Patricia Laverne Johns, 49, homemaker, gardener...

January 31, 2000

Patricia Laverne Johns, 49, homemaker, gardener

Patricia Laverne Johns, a Severn homemaker who was fond of gardening and cooking, died Thursday of a lengthy illness at North Arundel Hospital. She was 49.

Patricia Nelka was born in Baltimore and raised in Millersville. She graduated from Arundel Senior High School in 1969. She married Gilbert L. Johns in 1972.

Mrs. Johns liked picnics and liked to grill outdoors with her family and her next-door neighbors, said her daughter, Shirley Padgett of Glen Burnie. She grew particularly fond of her neighbors' son, for whom she baby-sat for several years.

A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of the Fields Roman Catholic Church, 1070 Cecil Ave., Millersville.

She is survived, with her husband and her daughter, by her parents, Alfred and LaVerne Nelka of Millersville; three brothers, Patrick Nelka of Millersville, Alfred Nelka Jr. of Glen Burnie and Peter Nelka of Millersville; and five sisters, Letitia Johnson of Glen Burnie, Margie McAwae of Millersville, Marie Eggers of Queenstown, Dorothy Daughty of Glen Burnie and Lorraine Nelka of Millersville.

Mary Agnes Smith, 97, Annapolis resident

Mary Agnes Smith, matriarch of a large and scattered clan, died Jan. 24 of natural causes at her daughter's home in Arbutus. The longtime Annapolis resident was 97.

Born in Baltimore, she was the daughter of the Rev. F. Reid Isaac and Naamah C. Isaac. She was married in 1927 to Stanley D. Smith Jr., who died in 1964.

Funeral services were held Thursday at Eastport United Methodist Church, where she was a parishioner.

She is survived by four daughters, Mary E. Mandel of San Diego, Naamah L. Kendrick of Arbutus, Norma L. MacMillan of Hopkinton, Mass., and Agnes S. Keen of Harwood; two sons, Charles F. Smith Sr. of Baltimore and Stanley D. Smith Jr. of Greensboro; 16 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

H. Anthony Mueller, 86, founding law firm partner

H. Anthony Mueller, a founding partner of a local law firm and past president of the Baltimore County Bar Association, died Friday of pneumonia at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 86.

Born in Highlandtown, he attended Sacred Heart of Jesus school, Calvert Hall College and Loyola College before earning a law degree from the University of Maryland in 1938.

Mr. Mueller passed the bar in November 1938 and practiced law in Towson from 1939 until his retirement in 1989. He helped found Royston, Mueller, McLean and Reid, a general practice firm in Towson. He served as president of the Baltimore County Bar Association in 1961-1962.

Mr. Mueller was an avid golfer and a longtime member of the Country Club of Maryland.

In January 1939, he married Ellen Peppler. She died in 1989.

A funeral Mass will be held at 11: 30 a.m. Wednesday at Immaculate Conception Church at Baltimore and Ware avenues in Towson.

He is survived by two sons, W. Michael Mueller of Cockeysville and Gavin R. Mueller of Panama City Beach, Fla.; a daughter, Katherine E. Mueller of Lutherville; a sister, Esther Clark of northeast Baltimore County; and four grandchildren.

Margaret H. Mudge, 77, WAC, receptionist, volunteer

Margaret H. Mudge, a homemaker and mother of seven who served overseas during World War II and volunteered in local and national Democratic campaigns, died of complications from emphysema Friday at Sinai Hospital. She was 77.

A recent resident of Hampden, Mrs. Mudge lived for about 20 years in Towson and also resided for a while in Charles Village.

Margaret Mary Hogarty was born in Baltimore and graduated from Forest Park High School. She enlisted in the Women's Army Corps during World War II, then transferred to the Air Corps Special Service, serving in New Guinea and the Philippines.

After the war, she entered the University of Baltimore in 1947 and was the first woman to golf for UB in the Mason-Dixon Conference, according to an article in The Sun that year.

In 1948, she married Arthur Phillips Mudge, who died in 1984. Mrs. Mudge was a Democratic poll worker for local and presidential candidates, first in Towson and later with the New Democratic Club in Baltimore.

A participant for many years in Great Books discussion groups, she moderated a group for patients at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital and published several poems in local journals. She also enjoyed raising flowers.

In the early 1980s, Mrs. Mudge completed her bachelor's degree in English at UB and later worked as a receptionist for Center Stage before retiring in 1993.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday at SS. Philip and James Church, 2803 N. Charles St.

She is survived by two sons, Geoffrey K. Mudge of Roland Park and Arthur Phillips Mudge of Elkton; five daughters, Barbara Turner of Mill Spring, N.C., Beatrice Mudge of Owings Mills, Eleanor Kendig of Parkville, and Alice Bennett and Anne Mudge, both of Baltimore; two sisters, Eugenia McKinney of Salisbury and Dorothy Rowland of Upperco; and 10 grandchildren.

Anna Gerstner Lerch, 87, gardener, county fair judge

Anna Gerstner Lerch, a gardener who became an expert judge of herbs and other items at the Anne Arundel County Fair, died Wednesday of heart failure at Crofton Convalescent Center. The Davidsonville resident was 87.

Born in Baltimore, Mrs. Lerch moved to Davidsonville when she married John Jacob Bernard Lerch Jr. in 1938. Mr. Lerch died in 1996.

Mrs. Lerch developed a specialty for planting herbs while working at Bittersweet Nurseries in Davidsonville during the 1960s and '70s. A member of the Anne Arundel County Farm Bureau, she used her knowledge of herbs in judging at county fairs.

Services were held Friday at Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Lothian.

Mrs. Lerch is survived by two sons, Gary Donald Lerch of Midlothian, Va., and J. J. Bernard Lerch III of Lothian.

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