Claire Koeppel, 81, Towson homemakerClaire Koeppel, a...

July 15, 1998

Claire Koeppel, 81, Towson homemaker

Claire Koeppel, a Towson homemaker, died Saturday of cancer at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 81.

The former Claire Armstrong was raised in Ogdensburg, N.Y., attended Barnard College and graduated from Columbia University in 1937.

She worked in advertising in New York and married Robert G. Koeppel in 1941. The couple moved to Towson in 1961.

An avid reader and fan of the opera, Mrs. Koeppel was a longtime volunteer at the Hampton Mansion in Towson.

A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday at the Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church, 7601 York Road.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Ellen Koeppel Leritz of Wilbraham, Mass., and Marilyn Koeppel Ogburn of Baltimore; a sister, Marie Armstrong Grieb of Wever, Iowa; and four grandchildren.

John William Rochfort, 77, worked in advertising

John William "Jack" Rochfort, a Baltimore native who worked in advertising for both The Baltimore Sun and News American, died Sunday of lung cancer at his Ocean City home. He was 77.

Mr. Rochfort attended City College High School and the Maryland Institute College of Art.

He served in the Air Force during World War II and upon his discharge joined the American Legion. He married the former Margaret Anne Schwartz in 1942.

He began his newspaper career at The Sun in the late 1940s and worked in the classified advertising department. He left The Sun in the early 1950s to work for the News American. He retired in 1978.

In 1978, he and his wife moved from Parkville to Ocean City where he earned a real estate license and worked briefly as a broker.

He was active with various community activities in Ocean City, including the formation of the Dune Patrol, a citizens group that maintains the sand dunes and oceanfront buildings.

Mr. Rochfort was also active at the Holy Savior Catholic Church, where he was an usher.

In addition to the American Legion, Mr. Rochfort belonged to the Knights of Columbus.

Services were held yesterday.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Josie Marie Brasswell of Berlin and Annette Christine Deamond of Baltimore; and five grandchildren.

Howard Robert Thomas, 72, longtime railroad employee

Howard Robert Thomas, a longtime Baltimore & Ohio and Chessie System railroad employee who enjoyed trains, planes and automobiles, died Thursday of apparent heart failure at Good Samaritan Hospital.

He was 72 and lived in Glendale.

Known as Bob, Mr. Thomas was born in Baltimore and graduated from Kenwood High School.

During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps and trained as a pilot and a bombardier in Texas. During the 1950s, he drove stock cars on area tracks and maintained an interest in cars, most recently working on restoring a Chevrolet that he had bought new in 1956.

Mr. Thomas worked for 43 years in the office of the freight auditor for the railroad before retiring as chief clerk 13 years ago. He continued to enjoy model trains and travel.

He was a member of the Loch Raven United Methodist Church for more than 30 years, and served as its financial committee chairman.

Funeral services were held Monday.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Edna Raab; two sons, Howard Robert Thomas Jr. of Parkville and Kenneth R. Thomas of Baldwin; two brothers, Charles Thomas of Delta, Pa., and John Thomas of Fallston; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Pub Date: 7/15/98

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