Deborah Iddings Willson, 103, second-grade teacher...

July 24, 2000

Deborah Iddings Willson, 103, second-grade teacher

Deborah Iddings Willson, a former teacher who loved traveling and talking about the cultural and technological changes she saw during her life, died Tuesday at Harmony Hall Retirement Community in Columbia. She was 103.

Born in 1896, Mrs. Willson grew up in Brighton, Montgomery County, in a house known as "Fairfield" that her grandfather built in 1856. She married John Albert Willson in 1926, and the couple took a memorable honeymoon trip, canoeing and camping up the Potomac River from Seneca, Md. to Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and back.

Mrs. Willson taught second grade in Baltimore for about 20 years, before returning to Fairfield with her husband to care for her elderly parents and to help them in a business designing and weaving floor coverings.

Mr. Willson , who worked for a doughnut company in Ellicott City, died in 1976, shortly after the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. In 1982, Mrs. Willson moved to Harmony Hall.

Among her many and varied interests, Mrs. Willson liked to read mystery novels by Dick Francis, travel and attend the annual Bach music festival in Bethlehem, Pa.

"She liked to go," said Mary Lu Latane of Baltimore County, who describes Mrs. Willson as her "aunt."

"We've always been very close," said Mrs. Latane, who added that Mrs. Willson filled an important gap in her life after Mrs. Latane's mother died.

A memorial service for Mrs. Willson will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Brighton, where Mrs. Willson was a lifelong member.

Survivors include many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.

Richard T. Clarke, 69, warehouse manager

Richard T. Clarke, who worked in Baltimore grocery and warehouse businesses for more than 40 years, died Friday of cancer at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. He was 69 and lived in Perry Hall.

A native of the city, Mr. Clarke graduated from Loyola High School in 1949 and spent several years playing semiprofessional baseball in leagues around the area.

Following a stint with the Marine Corps, he was invited in 1951 to try out for the Detroit Tigers. Although he didn't make the team, he was invited back the next spring. In the meantime, however, he married and gave up the goal of playing professional baseball.

After marrying Betty Lumber of Baltimore in 1951, he began working for Pantry Pride grocery chain. In 1980, he entered the beer and wine distribution business, first at The Heart of Baltimore and then as warehouse manager for DOPS Inc., from which he retired in 1994.

Mr. Clarke served as president of The Old-Timers Baseball Association in Baltimore and was a member of the Maryland Professional Baseball Association. He was active in the Knights of Columbus and enjoyed golf and spending time with his children.

Mrs. Clarke died in 1997.

Mr. Clarke was a member of the Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation, 5212 McCormick Ave., in Baltimore County, where a funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. today.

He is survived by three daughters, Linda A. Clarke of Hamilton, Patricia J. Stein of Cockeysville and Kimberly A. Curreri of Hereford; two sons, Richard T. Clarke Jr. of Perry Hall and Craig A. Clarke of Eldersburg; and nine grandchildren.

Elizabeth Mitchell, 88, hospital volunteer

Elizabeth Mitchell, a hospital volunteer, died Friday of a heart attack at Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson. She was 88.

Born Elizabeth Schutz in Akron, Ohio, she moved to Baltimore with her family as a teen-ager and attended Girls Latin School in Roland Park, where she graduated in 1930. She graduated with a certificate from Mary Baldwin College in 1932, and two years later married Charles E. Mitchell of Baltimore.

Mrs. Mitchell began volunteering during World War II, when she worked as a nursing assistant at South Baltimore General Hospital. She continued her volunteer activities later in the gift shop at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where she worked for 15 years.

Her husband died in 1973.

After living for many years in the Village of Cross Keys, she moved to Blakehurst in 1998 and continued to volunteer as an assistant at the community's health center.

Through much of her life, Mrs. Mitchell enjoyed bowling and playing golf at Baltimore Country Club.

She was a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road.

She is survived by a son, Charles E. Mitchell Jr. of Towson; two daughters, Melinda Mitchell Davis of Baltimore and Jody M. Ford of Lutherville; three granddaughters and three grandsons; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Mary Lee Ivey, 80, cared for foster children

Mary Lee Ivey, who cared for Baltimore foster children for three decades, died Thursday of a heart attack at her East Baltimore home. She was 80.

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