Mary M. Witherspoon, 73, homemaker Mary M. Witherspoon...

January 23, 2001

Mary M. Witherspoon, 73, homemaker

Mary M. Witherspoon, a homemaker who was active in several area churches, died Friday from complications of diabetes at her Catonsville home. She was 73.

A former part-time domestic worker, Mrs. Witherspoon devoted her life to raising her 13 children at homes in Southern Baltimore and Druid Heights, Harlem Park and Upton in West Baltimore.

"Her life centered around her children, grandchildren and church," said a son, Michael Witherspoon of Columbia, S.C.

Born Mary Clark in Sumter, S.C., she moved to Baltimore in the early 1950s and worked in a rag factory.

Shortly after arriving in Baltimore, she was invited to have an ice cream cone by her future husband, Willard Witherspoon Sr., a construction worker who had grown up in Manning, S.C., 17 miles from her childhood home. He died in 1986.

Mrs. Witherspoon had been a member of Lovecrowd Christian Light Church and attended New Unity Baptist Church.

She enjoyed singing, collecting what-nots and visiting thrift shops.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Joseph H. Brown Funeral Home, 2140 N. Fulton Ave.

A son, Jonathan Witherspoon, died in 1991.

She is survived by six other sons, Thomas Clark of Willingboro, N.J., Jesse Clark of Fort Washington, Willard Witherspoon Jr. of Catonsville, Eugene Witherspoon of Philadelphia, Marvin Witherspoon of Baltimore and Gary Witherspoon of Essex; five daughters, Eula Witherspoon of Lochearn, Wanda Witherspoon and Denise Witherspoon, both of Baltimore, Patricia Witherspoon of Lewes, Del., and Michele Thompson of Towson; three brothers, Henry Clark of Sumter, Grover Johnson of Baltimore and Willie Clark of Jacksonville, Fla.; two sisters, Luvenia McCauley of Yale Heights and Rosa Reese of Sumter; and 13 grandchildren.

Patrick Ryan Ovide, 9, Arnold third-grader

Patrick Ryan Ovide, a third-grader at Broadneck Elementary School, died Saturday at Johns Hopkins Hospital Pediatric Center of injuries he suffered in a traffic accident. He was 9.

Patrick, an Arnold resident, was hit by a car about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Shore Acres Road near Broadneck Elementary School. According to police reports, he ran into the street and was struck when he tried to run back across the street.

Patrick, who was born in Annapolis, played the viola at school. He was fond of sports, especially tee-ball, and also liked skateboarding, in-line skating, riding his scooter and drawing.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Andrew by the Bay Roman Catholic Church, 701 College Parkway, Annapolis.

He is survived by his parents, David B. and Janice Marie Ovide of Arnold; two sisters, Julie Ovide and Christina MacKinnon, both of Arnold; paternal grandparents Raymond and Virginia Ovide of Newport News, Va.; maternal grandfather John MacKinnon of Boca Raton, Fla.; and uncle and aunt Douglas and Andrea MacKinnon of Alexandria, Va.

Alvin Ford, 86, salesman, owner of hardware store

Alvin M. Ford, a retired auto products salesman and former owner of a Northwest Baltimore hardware store, died Friday of spinal stenosis at Jewish Convalescent and Nursing Home in Pikesville. He was 86.

Mr. Ford had been a resident of Mount Washington for 60 years.

He retired in April from Sosmetal Products, a Philadelphia auto parts company.

"He had an outgoing personality, was extremely honest and always treated his customers fairly," said his daughter, Mary-Jo Dale of Fells Point.

For many years, Mr. Ford operated Welfeld & Ford, a hardware store at Park Heights and Belvedere avenues, which his father established in the 1920s.

Born in Northwest Baltimore, he was a 1932 graduate of City College and earned a bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1935.

He played baseball at Hopkins and was known as "Legs" Ford.

During World War II, he was a defense worker at Bendix Frieze in Towson.

He was a self-taught musician who played the piano, guitar, accordion, banjo and violin.

In 1939, he married Betty Appleby, who died in 1999.

Services will be held at noon today at Sol Levinson & Bros. Inc., 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Lionel D. Ford of Fells Point; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Donald Baker Spencer, 75, biologist, NIH official

Donald Baker Spencer, a retired biologist and administrator at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, died Friday of complications from Alzheimer's disease at his Rockville home. He was 75.

Mr. Spencer was a grants management officer in the NIH's Office of Extramural Research and Training for 32 years. He retired in 1985.

Born in Ednor Gardens, he was a 1942 graduate of City College.

During World War II, he served in the Navy as a pharmacist's mate and was discharged in 1946.

He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from University of Maryland, College Park in 1953.

A resident of Rockville for 40 years, he enjoyed gardening and taking care of his home.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Marks-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 1620 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Jean Crawley; and a son, James Spencer of Baltimore.


Helen F. Knipp: The address for the memorial service for Helen F. Knipp was incorrectly stated in Friday's edition of The Sun.

The service will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Edenwald retirement community, 800 Southerly Road, Towson.

The Sun regrets the error.

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