Obituaries of residents from the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Stephen Dachi, Foreign Service officer
Stephen Dachi, 84, a career Foreign Service officer who spent many years with the U.S. Information Agency in Latin America, Asia and Central Europe, died July 2 at his home in Woodbridge, Va. The cause was cancer, said a daughter, Sally Valdez.
Dr. Dachi was born in Budapest and, after being orphaned, grew up with relatives in Romania and Canada. He trained in oral pathology, helped start the University of Kentucky dental college and served in the Peace Corps in South America before joining USIA in 1972. Among his positions, he served as public affairs officer in Hungary from 1973 to 1977, Latin America and Caribbean director from 1978 to 1984, and public affairs officer in New Delhi from 1991 to 1994.
While in Sao Paulo as consul general in 1986, he used his oral pathology training to play a role in the investigation that identified the remains of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele after the body had been exhumed from a Brazilian cemetery a year earlier. He also helped translate a handwritten diary kept by Mengele that led to the discovery of the dentist who had treated Mengele.
After his Foreign Service retirement in 1996, he spent 14 years as chairman for South Asia area studies as well as special Afghanistan programs at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. He also was an adjunct professor at George Washington University, among other jobs.
Daniel Robinson, project engineer, manager
Daniel Robinson, 90, an electronics engineer, project engineer and manager with Fairchild Industries in Germantown, Md., from 1966 until his retirement in 1987, died July 1 at his home in Rockville, Md. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said a son-in-law, William Sweet.
Mr. Robinson was born in New York and worked as an electronics engineer with aerospace companies on Long Island, before settling in the Washington area in 1966. At Fairchild, he worked on satellite communications systems for developing nations, including Iran, India, China, Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia. He was a past board president of the Grosvenor Park III condominium residents’ association.
Berdj Kenadjian, IRS chief economist
Berdj Kenadjian, 87, who served as chief economist for compliance estimates at the IRS from 1977 until retiring in 1989, died June 23 at his home in Haymarket, Va. The cause was cardiac arrest, said a son, Glenn Kenadjian.
Dr. Kenadjian was born in Istanbul and settled in the Washington area in 1959. He spent the next 18 years as an economist, operations analyst and analytic statistician for the U.S. government and private economic research organizations. He was a past president of the Rotary Club’s Rosslyn-Fort Myer chapter and a volunteer with the Alexandria, Va., suicide-prevention hotline, an Arlington, Va., men’s shelter and Meals on Wheels, among other places. In 1993, he received an award from the Virginia governor for volunteering excellence. His books included “Economics of the New Age” (1973).
David Hess, journalist
David Hess, 83, who covered Capitol Hill and the White House for the Knight Ridder news service and was a past president of the National Press Club, died July 19 at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The cause was complications from strokes, said a nephew, Darren Burnham.
Mr. Hess was born in Moundsville, W.Va., and served as an Army intelligence officer and Korean language specialist during the Korean War. He began his journalism career in West Virginia, then covered politics in Ohio and later joined the Akron Beacon Journal.
He came to Washington in 1970 as a reporter for the Beacon Journal, part of the Knight chain of papers (later Knight Ridder). He worked for Knight Ridder until the late 1980s and was known as a mentor to younger colleagues. He later was a reporter for National Journal’s Congress Daily.
Mr. Hess was president of the National Press Club in 1985 and presided over the club’s merger with the Washington Press Club. He lived in Springfield, Va., before moving to Columbus in 2010.
Donald Larrabee, journalist
Donald Larrabee, 93, who owned and operated a Washington news service for many years and also served as a president of the National Press Club, died July 18 at an assisted-living facility in Washington. He had a form of dementia, said a daughter, Donna Larrabee Palmer.
Mr. Larrabee was born in Portland, Maine, and began editing a base newspaper while serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II. He moved to Washington after the war and joined the Griffin News Bureau, which supplied Capitol Hill coverage primarily to newspapers in New England. He soon became a partner in the business and continued to operate the Griffin-Larrabee News Bureau until his retirement in 1978. He then ran an office representing the state of Maine until 1989.
Mr. Larrabee served as president of the National Press Club in 1973. He was a founding member of the National Press Foundation, which awards scholarships, and was its executive director from 1979 to 1985.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 1980 and was a member of the Gridiron Club and Chevy Chase Club.