An obituary in The Sun Monday on Ann Rife Cheek reported...

January 24, 1994

An obituary in The Sun Monday on Ann Rife Cheek reported incorrectly that Goucher College, where she was a member of the class of 1942, was a two-year women's academy at the time. In fact, Goucher has been a four-year college since its founding in 1885. The Sun regrets the error.

Ann Rife Cheek

Hospital volunteer

Ann Rife Cheek, a Ruxton resident and keen bridge player who filled her home with flowers and guests when she wasn't volunteering her services at Baltimore hospitals, died Saturday at Union Memorial Hospital of a stroke. She was 73.

A 1942 graduate of Goucher College, then a two-year women's academy, the young Ann Rife received her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before returning to Baltimore to take a job as a social worker for the Maryland Department of Social Services.


A few months later, she was standing in line at a coffee shop when a nervous young man named Walter M. Cheek Jr. approached her to ask for a date.

"My father and some of his friends had seen her two or three times in the coffee shop, and they all thought she was very attractive," said Mrs. Cheek's daughter, Martha Bittner. "My father finally worked up the nerve to talk to her, but he was scared to death."

They were married Oct. 18, 1946, at the Mount Calvary Episcopal Church, in downtown Baltimore, in a ceremony presided over by Mr. Cheek's uncle -- the then-rector, the Rev. Henry Neeson Botts.

Mrs. Cheek left social work, pursuing a life of volunteering that took her to the Women's Hospital of Maryland, Union Memorial, Sheppard Pratt Health System and Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson.

For 20 years, she worked in various positions, including co-chairwoman, in GBMC's "nearly new" second-hand sales that raised about $250,000 annually for the hospital.

Mrs. Cheek was a member of the Roland Park Women's Club and the Gaywood Garden Club, where her artist's eye won her numerous prizes locally and nationally for flower arrangements.

But her favorite pastime was bridge. The game was a lifelong passion that carried Mrs. Cheek from her days in college dormitories to a five-year membership in the Keswick Marathon Bridge Tournament.

"She played all her life," Mrs. Bittner said. "The rest of us in the family were all lousy bridge players, including my father, but she was quite good. Outstanding, in fact.

"We grew up in a house full of flowers and my mother's many friends playing bridge."

Mr. Cheek, who retired eight years ago as vice-president of Rogers Printing and Carton Co. in Baltimore, and his wife celebrated their 48th anniversary last October.

A memorial service will be held today at St. John's Episcopal Church in Glyndon at 1 p.m., with a private interment to follow.

In addition to her husband and daughter Martha, Mrs. Cheek is survived by another daughter, Sally W. Cheek of Boston; a son, Walter M. Cheek 3rd of Upperco, Md.; and one granddaughter.

Lydia Brown Geare

Volunteer, sailor

Lydia Brown Geare, a lifelong volunteer and avid Chesapeake Bay sailor who spent years toiling to save Maryland's waterways, died at North Arundel Hospital Jan. 18 after a two-year struggle with leukemia. She was 75.

Her death came after she became ill with emphysema doing what she loved best, sailing with her husband of 54 years, John E. Geare.

The former Lydia Brown was born in Devon, Pa., and spent much of her childhood traveling with her family in France before returning to the Philadelphia Main Line to study at the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont.

On June 23, 1939, she married Mr. Geare when he was a young executive at Bethlehem Steel Corp. in New York. The couple lived in Englewood and Tenafly, N.J., where Mrs. Geare was active in the Junior League and helped with children's theater groups.

In 1952, the couple moved to Cumberland, where they both had relatives who served in the Episcopal clergy.

Together with former U.S. Sen. Glenn Beall, a Maryland Republican, Mr. Geare formed an insurance and financial services company where he worked until his retirement in 1983.

He and his wife moved to Gibson Island to pursue sailing full time.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Geare had become a volunteer in Cumberland's Emmanuel Church, where she served as chairwoman of the Ways and Means Committee, and in local conservation groups.

She was a member of the Audubon Society and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, among other organizations, and made a mark for herself in sailing competitions on the bay and throughout the country.

"She and her husband were very much waterfolks," said W. Cameron Slack, a family friend. "They won many trophies and traveled widely up and down the East Coast and abroad on one kind of boat or another."

Stricken by leukemia two years ago, Mrs. Geare didn't let the disease keep her from her interests, Mr. Slack said. Late last summer, she and her husband took a cruise to Alaska that proved to be her last adventure.

She came down with emphysema aboard ship and had to be flown home.

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