Ayeisha D. Kassa, 44, covens' high priestessAyeisha D...

September 03, 1998

Ayeisha D. Kassa, 44, covens' high priestess

Ayeisha D. Kassa, a witch who was the high priestess of the Baltimore-area covens of the Keepers of the Ancient Mysteries, died Wednesday of heart failure and complications from Marfan syndrome at her North Charles Street residence. She was 44.

The Keepers of the Ancient Mysteries, or KAM, has been a legally registered religion in Maryland since 1970, and is composed of covens in Maryland and Washington. It is devoted to maintaining the tradition of witchcraft and pagan religious practices.

Mrs. Kassa, who had been a much sought-after radio and television guest for the last 26 years, tried to educate the public to the fact that they weren't Satanists and did not practice necromancy.

The former Ayeisha Distafano was born in the Lansdowne section of Baltimore County and reared in Cockeysville, and became interested in witchcraft as a teen-ager. She later earned her GED and was a graduate of the Aquarian University of Maryland, where she studied religion and metaphysics.

Plans for an October memorial service are incomplete.

She is survived by her husband of 22 years, Joseph M. Kassa; a son, Jason Merlin Kassa of Baltimore; her mother, Morgana Davies of Warwick, R.I.; a brother, Henry Distafano of Florida; and two sisters, Bethany Davies of Atlanta and Donna Distafano of Hyattsville. Charles H. Feihe Sr., retired vice president of Mullan Contracting Co. and a founder and past president of Associated Builders and Contractors, died Sunday of heart failure at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 77 and a Mays Chapel resident.

Mr. Feihe, a certified public accountant and real estate broker, began his career with the Baltimore construction company in 1947.

In 1950, he helped establish Associated Builders and Contractors, a construction trade association that has grown into the largest building and construction association in the nation. He retired in 1986.

Born and raised on East 20th Street, Mr. Feihe was a 1939 graduate of Polytechnic Institute. He worked at Baltimore Commercial Bank while attending night school at the old Baltimore College of Commerce, now part of the University of Baltimore, where he earned his accounting degree in 1947.

He was an avid Orioles fan and enjoyed traveling.

He was a communicant of the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity, 1809 Vista Lane in Timonium, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, the former Frances Rouchard; three sons, Charles H. Feihe Jr. of Severna Park, John S. Feihe of Baltimore and Michael P. Feihe of Towson; a daughter, Mary F. Moore of Phoenix, Baltimore County; two sisters, Anne R. Feihe and Mary L. Feihe, both of Mays Chapel; and four grandchildren. James Russell Johnson, retired Westinghouse Electric Corp. worker and active churchman, died Saturday of cardiac arrest at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The longtime East Baltimore resident was 77.

For more than 30 years until retiring in 1987, Mr. Johnson worked as a wireman at Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s Linthicum facility.

Mr. Johnson was a member for 50 years of Christ United Metho- dist Church, where he was a member of the United Methodist Men, Men's Chorus, Mass Choir, Guitar Ensemble, trustee board and finance committee. In 1996, he was honored as the "Man of the Year" by the Methodist Men of Christ United Methodist Church.

He was an active volunteer with the church's soup kitchen and a member of the Eastside Neighborhood Association.

Mr. Johnson was born and raised in Reids Grove Village, Dorchester County, and graduated from schools there. He was married in 1946 to the former Golden Elizabeth Wheatley.

Services will be held at 6 p.m. today at Christ United Methodist Church, Chase and Washington streets, Baltimore.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Johnson is survived by three daughters, Linda Drumwright of Randallstown, Brenda Miller and Joyce Bowers, both of East Baltimore; two sisters, Rosalie Kearney of Baltimore and Evelyn Fountain of Frederica, Del.; and seven grandchildren.

Dr. I. Rivers Hanson, a retired Salisbury obstetrician and gynecologist, died of a stroke Aug. 27 at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. He was 85.

The former Salisbury resident moved to Manor House Retirement Community in Seaford, Del., in 1995.

He began a general medical practice in Salisbury in 1940. After studying obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins Medical School from 1947 to 1950, he returned to Salisbury, where he continued his practice until retiring in 1993.

Born and raised in Wilmington, N.C., he earned his bachelor's degree from Wake Forest College and earned his medical degree in 1939 from Temple University Medical School.

Dr. Hanson was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Kansas City in 1976.

He was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, where a memorial service was held Monday.

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