Irma `Henny' Mooney, 84, decorator, advocate of city

June 17, 2000|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,SUN STAFF

Irma "Henny" Mooney, a former interior decorator who was devoted to city life, died in her Bolton Hill home Sunday after a long battle with respiratory disease. She was 84.

Born Irma Elizabeth White Pointer in Ocean City in 1915, Mrs. Mooney was the daughter of George Pointer, a farmer, and his wife, Laura. As a young girl, she worked in Dolle's candy on the Boardwalk and later attended Buckingham High School in Berlin. She graduated in 1931, finishing first in her class at age 16.

After graduating, she married a classmate, D. Collins Ayres. During the marriage, which ended in divorce in 1943, she had several houses built near Sixth Street in Ocean City and managed them as summer rental properties.

In the fabled hurricane of 1933, which cut the Ocean City inlet, Mrs. Mooney gripped a lamppost in the storm to watch the first ocean surges cross the beach and the Boardwalk.

Mrs. Mooney moved to Baltimore in 1942, settling on Cathedral Street near Chase Street. She went to work for the National Wallpaper Co. on Howard Street and enrolled in interior decorating classes at what is now the Maryland Institute College of Art. She completed the decorating program in 1945 and was awarded first prize for her work.

She took a position with the Louis Mazor Co., where she worked until 1950, when she married again. Her new husband, Joseph A. Mooney Jr., who was in the insurance business, died in 1977.

A staunch booster of the city who loved her neighborhood long before it was known as Bolton Hill, Mrs. Mooney remained in the area, with brief interruptions, for the rest of her life. Since 1956, she had lived in the 200 block of Lafayette Ave.

When many of her neighbors began fleeing to the suburbs in the 1960s, Mrs. Mooney remained an unwavering supporter of Baltimore. From 1978 until 1987, she worked at the warship Constellation in the Inner Harbor.

A past president of the Bolton Hill Garden Club, Mrs. Mooney also was active in the Mount Royal Improvement Association, the Mount Royal Democratic Club and belonged to the altar guild of Memorial Episcopal Church.

Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. June 26 at Memorial Episcopal Church, West Lafayette Avenue and Bolton Streets.

Mrs. Mooney is survived two sons, John J.B. Ayres of Amherst, Mass., and Joseph A. Mooney III of Baltimore; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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