Gershon Kranzler, 84, Talmudical Academy principal and author

March 07, 2000|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Gershon Kranzler, former Talmudical Academy principal and sociology professor, died Thursday of cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 84 and lived in Northwest Baltimore.

When he arrived at Talmudical Academy in 1955, it was a school of 200 children on Cottage Avenue. When he left in 1967, enrollment had grown to 600 and the school had moved to a new campus.

Described as a Renaissance man who combined a profound religious faith with intellectual curiosity, he was the author of 15 children's books, including "The Golden Shoes" and "The Glass Blower of Venice." Many of the stories had their origins in the tales he told his children.

"He blended his Orthodox training in Talmudic studies with a modern outlook toward the world," said Gary Rosenblatt, a former student and editor of Jewish Week in New York. "He was ahead of his times."

Born in Wurzburg, Germany, Dr. Kranzler had two doctorates, one in philosophy from Wurzburg University and another in sociology from Columbia University in New York. He also was a graduate of Rabbinical College of Berlin and Mesifta Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In the 1960s, he became a professor of sociology at what is now Towson University. He also taught at the Johns Hopkins University and was the author of scholarly articles and books in sociology.

Throughout his life he studied the Talmud and was close to many of the Torah scholars of the 20th century. He studied with Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitcher rebbe.

He wrote of the Jewish community's transition from Europe to the United States in the 20th century.

A composer of Jewish folk music, he played the piano and violin.

Funeral services were held Friday.

He is survived by his wife, the former Trude Neuman, whom he married in 1944; two sons, Dr. Chaim Kranzler of Teaneck, N.J., and Dr. Elliot Kranzler of Riverdale, N.Y.; two daughters, Chani Septimus of Boston and Shari Stahl of Teaneck; two brothers, Dr. Moshe Kranzler of Monsey, N.Y., and Dr. David Kranzler of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a sister, Dr. Bella Weisfogel of Springfield, Mass.; and 12 grandchildren.

Donald Hummel Wilson, 86, bank executive

Donald Hummel Wilson, a former president of Eutaw Savings Bank of Baltimore, died Feb. 29 of a heart attack at Charlestown retirement community in Catonsville. He was 86.

The longtime Glyndon resident had lived at Charlestown since 1993.

Mr. Wilson began his career as a teller with Eutaw Savings Bank of Baltimore, at Eutaw and Fayette streets, in 1934. He was named president in 1966, a post he held until the merger with Maryland National Bank in 1974. He retired as a regional vice president of Maryland National in 1977.

He had been president of the Glyndon Building Association, a member of Historical Glyndon and a trustee of Glyndon United Methodist Church.

He had been a financial counselor and treasurer of Houses Inc., which helped low-income people buy homes. He also helped establish, with the Rev. Fred Hanna, the now-closed Wilson-Hanna House in Reisterstown for homeless men.

As a longtime member of Reisterstown Kiwanis Club, Mr. Wilson helped introduce the "Terrific Kids" program to Baltimore area schools.

Born in Sparrows Point and raised in Catonsville, he was a 1932 graduate of Friends School. During World War II, he was a cryptographer in England with the 8th Air Force.

A memorial service was held Saturday.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, the former Marjorie McKee; three daughters, Sara W. Black and Nancy W. Halgren, both of Manchester-By-The-Sea, Mass., and Marjorie W. Culp of Houston; a brother, William Meredith Wilson of Santa Barbara, Calif.; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Mary E. Hubbard, 83, homemaker, churchwoman

Mary Elizabeth Hubbard, a homemaker and churchwoman, died Wednesday of complications from Parkinson's disease at Chesapeake Future Care Facility in Arnold. She was 83 and a former Severna Park resident.

Born Mary Elizabeth Craig, she was raised in southern Baltimore and graduated from Southern High School.

Mrs. Hubbard, who had lived for more than 40 years at Holly Run Farm in Severna Park, was a member of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, where she participated in many activities.

She also was the founder of the "Christmas in July" entertainment program, presented annually at Presbyterian Home of Maryland in Towson, where she had been a board member.

Interested in amateur theatricals, she and her husband, Henry C. Hubbard, were known in Anne Arundel County for their interpretation of the song "Me and My Shadow." They performed in church shows and in local restaurants.

The couple, who married in 1936, enjoyed touring Europe and taking steamship cruises. Mr. Hubbard died in 1994 and their son, Craig Henry Hubbard, died last year.

Services will be held at 1: 30 p.m. today at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park.

She is survived by a brother, Vernon Craig of Ocean City.

Eleanor B. Conley Lee, 79, volunteer for Red Cross

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