Francis Sayre, who as dean of Washington National Cathedral for 27 years oversaw much of its completion and used his pulpit to confront McCarthyism, racial tensions and the Vietnam War, died Oct. 3 at his home on Martha's Vineyard, Mass. He was 93. Sayre, whose grandfather was President Woodrow Wilson, was appointed to the cathedral in 1951 and quickly became a leading national voice of conscience. As the church's fifth dean, he also presided over daily operations and focused on finishing the massive Gothic structure whose cornerstone had been placed in 1907. Washington National Cathedral is now the sixth-largest cathedral in the world and is often regarded as America's counterpart to England's Westminster Abbey as a national center for mourning and celebration. Attracting thousands of followers, Sayre continued the cathedral's tradition of preaching the social gospel, which applies Christian ethics to matters such as war, race relations and economic inequality. From the pulpit, he denounced the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy at the Wisconsin senator's peak of influence investigating Communist influence in government and Hollywood. He called McCarthy part of a crew of "pretended patriots" and also chided the American people for letting demagogues achieve prominence. His criticism of politicians extended to presidential candidates, and he once likened Lyndon B. Johnson's ethical foundations to a termite-ridden house.
Edsel Dunford, a former TRW Inc. president and aerospace engineer who helped develop pioneering satellites for the United States during the Cold War, died Friday in Rolling Hills, Calif. He was 73. Dunford spent most of his aerospace career at the sprawling Space Park complex on the west side of Los Angeles, where TRW developed missiles and satellites throughout the Cold War. Dunford retired as president of TRW in 1994 after a career that spanned 30 years with much of it under the specter of war-like tensions with the Soviet Union.