Evelyn Staples – Major, United States Army

From a press report: January 2002:

The Civic Federation lost a most remarkable member this past month when Evelyn Staples died in her sleep on December 18th. Evelyn was 88 years young and had served as a Civic Federation Delegate for well over 20 years. Although ill health finally sidelined Evelyn in recent years, she managed to participate actively for years in a wheelchair, hosting the Revenues and Expenditure Committee meetings in her home as late as 3 years ago.

For many of us who didn’t know Evelyn as well as we would have liked, a short history of her life is a remarkable one. Born in Baltimore in 1913, Evelyn was a pioneer from the start. She earned her law degree in 1941, but with the clouds of war approaching, Evelyn elected to join the Army Air Force that year and received flight training. After successfully soloing, she elected to leave the flight training and join the Women’s Army Corps in the service of the Judge Advocate’s Office. Later during World War II Evelyn was recruited by the Office of Special Services (forerunner of the CIA) and parachuted into occupied France, operating behind the German lines. Leaving the Army after WWII, Evelyn was recalled to active duty twice ­ once for the Korean War and a second time as an intelligence officer during the Cuban Missile crisis. When she finally left the military service, it was at the rank of Major.

Having settled in Arlington, Evelyn served as a Federation delegate from the Parkway and later Maywood civic associations. She was a member of the League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women and founded Virginia for Animals, an animal advocacy group. In 1991, she ran for County Board and later served as the Chairman of the Federation’s Executive Committee, subsequently winning the Journal Cup Award in 1995.

All in all ­ we have lost a most remarkable woman and Federation stalwart. Evelyn will be buried in Arlington Cemetery with full military honors on January 3rd. If you’d like to attend, funeral guests should meet at the Cemetery's Administration Building at 8:30 AM.

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