Attorney Roger A. Clapp, 87, and wife, Harriet R. Clapp, 86

December 27, 1997|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Retired Baltimore attorney Roger Alvin Clapp and his wife, Harriet Reid Clapp, died in their sleep within two weeks of each other at the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson. Both died of respiratory ailments.

Mr. Clapp, 87, a lawyer who specialized in probate and estate work, and cultivated orchids as a hobby, died Dec. 10. His wife, 86, a volunteer who provided furniture and hospitality to newly arrived Johns Hopkins University graduate students, died Wednesday.

A native of Roland Park who was a Baltimore City College graduate, Mr. Clapp spent his childhood summers on his grandfather's farm in Medina County, Ohio.

While there, he became familiar with Oberlin College, where he enrolled and met his future wife, Harriet Reid. They both graduated from the school in the early 1930s and often returned for reunions and social events.

Mr. Clapp then enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he received his degree in 1934. He represented Crown Cork and Seal locally and was a senior partner in the firm Clapp, Somerville, Black and Honeman. Most recently, he practiced with Whiteford, Taylor and Preston.

Mrs. Clapp, who was born in Aurora, Ill., served on the boards of the Baltimore County Public Library and Maryland Prisoners' Aid.

In June, she received a certificate from the Johns Hopkins International Society for her many years of welcoming new staff members and students to Baltimore.

"She maintained a station wagon and a garage full of furniture, which she supplied to Hopkins people arriving here from all over the world," said their son, Thomas R. Clapp of Phoenix.

In the late 1940s, Mr. Clapp built a home, which they called Topfield, near the Pot Springs section of Cockeysville. He raised peonies, roses and day lilies, and kept a greenhouse full of orchids.

The couple traveled throughout Europe, often accompanied by an Oberlin art history professor. On those visits, Mr. Clapp visited and photographed cathedrals and other works of architecture.

He was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Harvard Club, the Hopkins Club and the Hamilton Street Club.

His wife was a member of the Cliff Dwellers Garden Club and the Hamilton Street Club.

The couple left Topfield in 1993 and moved to Blakehurst, where Mrs. Clapp cared for her husband until his death.

"She had had 60 Christmases with him and didn't feel she needed any more," her son said.

Also surviving are a daughter, Martha McDorman of Owings Mills, and four grandchildren.

A memorial service for the Clapps will be held Monday at Towson Presbyterian Church, 400 W. Chesapeake Ave. Memorial contributions may be made to Oberlin College, Class of 1931, Development Office, 50 W. Lorain St., Oberlin, Ohio 44074.

Pub Date: 12/27/97

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