Helen V. Moss, 84, co-owned, operated Catonsville drugstore

January 28, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Helen V. S. Moss, who with her husband owned and operated a popular Catonsville drugstore for more than 40 years, died Jan. 14 of a heart attack at St. Agnes Hospital. The Charlestown Retirement Community resident was 84.

Mrs. Moss and her husband, Dr. John Hutchison Moss Sr., whom she married in 1932, ran Moss' Pharmacy at the corner of Frederick Road and Ingleside Avenue from 1930 until 1977, when the business was closed after his death.

While Dr. Moss filled prescriptions, Mrs. Moss worked the 10-stool counter making sandwiches with her popular chicken and tuna salads.

"They had a soda fountain and booths that were popular with the teen-age crowd who used the place as a hangout," said Patty Blaha, a granddaughter. "She was also known for her special burgers that she mixed up."

In addition to overseeing the fountain, where sodas cost 5 cents and hamburgers 20 cents, Mrs. Moss sold cosmetics and ran the cash register.

With the store open seven days a week, Mrs. Moss made sure that commuters heading for the No. 8 streetcar had their daily newspapers and copies of the latest magazines, which the store stocked. She also told youngsters who came into the store about the latest comic books.

"She was a people person who knew virtually everyone who came into the store. She was so kind-hearted, if a person couldn't pay, she'd tell them to pay next time or whenever they could. That's the kind of person she was," said Ms. Blaha.

Mrs. Moss and her husband had a 57-acre farm near West Friendship in Howard County, where they raised horses and often took orphans from the nearby German Orphans Home for the weekend.

The former Virginia V. Sprecher, who grew up in Catonsville and was known by an older generation as "Miss Catonsville," was a 1929 graduate of Catonsville High School. She was active in Catonsville Methodist Church.

"Her life was her family and the drugstore," said Ms. Blaha.

Mrs. Moss is also survived by a son, John H. Moss Jr. of Catonsville; a brother, B. Weldon Sprecher of Catonsville; another grandchild; and three great- grandchildren.

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete.

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