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In Memoriam

In Memoriam Winter ’24

Remembering those we lost.

hand drawn flowers
warner lawson headshot
Warner Lawson Jr.

Warner Lawson Jr. (BA ’62, JD ’69) grew up on Howard’s campus; his father, Warner Sr., served as dean of the School of Music and later as dean of the School of Fine Arts. Warner Jr. attended Howard as an undergraduate and would later matriculate to the Howard University School of Law (HUSL). In 1974, he returned to HUSL as an associate professor; in 1981, he became a full professor at the school and served in that position until his retirement in 2014. The family asks that donations be made to the Howard Public Interest Law Society at the Howard University School of Law.

Maudine Rice Cooper (BA ’64, JD ’71) served as president and CEO of the National Urban League-affiliated Greater Washington Urban League since 1990, where she first started in 1973 as an assistant director for federal programs before becoming vice president for the Washington operations legislative office. She joined D.C. government as director of the Office of Human Rights under Mayor Marion Barry, Jr., and was subsequently appointed head of the Minority Business Opportunity Commission and, later, Barry’s chief of staff. In 1992, Cooper received the prestigious Isaiah Award for the Pursuit of Justice from the Washington, D.C. chapter of the American Jewish Committee and in 1998, she was named McDonald's Black History Maker of Today in the Washington, D.C., area.

Etta Patricia Polson
Etta Patricia Polson Satterfield

Etta Patricia Polson Satterfield (BA ’65) was the first Black female judge elected to Queens County after becoming judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York in 1990. She was appointed acting justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for Queens County in 1994 and elected to the position in 1998.

Wanda Anita Oates (BA ’65) was more than just a physical education instructor at Ballou High School in southeast D.C. Upon noticing the lack of sports for girls, she started a successful girls’ sports program not just at Ballou but throughout D.C. Public Schools, producing champions and star athletes in the process. She was so influential in the lives of her students that she was asked by the students to coach the boys’ football team (much to the chagrin of the district’s disapproving superintendent). Later, she became Ballou boys’ basketball first female coach, coaching the team to the 1991 D.C. Boys Championship. She was inducted into the Scholastic Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Roger Forbes Luncheon (BS ’72, MD ’75) departed Howard University Hospital in 1980 and returned to Guyana, where he practiced medicine at the Georgetown Public Hospital. He later entered politics and was appointed head of the Presidential Secretariat and, later, Secretary to the Cabinet. During his political career, he served as chief of staff to several Guyanese presidents.

Verna Supel (MBA ’90) was a member of the Howard University family for over 30 years, and in her most recent role served as the School of Business’ director of graduate programs. She was a dedicated, talented staff member and a cherished friend. Described as an extraordinary servant leader, Ms. Supel has left an indelible mark on the academic and personal journeys of countless Howard University students.

Gay Byron
Gay Byron

Gay Byron, PhD 

Dr. Byron served as professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD). Her scholarship focused on liberation and womanist interpretations of the Bible, the Pauline epistles, race and ethnicity in early Christian writings, and the origins of Christianity in ancient Ethiopia.

A respected scholar, Dr. Byron received several fellowships for her research, which identified and examined ancient Ethiopic (Ge`ez) sources for the study of the New Testament and other early Christian writings. She authored “Symbolic Blackness and Ethnic Difference in Early Christian Literature,” and co-edited both “Womanist Interpretations of the Bible: Expanding the Discourse,” and “Black Scholars Matter: Visions, Struggles, and Hopes in Africana Biblical Studies.”

Dr. Byron also served as HUSD’s associate dean for academic affairs from 2015-2018. Her scholarship and teachings at the School of Divinity were enhanced by her service as an ordained minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian church.

I am grateful for Dr. Byron’s contributions to the Howard University community and international religious education. —Anthony K. Wutoh, PhD, RPh, provost 


Talmage G. Wilson, Jr. (BS ’50), March 9, 2023, Washington, D.C.

Edward Carl Neal (BBA ’54), November 3, 2023, Nashville, Tennessee. 

Mary Anne Tillman (BS ’56, MD ’60), August 11, 2023, St. Louis, Missouri.

Gladys Marie Clark-Johnson (BA ’57), October 25, 2023, Fredericksburg, Virginia. 


George Rucker
George "King" Rucker

Marie Murray (BA ’60, MA ’63), July 12, 2023, Waldorf, Maryland.

Denia Stukes Hightower (BA ’62), October 11, 2023, Kensington, Maryland.

Ralph Orland Williams (BS ’62, MS ’69), September 18, 2023, Potomac, Maryland.

George “King” Rucker (BA ’62), November 21, 2023, Washington, D.C. 

Frank H. Henderson, Jr. (BA ’63), November 17, 2023, Silver Spring, Maryland. 

Brenda Latrivia Dendy Stroud (BFA ’63), October 4, 2023, Detroit, Michigan.

Norma Jean Anders-Mapp (BS ’64), October 22, 2023, Washington, D.C.

Alice Mary Louise Carlson (MSW ’65), December 21, 2022, Springfield, Virginia.

Freddie Lilly Peaco (BA ’65), September 1, 2023, Washington D.C.

Carolyn McDaniel Bey (BS ’66), October 9, 2020, Detroit, Michigan.

Joseph Richard Daniels (BS ’66), August 8, 2023, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey.

Merwood “Woody” M. Jones (MD ’66), September 10, 2023, West Hartford, Connecticut.

Vallie Ferebee Bray (BS ’67), October 25, 2023, Concord, North Carolina. 

William E. Morris (MD ’68), November 21, 2023, Washington, D.C.

Stephen D. Issacs (BS ’69, MBA, ’73), October 12, 2023, Washington, D.C. 

James Telfair Robinson, III (BS ’69), October 28, 2023, Washington, D.C.


Albin Bailey (BBA ’71), January 31, 2023, Woodbridge, Virginia.

Guy B. Fox (BS ’74, MBA ’76), October 10, 2023, Newark, Delaware.
James Earl Norman, PhD (MA ’74), May 27, 2023, Tallahassee, Florida.


Michael R. Lapointe (BS ’83), February 21, 2021, Springfield, Virginia.


Clayton Sinclair, III (BBA ’92), April 26, 2023, Atlanta, Georgia.


This story appears in the Winter 2024 issue.
Article ID: 1956

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In Memoriam