John Warren, 81, engineer, collected watches, clocks...

May 18, 2000

John Warren, 81, engineer, collected watches, clocks

John Warren, a retired consulting engineer who collected antique tools, pocket watches and clocks, died Sunday of heart failure at St. Agnes HealthCare. He was 81.

Mr. Warren, a former 43-year Catonsville resident, had lived at Charlestown Retirement Community since 1997.

Mr. Warren established Warren & Associates, a Baltimore engineering and consulting firm, in 1970 and retired in 1988. Earlier, he was a partner for many years in the engineering firm Turpin, Wachter & Warren.

Born and raised on York Street near Federal Hill, he was a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and earned an engineering degree from the Johns Hopkins University.

For more than 50 years, he collected antique tools and timepieces that dated to the 18th century, especially pocket and railroad watches.

He converted a spare bedroom into a clock shop where he made repairs at a clockmaker's bench.

"His favorite was a low-numbered Howard pocket watch with a gold hunting case, which he wore with a gold watch chain and vest," said his wife of 57 years, the former Doris Eller.

"He had such blunt fingers to be working on such delicate watches. But he would sit there and take care of his watches while wearing an eyepiece," she said.

Mr. Warren was a member of the American Watch Institute, the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors and the American Society of Watch and Clock Collectors.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Hubbard Funeral Home, 4107 Wilkens Ave.

He is also survived by two daughters, Patricia A. Sigr of Indonesia and Judy D. Shilling of Eldersburg; and two grandsons.

Emma Jane Soffos, 88, real estate agent, singer

Emma Jane Soffos, a retired real estate agent and choir singer, died Saturday of Alzheimer's disease at Oak Crest Village retirement community in Parkville. She was 88.

A Pikesville resident since the 1940s, she moved several months ago to Oak Crest Village.

For more than 25 years, until retiring in the late 1980s, she sold real estate for Hallmark Realty Co. in Timonium.

Emma Jane Amrhine was born in Highlandtown and attended Baltimore public schools.

In 1936, she married George Soffos, who died in 1991.

She was a member of and volunteer driver for the American Red Cross during the 1950s and 1960s. She also belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star of Maryland.

She was a longtime member of Ames-Sudbrook United Methodist Church in Pikesville, where services were held yesterday. She sang in the choir there until 1998.

She is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Lambert Wilfred Hardesty, 78, correctional employee

Lambert Wilfred Hardesty, a retired state employee, died Friday of a stroke at his home in the Campus Hills section of Towson. He was 78.

Known as Bill, he retired from the Maryland Division of Correction about 15 years ago. He had worked at the Maryland Correctional Institution at Jessup and the Maryland Penitentiary in Baltimore.

Born in Davidsonville, he attended Anne Arundel County public schools and moved to Baltimore when he was 17.

He served in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart.

He was a member of Central Presbyterian Church in Towson, where services were held Monday.

He is survived by his wife, the former Evelyn Hymiller, whom he married in 1948; a daughter, Brenda Nemec of Towson; two brothers, Theodore and Kenneth Hardesty, and two sisters, Dorothy Mayr and Agnes Lerner, all of Davidsonville; and three grandchildren.

Helen Marie Sobzak, 89, clerk, churchwoman

Helen Marie Sobzak, a former state employee and active churchwoman, died May 11 at Hanover Hall Nursing Center in Pennsylvania. The former longtime Wilkens Avenue resident was 89.

Mrs. Sobzak had lived in Glenville, Pa., since 1990. She was a clerk-typist for what was then the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles during the 1960s.

For many years, she was an active member of Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church in Arbutus, where, in the early 1970s, she donated a wooden crucifix that remains above the altar.

Helen Marie Pollack was born in Philadelphia, moved to East Baltimore in 1914 and graduated from Eastern High School.

Her husband of 39 years, William F. Sobzak, died in 1975.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday at Our Lady of Victory Church.

She is survived by a son, Michael W. Sobzak of Glenville; a daughter, Mary Lou Davis of Phoenix, Ariz.; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Virginia L. Brink, 78, World War II veteran

Virginia L. Brink, a homemaker and World War II veteran, died Tuesday of complications of a stroke at Washington Hospital Center. She was 78 and lived in Crofton.

Mrs. Brink was a part-time postal clerk during the 1970s at the Crofton post office.

She enjoyed bowling, bird-watching, Orioles baseball and visiting Atlantic City casinos.

The former Virginia L. Dixon was born in Sparrows Point and graduated from Sparrows Point High School in 1939. She enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943 and was a radio operator. She was discharged in 1945 with the rank of corporal.

Her marriage to Paul Brink in 1945 ended in divorce.

Services for Mrs. Brink will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Beall Funeral Home, Route 3, in Bowie.

She is survived by a son, Paul D. Brink of Crofton; three daughters, Susan Brink of Laurel, Linda Brink of Warwick, N.Y., and Judith Brink of Amityville, N.Y.; a sister, Katherine Greene of Cantonement, Fla. ; an uncle, Louis Dixon of East Baltimore; and a grandson.

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