John H. DeMinnis, 77, restored Freedom TrainJohn H...

November 13, 1996

John H. DeMinnis, 77, restored Freedom Train

John H. DeMinnis, a retired boilermaker who helped restore the steam locomotive that powered America's bicentennial Freedom Train, died Friday of cancer at his home in Elkridge. He was 77.

Born in South Baltimore, he went to work for Baltimore and Ohio railroad as a boilermaker toward the end of the era of steam-powered locomotives. In 1949, he switched to Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., worked as a boilermaker in its power production department and retired in 1984.

He served Navy troop transports in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he joined the Army Reserve and was a lieutenant colonel when he retired in 1973.

In 1976, because of his knowledge gained from B&O, he was selected to refurbish the 400-ton former Reading Railroad steam locomotive for the Freedom Train.

The train traveled the continental United States carrying historic memorabilia, with Mr. DeMinnis serving as a consultant throughout its 20-month tour.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered yesterday.

He is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, the former Bernadette Smith; two daughters, Mary Wondrash of Green Bay, Wis., and Kathy Marciano of Elkridge; a son, Mark DeMinnis of Columbia; and six grandchildren.

Martha Scott, 79, artist and teacher

Martha Scott, an artist and teacher in Baltimore for 30 years, died of complications of a stroke Friday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 79 and lived in North Baltimore.

Known as "Martie," she began teaching sculpture and printmaking to adults and children in the mid-1960s, when she converted a recreation room in the Village of Cross Keys into a gathering place for artists and a classroom.

Her detailed prints and sculptures carved from soapstone were exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art and at colleges and art galleries around Baltimore.

"She was an artist through and through," said Kathy Neustadt, a friend who attended Mrs. Scott's Cross Keys classes as a teen. "Beauty was the most important thing in the world to her and she taught many people how to see it."

Born and raised in Washington, the former Martha Fitts was 16 when she won a scholarship to Maryland Institute, College of Art. She worked in New York as an illustrator of greeting cards, wrapping paper and handkerchiefs.

In 1940, she married Dr. Roger B. Scott and returned to Baltimore. The Scotts, who lived in Cleveland during the 1950s, were divorced in 1968.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Elkridge Estates Club House, 6025 Roland Ave.

She is survived by a daughter, Sandra Scott Klink of Norwalk, Conn.; two sons, Bryant M. Scott of Louden, N.H., and Russell P. Scott of Recife, Brazil; and four grandchildren.

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