Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
William F. Arrington, 87, a 30-year veteran of U.S. intelligence agencies, primarily the National Security Agency, died Jan. 26 at a health-care center in Rockville, Md. The cause was congestive heart failure, said a son-in-law, John Alahouzos.
Mr. Arrington, a Rockville resident, was born in Mount Airy, N.C. He began his intelligence career in the 1950s and served in a variety of capacities, including stints in the office of the assistant secretary of defense and as NSA’s director of budgets and programs. He retired about 30 years ago.
Lawrence M. Burman, 93, a petroleum engineer who retired from the Energy Department in 1987, died Feb. 24 at his home in Silver Spring, Md. The cause was esophageal cancer, said a daughter, Frances Burman.
Mr. Burman, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., spent his early career as a petroleum engineer with the U.S. Bureau of Mines in Bartlesville, Okla. In 1963, he came to Washington to work for the Atomic Energy Commission. In retirement, he sold residential real estate in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties for several brokerages including Shannon & Luchs, Century 21 and Weichert. He was a member of Temple Emanuel in Kensington.
Helen W. Yin, 88, a research economist with the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis for 29 years, died Feb. 25 at his home in Kensington, Md. The cause was complications from multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, said a daughter, Sandra Yin.
Dr. Yin was born Wan Hung Chang in Tianjin, China. She came to the United States in 1949 and had lived in the Washington area since 1967. In 2000, she retired from the Commerce Department, where her specialties included the development of national income estimates.
Ruth Ann Wallace, 83, a George Washington University sociology professor who served on the faculty from 1970 to 2001 and whose specialties included the sociology of religion, died March 2 at a medical facility in Chevy Chase, Md. The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease and a stroke, said friend and caregiver James Coriden.
Dr. Wallace, a Chevy Chase resident, was born in Gary, Ind. She was a co-author of a textbook, “Contemporary Sociological Theory” (1980). She was a former president of the Association for the Sociology of Religion and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. In 1994, the American Sociology Society gave her an award for her scholarly work on the role of women in society.
Bernard P. Furin, 82, a Washington caterer who also operated a bakery and ran a cafe in Georgetown, died Feb. 22 at a medical-care facility in Arlington. The cause was respiratory failure, said his partner, Wendy Kerr.
Mr. Furin, a resident of Alexandria, Va., was born in Erie, Pa., and settled in the Washington area in 1960. From 1984 to 2011, he operated Furin’s of Georgetown, a cafe, bakery and catering firm. Earlier in his career, he ran the dining room at the State Department and worked for Avignon Freres and Ridgewells catering companies.
Clifton L. Kehr, 89, a research chemist who was research director of the multinational chemical corporation W.R. Grace & Co. in Columbia, Md., died Feb. 16 at a retirement center in Frederick, Md. The cause was atherosclerosis of coronary arteries, said a son, Alan Kehr.
Dr. Kehr, a native of Brodbecks, Pa., worked for W.R. Grace from 1959 to 1991. A former resident of Silver Spring, Md., he participated in a prison ministry at the Maryland House of Correction at Jessup through the auspices of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fulton, Md.
Margaret Gabriel, 86, a longtime register to the Vestry at St. John’s Episcopal Church Lafayette Square in Washington and a volunteer with the Travelers Aid Society, died Feb. 14 at a hospital in Washington. The cause was a stroke, said a son, Robert Gabriel.
Mrs. Gabriel, a District resident, was born Margaret DeVecchi in New York City. Before settling in the Washington area in 1967, she was a private secretary to the U.S. ambassador in the Netherlands and an administrative assistant at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She was a member of the Sulgrave Club in Washington.
Ervin Kapos, 84, a government contractor who specialized in analysis and evaluation of Defense Department operations, died Feb. 25 at a medical facility in Arlington, Va. The cause was kidney failure and a stroke, said a daughter, Valerie Kapos.
Mr. Kapos, who lived in McLean, Va., was born in Brasov, Romania. He came to the United States in 1950 and settled in the Washington area in 1958. He worked with civilian agencies and organizations doing primarily contract work for the government before starting his own company, Kapos Associates, in 1984. He was president and chief executive until 1999. He later worked for the Office of Naval Research and the Homeland Security Department.
Caroline H. Backlund, 95, former librarian for collection development at the National Gallery of Art, died Feb. 20 at her home in Washington. The cause was congestive heart failure, said her guardian, Cynthia Snyder.
Mrs. Backlund was born Caroline Hillman in Grand Rapids, Mich. She moved to Washington in 1966 and spent three years as assistant librarian at Dumbarton Oaks. In 1996, she retired from the National Gallery after 25 years service, having also served as reference librarian and head of reader services. She was a founding board member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Georgina McBride, 89, an Army colonel’s wife who was fluent in six languages and, according to her family, was recruited for unofficial espionage work, died Feb. 19 at her home in Bowie, Md. The cause was dementia, said a son, Scotty McBride.
Mrs. McBride was born Georgina Mercedes Chatarro Galvez in Lima, Peru, and became a U.S. citizen in 1954. In Moscow with her husband in the late 1950s, she had conversations with high diplomatic and government officials, her family said, and was recruited for espionage work by U.S. officials.
In Bowie, she was a founder of the Spanish Group and the International Group as meeting and gathering places for foreign-born women.
Gail F. Solin, 70, a CIA officer whose career included counterterrorism and analysis of issues involving East Asia and the former Soviet Union, died Jan. 26 at a medical-care facility in Aldie, Va. The cause was cancer, said a nephew, Michael Friedman.
Ms. Solin, a resident of McLean, was born in Springfield, Mass. She spent nearly 30 years at the CIA until retiring in 1996. She edited intelligence publications for top policymakers, taught analytic trade craft to a younger generation of CIA officers and briefed senior officials.
Frederick Amling, 89, a George Washington University finance professor and a consulting economist and investment policy adviser for the trust department of the now-defunct Riggs National Bank, died Feb. 21 at a hospital in Palm Beach, Fla. The cause was cancer, said a granddaughter, Nancy Harris.
Dr. Amling, a Cleveland native, held faculty appointments at Miami University in Ohio and the University of Rhode Island before joining the GWU faculty in 1970. He retired in 2000. He was an author of college texts on finance and investments, an elder and trustee of Georgetown Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Cosmos Club. He was resident of Palm Beach and Washington.
Vibeke Lofft, 75, an arts patron who served as a founding member of the Friends of the Kennedy Center, raising money for the art complex’s construction and opening in 1971, died March 21 at a hospital in Washington. The cause was a stroke, said a son, Christopher Lofft.
Mrs. Lofft, a Washington resident, was born Vibeke Thune-Stephensen in Aalborg, Denmark. She arrived in Washington in 1962 and spent about three years working at the Danish Embassy. She was a board member at organizations such as the Washington Ballet, the Washington National Opera’s women’s committee and Friends of Blair House, the president’s guest quarters. She was a member of Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md.
Frederick R. Blackwell, 90, a lawyer and self-employed labor arbitrator in the Washington area, died Feb. 27 at a medical facility in Florence, S.C. The cause was pneumonia, said a daughter, Elizabeth Poston.
Mr. Blackwell, a native of Gastonia, N.C., came to the Washington area in 1957 and worked on Capitol Hill as a lawyer for several Senate committees. In 1971, he became an independent labor arbitrator, specializing in transportation, mining and Postal Service issues. He retired about 15 years ago. A former resident of Gaithersburg, Md., he moved to Florence last year.
— From staff reports