Gerard W. Spraker, 90, Roman Catholic monsignor...

March 08, 2000

Gerard W. Spraker, 90, Roman Catholic monsignor

Monsignor Gerard W. Spraker, former pastor of the Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension in Halethorpe and later chaplain at St. Martin's Home for the Aged in Catonsville, died Friday at St. Martin's Home of a stroke. He was 90.

Monsignor Spraker resigned in 1976 after 18 years as pastor of Church of the Ascension and moved to St. Martin's Home. During his tenure at Ascension, he oversaw construction and dedication of a parochial school and temporary church. He retired in 1979, but continued his ministry at the home until recently.

"He was a very simple and outgoing man who was dedicated to his work. He was a very friendly man," said a cousin, the Rev. John Auer, pastor of Our Lady of the Fields Roman Catholic Church in Millersville.

Born in West Baltimore, Monsignor Spraker attended Mount St. Joseph High School for a year and continued his studies at St. Charles College Seminary in Catonsville. He later attended St. Mary's Seminary on Paca Street and the North American College in Rome.

He was ordained a priest in Rome in 1934. He was assistant pastor of St. Martin Roman Catholic Church on Fulton Avenue from 1935 until 1953, when he was assigned as pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church in Owensville.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday .

He is survived by many nephews and nieces.

Andrew M. Balling, 84, stationary engineer

Andrew M. Balling, a retired stationary engineer who built scale models of marine steam engines, died March 1 of pneumonia at St. Agnes HealthCare. He was 84 and lived on Cooks Lane.

Mr. Balling was a stationary engineer in charge of the steam boilers at Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. in Fairfield for 15 years and retired in 1977. Earlier, he was a stationary engineer at the Emerson Hotel and a boiler inspector for Hartford Steam Boiler and Insurance Co.

He was born in the Panama Canal Zone, where his engineer father helped build the canal. He moved to Baltimore as a teen-ager and graduated from Polytechnic Institute in 1933.

He joined the merchant marine, where he earned his chief engineer's license and served aboard oil tankers during World War II.

In the basement of his home, he spent thousands of hours fashioning by hand miniature models of working steam marine engines that were operated by Sterno, wood or coal.

Mr. Balling's intricate models were exhibited at the Tuckahoe Steam Show in Easton and at steam shows in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

He was a member of St. William of York Roman Catholic Church, 600 Cooks Lane, where a Memorial Mass will be offered at 1 p.m. Saturday.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret Dawson Balling, whom he married in 1947; a daughter, Andrea Balling Cree of Easton; and a grandson.

Marshall H. Barney, 88, SSA administrator

Marshall Hobart Barney, a retired administrator who worked for 40 years with the Social Security Administration, died Thursday from complications of a stroke at the Blakehurst retirement community in Towson. He was 88.

Mr. Barney, who managed district SSA offices in Rocky Mount, N.C., and Richmond, Va., began his career with the agency in 1936. He moved to Baltimore in 1957, when he was promoted to the agency's headquarters in Woodlawn. He retired in 1976.

Born in Geneva, N.Y., he moved to Greensboro, N.C., when his father, Winfield Supply Barney, was appointed head of the Romance languages department at Women's College, now University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

A graduate of Greensboro High School, he earned his bachelor's degree from Guilford College in Greensboro.

During World War II, he served with the Navy in the Pacific Theater of operations until being discharged in 1945 with the rank of lieutenant.

He was married in 1937 to the former Mary Swett, who died in 1997.

He was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where a memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. tomorrow.

He is survived by two sons, the Rev. David M. Barney of Concord, Mass., and Stephen A. Barney of Pinehurst, N.C.; a brother, John E. Barney of Greensboro; a sister, Mary Elizabeth Barney Baker of Charlotte, N.C.; and three grandsons.

Helen May McKinley, 83, saleswoman, singer

Helen May McKinley, a former Hutzler Brothers saleswoman, died Sunday of heart failure at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 83 and lived in Hampden.

For 30 years, Mrs. McKinley sold jewelry and Charles of the Ritz cosmetics at the Howard Street store. She retired when the store closed a decade ago.

Born Helen M. Brown in Baltimore, she was a Western High School graduate.

The lead singer in her Cresmont Social Club's annual minstrel show, she was a charter member of the group of Cresmont Avenue area residents.

She was also a member of Wednesday's Choice Senior Group in Hampden.

She attended Oriole and Colt games and enjoyed watching golf and tennis matches.

She was married for 25 years to Herbert R. McKinley Jr., a John Hampshire construction company estimator, who died in 1966.

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