhapatnam, India. He came to the United States in 1955 as a research scientist at the University of Minnesota and joined the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1962.
David W. Garner, 73, a former Army colonel who became a vice president at the McLean, Va.-based Science Applications International Corp., died July 5 at his home in Vienna, Va. The cause was cardiac arrest, said his daughter, Jennifer Garner.
Col. Garner was born in Lebanon, Ind., and enlisted in the Army’s Military Police Corps in 1964. He served 26 years in the military before joining the security and criminal justice division of SAIC in 1990. His decorations included the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal. After leaving SAIC in 2013, he volunteered with the Fairfax City Police Department.
Alphonse “Al” Buccino, 84, a former mathematics professor and dean of the University of Georgia’s education school, died July 6 at a hospital in Baltimore. He had dementia, said a son, Daniel Buccino.
Dr. Buccino was born in New York City to Italian immigrants. He was a deputy directorat the National Science Foundation from 1970 to 1984 and a dean at the University of Georgia until 1994. He took a one-year leave of absence in 1992 to work as an adviser in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and moved to Baltimore from Bethesda, Md., in 2011.
Julius C. Duscha, 90, a former Washington Post political reporter and editorial writer who retired in 1990 after 22 years as director of the Washington Journalism Center, a not-for-profit teaching organization, died July 2 at his home in San Francisco. The cause was Alzheimer’s disease, said a son, Steve Duscha.
Mr. Duscha was born in St. Paul, Minn. From 1958 to 1966, he was on The Post staff, covering national politics and writing editorials. His books included “Taxpayers’ Hayride” (1964) and “Arms, Money, and Politics” (1965). He also contributed to the New York Times, Washingtonian, Harpers and the Atlantic. A former resident of Chevy Chase, he moved to San Francisco upon retiring.
— From staff reports