Sylvia Harad, 79, travel agency partner Sylvia Harad, a...

March 04, 2001

Sylvia Harad, 79, travel agency partner

Sylvia Harad, a partner in an Owings Mills travel agency, died Wednesday of cancer at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. She was 79.

Mrs. Harad, who had more than 30 years' experience in the travel field, was a partner in Premier Tours and specialized in arranging trips for churches, universities and corporations.

She retired from active participation in the business last year because of failing health.

Born Sylvia Rogol in Philadelphia, she was raised in Camden, N.J., where she graduated from high school.

She was married to Samuel Harad in 1943, and from 1958 until 1990, resided in Wilmington, Del. There she worked as a district manager for World Book Encyclopedia Corp. and began working as a travel agent.

A resident of Pikesville since 1990, Mrs. Harad enjoyed playing classical music on the piano, gourmet cooking and sewing.

Services were held yesterday at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Gary B. Harad of Wilmington; a daughter, Merle H. Setren of Owings Mills; a sister, Miriam Silverstein of Boca Raton, Fla.; and four grandchildren.

Norman E. Cooper, 90, federal housing official

Norman E. Cooper, retired deputy director of the Baltimore office of the Federal Housing Administration, died Wednesday of heart failure at College Manor. He was 90.

Until moving to the Lutherville nursing home a month ago, Mr. Cooper had been an Anneslie resident since 1951.

He retired in 1970 from the Federal Housing Administration, now part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he had worked for 26 years.

He began his career there in 1944 and served as chief loan examiner, chief underwriter and finally as deputy director, responsible for overseeing the agency's daily operations.

During World War II, he served as chief rationing attorney and chief price attorney for the Federal Office of Price Administration.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Mr. Cooper was a 1928 graduate of City College and attended the Johns Hopkins University before earning his law degree from University of Maryland School of Law in 1938.

Admitted to the Maryland bar that year, he worked during the late 1930s and early 1940s as an assistant solicitor in the Baltimore City Law Department and as a special attorney for several insurance companies. He also worked briefly in private practice.

He was a member for more than 40 years of Reformation Lutheran Church, and served on the church council. Earlier, he had been a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, and had served on the church council.

He was married in 1934 to Eva Graser, who died in 1981.

Mr. Cooper enjoyed collecting American and European stamps.

A memorial service will be held at 7:15 p.m. tomorrow at Reformation Lutheran Church, 6200 Loch Raven Blvd.

He is survived by a son, Norman Randall Cooper of Phoenix in Baltimore County; two grandchildren; and special friend Elizabeth "Betty" Wasserman of Anneslie. A daughter, Suzanne Carroll Cooper Crawford, died in 1975.

Edward H. Rather Sr., 59, GM line worker

Edward H. Rather Sr., a former assembly line worker at the General Motors plant in Dundalk, died Tuesday at Good Samaritan Hospital of complications from diabetes. He was 59.

A native of Crew, Va., Mr. Rather came to Baltimore in search of a job after graduating from high school. He worked for six years as a nursing assistant at Johns Hopkins Hospital before going to work at General Motors, where he spent 30 years.

Mr. Rather enjoyed reading and traveling, taking his family on long summer car trips to such destinations as California, Texas, Louisiana and Canada. He also enjoyed watching baseball and football on television.

He was a member of Holy Rock Outreach Ministry on North Collington Avenue, participating in the church's soup kitchen and clothing drives, and visiting the sick.

Mr. Rather was married for 34 years to the former Barbara Jackson, who survives him.

Services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Union Baptist Church in Crew.

He is also survived by a daughter, Patricia Wanbaugh of Stewartstown, Pa.; two sons, Edward Rather Jr. and Robert Darren Jackson, both of Baltimore; five sisters, Lula Blackwell, Elfreda Ferguson and Thelma Rather, all of Crew, and Lorraine Rather and Gladys Hatcher, both of Baltimore; two brothers, the Rev. Richard Rather of Baltimore and Daniel Rather of Crew; and four grandchildren.

George M. Watson Jr., 77, credit official, gardener

George M. Watson Jr., a credit manager who was an enthusiastic gardener, died Tuesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 77, and had developed kidney failure after a heart valve operation.

Mr. Watson was born in Bethel, N.C., but spent most of his life in the Baltimore area. During the past three years, he and his wife of 55 years, Jean Watson, lived at the Calverts Walk apartments in Bel Air.

He volunteered for Navy service during World War II and served as a signalman aboard a ship in Norfolk, Va., and later in the Philippines.

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