Ross S. LaPortaFrostburg barberRoss S. LaPorta, a...

September 13, 1995

Ross S. LaPorta

Frostburg barber

Ross S. LaPorta, a well-known Frostburg barber, died Sunday of cardiac arrest at Egle Nursing Home in Lonaconing. He was 93.

It wasn't until June when he became ill that Mr. LaPorta, who began cutting hair during Woodrow Wilson's presidency in his Main Street shop, put down his scissors.

The shop was opened by his grandfather, and his father worked there.

"He began cutting hair when he was 15, and, talk about Cal Ripken's streak, my father only missed 12 days of work in a 79-year career," said a son, the Rev. Gerald F. LaPorta, pastor emeritus of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Lonaconing.

"He loved people and his work and was a very patient and gentle man," said Father LaPorta.

"My father, who never learned to drive a car, used to walk daily a quarter of a mile to work, then home for lunch and then back to work, and finally home in the evening after the shop closed. He did that every day until recent years," the son said.

"He had hoped that one of his sons would become a barber but we both decided to become priests instead, and he used to say, 'It was OK to have one become a priest, but both of them?' " Father LaPorta said with a laugh.

His brother, the Rev. Ross A. LaPorta, is pastor of St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church in Catonsville.

The son of Sicilian immigrants, Mr. LaPorta was raised in Frostburg and graduated from Beall High School.

He was a member of St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, the Holy Name Society, the Knights of Columbus and the Chief Justice Taney Fourth Degree Assembly.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. Michael Church, 44 E. Main St., Frostburg.

Other survivors include his wife of 70 years, the former Kathleen Stowell; a brother, Leo LaPorta of Eckhart; a sister, Helen Caldwell of Frostburg; and many nieces and nephews.

Sister Irma

Teacher, office worker

Sister Irma Truffer, who worked in the office of a medical gases company after retiring from active membership in the Sisters of Christian Charity, died Saturday of heart failure at Maryland Manor Convalescent Center in Glen Burnie. She was 76 and lived in Riviera Beach.

Born Helen G. Truffer in Baltimore, she graduated from Holy Cross School in South Baltimore and joined the Sisters of Christian Charity who taught there.

Before leaving the order in 1967, she served for 34 years as a teacher or superior at schools and a hospital in Pennsylvania and a school in North Carolina.

Before her final retirement 14 years ago, she worked in the office of the Puritan-Bennett Corp.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 1 p.m. today at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church, 8499 Virginia Ave. in Riviera Beach.

She is survived by three sisters, Regina McKnew of Glen Burnie, Madeleine Vetra of Pasadena and Rita Sothoron of Riviera Beach; two brothers, August Truffer of Pleasanton, Calif., and George Truffer of Pasadena; and many nieces and nephews.

Edward L. Gill

Lumber broker

Edward L. Gill, a retired Baltimore lumber broker, died Saturday at a hospital in Coatesville, Pa., after an apparent heart attack at his home in a Coatesville retirement community. He was 78.

Mr. Gill retired in 1983 as owner of the Gill Lumber Co., which he had operated since the early 1970s. Earlier, he worked for the Appel Lumber Co.

The Baltimore native was a 1935 graduate of Calvert Hall College. He attended the Johns Hopkins University where he joined Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

He began working for Appel before serving during World War II in the Army Air Corps in the Aleutians.

He lived in Homeland and later in Towson before moving to Wilmington, Del., after he retired. He moved to Coatesville about five years ago.

Services were to be held at 11 a.m. today at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road.

His wife of 28 years, the former Lee Fitch, died in 1974. He is survived by a son, Edward Louis Gill III of Chadds Ford, Pa.; and a grandson.

Dorothy Shannon

Worked in church

Dorothy Onez Shannon, who did church work, died Friday of heart disease at Harbor Hospital Center. She was 78 and lived in Brooklyn.

Mrs. Shannon was a former president and secretary of the Friendship Circle of the Brooklyn United Methodist Church.

She was born Dorothy Onez Pitts in Ashland, Ala., and moved to Baltimore in the 1940s.

Her husband, Bert Shannon Jr., died in 1980.

Services for Mrs. Shannon were held Monday.

She is survived by a daughter, Barbara S. Jackson of Annapolis; two sons, Michael P. Shannon of Reisterstown and John A. Shannon of Vienna, Va.; two brothers, Morris Pitts of Athens, Ga., and Wesley Pitts of Houston; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Annie L. Watson


Annie Lucille Watson, a homemaker who served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II, died Thursday at the Veterans Hospital in Baltimore of complications of a brain tumor. She was 72 and lived in East Baltimore.

She was born Annie Lucille Wilson in North Carolina and moved to Baltimore in the late 1940s. She was a member of the American Legion.

Her husband, Marion Guy Watson Sr., died in 1973.

Services for Mrs. Watson were to be held at 10:15 a.m. today at the Lilly & Zeiler Funeral Home, 1901 Eastern Ave.

Survivors include a son, John Alexander Watson of Baltimore; a daughter, Carrie Ella Lau of Stockton, Calif.; and two grandchildren.

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