Sister ElizabethReligious educatorSister Elizabeth M...

July 31, 1995

Sister Elizabeth

Religious educator

Sister Elizabeth M. Casey, who brought religious education to low-income families in Baltimore as one of the first members of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, died Friday of natural causes at Mercy Mission Helper Villa. She was 99.

The native of Cambridge, Mass., worked briefly as a bacteriologist at a Boston laboratory before she moved to Baltimore in 1918 to become a nun. She took her vows at the mission in 1924.

Sister Judy Waldt, a friend at the mission, said Sister Elizabeth worked at a vocational school operated by the mission in West Baltimore, teaching Roman Catholic traditions to young women who were learning the laundry trade. She also helped keep the mission's books and developed a method of teaching religious education to public school children.

Sister Elizabeth often traveled to the St. Ambrose parish in West Baltimore, delivering food and clothing to her students' homes. She hoped those house calls would bring the children's parents, many of whom had left the religion, back to church, Sister Judy said.

She also instructed the mission's younger nuns to travel into low-income communities and make Catholicism more accessible to urban dwellers, Sister Judy said.

Since Sister Elizabeth entered the mission's retirement community three years ago, she continued to write weekly letters to nuns in the mission's parishes around the city that often included poems and spiritual reflections. Other nuns knew her for the African violets she tended, which she frequently gave away, and her skills as a seamstress.

Sister Judy said younger nuns sought out Sister Elizabeth for her stories of the early days of the mission, which is 105 years old, and her tales of turn-of-the-century Boston.

A Mass of the resurrection will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today at Mercy Mission Helper Villa, 6086 Bellona Ave.

William L. Clark

Attorney, civic leader

William L. Clark, a prominent local attorney whose many devotions and interests ranged far from the courtroom, died Saturday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson after a long battle with cancer. He was 57.

Mr. Clark was born in East Baltimore. His father worked for several railroads and the family moved around the country after employment opportunities. After he graduated from high school in California, Mr. Clark joined the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged a corporal.

He returned to his hometown, where he graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1968.

"He specialized in litigation, and all of his clients were important people to him," said his wife, Maureen.

Mr. Clark's office was on Allegany Avenue in Towson.

In addition to his law practice, Mr. Clark was active in many civic and fraternal activities.

He was the first president of Harbel, a Northeast Baltimore community organization, and he held leadership and fund-raising positions with the United Way of Central Maryland.

He was counsel to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, parish council president at St. Thomas More in Parkville and a member of the board of directors of Maryvale Preparatory School.

He was also a longtime member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

Mr. Clark was an avid sailor who kept a 31-foot sailboat docked on Galloway Creek, off Middle River. He also enjoyed skiing and playing tennis.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Texas.

Besides his wife, survivors include three daughters, Kelly Harman of White Marsh, and Melissa and Jennifer Clark of Baltimore; his mother, Elizabeth La Spina of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

Elizabeth Harrisson Best, who lived in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas for nearly 30 years, died July 19 of pneumonia at Carle Arbours in Savoy, Ill. She was 79.

Mrs. Best was born in Orange, N.J., and graduated from Wellesley College.

She briefly worked as a secretary at CBS and worked part time for H&R Block in Alexandria, Va.

From 1945 to 1967, she lived in Annapolis. From about 1969 to 1974, Mrs. Best lived in Ruxton and later in Towson. She also lived in Punta Gorda, Fla.

Mrs. Best was married for 51 years to John Best. He died in 1991.

The family will hold private services.

Mrs. Best is survived by a daughter, Nancy Best of Friday Harbor, Wash.; three sons, Philip Best of Urbana, Ill., Sat Sansar Singh Best of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Roger Best of Ontario, Calif.; and six grandchildren.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Alzheimer's Association, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1000, Chicago, Ill. 60611-1676.

Nicholas L. Ballich

Psychiatry professor

Dr. Nicholas L. Ballich, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, died of cancer Saturday at his Stevenson home. He was 81.

Dr. Ballich, a native of Galveston, Texas, had been associated with Johns Hopkins Hospital since his internship there in 1939. He was chief resident at Hopkins' Phipps Psychiatric Clinic from 1941 to 1943.

After World War II, he went into private practice.

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