Harry S. Cohen, 90, Calvert Sportswear ownerHarry S...

February 29, 1996

Harry S. Cohen, 90, Calvert Sportswear owner

Harry S. Cohen, owner of a men's clothing store and frequent contributor of letters to the editor in The Sun, died Tuesday of congestive heart failure at Levindale Geriatric Center. The Randallstown resident was 90.

Mr. Cohen moved to Baltimore as an infant from Bishopville, S.C., 1966 and at 16 began working at his uncle's business, U.S. Knitwear. In 1941, at age 36, he founded Calvert Sportswear, a clothing store in the 300 block of W. Baltimore St. The store, which specialized in jackets and sweaters, had as its trademark, "Buy American." He ran the business until retiring in 1985.

A champion of human rights and humane causes, Mr. Cohen wrote many letters to the newspaper, often about the newspaper's coverage of and stands on events affecting Israel. He offered opinions on world affairs and foreign trade, and even on his long wait in food lines during Orioles games at Memorial Stadium.

"It was almost a weekly event for my phone to ring and on the other end my father would tell me to look on the editorial page and see the letter he wrote," said a daughter, Helene Breazeale of Homeland.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Cohen is survived by his wife, the former Sophia Himmelfarb; another daughter, Maxine C. Caplan of Marriottsville; a sister, Florence Whitman of Randallstown; three grandsons; and four great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at noon today at Sol Levinson & Bros., 6010 Reisterstown Road. James Cain, an active churchman who worked 30 years for Westinghouse Electric Corp., died of pneumonia Friday at Bon Secours Hospital. He was 48.

The longtime Holmes Avenue resident was manager of production materials at the Westinghouse Electronic Systems Group in Linthicum.

A deeply religious man, he was a lifelong member of Jones Tabernacle Baptist Church, where he was chairman of the board of trustees and a member of the usher board. A tenor, he sang with the choir and was its president. He was also a member of the NAACP.

Born and raised in South Baltimore, he was a 1965 graduate of Southern High School and took courses at several local colleges.

Services were to be held at 11:30 a.m. today at Jones Tabernacle, 2100 W. Baltimore St.

He is survived by his mother, Marie Johnson Cain of Baltimore; two brothers, Leroy Cain of Baltimore and Moses Cain of Upper Marlboro; three sisters, Flora Cain, Marie Cain and Laura Roberts, all of Baltimore; and nine nieces and nephews. Bettie Marie Willis, 33, who taught typing to relatives and friends at her West Franklin Street home, died Feb. 22 at Johns Hopkins Hospital of complications from diabetes.

Unable to work because of illness, the speed-typist taught others, first on a manual typewriter and later on an electric one, said her stepmother, Gloria Willis of Franklinville, N.J. "She delighted in knowing how well her 'students' were doing in the workplace," Mrs. Willis said.

Other survivors include a son, Jason Willis of Baltimore; her father, John Willis of Franklinville; a brother, John Willis Jr., and a sister, Yvonne Willis, both of Baltimore; and a stepbrother, Charles Muse of Franklinville. Services will be held at noon today at Edwards & Son Funeral Home in Bridgeton, N.J.

Alban W. Smith Sr., 51, owner of van service

Alban W. Smith Sr., president and owner of a regional van service, died of a heart attack Sunday at his Monkton home. He was 51.

Known as Al, he had operated Ward's Transportation, with passenger vans and minibuses traveling between Maryland and Northern Virginia, for the past eight years. Earlier, he was director of ground transportation at Baltimore-Washington International and National airports.

Born in Dundalk, Mr. Smith moved with his family to Frederick where he graduated from high school in 1963. He once was a state police trooper and served in the Maryland National Guard from 1965 to 1973. He was a member of Patapsco Lodge 183 and the Boumi Temple.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues, Towson.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, the former Wanda Lee Miskell; a son, Alban W. Smith Jr. of Towson; a sister, Jeanette Rosati of Frederick; and several nieces and nephews.

Melvin J. Berman, 81, real estate developer

Melvin James Berman, 81, a real estate developer who played a role in the development of Columbia, died of a stroke Feb. 20 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

An Alabama native, Mr. Berman moved to the Baltimore area in 1932. He opened a small dairy business, Olney Acres Dairy Products Co., and served in the Air Force in World War II.

In the mid-1950s, he built the Ingleside and Laurel shopping centers. He helped to persuade the Howard Research and Development Co. to build the planned town of Columbia. He later became a founding director of the Rouse Co. and remained on its board of directors after moving to California in 1973.

Services were held Feb. 22.

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