Billy Lessley, UM professor, dies at 56A memorial service...


November 16, 1991

Billy Lessley, UM professor, dies at 56

A memorial service for Billy V. Lessley, professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of Maryland at College Park, will be held at 2 p.m. today at the University Baptist Church next to the campus.

Dr. Lessley, who was 56 and lived in University Park, died Sunday of cancer at Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale.

At Maryland, he was also a farm management specialist for the Cooperative Extension Service and an economic policy researcher for the Agricultural Experiment Station.

Dr. Lessley did work on controlling runoff from farms and reducing water pollution. He was a member of the Economics Advisory Group of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for the Chesapeake Bay program and of other committees on pollution.

A native of Ozark, Ark., where he was reared on a small dairy farm, he was a graduate of the Arkansas Polytechnic College. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Arkansas and his doctorate from the University of Missouri in 1965, shortly before joining the Maryland faculty.

He served as secretary of the board of deacons of the University Baptist Church and as president of the board of the University Hills Swim Association. He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Ellen Raney; two daughters, Martha Evers of Fairfax, Va., and Marsha Lynn Lessley of College Park; and two sisters, Cornee Bearden of Ozark and Faye Evans of Crane, Mo.

Samuel Dodson Jr.

Former school official

Services for Samuel H. Dodson Jr., who had been a school official in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, will be held at noon today at the Central Middle School field house in Laurel, Del.

Mr. Dodson, who was 71 and lived in Nanticoke, Md., died Sunday at Peninsula General Hospital in Salisbury after a heart attack.

He retired in 1979 as principal of Central Middle School. During 17 years in Laurel, Del., he also was principal of Dunbar Junior High School and assistant to the Laurel school district's superintendent.

In the early 1960s, he was principal of the laboratory school at what is now Bowie State University in Bowie. Earlier, he taught at Jackson High School in Luray, Va., and briefly at a school in Charles Town, W.Va., before returning to the Luray school as principal.

He also was a funeral director in Virginia for a time.

Born in Fardwick, Va., he was a graduate of Storer College in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and held a master's degree from Columbia University. He also did graduate work at New York University.

During World War II, he served in the Army in the Pacific, including the invasion of Leyte in the Philippines.

He was a former president of the Suffolk County Community Action Agency and was active in other community groups in the Laurel, Del., area.

He was a life member of the National Education Association and a member of the Phi Delta Kappa honorary education society.

He also belonged to the Morning Star Lodge of the Prince Hall Masons, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Queen City Lodge of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World.

His survivors include a daughter, Patricia Dodson Smack of Salisbury; two sons, Samuel H. Dodson III of Babenhausen, Germany, and Samuel Jones of Bridgeville, Del.; and five grandchildren.

Hugh J. Brannan Jr.

Advertising manager

Services for Hugh J. Brannan Jr., former national advertising manager at The News American, will be held at noon today at the Bruzdzinski Funeral Home, 1407 Eastern Ave. in Essex.

Mr. Brannan, who was 62 and lived on Elmley Avenue, died Wednesday of emphysema at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

He had been a member of the advertising staff at The News American for 33 years when it closed in 1986.

Before becoming national advertising manager, he was account executive for travel and resort advertising, and also wrote a travel column.

He traveled extensively, once making a trip around the world in 100 days. A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, he also belonged to the Junior Chamber of Commerce as a young man.

The Baltimore native was a graduate of City College.

He is survived by his wife, the former Betty Ovelgone; two sons, Hamilton Brannan of Baltimore and Hugh J. Brannan III of Pittsburgh; three daughters, Virginia Jonczak of Bel Air, Sarah Pedroni of Cedarcroft and Laura Gorin of Royal Oak; and eight grandchildren.

Walter H. Whitt I

Air Force sergeant

Services for Walter H. Whitt I, a former Baltimore resident, will be held at 11 a.m. today at the New Jerusalem Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God at 1905 N. Rosedale St.

Mr. Whitt, who was 59, died Nov. 8 after a heart attack at his home in Oakland, Calif.

He retired 18 years ago from the Air Force as a sergeant after his left arm was injured in an accident. He had been in the service for 14 years.

He operated a shoe repair shop in Oakland until he retired completely about 10 years ago.

A Mason, he also belonged to the ABC Bowlers Association.

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