Rebecca E. Blanton, 99, homemaker, secretary Rebecca...

Deaths Elsewhere

January 10, 2001

Rebecca E. Blanton, 99, homemaker, secretary

Rebecca Elizabeth Blanton, homemaker and former secretary to the superintendent of the Maryland School for the Blind, died Sunday of congestive heart failure at Christian Health Care Center in Wyckoff, N.J.

The longtime resident of Hamilton and Towson was 99. She moved to the health care center in 1993.

During the 1930s, when Mrs. Blanton worked at the School for the Blind, her husband was the business manager.

Rebecca Elizabeth Hall was born in Bryan, Texas. After graduating from high school, she earned her bachelor's degree from the College of Industrial Arts, now Texas Women's University.

She taught math in public schools in Waco, Texas.

She married Harvey Benjamin Blanton Sr. in 1928. Mr. Blanton, who died in 1959, was later a partner and president of Bon Ton Food Products in Baltimore.

She enjoyed cooking and gardening.

For 45 years, Mrs. Blanton was an active member of University Baptist Church, 3501 N. Charles St., where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the chapel.

A son, Harvey Benjamin Blanton Jr., died last year.

She is survived by two daughters, Ann B. Fisch of Timonium and Marian B. Munson of Wyckoff; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Maryland School for the Blind, c/o Casey Jones, 3501 Taylor Ave., Baltimore 21236.

Edward C. Olson Sr., 77, veteran, steel executive

Edward C. Olson Sr., a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. executive, died Friday of brain cancer at his Easton home. He was 77.

Mr. Olson was assistant general manager of the Sparrows Point plant in the 1970s, and general manager of the company's operation in Steelton, Pa. He retired in 1985 as a corporate vice president and moved to St. Michael's in Talbot County, where he built a home on Long Haul Creek. He recently moved to Easton.

Born in San Bernardino, Calif., he was a graduate of Compton Junior College, where he was student body president. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1945 and served in the Korean War.

He played golf and enjoyed driving powerboats.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, the former Mary Lee Waller. They lived formerly in the Hampton section of Towson.

A memorial service was held yesterday.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Edward C. Olson Jr. of Greenville, S.C.; a daughter, Lee Healy of Perth, Australia; a sister, Norma Grogan of Lake Montezuma, Ariz.; and four grandchildren.

John Edward Thommen, 93, dental supply salesman

John Edward Thommen, a retired dental supply salesman, died Saturday of complications from pneumonia at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Bay Ridge resident was 93.

Until retiring in 1969, Mr. Thommen sold dental supplies for 40 years for the L. D. Caulk Co. and Litton Industries, a successor firm.

A resident of Bay Ridge for nearly four decades, he was active in the Bay Ridge Civic Association, where he had served on the board and the welcoming committee.

Born and raised on Riverside Avenue in southern Baltimore, he was a 1926 graduate of Loyola High School and attended the Maryland Institute, College of Art.

During World War II, he was a surgical technician with the Army's 88th Division - the famed "Blue Devils" - and saw combat in Italy. He was a lifelong member of the Blue Devils Association.

In 1932, he married Catherine Finn, who died in 1991.

He enjoyed fishing and boating, and was a member of the Loyola High School Alumni Association.

He was a communicant of St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, 109 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today.

He is survived by a daughter, Dee Thommen Van Nest of Bay Ridge; two brothers, Bernard Thommen of Baltimore and Charles Thommen of Arnold; two sisters, Mary Thommen and Cecelia Bayne, both of Piney Orchard; and a granddaughter.

Elsewhere

Helen Coley Nauts, 93, who founded a cancer institute and championed the once-neglected cancer treatments of her father, died Jan. 2 in New York. Her father, cancer specialist William Coley, was the first to inject seriously ill patients with a mixture of live bacteria, goading the body into producing its own defenses against cancer. After Dr. Coley's death in 1936, she combed through his papers to write his biography. She discovered the records of many seriously ill cancer patients who were injected with Dr. Coley's toxins. Mrs. Nauts then began a successful crusade to bring her father's work to the attention of oncologists. In 1953, she established the Cancer Research Institute, which supports scientists around the world with a $14 million annual budget. Dr. Coley is now considered the founder of modern immunotherapy. His cancer discoveries are credited with helping researchers develop other therapies.

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