Luther J. Heath, 100, avid rose gardener

August 09, 1991

Luther J. Heath, an avid rose gardener who would have been 101 next month, died Wednesday at Baltimore County General Hospital after a brief illness.

Services for Mr. Heath will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the mausoleum chapel of Loudon Park Cemetery in the 3700 block of Wilkens Avenue.

He moved two years ago to the Augsburg Lutheran Home in the Lochearn area of Baltimore County. He had lived for 38 years in the 4200 block of Kensington Road in Arbutus, where he often would greet passing neighbors with a bouquet gathered from some of his 58 prized rose

bushes or a package of home-grown vegetables.

Born Sept. 9, 1890, in Jesterville, Wicomico County, Mr. Heath left that small town to find work in Baltimore in 1917 and had some success with a grocery and a laundry business until the Depression. He then worked for many years as a manager of the Holland Laundry at North and Madison avenues.

Upon retirement at the age of 68, Mr. Heath tended several rental properties he had acquired over the years -- houses that he converted into apartments -- until he retired from that work at the age of 83.

He drove a car until he was 95 and enjoyed recalling the exchange of his horse-and-buggy for a Model T Ford because "not many people can say they traded a horse for a car."

With his wife, the former Mattie E. Messick of Bivalve, he participated in the West End African Violet Club, although roses were his favorite flower. They enjoyed the gardens of their property on Kensington Road and were just months from their 75th wedding anniversary when Mrs. Heath died in 1988.

Mr. Heath is survived by a daughter, Jeannette H. Wilson of Phoenix; a granddaughter, Carol Anne Prager of Berlin; and three great-grandsons.

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