Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Philip W. Steitz III, 90, executive editor from 1970 to 2002 of the old Artist and Writers Syndicate, a Washington-based syndicate that distributed editorial cartoons and features on topics including antiques and photography, died July 29 at an assisted-living center in McLean, Va. He had Alzheimer’s disease, said a son, NASA spokesman David Steitz.
Mr. Steitz was born in Evanston, Ill., and he served in the Army in the China-Burma-India theater during World War II. He was a senior director for the old U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity and an assistant director of the Peace Corps in the 1960s. He was also founder and president of the old Survey Research Corp., a public opinion research firm, a founding board member of the nonprofit Helping Children Grow and a member of the National Press Club. He co-founded the Artists and Writers Syndicate with his wife.
Roberta J. Gosier, 76, the owner and operator of a money management business that advises senior citizens, died Aug. 12 at a hospital in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was cancer, said a son, Christopher Gosier.
Mrs. Gosier was born Roberta John in Washington and was a social worker until 1991, when she purchased Help Unlimited, a money management firm that helps senior citizens handle medical bills, insurance and other financial issues. In 2010, she sold the business to a daughter but continued to work there part time as community outreach director. She was a Silver Spring resident.
Milton Eisen, 91, a statistician who retired in 1980 as chief of the Census Bureau’s industry division, died Aug. 11 at a hospital in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was a heart attack, said a son, Alan Eisen.
Mr. Eisen, a Silver Spring resident, was born in Brooklyn. He worked for what was then the Veterans Administration before joining the Census Bureau in 1950. In 1976, he received a Gold Medal Award from the Commerce Department. In retirement, he was a volunteer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. He delivered meals for the Jewish Social Service Agency’s Meals on Wheels program.
Byron B. Morton, 84, who retired in 1989 after 32 years as a Foreign Service officer, died Aug. 12 at a nursing facility in Bethesda, Md. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said a friend, Hans Tuch.
Mr. Morton, a Bethesda resident, was born in Elizabeth, N.J. His foreign postings included Moscow, where he was a specialist in the Soviet military; Kobe, Japan; Belgrade, in what was then Yugoslavia; Tehran; Prague; and Ramstein, West Germany, where he was political adviser to the commanding general of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
Robert E. Haller, 72, who for 27 years owned and operated Liberty Financial Services, a Rockville, Md., mortgage company, died July 13 at his home in Rockville. The cause was cardiac arrhythmia, said his wife, Beverly Haller.
Mr. Haller, a native of Norfolk, worked for IBM in Texas and New Jersey before coming to Washington 36 years ago as an IBM marketing manager. He took over Liberty Financial Services in 1986 and retired in 2013.
Edward Morgan III, 90, an Episcopal priest, pastoral counselor and professor of pastoral theology at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, died July 25 at a hospice in Williamsburg, Va. The cause was sepsis, said a friend, Ben Wilmot.
Rev. Morgan was born in Richmond and was a research engineer with the chemical company DuPont before entering the Episcopal priesthood. From 1960 to 1981, he was rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria. He also was a co-incorporator and founding board chairman of the Pastoral Counseling and Consultation Centers of Greater Washington, which in the 1970s and 1980s operated in 32 locations with 47 therapists. He had a private practice as a pastoral counselor and marriage and family therapist in this period.
He was professor of pastoral theology at Virginia Theological Seminary from 1981 to 1993. He was interim rector of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Falls Church in 1993 and 1994, then relocated to Williamsburg as priest associate at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church from 1994 to 2001.
Laura K. Oberdorfer, 84, an English as a second language teacher at American University in the 1980s and early 1990s and the widow of author and Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Don Oberdorfer, died Aug. 24 at her apartment in Washington. The cause was complications from lung cancer, said a son, Daniel Oberdorfer.
Mrs. Oberdorfer was born Laura Klein in South Orange, N.J. She was a Fulbright scholar in Paris and moved to the Washington area in 1959. She lived in Tokyo from 1972 to 1975 — her husband was serving as The Post’s northeast Asia correspondent — and worked as a cookbook editor for the Japanese publisher Shufunotomo. She also helped edit her husband’s books and other writings over the years, according to her son. She helped take care of her husband after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
H. Jack Bowser, 72, director of operations for American Protective Service security in Gaithersburg, Md., died Aug. 6 at a hospital in Rockville, Md. The cause was cardiac arrest, said a daughter, Christine Green.
Mr. Bowser, a resident of Gaithersburg, was born in Washington and served in the Army in Vietnam, receiving a Purple Heart. He was a private investigator and a technician with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service before joining American Protective Service in 1989.