- The Washington Times - Monday, March 29, 2004

Hoke Smith, 72, university president

Hoke Smith, who led Towson University for more than two decades, died Saturday of liver cancer at his home in Baltimore, university officials said. He was 72.

During Mr. Smith’s 22-year tenure, Towson dropped the word “State” from its name at his urging and saw its enrollment grow to more than 16,000 students.

Mr. Smith drew praise for his ardent support of the university, which also played a part in his being replaced in 2001, educators and politicians said.

Mr. Smith had been under treatment in the past year for what began as prostate cancer, but spread to his liver, lungs and bones.

“He did a great job with Towson. He really loved his university,” said Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, a friend for about 25 years. “His whole life was tied up in the kids.”

“They really made a mistake,” Mr. Schaefer said of the decision by the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents to seek Mr. Smith’s retirement.

The board pressured Mr. Smith into retirement for, among other things, suggesting that Towson leave the state system because of inadequate funding and a lack of respect for Towson’s mission.

“We’re all going to miss him,” said Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who named Mr. Smith to the Maryland Higher Education Commission in July. Mr. Smith also was a member of Mr. Ehrlich’s transition team.

“I felt very badly about how his ‘retirement’ was handled,” Mr. Ehrlich said.

Towson’s next president, Mark Perkins, led the university for nine months before leaving under fire for spending $1.8 million on the president’s mansion and other items.

Mr. Smith was born in Galesburg, Ill., and raised in Illinois. He earned a doctorate in political science in 1958 from Emory University in Atlanta, where he was selected as the outstanding student in the graduate school.

Mr. Smith was married for more than 20 years to Judith Watkins, who died in 1978, and later divorced from Barbara Walvoord.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore.

Mr. Smith is survived by three sons: Kerry Smith of Seattle, Kevin Smith of Memphis, Tenn., and Glen Smith of Atlanta; a daughter, Amy Laurel Smith Hegy of San Diego; five grandchildren; and a friend, Agi Rado.

Webster Maxson, 87,government executive

Webster P. Maxson, a former government executive under President Kennedy, died March 10 at his Bethesda home of cancer after an extended illness. He was 87.

Mr. Maxson was born in Rockford, Ill., and grew up in Massachusetts. His childhood was consumed by developing his talent as a trumpet player and bandleader. By the time he entered Amherst College in 1935, he was well-established in the big-band business. Web Maxson and his Orchestra became a familiar attraction at resorts throughout New England and in New York.

After graduating from Amherst in 1939, he continued with the orchestra for one year while living in Amherst. He then joined the Army Air Corps during World War II, serving in a variety of positions until his discharge in 1946 with the rank of major.

He worked at several jobs before moving to Ohio and enrolling at the University of Cincinnati Law School in 1947, where he received his law degree.

In 1950, he accepted a position as hearing examiner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the District and moved his family to Bethesda.

Throughout the next 25 years, he held a variety of government positions, including as a lawyer in the Office of Legal Counsel for the Department of Justice, director of the Office of Administrative Procedure and staff director for the President’s Panel on Ethics in Government.

In 1961, President Kennedy appointed him executive director of the Administrative Conference, a post he held for two years. He returned to the Department of Justice to re-establish the Office of Administrative Procedure.

In 1965, he received the Justice Department’s Meritorious Service Award for his work as director of the Office of Administrative Procedure. He retired from government service in 1975.

He was an original member of the Lakewood Country Club in Rockville. He became an avid and accomplished golfer, winning the Lakewood Senior Club championship in 1985 and 1989.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Louise; a son, John, of Riverwoods, Ill.; two daughters, Mary of Aurora, Ill., and Anne of Alum Ridge, Va.; and six grandchildren.

John A. Anderson, 75,firearms designer

John A. Anderson, a firearms designer and inventor, died of complications from surgery March 6 at the George Washington University Hospital. He was 75.

A resident of Arlington, Mr. Anderson was born in Kansas City, Mo., and grew up in Lamar, Colo., and Gallup, N.M.

He received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of New Mexico in 1952 and attended the Kansas City Art Institute. Mr. Anderson’s design career started with the Bemis Co.

He provided commercial and technical design concepts for Gould Corp. automotive after-market products and for Martin Marietta Aerospace ID systems and space exploration vehicles.

His later independent work included designs for the Vector 22 shooting system, construction systems and alternative fuel engine systems.

Mr. Anderson was the inventor of the Jackhammer Combat Shotgun system, which was a contender in the Department of Defense’s Joint Services Small Arms Program.

He moved to Arlington from New Mexico in 2001.

Mr. Anderson held four patents covering 65 claims in the United States and Britain on the Jackhammer weapon system. His combat shotgun was featured in the movie “Total Recall,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mr. Anderson was a member of the National Defense Industrial Association and the Association of the United States Army.

He is survived by his wife, Donna K. Anderson; a sister, Verdell G. Howard of Lamar, Colo.; and a stepson, Navy Reserve Lt. Christopher S. Hulitt of Fallon, Nev.

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