William J. Burkhead, 84, former state delegateWilliam...

February 20, 1996

William J. Burkhead, 84, former state delegate

William Joseph Burkhead, a former state delegate from Anne Arundel County, died Feb. 13 at North Arundel Hospital of complications from a stroke. The Glen Burnie resident was 84.

In 1973, Mr. Burkhead, who served in the House of Delegates from 1967-1975 and from 1979-1982, unsuccessfully tried to get the General Assembly to ban Maryland theaters from showing films starring Jane Fonda because of her activities protesting the Vietnam War.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Burk head attended schools in the city and near Westminster in Carroll County. He also attended the University of Baltimore.

In the 1930s, he joined the Army and fought in Nicaragua during the so-called "banana wars" when American interests there were in jeopardy.

During World War II, he served in the Coast Guard and the Navy and participated in most of the major Pacific battles, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He was discharged in 1946 as a chief petty officer and served in the Naval Reserve for several years.

In the early 1950s, he was a legislative aide to Maryland Reps. Edward A. Garmatz and George H. Fallon. From 1955 to 1959, he was a committing magistrate in Baltimore and served in the same position in Anne Arundel County from 1959 to 1966.

To get a point across or to object to a bill or resolution up for a vote, Mr. Burkhead often banged his shoe on his desk.

In 1986, he was appointed senior adviser to the Maryland Department of Transportation Review Board and was serving in that position at the time of his death.

He was a member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Elks, the Moose, the Masonic Blue Lodge 181 and many Democratic clubs.

A funeral service was held Friday.

He is survived by his wife, the former Verna K. Sanderson, whom he married in 1969; a son, Robert D. Burkhead Sr. of Baltimore; a daughter, Gail Flory of Annapolis; five stepchildren; and three grandchildren. David Mars Crabtree, who retired in 1978 as a refrigeration and lighting specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers, died Feb. 10 of cancer at his Glen Burnie home. He was 77.

The native of Dickinson County, Va., interrupted his engineering studies at Purdue University to serve in the Navy during World War II. He was discharged in 1945 and earned his engineering degree in 1946 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He received his professional engineering certificate in 1953.

He was a member of the Arundel Computer Club and the Bowie-Crofton Camera Club. He visited area nursing homes, retirement homes and senior citizen centers, giving slide presentations of his travels.

Services were private. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, the former Anna Estep; a daughter, Brenda C. Morris of Washington, D.C.; a stepson, Lewis R. Evans of Riderwood; a sister, Mary Buchanan of Clintwood; and two grandsons.

Gwendolyn Watson, 63, U.S. Postal Service worker

Gwendolyn Grace Duchene Watson, a retired U.S. Postal Service employee, died Saturday of liver failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 63 and lived in Severn.

Born and educated in Danbury, Conn., she moved to Maryland as a young woman and worked for the federal government while living in Seat Pleasant and Capitol Heights.

In 1951, she married Sammie Watson of Severn and sometime later left government service.

After the births of a son and four daughters, she joined the Postal Service in 1959 and retired in 1989.

A funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. today at Hardesty Funeral Home, 851 Annapolis Road in Gambrills.

Survivors include her husband; a son, Kenneth E. Watson of Pasadena; four daughters, Donna Kinsey, Kathryn Stefanski and Sherry Parks, all of Severn, and Lisa Arnold of Glen Burnie; a brother, Paul Duchene of College Park; 17 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Richard S. Florence, 47, owner of marketing firm

Richard Steven Florence, who owned a marketing firm that specialized in the recreation industry, died Feb. 10 of cancer at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington. The Catonsville resident was 47.

After earning a degree in marketing from Towson State University in 1979, he worked for 10 years for Fairlanes Bowling Corp. and was its marketing director when he left to open his business, Marketing Visions. Illness forced him to retire.

He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970 with a degree in engineering. He served in the Navy until 1972.

Services will be private.

Survivors include his wife, the former Nancy Terry; a son, Frank S. Florence and a daughter, Brandy D. Florence, both of Catonsville; a brother, James Florence of Hackettstown, N.J.; a niece; and a nephew.

Charles S. Tomblin, 74, Bethlehem Steel millwright

Charles S. Tomblin, a retired millwright for Bethlehem Steel Corp. and a member of Senior Steelworkers Local 2609, died Friday of a heart attack at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford, Del. He was 74.

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