Robert F. Hansen, 77, U.S. government accountant Robert...

March 12, 2001

Robert F. Hansen, 77, U.S. government accountant

Robert F. Hansen, a retired accountant for the federal government, died Friday of stroke complications at Heritage Harbour Health Center in Annapolis. He was 77.

Mr. Hansen, who lived in Annapolis, spearheaded a Lions Club effort three years ago to recycle eyeglasses by placing mailboxes painted bright yellow around town as collection sites.

A native of Connecticut, Mr. Hansen earned an associate's degree in accounting at Quinnipac College in New Haven in 1942. He served as a sergeant in the Army's 148th Airways Communication System Squadron during World War II and was stationed in the Philippines.

After the war, Mr. Hansen earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 1949. He worked as an accountant in private business before joining the federal government, first as a field auditor for the U.S. Foreign Aid Program and later as an accountant for the Energy Department, where he worked for 21 years.

Mr. Hansen retired in 1983. He and his wife, Lynn Propf Hansen, moved to Annapolis in 1994 after living in Silver Spring for 33 years.

A golfer and gardener, Mr. Hansen was also active in the Annapolis Lions Club. His daughter, Karen Hansen Steele of Annapolis, said her father had the idea to collect and paint old mailboxes that now serve as drop-off sites in town for used eyeglasses. He was also involved with the Lions Club of Ocean City, where the family had a vacation home.

Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. today at Calvary United Methodist Church in Annapolis, where Mr. Hansen was a member.

In addition to his wife of 41 years and daughter, he is survived by a son, Jon Robert Hansen of Arlington, Va.; a brother, Richard B. Hansen of North Haven, Conn.; his mother, Mildred Boyer Hansen of Hamden, Conn.; and a granddaughter.

Sister Mary Philothea, 86, convent doorkeeper

Sister Mary Philothea Shewey, a former grade school teacher and convent doorkeeper, died Friday of a stroke at Maria Health Care Center at Villa Assumpta, the motherhouse of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Woodbrook. She was 86.

Born in Minden, W. Va., Marie Bernardine Shewey lost her eyesight before entering first grade because of an overdose of ether during surgery. Her father promised her late mother's family in Washington that they could raise her as a Catholic if their prayers restored her sight. They prayed, and her sight gradually returned.

She entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame, a Roman Catholic religious order in Baltimore, in 1930 after attending Catholic schools in Washington. She professed her vows in 1933.

She taught first grade at Catholic elementary schools in Baltimore from 1933 to 1938. After working at the motherhouse infirmary for several years, she served as the back door portress for more than two decades. Though partially paralyzed by a stroke, she later worked at the convent's retirement home.

A Mass of the Resurrection for Sister Philothea will be offered at 10 a.m. today at Villa Assumpta, 6401 N. Charles St.

She is survived by cousins.

Elsewhere

James D. St. Clair, 80, who epitomized the stately Boston lawyer through a half-century career that was best remembered for his year as President Richard M. Nixon's Watergate lawyer, died at a Westwood, Mass., nursing home Saturday after a long illness.

In a field in which the most successful are often the most brash, Mr. St. Clair was known for his uncommon combination of civility and tenacity.

He carried his trademark rectitude from the courtrooms of Massachusetts to the halls of Congress, where he first achieved national recognition in 1954 as chief assistant to Joseph Welch, counsel for the Army against U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy televised hearings.

Between appearances on the national stage, Mr. St. Clair was often called upon to serve as special investigator into corruption cases in Massachusetts, most recently serving as chairman of a commission examining the Boston Police Department in 1991.

Dame Ninette de Valois, 102, a pioneer of British dance and founder of the Royal Ballet, died Thursday in London.

A small, formidable woman known throughout the ballet world as "Madam," Dame Ninette worked as a choreographer, teacher and director. She established ballet in a Britain that had no ballet tradition.

Her Royal Ballet School became the cradle of an English ballet style, and her dance company evolved into the renowned Royal Ballet of Covent Garden.

She was made a dame in 1951, and France made her a chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in 1950. In 1980, Queen Elizabeth II made her a member of the exclusive Order of the Companions of Honor, for men and women who have done "conspicuous national service."

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