Willie James Oliver Jr., 41, a tax attorneyWillie James...

March 18, 1997

Willie James Oliver Jr., 41, a tax attorney

Willie James Oliver Jr., a tax attorney, died of leiomyosarcoma Saturday at home in Dayton, Howard County. He was 41.

For the past three years, he was an attorney in the Baltimore office of Coopers & Lybrand, certified public accountants. In recognition of his professional accomplishments, the firm has created an Equal Justice Foundation scholarship in his honor.

The Baltimore native was a 1973 graduate of City College, where he played football for two years and was a National Merit Scholar. He also was awarded the school's Lynch and Gordon awards for academic excellence.

In 1977, he earned a bachelor's degree in social sciences at the Johns Hopkins University, where he played football and was president of the Johns Hopkins University "H" Athletics Club in his senior year.

After graduating, he worked for Bestway Distributing Co., a beer and soft drink distributorship, and attended law school at night at Georgetown University Law Center, earning a law degree in 1994. He was admitted to the bar in Maryland and the District of Columbia in 1996.

In 1990, he married Pamela Beth Small.

He collected antique watches and records of music from the 1960s and 1970s.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at March Funeral Home, 4300 Wabash Ave.

Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Elyse Lenore Oliver of Dayton; his mother, Marjorie Hughes Oliver; six sisters, Cassandra Washington, Karen Montgomery, Vickie Lawson, Dorothy Smith, Catherine Parker and Robin Delillye; and his grandmother, Cornelia Hughes, all of Baltimore. Marcella S. Cooper, a homemaker, amateur genealogist and antiques collector, died of cancer Thursday at her home near Churchville. She was 71.

Besides tracing her family history going back to 17th-century Maryland and collecting antiques, she was interested in early American architecture and archaeology.

The former Marcella Swain was born in Easton and raised in Baltimore and Harford County.

She graduated from Girls' Latin School in Baltimore in 1944 and that year married the Rev. John R. Cooper, who was curate of Christ Episcopal Church in Baltimore. He retired in 1995 as rector of St. Alban's Anglican Church in Joppa, of which he was a founder.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 1 St. Mary's Church Road, Abingdon.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a son, Philip Cooper, and a daughter, Marcella Chiarello, both of Davis, Calif.; and a granddaughter.

Barbara E. C. Thompson, 51, music teacher

Barbara E. C. Thompson, a Baltimore native and music teacher, died of cancer Saturday at her home in Marlton, N.J. She was 51.

She taught violin, cello and viola to elementary and middle school students in Marlton, where she founded the school system's string instrument program in 1976.

The former Barbara Cohen graduated from Forest Park High School in 1963 and earned a bachelor's degree from Peabody Conservatory of Music in 1967.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, she performed with the York and Gettysburg symphony orchestras, both in Pennsylvania, and the Morris Mechanic Theatre orchestra.

Throughout the 1980s, she performed with the Haddonfield Symphony in New Jersey and in recent years also appeared with the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey.

Services were held yesterday.

She is survived by two sons, Matthew J. Thompson of Denton, Texas, and Charles R. Thompson II of Marlton; and a brother, William Russo of Brentwood, Calif.

Gertrude Watson, 83, domestic worker

Gertrude Watson, a retired domestic worker, died of kidney failure Friday at Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown. The Baltimore resident was 83.

A native of Accomack County, Va., the former Gertrude Justis worked as a domestic from 1954 -- the year she moved to Baltimore -- to 1985.

She lived in Northwood in Northeast Baltimore until 1990, when she moved to Old Court Nursing Center in Randallstown.

In 1932, she married William C. Watson, who died in 1977.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Zion Baptist Church, Lanvale and Caroline streets.

She is survived by a son, Rufus Watson of Naples, Fla.; four daughters, Carrie Watson of Bastrop, Texas, Zarah Cole of Hyattsville and Secora Barber and Joanne Watson, both of Baltimore; a brother, George Justis of Parksley, Va.; a sister, Vernell Drummond of Philadelphia; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Pub Date: 3/18/97

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