Woman due to have house built by Habitat for Humanity dies Shady Side resident was 98 years old

September 18, 1998|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

A 98-year-old Shady Side woman died Saturday, a week before Arundel Habitat for Humanity was to begin building a two-bedroom house for her on property she owned in Shady Side.

Sarah Matthews was going to live in the house with a daughter who would have cared for her.

Habitat has canceled the groundbreaking and likely will not build a house on the property on Scott Town Road, said Linda Gray, director of Arundel Habitat for Humanity.

According to an obituary in a local newspaper, Matthews, whose husband died in 1976, raised 11 children and is survived by eight of them, 50 grandchildren, 121 great-grandchildren, 64 great-great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-great-grandchildren. Her relatives and other volunteers were to have helped build the home, fulfilling the requirement of "sweat equity" that Habitat sets for homeowners the organization helps, Gray said.

Habitat does not discriminate against applicants because of their age, Gray said. People selected for the program are usually low-income, working families or individuals who will pay mortgages in addition to spending 500 hours helping build their home.

As part of Habitat for Humanity International Prayer Day on Sunday, the organization will hold a ceremony, complete with church choirs, to dedicate a house in Severn. A woman and her three sons will move into the 29th house built by Arundel Habitat on Beverly Road in Severn.

The dedication is open to the public. Information: 410-384-9212.

Pub Date: 9/18/98

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