OF NOTE

The Washington Post Sunday - - OBITUARIES -

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

Vesta Downer, so­cial worker

Vesta Downer, 92, a psy­chother­a­pist and so­cial worker for com­mu­nity men­tal-health cen­ters in Fair­fax County, Va., from the 1970s un­til her re­tire­ment in the mid-1990s, died Nov. 22 at her home in Falls Church, Va. She had high blood pres­sure, said a daugh­ter, Ju­dith Downer.

Mrs. Downer was born Vesta Stevens in East Ch­ester, Nova Sco­tia, and was a so­cial worker in Bal­ti­more in the 1950s. She ran a small pri­vate prac­tice in Wash­ing­ton for many years and was pres­i­dent of the Greater Wash­ing­ton So­ci­ety for Clin­i­cal So­cial Work, as well as chair of the North­ern Vir­ginia unit of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of So­cial Work­ers.

Mil­dred Oster­gard, White House stenog­ra­pher

Mil­dred Oster­gard, 102, who was a stenog­ra­pher with the White House press of­fice un­der the Franklin D. Roo­sevelt and Tru­man ad­min­is­tra­tions, died Feb. 12 at a hos­pice cen­ter in Ar­ling­ton, Va. The cause was Alzheimer’s dis­ease, said a son, Michael Oster­gard.

Mrs. Oster­gard was born Mil­dred Phipps in Akron, Iowa, and moved to Ar­ling­ton in the late 1930s. She was a real es­tate agent in North­ern Vir­ginia in the late 1960s and 1970s. Her mem­ber­ships in­cluded the Multi-Mil­lion Dol­lar Sales Club and the women’s aux­il­iary of what is now Vir­ginia Hos­pi­tal Cen­ter in Ar­ling­ton.

Bruno Ris­tau, Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cial

Bruno Ris­tau, 87, a long­time Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cial who led the Of­fice of For­eign Lit­i­ga­tion from 1963 to 1981, died Jan. 30 at his home in Wash­ing­ton. He had Alzheimer’s dis­ease, said his wife, Kath­leen Peroff.

Mr. Ris­tau was born in War­saw and spent part of World War II in a de­ten­tion camp. He came to the United States in 1950 as a dis­placed per­son and later served in the U.S. Army. After law school, he joined the Jus­tice Depart­ment in 1958.

As di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of For­eign Lit­i­ga­tion, he han­dled cases in­volv­ing transna­tional law­suits, in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion and diplo­matic mat­ters. He was hon­ored by the Ital­ian gov­ern­ment for ar­rang­ing for an Ital­ian court to hold a trial in the United States in 1968.

After leav­ing the Jus­tice Depart­ment in 1981, he was in pri­vate prac­tice un­til 2008. He also taught law at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­sity and Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity.

Pearl Gre­gory, bi­cy­cle shop co-owner

Pearl Gre­gory, 95, a sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion owner of what was one of the old­est con­tin­u­ously op­er­ated bi­cy­cle shops in the United States un­til it closed in 1997, died Feb. 17 at a med­i­cal cen­ter in Charleston, W.Va. The cause was pneu­mo­nia, said a son, Stephen Gre­gory.

Mrs. Gre­gory, a res­i­dent of Takoma Park, Md., was born Pearl Romm in Wash­ing­ton. In 1961, she and her hus­band bought Cy­cle & Sports from her fa­ther, who founded the shop in the Dis­trict in 1912. Her mem­ber­ships in­cluded the Or­der of the Eastern Star.

Ge­orge Robb, NSA deputy chief

Ge­orge Robb, 96, who re­tired in 1974 as a deputy chief of Pa­cific op­er­a­tions for the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency, died Feb. 16 at a re­tire­ment com­mu­nity in Sil­ver Spring, Md. The cause was com­pli­ca­tions from di­a­betes, said a daugh­ter, Su­san Harn­strom.

Mr. Robb, a long­time Sil­ver Spring res­i­dent, was born in Frazeys­burg, Ohio. He be­gan his ca­reer as an in­tel­li­gence an­a­lyst for the Naval Se­cu­rity Group in 1942 and trans­ferred four years later to the Army Se­cu­rity Agency, a pre­cur­sor to the NSA.

James Pow­ell, busi­ness owner

James Pow­ell, 63, who owned busi­nesses in Vir­ginia and North Carolina, in­clud­ing the nowde­funct Pure County Con­ve­nience Store in Max Mead­ows, Va., died Feb. 15 at a hos­pi­tal in Wytheville, Va. The cause was com­pli­ca­tions from liver fail­ure, said a sis­ter, Mau­reen Gal­lagher.

Mr. Pow­ell, a res­i­dent of Hillsville, Va., was born in Wash­ing­ton. From 1972 to 1989, he worked at Jack’s Roof­ing Co. in Mont­gomery County, Md., be­fore mov­ing to Cape Hat­teras, N.C., and later Hillsville.

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