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Obituaries

Virgil Max Davis:

Virgil Max Davis, 89, a retired Marine Corps Colonel and Engineer died of a stroke Jan. 7, at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Col. Davis was born in Athens, Ohio on Aug. 18, 1916, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1937. He started his military career as an engineer and Company Commander and valiantly defended Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In 1942, he contributed to the building of historic Camp Pendleton in California. As part of HQ Company 1st Battalion, 19th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, he shipped out to Auckland, New Zealand to prepare for island-hopping across the Pacific during World War II, landing on Guadalcanal BSI in 1943, and Bougainville in 1944. He was awarded the Bronze Star for “outstanding professional skill and courage” during the landing and establishment of critical supply lines under fire at Guam, Marianas Islands in July 1944. Col. Davis served with distinction in the United States Marine Corps Reserve for 25 years and finished his military career in Washington, D.C., in 1962.

After retiring from active duty in 1946, Col. Davis and his wife moved from the Boston Navy Yard to Washington D.C., where he worked as an engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, and received his Masters in Civil Engineering at Catholic University. He became the Director of the Mine Warfare Division of Engineering Research and Development, in the Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Belvoir, and was recognized throughout the Army Material Command. Col. Davis mentored many young engineers some of whom later became well known in the Defense community. He also served on a NATO committee that worked to standardize Allied international mine warfare systems.

Davis was well known among his colleagues, friends and family for being a prolific and compelling writer and speaker. He was a devoted husband to his wife of 64 years, Margaret Pancake Davis, also from Ohio. He was a loving father, grandfather, and friend of his two daughters, Martha Davis Bodden and Susan Davis Yowell, and his five grandchildren, all of whom live in Alexandria.

Dr. Robert H. Anderson:

Dr. Robert Harper Anderson, a pediatrician in Alexandria for over 50 years, entered the hands of the Lord on Jan. 20. He was 82 years old. Anderson was born in Wilson, N.C., and attended Duke University for both undergraduate and medical schools. He completed a one-year rotating internship at Baltimore City Hospitals in 1947, prior to serving in the U.S. Army as a battalion surgeon. He was station in Heidelberg, Germany from 1947-1949. Subsequently, he finished a residency in pediatrics at Washington Children's Hospital; and went on to establish a private pediatrics practice in Alexandria. Anderson continued to work as a physician until the age of 82, when he was still working part-time at the Alexandria Health Department Well Baby Clinic.

Anderson was an avid tennis and golf player, and he had said in a newspaper article that "I feel strongly that regular exercise should be a life-long program for good health, and that our children should be encouraged to exercise regularly." Anderson was also a jazz saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist, and he was a founder of the popular Alexandria "Rotary Rooters" jazz group. He served as president of both the Virginia and Northern Virginia Pediatric Societies. He was also president of the Virginia Medical Society, and was twice chief of pediatrics for the Alexandria Hospital. He served on numerous boards, including: the Alexandria Health and Welfare Council Board, the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board, the Alexandria Boys Club, the Special Education for the Handicapped Committee, the Alexandria Health Clinics Board, the Head Start Program of Alexandria, the Salvation Army and the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Board. He also served on the Alexandria Chapter of the American Red Cross Board, the Alexandria American Heart Association Board and the Goodwin House for the Elderly Boards. He was on the vestry of both Grace and St. Paul's Episcopal Churches in Alexandria. He was an active Rotarian, and had a perfect attendance record there since 1973. He was president of the Alexandria Rotary Club from 1988-89.

Anderson is survived by his wife of 58 years, Valda Clark Anderson, his sons Dr. Stephen W. Anderson, of Atlanta, Dr. William S. Anderson, of Charleston, S.C., and Paul V. Anderson, of Alexandria, their wives and five grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that contributions be made to Inova Alexandria Hospital and to St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Jessie Mackay Foster:

Jessie Mackay Foster, 74, died Jan. 15. Born May 8, 1931 in Clarksburg, Mass., Jessie's parents were William and Jessie Mackay of Barrhead, Scotland. She graduated from Harbor School in 8th grade and from Williams Memorial Institute in New London, Conn. Jessie Foster was a graduate of Mary Washington College. Her unselfish independence was symbolized by her work helping others as a social worker supporting the USO in Europe shortly after WWII, Peace Corp training in the Caribbean in the 1960's, and over three decades as a nephrology social worker in Northern Virginia. Her work included a number of years as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Kidney Fund. Jessie has been a long-standing and active member of the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church and a 45-year resident of the Mount Vernon area. Jessie Foster is survived by her sister, Ann Siler of Oak Park, Ill., her brother, Richard Mackay of North Truro, Mass., her 3 daughters — Leslie Foster Myers of Savannah, Ga., Karen Price Foster of Washington, D.C., Kimberly Foster-Ganoung of Huntington Beach, Calif., and her son, Robert John Foster Jr. of Rota, Spain. Her loving family also includes 6 grandchildren and a number of nephews, nieces and cousins. Jessie was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Effie Mackay. The family of Jessie Foster wishes to acknowledge the wonderful love and support given by family and friends during Jessie's illness. Memorial services will be held, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, 1900 Windmill Lane, Alexandria. In celebration of Jessie's life, the family wishes that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Mount Vernon Unitarian Church.