Barbara C. FergusonSocial workerBarbara C. Ferguson, a...

February 07, 1994

Barbara C. Ferguson

Social worker

Barbara C. Ferguson, a retired supervisor in the Baltimore--Department of Social Services who was active in community and church affairs, died Jan. 28 at a hospital in Tulsa, Okla., where she had gone for treatment of cancer.

Mrs. Ferguson, who was 56 and lived on North Carey Street in West Baltimore, retired at the beginning of the year as a supervisor of family services at the Orangeville Neighborhood Center on East Biddle Street.

She had worked there since 1976 and had earlier been a social worker with the Baltimore Community Action Agency.

In the early 1960s, she was an operator for the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co., and before that had been a sales clerk at the old Stewart & Co. downtown store.

The former Barbara C. Johnson was born in New York City and was raised in Baltimore.

She graduated from St. Frances Academy and Coppin State College and earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Maryland.

Mrs. Ferguson was a charter member and president since 1988 of Pius V Housing, which rehabilitates and sells homes in West Baltimore; a charter member and former vice president of the Harlem Park Neighborhood Council, and charter member and former president of the Lafayette Square Association.

She was also a founder and former chairman of the Coalition for a Beautiful Neighborhood; a charter member of the Coalition for a Better Harlem Park, and a member of the City-wide Liquor Coalition and the Coalition to Fight Illegal Billboards.

She was a member of the national board of the Association for the Study of Classic African Civilization, the Black Social Workers and the Board of African American Ministry of the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore.

She was a delegate to the sixth National Black Catholic Congress in Washington in 1988.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas J. Ferguson; a daughter, Mary Catherine Ferguson; two sons, Martin A. Johnson and Thomas J. Ferguson; and three grandchildren. All are of Baltimore.

Services were held Wednesday.


David S. Olton


David S. Olton, professor of psychology at the Johns Hopkins University and a neuroscientist who was an expert on the biological bases of learning, memory and attention, died Tuesday of cancer at the home of a friend.

Dr. Olton, who was 51 and lived in Phoenix, was head of the Psychology Department from 1982 until 1987. He had been a member of the faculty at Hopkins' Homewood campus since 1969.

A pioneer in the use of a radial arm maze in research on the memory of rats, he and Hopkins research scientist Alicja Markowska have written a paper to be published in the Journal of Neuroscience on improved memory and learning among rats treated with a compound called nerve growth factor.

According to Dr. Markowska, nerve growth factor may some day be useful in treating Alzheimer's disease.

In his studies of the areas of the brain used in learning, memory and attention, Dr. Olton had mapped the hippocampus, the ridge along the lower section of each lateral ventricle of the brain.

He established an undergraduate major, Behavioral Biology, and supervised the 75 students in it each year.

He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a councilor of the Society for Neuroscience and a frequent lecturer. He helped to train graduate and undergraduate students, and his dedication earned him the Alpha Phi Favorite Faculty Award and the George Owen Award for teaching and devotion to undergraduates.

A native of Bloomfield, N.J., who was reared in Richmond, Va., he was a 1964 graduate of Haverford College and earned his master's degree and doctorate at the University of Michigan.

Survivors include his father, the Rev. Robert Matthew Olton of Charlottesville, Va.; a sister, Judith Olton Mueller of McLean, Va.; and a brother, Robert Matthew Olton Jr. of Belmont, Calif.

A memorial service was held Friday.

Ernest J. Moosherr

Welding specialist

Ernest J. Moosherr, a welding specialist and worldwide trouble-shooter for a Baltimore shipyard, died Monday of asbestosis and emphysema at his home in Morrell Park in South Baltimore. He was 69.

Mr. Moosherr, who retired in 1984, came to Baltimore in 1939 and went to work for the Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. in Fairfield.

He was born in Great Barrington, Mass., and was reared in Brewster, N.Y.. He left school after the 10th grade to help support his family.

He enlisted in the Army in 1943 and served with the 19th Armored Infantry Battalion as a welder and then as a military policeman in France and Germany.

He was discharged in 1946 and returned to his job in the shipyard.

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