Richard Andrew Surdel, 52, variety store ownerRichard...

May 20, 1997

Richard Andrew Surdel, 52, variety store owner

Richard Andrew Surdel, a longtime Dundalk resident and former owner of an East Baltimore variety store, died May 9 of complications from a stroke at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in St. Mary's County. He was 52.

After serving in the Navy in the early 1960s, he was a salesman for Bestway Distributors. In 1980, he opened Surdel's Variety Store on Kenwood Avenue in Canton. He closed the store in 1989 and retired because of failing health. Born in East Baltimore, he moved to Dundalk as a youth. He attended Sparrows Point High School and earned a high school equivalency certificate in the Navy.

Services were May 12. He is survived by his mother, Mildred Friedel Surdel of Dundalk; and a sister, Patricia Surdel Falck of Berlin.

Smith N. Stathem Jr., 78, volunteer firefighter

Smith N. Stathem Jr., a Baltimore County volunteer firefighter who headed several state associations, died Friday of cardiac arrest at University of Maryland Medical Center. He was 78.

Mr. Stathem -- who began driving a firetruck in Pennsylvania at age 14 -- was a volunteer firefighter for more than 55 years and a life member of the Liberty and Pikesville volunteer companies.

He was a past president of the Baltimore County Volunteer Firemen's Association, Maryland State Firemen's Association and Maryland State Fire Chiefs, and was chairman of the state Fire Prevention Commission before moving in 1990 to Naples, Fla.

Mr. Stathem worked 42 years for Exxon Corp., beginning as a service station attendant and working his way up as the company evolved from ESSO and Humble Oil & Refining. He became a real estate acquisition specialist, locating sites for new stations.

He retired from Exxon in 1982, then worked from 1986 to 1994 in land acquisition for Summit Properties, locating sites for apartment complexes and retirement communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Mr. Stathem served during World War II with the Coast Guard Harbor Patrol in Baltimore. He was a Lions Club past president and a member of the Elks in Ocean City and Naples, and of Boumi Temple.

Services will be at 10 a.m. today at Mount Olive United Methodist Church, 5115 Old Court Road, Randallstown, with burial at the church cemetery.

Mr. Stathem was married in 1938 to Patricia Johnson, who died in 1986. He is survived by a daughter, Barbara Hammen of Randallstown; two grandchildren; a great-grandson; and his companion, Patricia G. Counts of Naples. Esther Cole Barnaby, 94, a former teacher who supported higher education for women, died May 7 at the infirmary at Roland Park Place. A memorial service was held there Saturday.

A longtime resident of Guilford, she moved to the retirement home in 1982 with her husband of more than 50 years, Dr. John W. Barnaby. He died in 1995.

The former Esther Cole was born in Baltimore, earned a teaching degree from what is now Towson State University, and taught in city elementary schools during the 1920s and 1930s.

A niece, Penny Cole of Sparks, said Mrs. Barnaby was a charter member and past president of the Baltimore chapter of P.E.O., a philanthropic sisterhood founded in 1869 that promotes higher education for women through loans, grants and awards, and an International Peace Scholarship.

Mrs. Barnaby also had been active at Grace Baptist Church in Baltimore, teaching Sunday school for many years. She was a past president of the board of the Baptist Home of Maryland.

She is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Joseph E. Brumback Jr., 78, ophthalmologist

Dr. Joseph E. Brumback Jr., a retired Baltimore ophthalmologist and railroad enthusiast, died May 11 of heart failure at his Homeland residence. He was 78.

In 1949, Dr. Brumback joined a practice founded by his father in the Medical Arts Building. He practiced there until retiring in 1989. He was born and raised in Guilford and graduated from McDonogh School in 1936. He earned his bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1940 and his medical degree from its medical school in 1943.

After completing his internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he enlisted in the Army Medical Corps and served in Europe during World War II.

A longtime railroad fan, Dr. Brumback was interested in the history and motive power of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

He was a communicant of Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

Services were private.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Doris Weltner; two sons, Dr. Robert J. Brumback Jr. of Baltimore and William E. Brumback of Boston; and three grandchildren.

Sister M. Ignatia Neumann, 85, of Sisters of Mercy

Sister Mary Ignatia Neumann, R.S.M., a retired teacher, died of heart failure May 12 at The Villa, the Baltimore retirement home of the Sisters of Mercy. She was 85.

She edited the "Letters of Catherine McAuley 1827-1841," founder of the Sisters of Mercy in 1831, which was published in 1969.

After retiring in 1977, Sister Ignatia continued to work for the canonization of the founder, who has since been beatified. In 1984, she published a pamphlet, "Mother M. Catherine McAuley."

Mary Teresa Neumann was born in West Baltimore, graduated from Mount St. Agnes High School in 1929 and entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1931. She earned a bachelor's degree from Mount St. Agnes College in 1954.

Sister Ignatia taught in parochial schools in Baltimore, Western Maryland and Virginia and at Mount St. Agnes High School. From 1947 to 1953, she served as secretary to the Sisters of Mercy supervisor of parochial schools.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Thursday. She is survived by a nephew, Ignatius Toner of Charlotte, N.C.

Pub Date: 5/20/97

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