Howard C. WitzkeBGE supervisorHoward C. Witzke, retired...

March 23, 1995

Howard C. Witzke

BGE supervisor

Howard C. Witzke, retired supervisor of electrical services in Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s television department, died of leukemia Tuesday at his Overlea home. He was 76.

He retired in 1983 after 18 years with BGE. Earlier, he operated Witzke's Television Service on Harford Road.

After the outbreak of World War II, Mr. Witzke enlisted in the Army in 1941. As a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division, he was a communications officer at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.

He recalled having only "a few rounds left when the American planes came through the clouds on Christmas morning," said his wife of 48 years, the former Doris Dehner. "He used to say, 'To hear those planes overhead caused indescribable joy -- it was an answer to our prayers.' "

Later in the war, he was made a "military mayor" of a town in Germany after the Allies occupied it. Several years ago, he returned to Germany to see the same village.

Among his decorations was a Bronze Star for valor. He was discharged in 1948 as a lieutenant, but remained active in the Army Reserve, leaving in 1950 as a captain.

Locally, he was known to his neighbors as the "mayor of Alta Avenue," showering children with candy. He was a member of the Optimist Club of Hamilton, the Corinthian Lodge of the Masons and Grace Lutheran Church.

Born and reared in Highlandtown, he was a graduate of city schools and was a 1937 graduate of Boys' Vocational School.

Services were to be held at 11 a.m. today at John C. Miller Funeral Home Inc., 6415 Belair Road, Overlea.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Pamella L. Appler of Springfield, Va., and Gail A. Moser of Mount Airy; a brother, Frederick H. Witzke of Mount Washington; and five grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, 5201-05 Harford Road, Baltimore 21214; or the American Cancer Society, Maryland Division Inc., 8219 Town Center Drive, P.O. Box 43025, Baltimore 21236-0025.

Helen M. Freiert

Social worker

Helen M. Freiert, a retired social worker who did church and volunteer work, died Monday of cancer at Our House at Beechwood, a Catonsville assisted-living home and hospice. She was 82.

Miss Freiert, who lived many years in Parkville, retired in 1977 as a supervisor in the Adoption and Custody Unit of the state's Juvenile Services Administration in Baltimore.

In the early 1940s, she became the first staff social worker for Baltimore's two House of Good Shepherd institutions. Earlier, she taught in several cities.

She was a volunteer fund-raiser for Mercy High School, Seton High School and Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg, and was a volunteer for St. Ursula's Church Sodality.

In 1975, she was a member of the Baltimore-area group that attended the canonization in Rome of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., and reared in Baltimore, she was a graduate of Blessed Sacrament School and, in 1930, of Seton High School. In 1934, she was valedictorian of her class at St. Joseph's College in Emmitsburg.

In 1989, she was named Alumna of the Year by the Maryland Chapter of the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae.

A Mass of Christian Burial was to be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. Ursula's Roman Catholic Church, 8801 Harford Road in Parkville.

Miss Freiert is survived by a brother, Donald V. Freiert of Columbia; two sisters, Mary Ann Whelan of Seattle, Wash., and Anita L. Lyden of Rosedale; 31 nieces and nephews; and many grandnieces and grandnephews.

James E. Cusack

PPG accounts manager

James E. Cusack, a Baltimore native who was national accounts manager for the brush unit of PPG Industries, died Monday at a nursing home in North Kingstown, R.I., of complications of a stroke. He was 87 and moved to Wakefield, R.I., about 30 years ago.

Mr. Cusack, who retired in the early 1970s, was a 1926 graduate of Loyola High School. His first wife, the former Natalie Blunt, died in 1963; and his second wife, the former Beverly Downing, died in 1975.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Ignatius Church, Calvert and Madison streets.

He is survived by his wife, the former Dorothy Whitaker; a son, James E. Cusack, and a daughter, Natalie Elizabeth Cusack Standiford, both of Baltimore; two stepdaughters, Karen E. Pine of Charlestown, R.I., and Patricia L. Reardon of Lake Forest, Calif.; and 10 grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Loyola High School or to St. Ignatius Loyola Academy.

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