Ann Nora O'Connell, 104, claims adjuster for Army
Ann Nora O'Connell, a 104-year-old native of Ireland who immigrated to the United States during the last century, died Wednesday after a short illness at Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville.
Born in 1892 in Ballahaunas, County Mayo, Ireland, Ms. O'Connell came to the United States with her parents in 1898. She received her primary education in Baltimore public schools and attended private business schools.
Miss O'Connell was a claims examiner for the Army at Fort Holabird before retiring in 1965.
She was the oldest resident in Charlestown's Care Center at the time of her death.
Services were held yesterday at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown. Burial was at New Cathedral Cemetery off Old Frederick Road in West Baltimore.
Survivors include a nephew, James E. Clardy of Philadelphia, Pa.; and two nieces, Sister Marita Bernadette of Philadelphia and Katherine Clardy Flicker of Yeadon, Pa.
Melba Fuquay Cooper, 85, hospital nursing director
Melba Fuquay Cooper, former director of nursing at Franklin Square Hospital, died Thursday of a respiratory infection and Alzheimer's disease at Carroll Lutheran Village Health Care Center in Westminster. She was 85.
Born in Caswell County, North Carolina, Mrs. Cooper was a 1933 graduate of the Franklin Square Hospital School of Nursing and was director of nursing there from 1965 to 1978. She helped plan the hospital's move from Franklin and Gilmor streets in West Baltimore to its present Baltimore County location, next to Essex Community College.
Mrs. Cooper was active in the Women's Club of Linthicum. After retiring, she moved to Sanford, Fla.
A former member of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Sanford and St. John's Epicopal Church-Huntingdon in Baltimore, she returned to Maryland in 1992 when she moved to Carroll Lutheran Village.
Mrs. Cooper's husband of 61 years, Harrison Meade Cooper, died in 1993. She is survived by two daughters, Patricia Alice McCoy of Las Cruces, N.M., and Winifred Fuquay Bishop of Abingdon, Va.; a son, John Meade Cooper of Westminster; a sister, Winifred Fuquay Gielow of Sanford, Fla.; a brother, Carl Wilson Fuquay of Burlington, N.C.; nine grandchildren; four stepgrandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one step-great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held today at 4: 30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 21 Carroll Street in Westminster.
Rose H. Behnke, who, with her husband, founded Behnke Nurseries Co., died Jan. 2 of a stroke at her Burtonsville residence. She was 87.
Mrs. Behnke, who was born and raised in Ellingen, Bavaria, came to Baltimore in the 1920s to be a nanny.
The former Rose Hausner met her husband, Albert Behnke, who had worked in German nurseries, while returning to Germany aboard a ship to visit relatives. The couple married in 1930 and founded the Beltsville nursery, which has become a Washington-area landmark.
Their dream, according to relatives, was to create a garden center where customers could buy plants and all the tools, materials and information needed to make them flourish.
While helping her husband establish the business and working as bookkeeper, she was a clerk for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington.
Mrs. Behnke was a nationally known and highly respected hybridizer of African violets. She introduced many new varieties including Washington Star.
She sent flowers to first ladies and highly prized her collection of thank-you notes from Bess Truman to Nancy Reagan. She especially treasured a letter from Mrs. Truman thanking Mrs. Behnke for a gift of a camellia that Mrs. Truman took home to Independence, Mo., after the Trumans left the White House. In the note, Mrs. Truman assured Mrs. Behnke that the plant would suffer "no danger of exposure or breakage."
In 1964, Mrs. Behnke and her husband built their home in Burtonsville, where they maintained 3 acres of trial gardens. In their semiretirement, they planted and nurtured hundreds of plants to evaluate their suitability to this area, including more than 500 varieties of roses.
Mr. Behnke died in 1992.
A memorial service was held Monday.
Mrs. Behnke is survived by three sons, Albert Behnke of Burtonsville, Roland Behnke of St. Inigoes, and William Behnke of Riverside, Calif.; a daughter, Sonja Behnke-Festerling of Beltsville; 10 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Tonnalee Cloud, infant
Tonnalee Cloud, an infant known as Tonna, died at her East Baltimore home Jan 3 of sudden infant death syndrome. She was 10 months old.
Born prematurely on Feb. 19, 1996, she weighed 1 pound, 2 ounces at birth. She was just beginning to talk when she died, said her father, Garland Cloud.
"She was a preemie, and she had a rough start, but she was gaining weight and everything," he said.
"She was our miracle baby," said her mother, Patricia Cloud. "She touched the hearts of many people, especially us."