- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Geraldine Veigle, 87, registered nurse

Geraldine Mary Veigle, a former nurse and longtime resident of Falls Church, died Dec. 29 after a brief illness. She was 87.

Mrs. Veigle was born in Lowell, Mass., on Oct. 17, 1920, the eldest of six children. Her father died when she was 13, and she took on a major role in helping to raise the children because of her mother’s incapacitating illness that required institutionalized care.

Mrs. Veigle attended a three-year nursing program at St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing in Lowell, Mass., and became a licensed registered nurse. She then earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing education from Catholic University in 1946. She returned to St. John’s to work as a nursing instructor.

On Nov. 27, 1947, she married Eugene Walter Veigle in the District, and the couple took up residence in Falls Church.

She stayed home to raise her two children and was active in local community and church affairs. She was a gifted seamstress, painter and interior designer, who also did consulting work. She returned full-time to the work force in 1972 as a teacher at Washington Technical Institute, a forerunner of the University of the District of Columbia. She then took a position at Prince George’s Community College until her retirement in 1983.

Survivors include a son, Jack; a daughter, Anne, and two grandchildren, Willie and Robert Burdick. A funeral Mass is planned for 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church.

Willie Robinson, 81, blues singer

BOSTON (AP) — “Weepin” ” Willie Robinson, a blues singer who performed with Steven Tyler and Bonnie Raitt but also spent time homeless, died Sunday in a fire started by a cigarette that he was smoking in bed, the Boston Fire Department said. He was 81.

Mr. Robinson worked at a benefit concert with Mr. Tyler and two Boston Music Awards shows, in 2005 and again last month.

Mr. Robinson was born in Atlanta and picked cotton and fruit with his family up and down the East Coast. After spending time in the Army in the 1940s, he became a master of ceremonies and doorman at blues clubs in Trenton, N.J., where he met and became friends with B.B. King and other musicians. He eventually sang with Mr. King”s 21-piece orchestra.

Mr. Robinson settled in Boston in 1959 and played in clubs, but by 2005, he was living on the street and out of touch with his family. Blues performers learned of his situation, held a benefit concert and made sure he was fed and clothed.

Mr. Robinson later performed everywhere from local clubs to the hallways of the rest home where he lived.

Louis Wolfson, 95, horseman

MIAMI (AP) — Louis Wolfson, owner of the 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed, died Sunday at his Bal Harbour, Fla., home of Alzheimer”s disease and colon cancer. He was 95.

Mr. Wolfson died on his 35th wedding anniversary, his son said.

Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont in 1978, becoming the third horse in six years to win the Triple Crown.

Mr. Wolfson was also an important figure in a scandal that led to the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.

Mr. Wolfson was convicted in 1967 of selling unregistered securities and tried to appeal the conviction. His appeal ultimately was turned away by the Supreme Court but not before Mr. Fortas resigned after a disclosure that he had agreed to accept a $20,000 annual fee from a foundation headed by Mr. Wolfson.

At the time of the disclosure, Mr. Wolfson was serving a one-year prison sentence on the securities law conviction.

Victor Navarra, 55, N.Y. firefighter

NEW YORK (AP) — Victor Navarra, a longtime firefighter who coordinated the start of the New York City Marathon for a quarter-century, died Sunday of cancer in his head and neck. He was 55.

Mr. Navarra suspected the cancer was caused by his volunteer work at the World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks, his family said.

Mr. Navarra earned praise for handling the daunting logistical task of staging the marathon as it grew into an event with nearly 40,000 runners.

A fire lieutenant and avid runner, he first volunteered for the marathon in 1981 and became coordinator in 1983, family spokeswoman and friend Terry Raskyn said.

He and his wife, Joanne, eventually started a race-consulting firm that would take them around the world. Despite his illness, he attended last year”s marathon, with his wife coordinating the start.

Rhoda Pritzker, 93, philanthropist

CHICAGO (AP) — Rhoda Pritzker, whose husband was a founder of the Hyatt hotel chain and a namesake of the world”s most prestigious architecture prize, died Dec. 23 at her winter home in Casey Key, Fla., after a long illness. She was 93.

She was married to Chicago businessman and lawyer Jack Pritzker, who died in 1979. He and his brother Abram Nicholas Pritzker were original builders of the Pritzker empire, which includes the Hyatt hotel chain.

Mrs. Pritzker was born in Manchester, England, and worked as a journalist for news outlets including the British Broadcasting Corp. She moved to the United States and continued working as a journalist.

She later became a philanthropist and served on many boards including the Theater School at DePaul University in Chicago, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota Bay, Fla., and the New College of Florida.

The Pritzker family is responsible for the Pritzker Prize, considered architecture”s most prestigious honor, which has been awarded to such designers as I.M. Pei, Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas.

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