Robert C. Fraser, 73, NASA executiveRobert C. Fraser, an...

February 21, 1999

Robert C. Fraser, 73, NASA executive

Robert C. Fraser, an executive at NASA for more than 20 years, died Monday of heart failure at his Severna Park home. He was 73.

Mr. Fraser began work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1960 as public information officer for Space Sciences and Applications and for Manned Space Flight. He later was a public relations manager for Martin Marietta Corp. in Middle River and a marketing manager in the Washington offices of Lockheed Corp.

He returned to NASA about 1979 as executive assistant to the associate administrator for Space Sciences and Applications and Manned Space Flight. He retired in 1988.

Born in Port Washington, N.Y., and raised in Milledgeville, Ga., Mr. Fraser graduated from the Georgia Military College in 1943 and served in the Army during World War II. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star. He was discharged in 1946.

He received a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., in 1951.

Mr. Fraser was past president of the Capitol Hill Exchange Club and vice president of the National Space Club.

A private service is scheduled.

He is survived by his wife, the former Constance Morell, whom he married in 1957; and a son, Robert C. Fraser Jr. of Crownsville.

Ralph Lee Rudacille, 65, insurance examiner

Ralph Lee Rudacille, a retired insurance examiner for the Maryland Insurance Administration and a former steel worker, died Thursday of lung cancer at Stella Maris Hospice. The Rossville resident was 65.

Mr. Rudacille was to retire next month from the Maryland Insurance Administration, where he had worked since 1985.

He was a steel worker first at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant from 1956 to 1958, then at Signode Corp., from 1958 to 1985.

Born and raised in Sparrows Point, he was a 1952 graduate of Sparrows Point High School and was a military policeman in the Air Force from 1952 to 1956.

Mr. Rudacille later earned an associate's degree from Dundalk Community College and a bachelor's degree in business adminis- tration from the University of Baltimore in 1978.

As an insurance examiner and on summer vacations, Mr. Rudacille managed to visit by car, train and airplane 49 of the 50 states. He missed only Colorado.

He was a member of American Legion Post 180 in Rosedale, the Insurance Regulating Examiners Society and the Sparrows Point Alumni Association. He was also an avid golfer.

Mr. Rudacille was a longtime communicant at Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church in Dundalk.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered 10 a.m. tomorrow at the church, at 7945 N. Boundary Road.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, the former Jean A. Milito; a son, Jeffrey R. Rudacille of Rossville; a daughter, Deborah Rudacille of Baltimore; three brothers, Raymond Rudacille, Elmer Rudacille and Roger Rudacille, all of Edgemere; and six grandchildren.

William D. McElroy, 82, Hopkins firefly researcher

William D. McElroy, the former director of the National Science Foundation who died last week in San Diego, was a Johns Hopkins University researcher who became known for paying Baltimore schoolchildren to collect fireflies for his research.

Mr. McElroy, 82, died of respiratory failure Wednesday at Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego.

Mr. McElroy came to Hopkins in 1946 and from 1956 to 1969 was chairman of the biology department, where he researched how fireflies convert chemical energy into light, a process known as bioluminescence.

He became known as the "firefly man" for recruiting schoolchildren to collect fireflies, paying 25 cents per 100. Hundreds of thousands of fireflies were collected each summer, including more than 37,000 by a 14-year-old boy in August 1952.

Mr. McElroy served on the Baltimore school board and was chairman of the board of trustees of Baltimore Junior College before he left Hopkins in 1969 to head the National Science Foundation. He served at the foundation until 1972, when he became chancellor of the University of California at San Diego.

He is survived by his wife, Olga McElroy of San Diego; three sons, Eric McElroy of San Marcos, Calif., Thomas McElroy of Glen Arm and William McElroy of Woods Hole, Mass.; two daughters, Mary McElroy of Boston and Ann McElroy of Hickory, N.C.; and a sister, Lola Rector of Pismo Beach, Calif.

Pub Date: 2/21/99

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