Palmer E. Wooten Sr.Owned nightclubPalmer E. Wooten Sr...


June 22, 1993

Palmer E. Wooten Sr.

Owned nightclub

Palmer E. Wooten Sr., who had operated a dry cleaning business in Baltimore and later a nightclub, died Friday at St. Agnes Hospital of a liver disease. He was 56 and lived on Sedgewood Road in Catonsville.

Born in Falkland, N.C., he attended school in Greenville, N.C., before moving to Baltimore and attending Carver Vocational Technical High School.

He worked for the G. Fava Fruit Co. and the Robert S. Green Construction Co. and, in 1963, started Wooten's Dry Cleaners in his mother's basement. He expanded the business to a dry cleaning plant and five stores before transferring his interest to the nightclub business.

Mr. Wooten opened Wooten's S&W Lounge on West Saratoga Street in 1972. He later moved it to Port Street in East Baltimore, where it was destroyed in a 1990 fire.

While operating the neighborhood club, which featured records and live entertainment, he became known to friends and patrons locally as "The Godfather of Soul."

Services for Mr. Wooten were to be held at 7:30 p.m. today at the Carter Memorial Church of God In Christ, 745 W. Fayette St.

He is survived by his wife, the former Janice Marie Carr; two daughters, Sherri Wooten and Denise Hill, both of Baltimore; three sons, Mark Wooten, Jayme Wooten and Palmer E. Wooten Jr., all of Catonsville; his father, Arthur Wooten of Newark, N.J.; his mother, Rosa Lee Wooten Sessom of Baltimore; a brother, William Edward Wooten of Baltimore; a sister, Margaret Rea Miles, also of Baltimore; and a granddaughter. James E. Forbes, vice president of a family-owned lumber company and an expert on the design and production of custom-made millwork, died Friday of heart failure at his home in Owings Mills. He was 72.

Mr. Forbes had been active in the family business, the Reisterstown Lumber Co., since the end of World War II and was head of its millwork department. He did the millwork for the bar in Haussner's restaurant, the Annapolis Yacht Club and for other buildings, including those on the estate of the late Rosa Ponselle.

Born in Baltimore, he was reared in Pinehurst and was educated at Towson High School, the Boys' Latin School and the University of Maryland.

He was a goalie for lacrosse teams at all three schools. Before he graduated from Maryland, he was named to an All-American team and to two college all-star teams.

He served in the Navy during World War II as a catapult officer aboard a carrier, the USS Sangamon, which was hit by a kamikaze plane in the Pacific.

He sailed for many years with the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake and was a member of the Piney Branch Golf and Country Club in Hampstead. Services for Mr. Forbes were to be conducted at 11 a.m. today at the Eline Funeral Home, 11824 Reisterstown Road in Reisterstown.

He is survived by a daughter, Christie Ziolkowski of Reisterstown; two sons, R. Jeffrey Forbes of Stockbridge, Vt., and C. McKee Forbes of Glyndon; a brother, Charles A. Forbes Jr. of Reisterstown; a sister, Edith F. Spinks of Winston-Salem, N.C.; his fiancee, Mary Lou Ross of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.

Margaret P. Orman

Donated 'official bell'

Margaret Palmbaum Orman, a Baltimore native who donated Baltimore's "official bell" at the Inner Harbor in memory of her late husband, died of cancer yesterday at her home in Pikesville. She was 75.

Mrs. Orman's roots run deep in the city. A grandfather, Alexander Bechofer, was an executive of the Baltimore Herald newspaper, and her father, Alvin Greif Sr., headed the L. Greif clothing manufacturing firm.

The daughter of Flora and Alvin Greif, she grew up on Eutaw Place until the family moved to "Floral Farm" in what was then a less developed Pikesville area. She attended Park School and graduated from Chevy Chase School for Girls, later attending Radcliffe College.

She married Paul R. Palmbaum in 1943 and the two traveled extensively. She sold war bonds during World War II and worked after the war in behalf of Jewish war veterans. Mr. Palmbaum died in 1979. In 1982, she married Harry Orman, who operated a liquor business.

After Mr. Palmbaum's death, she approached then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer about an appropriate memorial. The result was the city's first "official bell" at the Inner Harbor that was to be dedicated in May 1981 ceremonies honoring the return to home port of the original Pride of Baltimore.

The Pride arrived on time, but the bell did not -- it had cracked during its casting at a Glen Burnie foundry. City officials suggested borrowing a church bell for the ceremonies, and the then-Mrs. Palmbaum agreed reluctantly. The deception was publicized later that summer, and an embarrassed Pride committee promised that the real bell would be in place shortly. It was.

Mrs. Orman, who lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., in the winter, was a gourmet cook who enjoyed entertaining small groups in her home. An avid reader and writer, she produced an unpublished cookbook and was a frequent letter-writer to The Baltimore Sun and author of Evening Sun opposite-editorial articles on a variety of subjects.

Services will be private.

Surviving are Mrs. Orman's husband, of Baltimore; two daughters, Anne Fishman and Sally Palmbaum, both of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Maryland Food Committee, 204 E. 25th St., Baltimore 21218.

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