Guinevere C. Curtiss, 91, librarian, civic leader...

January 09, 2000

Guinevere C. Curtiss, 91, librarian, civic leader

Guinevere C. Curtiss, a former librarian for Salisbury public schools and a civic leader, died Wednesday of pulmonary disease at the Woodbine Healthcare Center in Alexandria, Va. She was 91.

A resident there since 1996, she had lived in Salisbury for more than 60 years.

The former Guinevere Clarkson was born and raised in Rochester, N.Y., and earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester.

She was married in 1932 to Richard P. Curtiss, publisher of the Salisbury Times, now the Daily Times, who died in 1957.

In 1959, she became children's librarian at the Laurel, Del., public library, and after earning a degree in library science from Rutgers University, took the position of librarian at James M. Bennett Middle School in Salisbury in 1962. She was librarian of James M. Bennett High School from 1966 until retiring in 1971.

Mrs. Curtiss had been active on the boards of many civic organizations in Salisbury, served on the Wicomico County Library Board, and was a co-founder, president and trustee of the Unitarian Fellowship at Salisbury.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Towson, 1710 Dulaney Valley Road.

She is survived by a son, Alan C. Curtiss of Old Lyme, Conn.; two daughters, Linda C. Prause of Reisterstown and Gail C. Boardman of Alexandria, Va.; 11 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Rev. Thomas Byrd, 85, priest, college teacher

The Rev. Thomas James Byrd, a teacher of pastoral psychology and homiletics, died of a heart attack Wednesday at Gettysburg Hospital in Gettysburg, Pa. He was 76 and lived at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg.

A Roman Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Baltimore for nearly 50 years, Father Byrd was on the faculty of Mount St. Mary's from 1975 until he retired in 1992.

During his career, he also served at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Baynesville, St. Ursula's in Parkville, Our Lady of Victory in Arbutus and Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Glyndon.

"His preaching was much appreciated," said Monsignor Lloyd E. Aiken, pastor of Sacred Heart. "He appealed to people, and they remembered his message."

Born in Baltimore, Father Byrd attended Calvert Hall High School and St. Charles College Seminary in Catonsville. He received his theology degree from St. Mary's Seminary and was ordained in 1950.

In 1970, he received a master's degree in psychology from the Johns Hopkins University.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday in Emmitsburg.

He is survived by a brother, Harry T. Byrd of Baltimore; a sister, Janet Burke of San Francisco; and several nieces and nephews.

Paul W. McKee, 86, director of water department

Paul W. McKee, retired director for the former Maryland Department of Water Resources, died Monday of a stroke at Riverton Memorial Hospital in Wyoming. He was 86.

Born in Lahore, Pakistan, to parents who were missionaries, he moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., when he was about 10.

Mr. McKee graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1936 and taught high school science in Huskey, N.C., for two years before enrolling in Duke University for a graduate program in zoology.

In 1943, he married Mary Elizabeth Ayers, whom he had met at Duke University.

He moved to Annapolis in 1946, where he became executive secretary to the Committee on Water Pollution appointed by Gov. Herbert R. O'Conor. The committee's study and a 1947 report resulted in the establishment of the Water Pollution Control Commission that year.

Mr. McKee was named the commission's director and served in that position until 1964, when the group was disbanded and its authority was transferred to the Department of Water Resources.

Mr. McKee became director of the Department of Water Resources until he retired in 1976 and moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo.

He was preceded in death by his wife in 1996 and daughter Elizabeth Jo McKee Horigan in 1989. Survivors include his son, William J. McKee of Kinnear, Wyo.; his daughter, Ellen McKee of Jackson Hole; two brothers, Dr. William W. McKee of Troy, Mich., and Dr. Donald K. McKee of Maple Wood, N.J.; a sister, Gail Felton of Chapel Hill; and one granddaughter.

Family members are planning a memorial service in the spring.

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