Maurice Shochatt, editor, publisher, dies at 80Services...


December 19, 1991

Maurice Shochatt, editor, publisher, dies at 80

Services for Maurice R. Shochatt, who had been a newspaper editor and publisher, columnist and public relations man, will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros. funeral establishment, 6010 Reisterstown Road.

Mr. Shochatt, who was 80 and maintained his home and office on Reisterstown Road until six months ago, died early yesterday of complications to diabetes at Levindale.

Until he closed the office, he had been for many years editor and publisher of the Baltimore Beacon, a weekly and later a monthly that specialized in coverage of Northwest Baltimore, and for 20 years that spanned parts of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, he wrote a column for the Jewish Times.

Editor for many years of the Menorah Light, the award-winning newsletter of the Menorah Lodge of B'nai B'rith, he also produced a weekly news program on WITH-AM in the 1940s and 1950s.

He told friends his professional slogan was, "Journalism should light the way, not burn the way."

As a public relations man, he served as an officer or executive secretary of several groups he helped to start, including the Safety First Club of Maryland, which he served as executive vice president, the Sports Boosters of Maryland and the Metropolitan Civic Club.

A native of Ukraine who came to Baltimore as a child with his family, he was a 1929 graduate of City College and also attended the Baltimore Hebrew College and the University of Maryland. He later served as secretary of the City College class of 1929.

He worked for a time for a predecessor of the News American and later often wrote letters to newspaper editors, often dealing with traffic safety or other matters of interest to groups he represented.

Mr. Shochatt is survived by a sister, Manya Shapiro of Takoma, Wash.; and several nieces and nephews.

The family suggested memorial contributions could be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Maryland through Steve Harris at 100 Water St.

Richard Wernecke

Flight test engineer

Richard Louis Wernecke, a retired flight test engineer at the Patuxent River Naval Air Test Center in Lexington Park, died of cancer Nov. 25 at his Leonardtown home. He was 58.

A native of Dundalk, Mr. Wernecke grew up there in the 1940's as his father, Ray, coached a string of undefeated football teams at the Dundalk Athletic Club. Mr. Wernecke became a standout football lineman, playing offensive guard for Poly until he graduated in 1951.

He earned an engineering degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1954, after only three years there on a senatorial scholarship, and went to work at the Naval Air Test Center.

After a year at the St. Mary's County base, he enlisted in the Army and served in Japan as an intelligence officer. He returned to Patuxent River in 1959 and married the former Margaret Richardson.

Throughout his 34-year career at Patuxent River, Mr. Wernecke was involved in the testing and evaluation of more than 60 naval aircraft, specializing in helicopters.

For 13 years before his retirement in 1988, Mr. Wernecke was technical director of the test center's Rotary Wing Aircraft Test Directorate. In 1977 he was named a distinguished fellow of the American Helicopter Society. Upon retirement, the Navy honored him with its Superior Civilian Service Award.

Since 1988, the Naval Air Test Center has bestowed the Richard L. "Dick" Wernecke Award on its rotary wing engineer of the year.

He was an avid golfer and longtime president of the congregation at Trinity Lutheran Church.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Ray Wernecke of Leonardtown and David Wernecke of Lusby, and two grandchildren.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the Trinity Lutheran Church Building Fund, Shangri-La Drive, Lexington Park, Md. 20653.

Maria Lynn Rodrigue

Lifelong city resident

Maria Lynn Rodrigue, a lifelong resident of Baltimore, died Nov. 7 of leukemia at Harbor Hospital Center. She was 18.

Ms. Rodrigue, who lived with her family in Southwest Baltimore, attended elementary and middle school in the Baltimore school system. She attended one year at Howard High School in Columbia before her illness forced her to leave the school and continue her education at home with tutors.

She was fond of camping.

Ms. Rodrigue's funeral was held Nov. 11 at the Hubbard Funeral Home.

She is survived by a daughter, Tiffany Lynn Rodrigue; her mother, Sandra Lynn Collett; her father, Lawrence Rodrigue Sr.; her stepfather, Timothy Collett; two brothers, Lawrence Rodrigue Jr. and Clifford Rodrigue. All of her survivors are from Baltimore.

Andrew J. Johnson

Prince George's infant

A memorial service for Andrew Jarosinski Johnson, a premature baby who died hours after his birth, was held Dec. 6 at Prince George's Hospital Center.

Andrew was born at the hospital a day earlier as his mother, Anne Johnson, was beginning her fifth month of pregnancy. He arrived at 3:35 p.m. and died at 7:10 p.m.

The infant was baptized before his death.

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