James Edward Holt, 69, mechanical engineer James Edward...

January 03, 2000

James Edward Holt, 69, mechanical engineer

James Edward Holt, a retired mechanical engineer, died Thursday of meningitis at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney. He was 69 and lived in Highland.

Mr. Holt earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Evansville (Ind.) in 1957 and joined the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in White Oak in Montgomery County.

He worked in the lab's wind tunnel, testing missiles and other military equipment, and retired in 1979.

Mr. Holt was born in Ardmore, Okla., and his family moved to Corydon, Ky., in 1942. He enlisted in the Navy during the Korean War and served as a radio operator on the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier.

In 1960, he moved from Takoma Park to Highland in southwestern Howard County.

After he retired, he and his wife, the former Lenore Stokes, whom he married in 1956, traveled around the country. He enjoyed camping, canoeing, photography and repairing old cars.

Mr. Holt was a Boy Scout leader for 10 years, starting in 1969, and an usher at St. Louis Roman Catholic Church, 12500 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11: 30 a.m. tomorrow.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Mark E. Holt of Fort Washington and Joseph M. Holt of Watertown, Mass.; two daughters, Maria K. Horton of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Jennifer H. DiGiovanna of Paris; a brother, C. William Holt of Bridgeport, Conn.; and three grandchildren.

Elizabeth Galt Fisher, 90, entomologist, painter, hiker

Elizabeth Galt Fisher, a retired entomologist, died Saturday of heart failure at Carroll County General Hospital. She was 90 and lived in Sykesville.

The Baltimore native graduated from St. Timothy's School -- then in Catonsville -- in 1927. She spent the next 11 years at Cornell University, earning bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in entomology. Her thesis was about mayflies.

"She was interested in bugs since she was a child," said her sister Ellen F. Bordley of Baltimore.

In 1939, Miss Fisher went to Philadelphia to research moss before taking a research position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She found it difficult to work in a field dominated by men.

"Entomology was almost unknown for women when she started," said Mrs. Bordley. "They went on field trips and no women were welcome on those trips. She really missed out."

In 1942, Miss Fisher became a biomedical research analyst for the Harriet Lane Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital. After three years, she left Hopkins and bought a farm in Sykesville, where she pursued her interest in entomology and became an area expert on moss.

She was a member of the Mountain Club of Maryland, the Maryland Ornithological Society, the Maryland Natural History Society, the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society and the Cylburn Society. She painted, hiked and made pottery.

A graveside ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Green Mount Cemetery, 1501 Greenmount Ave. in Baltimore.

In addition to her sister, she is survived by three nieces, Ellen B. Gibbs of Baltimore, Anne Bordley Moss of Chestertown and Alexandra Fisher Mitch of Atlanta; a nephew, William A. Fisher III of Baltimore; five grandnieces; and two grandnephews.

Helen Fanning Graham, 58, taught disabled youth

Helen Fanning Graham, a teacher of and longtime advocate for the disabled, died Friday of cancer at Christiana Care Hospital in Newark, Del. She was 58.

Mrs. Graham lived in Towson from 1975 to 1995. Beginning in 1983, she worked with disabled children at the Ridge School in Towson.

The native of Yonkers, N.Y., earned a teaching degree from Ithaca College, a master's degree in special education from the University of Arizona in 1965, and another master's degree in special education from Loyola College in 1985.

Inspired by a cousin with a learning disability, she began teaching special education classes as a student teacher at Ithaca. From 1965 to 1969, she taught special education classes in Arizona, San Francisco, Atlanta and McLean, Va. She then took a job with the Department of Defense, teaching in Bermuda and Iceland.

In 1971, she met and married David Graham, a Navy pilot stationed in Iceland.

In 1995, Mrs. Graham joined MBNA America in Wilmington, Del., developing a department providing job opportunities for the disabled. The department, which began with five people, had 170 employees when Mrs. Graham died.

"Helen was the driving force behind it," said David Spartin, an MBNA vice chairman. "She recognized the potential in people and thought they should live [up] to that potential."

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church, 10 Old Church Road, Greenville, Del.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Graham is survived by two daughters, Sarah Graham of Orono, Maine, and Katie Ovington of Newark; and a grandson.

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