Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Gavin, 72, Naval intelligence officer...

March 11, 2002

Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Gavin, 72, Naval intelligence officer

Lt. Cmdr. Gerald R. Gavin, a retired Naval intelligence officer, died Tuesday of heart failure at his home. He was 72 and had lived in Glen Burnie for 43 years.

Born in Phillipsburg, N.J., he joined the Navy in 1948 after graduating from Phillipsburg High School. For the next 30 years, his intelligence work took him to posts in Guam, Japan, Alaska and Fort Meade, and on the USS Maury and USS Forrestal.

After he retired from the service in 1978, he worked for 12 years as a school bus driver for disabled children in Anne Arundel County.

Active in the Knights of Columbus, he was Grand Knight and held many chairmanships in the organization, among them chairman of the annual Day of Fun for Special Ones in Glen Burnie, games and contests for disabled children.

Commander Gavin was a board member of Church of the Crucifixion in Glen Burnie, and belonged to the Navy Cryptologic Society, the Maryland Mobileers - an organization of amateur radio operators - and the Marley Milers exercise program, through which he reached the 10,000-mile mark for walking. He was an enthusiastic fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Orioles.

Services were held Thursday at Church of the Crucifixion. Burial will be April 1 at Arlington National Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Rachel Rush Gavin; two daughters, Patricia Gavin and Elaine Gavin, both of Baltimore; sons Michael Gavin of Severna Park, Timothy Gavin of Edgewater, Gerald R. Gavin Jr. and John Gavin, both of Pasadena, Patrick Gavin of Cockeysville and William Gavin of Baltimore; and 12 grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Church of the Crucifixion, 100 Scott Ave., Glen Burnie 21060.

Rita A. Donohue, 79, bookkeeper, WWII riveter

Rita A. Donohue, a retired bookkeeper for Montgomery Ward, died Tuesday of cancer at St. Elizabeth's Nursing Home. She was 79 and had lived in Baltimore for more than 50 years.

Born Rita A. Barlow in Grafton, W.Va., she graduated from St. Augustine's High School there. She moved to Baltimore during World War II and took a job as a riveter building military aircraft at Glenn L. Martin Co., which became Martin Marietta Corp. Later, she spent 25 years as a bookkeeper at the Montgomery Ward store on Monroe Street in Baltimore.

In her free time, she enjoyed crocheting.

Her husband of 51 years, Thomas C. Donohue, died in 1999.

A memorial service was held Friday at St. Joseph Monastery Church in Baltimore.

She is survived by two sons, David Eugene Vance of Eldersburg and Michael S. Donohue of Baltimore; a daughter, Mary Ann Carr of Glen Burnie; a brother, James Barlow of Grafton; a sister, Catherine Appleby of Toledo, Ohio; and four grandchildren.

John J. Shawhan, 75, NASA employee, manager

John J. Shawhan, a retired 37- year employee of NASA and a resident of Ellicott City, died Wednesday at Howard County General Hospital of complications from pneumonia. He was 75.

Mr. Shawhan began his career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration working on calibration aircraft, which involved synchronizing ground and airborne instruments. The job took him around the world. Later, he was the control center manager for the Nimbus weather satellite at NASA.

During World War II, Mr. Shawhan enlisted in the Army and served in Japan and the Philippines. He was a member of the 11th Airborne Division in the Pacific, working as a surgical technician.

He was a charter member of the Father Comyns Council 9638 of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8950 in Lanham and the Disabled American Veterans. He was a former Cub Scout leader, president of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Prince George's County and a former member of the National Aeronautics Society.

Mr. Shawhan's hobbies included railroading, camping and traveling. He and his wife, the former Jeanne O'Donnell, traveled several times to Ireland during his retirement, visiting family and touring the countryside.

Mr. Shawhan was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church, 4795 Ilchester Road, Ilchester, where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons John Shawhan and David Shawhan, both of Ellicott City; daughters Jeanne Nichols of Ellicott City and Jacqueline Warner of Reisterstown; and a sister, Catherine Swift of San Diego.

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