Jerry M. SwigartDecorated soldierJerry M. Swigart, a...

October 19, 1993

Jerry M. Swigart

Decorated soldier

Jerry M. Swigart, a decorated former Army sergeant and a retired industrial supply salesman, died Friday after a heart attack at a gas station where he stopped for gas.

The 52-year-old Overlea resident retired three years ago as a salesman for L. A. Benson Co. in Baltimore, an industrial supplies business where he worked for more than five years. He moved to Baltimore from Middletown, Pa., in 1976, shortly after he began work as a salesman for American Steel Co.

He retired as an staff sergeant in 1975 after 12 years of service. His decorations included the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts and the Cross of Gallantry of the South Vietnamese government.

While serving in Vietnam, he was twice shot in the chest. He was also decorated for actions that included taking command of a South Vietnamese armored unit and defeating a superior force that had attacked it and rescuing the wounded crew of a U.S. tank that had been hit by rocket fire, then leading his unit in an attack that overran several bunkers.

A native of Missouri who was reared in Middletown, he attended the University of Southern California before he joined the Army. He graduated from Army schools for airborne troops, the Rangers, Special Forces and noncommissioned officers. He was drill instructor for a time at Fort Dix, N.J.

He was a former president of the Overlea-Fullerton Recreation Council, where he also had held several other offices and coached baseball and football teams. He had also been a member of the Baltimore County Auxiliary Police.

Services were set for noon today at the Lassahn Funeral Home, 7401 Belair Road, Overlea.

He is survived by his wife, the former Kum Chu Kwak; three sons, John F. Swigart, a fullback and linebacker at Towson State University, and Che M. Swigart and David L. Swigart, both of Overlea; and a sister, Sue Meyers of Middletown.

Mary E. Barber

Played piano in theaters

Mary Elizabeth Barber, a homemaker, died Oct. 11 of cancer at Carroll County General Hospital. The Hampstead resident was 88.

Born in Baltimore and reared on West Fayette Street, she was a 1921 graduate of St. Martin's school.

The former Mary Elizabeth Hilmer worked as a secretary at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and during World War II worked at the Pentagon for the 3rd Service Command.

In 1924, she married Harry Riley, a police reporter for The News-Post and Baltimore American. The couple divorced in 1945, and she married Navy Cmdr. John B. Barber.

After Commander Barber's death in 1971, she lived with a daughter in Seattle for several years. She returned to Maryland in 1977.

She taught herself the piano and for a number of years was a member of a house band organized by an older brother that played between movie showings at the Stanley and Century theaters.

"She was a fantastic talent," recalled Dr. Paul Hilmer, a nephew and Towson resident. "Music was very prominent in her life. I remember going to her house and asking her to play the piano. She could play anything you asked from memory."

A memorial service is planned.

In addition to her nephew, she is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Anne Mattison of Baltimore and Mary Dolores Riley of Seattle; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 43025, Baltimore 21236-0025; or St. Martin's Home for Aged, Little Sisters of the

Poor, 601 Maiden Choice Lane, Baltimore 21228.

Gene A. Webber

Insurance executive

Gene A. Webber, a retired vice president and comptroller of Maryland Casualty Co., died Friday of cancer at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

The 84-year-old Timonium resident began his career with the insurance company in Houston in 1938, leaving in 1947 to operate an automobile dealership with his brother-in-law in California. In 1949, he rejoined Maryland Casualty and moved to Baltimore. He retired in 1974.

He was born and reared in Galatia, Ill., graduating from high school there in 1926. He attended college for a year then left for Texas, where he worked in the chicken-processing industry during the Depression.

In retirement, he learned needlepoint and won numerous awards for his handiwork at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium.

"We figured he took up needlepoint because he was an !c accountant and needlepoint is so precise," said daughter Paula Gene Webber of Randallstown.

In 1934, he married the former Mary Willie Barnes of Fort Worth, Texas. He was a member of the Havenwood Presbyterian Church.

Services will be private.

In addition to his daughter and wife, he is survived by another daughter, Leah A. Scott of Timonium; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 43025, Baltimore 21236-0025.

Sister Therese

Primary school teacher

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