Martha E. Peterson, 56, portrait painterMartha E...

November 01, 1996

Martha E. Peterson, 56, portrait painter

Martha E. Peterson, a portrait painter and Ruxton resident, died Tuesday of complications from a stroke at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 56.

She did portraits in pastels and oil. Some of her works hang at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Maryland Casualty Co.

The former Martha Everett, a native of Roland Park, graduated from St. Catherine's School in Richmond, Va., and attended the Maryland Institute, College of Art.

In 1959, she eloped with her childhood sweetheart, Harry Barritt "Punch" Peterson Sr., who is president and chief executive officer of BCC Steel Inc., a Timonium steel brokerage.

She was a volunteer at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and she and her husband were co-chairs of the St. Paul's School Grandparents Giving Committee.

She was a member of Town and Country Garden Club, the Mount Vernon Club and the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club.

She was a communicant of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane, Owings Mills, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow.

Other survivors include two sons, H. Barritt Peterson Jr. of Sparks and Charles S. Peterson of Roland Park; a daughter, Catherine Clay Peterson of Rodgers Forge; a brother, H. Spencer Everett Jr. of Chapel Hill, N.C.; a sister, Excie E. Taylor of Ruxton; and four grandchildren.

James Edward Day, who as postmaster general under President John F. Kennedy launched the nation's ZIP code system, died of cardiac arrest Tuesday in Hunt Valley, where he was attending a board meeting of Medical Mutual Insurance Co. He was 82 and lived in Chevy Chase and Barnesville.

After becoming postmaster general in 1961, Mr. Day reduced the post office's deficit to $450 million from $800 million, improved service and raised the morale of the more than 500,000 employees.

The first postmaster general to sign a labor agreement with workers trying to organize into unions, he also instituted a merit promotion plan, worked to eliminate racial discrimination and raised wages.

In 1963, he helped establish the ZIP code system.

Stamp collectors remember Mr. Day for ordering that a misprinted stamp bearing the likeness of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold be reproduced, upsetting a collector who had caught the error and hoped to cash in.

Born in Jacksonville, Ill., Mr. Day graduated from the University of Chicago and from Harvard Law School. He served in the Navy during World War II.

He was active in Illinois and California politics before joining Prudential Insurance Co. He was senior vice president at Prudential when President-elect Kennedy asked him to join his Cabinet. After leaving government, he returned to work as a lawyer.

Pub Date: 11/01/96

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