David M. BuffingtonTrial lawyerServices for David M...

OBITUARIES

June 03, 1991

David M. Buffington

Trial lawyer

Services for David M. Buffington, a trial lawyer and insurance law expert, will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, 200 Ingleside Ave., Catonsville.

Mr. Buffington, who was a partner with the Baltimore law firm of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes, died Saturday of cancer at his home in Catonsville. He was 61.

He became a partner in the firm in 1967 and was chairman of its trial department. Mr. Buffington won a national reputation for handling some of Maryland's toughest insurance cases and trained many of the firm's lawyers in insurance litigation. He was elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Born and raised in Union Bridge in Carroll County, he graduated from Elmer A. Wolfe High School in 1947. In 1951, he received a bachelor's degree from Western Maryland College and married Barbara A. Witzke.

The same year, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. He was stationed in Korea for two years with the 14th Regiment, 25th Division. After his discharge in 1953, he entered the University of Maryland School of Law and graduated in 1957.

In 1988, Mr. Buffington and his wife filed a $7.5 million civil suit charging Baltimore County police with negligence in the death of their 24-year-old son. James E. Buffington hanged himself in the Wilkens District lockup in March 1987 after being detained by police for psychiatric evaluation.

A federal jury found the county, the police chief and two officers guilty of negligence and civil rights violations. The Buffingtons were awarded $185,000 in compensatory damages, which they used to set up a foundation in their son's name.

The case spurred the county to redesign the Wilkens lockup to improve surveillance of prisoners.

Mr. Buffington was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the American Bar Association, the Maryland Bar Association, the Bar Association of Baltimore City, the Maryland Association of Defense Trial Counsel and the Defense Research Institute.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, David M. Buffington Jr. of Catonsville; a daughter, Carol L. Whitfield of Flintstone; two sisters, Betty L. Sayler of Union Bridge and R. Edna Venzie of Blue Bell, Pa.; and four grandchildren.

The family suggested that contributions be made to the Visiting Nurses Association Hospice Inc., 525 St. Paul Place, Suite A-12, Baltimore, Md. 21202

Douglas M. Parks

Farmer

Services for Douglas M. Parks, a Cockeysville native who farmed the land that is now Timonium, will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Epworth United Methodist Church, 600 Warren Road, Cockeysville.

Mr. Parks, who was 82 and lived in Sparks, died Friday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Towson after a long bout of meningitis.

He was a farmer until 1957, when the development of Timonium began. Mr. Parks, who ran a produce and livestock farm and tilled about 300 acres, subdivided his property. He sold parcels to developers and leased other sites to commercial enterprises.

The largest parcel was developed in 1957 into the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. Mr. Parks was superintendent of the cemetery until he retired in 1970.

He loved to garden and was a member of many clubs and civic groups. He was on the Board of Trustees at Jessup United Methodist Church, a member of the administrative board of Epworth United Methodist Church, a life member of the University of Maryland Alumni Association, a member of the "M Club" of the University of Maryland and a charter member of the Maryland Alpha, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

He was president of the Timonium Chamber of Commerce and was active in the Baltimore County Farm Bureau, the Maryland Farm Bureau and the Timonium Federal Savings and Loan Association, now the Vermont Federal Savings Bank.

His first wife, Katherine W. Parks, to whom he was married for over 50 years, died in 1983.

He is survived by his second wife, the former Anna Gustler; four sons, Douglas M. Parks Jr. of Berlin, Donald W. Parks of Fulton, Joshua W. Parks of Crofton and Theodore G. Parks of Lutherville; a sister, Kitty Everding of Rockville; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

The family suggested that contributions be made to the Epworth United Methodist Church Expansion Fund, 600 Warren Road, Cockeysville, Md., 21030.

Marion T. Couse

Kent County artist

Services for Marion T. Couse, a Kent County artist, will be at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Kent, on Route 21 in Lankford.

Mrs. Couse, who was 78 and lived in Huntingfield Farms, Rock Hall, died of cancer Thursday at Wilmington Hospital in Delaware.

Known for her watercolors and landscapes of Kent County, she won several local art awards and sold her work on the Eastern Shore.

Born in Englewood, N.J., she attended Northfield-Mount Harmon School, a private preparatory school in Northfield, Mass., and studied art at the Parsons Institute of Design in New York City.

She married John C. Couse, a metal engineer with Alcoa, in 1931.

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