Washington College Magazine

In memoriam

July 25, 2013
These obituaries are excerpted from published newspaper accounts.

Mary Edna Farr Heeg ’33, a former Army nurse who served during World War II, died April 1, 2013. She was 99. Mrs. Heeg graduated from the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing in 1941, and earned her master’s degree in education at the University of Chicago in 1951. As an Army nurse, she held the rank of first lieutenant and was assigned to the 118th General Hospital. She served in Sydney, Australia, and Leyte Island, Philippines. After the war, she taught medical nursing at The Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing from 1951 to 1969. Her students respected and loved her, some maintaining contact to the end. Mary married Tom Heeg and moved to Vassalboro, ME, in 1969. Tom was a chief engineer with the Grace Lines for many years before they married. He died in 1983. After his death, Mary remained in Vassalboro and was active with the town’s library, grange, historical society, Kennebelles barber shop group and the Winslow Congregational Church. 


Colin P. Hollingsworth ’33 died March 29, 2013 in Towson. He was 99. Born on the Church Hill (MD) farm that has been in his family since 1668, Colin followed his brother Vick to Washington College on a Senatorial Scholarship at the age of 15. He was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity, serving as its vice president. Upon graduation, he moved to Baltimore to begin work with the Grafflin Bag Co. as a shipping clerk. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1941 and after officer training at the Naval Academy, served in Panama, Peru, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Saipan and Tinian, first as engineer and then as captain of the USS Mimosa, a submarine net-layer. His ship was scheduled to precede the Marines in the planned invasion of Japan, which was cancelled when the Japanese surrendered. After the war he returned to Baltimore, served as Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve and married Helen Brookhart of Towson. He retired as president of Grafflin in the 1980s. His beloved sister, Ann Hollingsworth McLain ’40, is former first lady of Washington College.


Mary “Polly” Taylor Horner ’38, who taught English at the Johns Hopkins University for several years, passed away March 20, 2013. She was 95. A graduate of Bel Air High School, Polly followed her brother Fred Taylor ’36 to Washington College, where she met Joshua Horner ’40, the man who would become her husband of 62 years. A French major, Polly was a founding member of the Sigma Tau Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi. In her leisure time, she enjoyed gardening, antiques and traveling—favorite spots included England and the Caribbean. Her father had emigrated from Birmingham, England, in 1912, inspiring her love for all things British, especially the British Royal Family. Polly and Josh had five children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Her daughter-in-law Ann D. Horner ’80 serves on the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors.  


Robert Donald McDorman ’38, a longtime music teacher and choirmaster, died March 31, 2013 in Baltimore. He was 96. A graduate of St. Paul’s School for Boys, he attended Washington College before transferring to the Johns Hopkins University/Peabody Institute, earning bachelor of science degrees from both institutions in 1939. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945. He was an anti-submarine warfare officer on the USS Blessman with the rank of Lt. (jg). The Blessman’s officer roster lists him in Normandy on June 6, 1944 and in Iwo Jima on February 16, 1945. From 1939 to 1942, and again after World War II, from 1945 to 1953, he was a faculty member of St. Paul’s School for Boys and organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral Church of the Incarnation. From 1953 to 1972, he was the Organist and Choirmaster at Old St. Paul’s Church and a member of the faculty at both St. Paul’s School for Boys and St. Paul’s School for Girls. Donald and his wife, Fredrica, retired to Chestertown in 1972 where he taught music at Kent School from 1972 to 1978 and later started the Radcliffe School’s drama program. 


Edward Wesley Cooper ’41 died February 26, 2013. He was 92. The owner of Fulton Services, Inc. in Baltimore, he was the beloved husband of D. Jean Gill Cooper and an active member of the Baltimore Country Club for more than 50 years. 


Jocelyn Dehart James Butler ’48, a retired Maryland schoolteacher, died March 11, 2013. She was 87. A native of Old Bay Farm in Havre de Grace, MD, she was the wife of the late George Butler. Jocelyn taught school in Prince George’s and Harford counties, retiring in 1981. In retirement, she continued to teach for the Harford County GED program in addition to being a home and hospital teacher until 2011. Jocelyn will be remembered for her wisdom, wit and creativity. 


John T. Wiest ’49 passed away December 23, 2012 at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. John was self-employed as a landscaper and design contractor for 54 years. He was a board member of the Delaware Nursery & Landscaping Association for many years and was inducted into its Hall of Fame. For the past 52 years at Christmastime, John sold Christmas trees and wreaths at his famous “Wiest Winterland.” John was a member of the Harrington Moose Lodge 534 and the husband of Dorothy Wiest.


Patricia Wright Carrico ’50 passed away January 17, 2013. She was 84. Patricia and her late husband John, had been married since 1950.


Leland Ray Gladding ’50, a lifelong resident of Pocomoke City, MD, died April 15. He was 83. A graduate of Pocomoke High School, he attended Washington College before serving in the U.S. Navy. He retired from a successful career after more than 50 years in real estate and was the proprietor of River Ranch Antiques. Most recently, he was a swim instructor for the Worcester County Department of Parks and Recreation where he swam with the Aquanuts for more than 15 years. His signature dry wit, sense of humor and infectious laughter brought joy to all who knew him and will be missed most of all.  


Daniel Hoffman ’51, of Littlestown, PA, passed away in Baltimore on March 1, 2013, after complications from a traumatic brain injury suffered just after Thanksgiving. He was 85. A graduate of Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD, he attended Washington College and later graduated from the University of Maryland where he lettered in track and field. He competed in the Pennsylvania Senior Olympics where he won Gold Medals in javelin. He twice served active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired as lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserves. He worked at NASA during the height of the space program and then served as a manager at the Social Security Administration. Daniel loved the great outdoors. He was concerned with environmental protection and had an interest in improving conditions for all people and animals. He was a proud American. He will be missed very much by his best friend and wife, Carolyn Hoffman, and his family.


Eugene Paul Vigna ’51, of Havre de Grace, MD, passed away March 30, 2013. He was 86. Mr. Vigna served in the U.S. Army during World War II and then worked as a chief of management of information systems at Aberdeen Proving Ground for more 30 years. He was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, VFW Post 8126 and the American Legion Post 47. He adored spending time with his family and the crew at McDonald’s. He was a huge Frank Sinatra fan. 


Miriam Nichols Smith ’53 died March 1, 2013. She was 80. She graduated from Federalsburg High School and, after earning her college degree, pursued graduate work at Salisbury University, Trinity College and the University of Maryland. She was married to Robert W. Smith on June 21, 1952. For 38 years, she taught English and Spanish in Caroline County, retiring in 1992. She was a longtime member of Union United Methodist Church in Federalsburg. Committed to education, she was a member of various teachers’ organizations. She was interested in genealogy and Eastern Shore history and lore, and she enjoyed traveling and reading. She was unconditionally devoted to her family. 


Alan R. Sharp ’57 died March 20, 2013 in Camden, NJ, as the result of injuries from a fall. He was 81. He and his wife, Mary Maier Sharp, had been longtime residents of Bridgeton, relocating to Woodstown in 2006. He was the class president of the Bridgeton High School Class of 1949. Following service in the US Army in Germany during the Korean War, Mr. Sharp earned his college degree. He was employed for more than 30 years at Wheaton Glass as a technical sales representative. Mr. Sharp was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bridgeton. He was an ordained deacon and also served several terms as a member of the board of trustees. More recently, he had been attending the Woodstown Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Sharp would have celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary this June.


Victor Gilbert Ryan ’59 of West Poland, ME, formerly of Baltimore, died January 25, 2013.


James G. Belch ’60, of Venice, FL, died February 6, 2013 after a bout with cancer. He was 77. A native of Annapolis, he entered military service after high school and was stationed in Manheim, Germany. He served with distinction during the occupational transition of World War II. He enrolled at Washington College after military service and enjoyed a long and rewarding career in the field of economic development, then a fledgling profession. He was an officer and member of the American Economic Development Council, the Southern Industrial Development Council and many local, county and city development groups. Jim was a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. 


Douglass S. Livingston ’60, a publisher and owner of Sutter House Publishers in Lititz, PA, passed away January 7, 2013 at the Hospice & Community Care, Mount Joy. He was 75. Born in Bryn Mawr, Douglass was the husband of Carole F. Livingston. 


Benjamin Harrison Pace III ’61 died March 25, 2013, in Asheville, NC. A graduate of Calvert County High School, Ben earned a degree in biology at Washington College, where he was captain of the cross country and track team. Following graduation, Ben enlisted in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of Lt. (jg). He served on the USS Okinawa during the Cuban Missile Crisis and on the Admiral’s Staff of the Atlantic Fleet. After military service, Ben worked 12 years for Sun Oil Company. In 1976, he returned to Asheville to establish his own business. The first Country Food Stores opened in March 1977, located on the former site of his family’s home place. Ben was selected in 1986 as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Western Carolina Entrepreneurial Council. Ben Pace is remembered as a man of his word, who loved life, silently helped others and offered many people a second chance to succeed. He lived by the golden rule and was a man of great integrity.


Patrick Avila Thomas ’63 died April 5, 2013, in Washington, DC.


Lucille Bogan Urbas ’70 passed away on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Houston, TX, at age 91. Lucille was born and raised in Shreveport, LA, and attended Arlington Hall Junior College in Arlington, VA, from which she transferred to the University of Texas. In 1967, she relocated to Maryland where she completed her B.A. degree in French at Washington College and taught French for several years. She later moved to Washington, where she studied real estate law at Georgetown University and became a successful real estate broker, specializing in condominium sales. In retirement, she returned to the South and enjoyed many golden years in Houston with her late husband, Don Urbas. 


Griffith Evan Davis ’75 passed away March 1, 2013. Married to Sharon Davis for 33 years, he was a freelance writer, amateur musician and a casual artist.  


Anthony “Tony” Lombardo M’73 of Camden/Oaklyn, NJ, died March 28, 2013 at Lourdes Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey. He was 65. Born March 3, 1948 in Penns Grove, NJ, he was the son of the late John and Enza Lombardo who were the proprietors of Lombardo’s Sub Shop in Chestertown. A graduate of Loyola College of Baltimore, he earned a master’s degree in psychology from Washington College. Mr. Lombardo worked as a psychologist with Governor Bacon Health in Delaware and Cumberland County Guidance Center in New Jersey. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus of Chestertown and Delaware City. Mr. Lombardo was very computer savvy and enjoyed playing with technology gadgets. He often donated time to teach others how to work with computers.

Last modified on Jul. 25th, 2013 at 1:06pm by Kristen Hammond.