Edna E. Wrenn, 101, currency inspector Edna E. Wrenn, a...

March 09, 2001

Edna E. Wrenn, 101, currency inspector

Edna E. Wrenn, a centenarian whose recipe for longevity was "living right," died March 2 of pneumonia at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. She was 101.

Since 1984, Mrs. Wrenn had lived at Harmony Hall, a Columbia retirement community.

When she celebrated her 100th birthday, she told The Sun that except for arthritis, she had enjoyed good health throughout her life.

"Live right, don't smoke, don't drink and take care of yourself" was her advice for longevity.

Family also played a big part.

"That's what kept me going. If it wasn't for my wonderful family, I don't think I would have lasted to be 100 years old. They've made me very happy," she said.

"The day she died, the doctor told me he'd never seen a more alert person in better health," said Dorothy Wrenn of Annapolis, a daughter-in-law. "She'd go out to dinner every week, liked to read newspapers every day and watch TV."

In a life that spanned the horse-and-buggy era to the space age, Mrs. Wrenn explained in the interview that she was "excited about most everything when it first came out."

When Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, she said, "It gave me the creeps just to think that those men went up in a rocket."

Edna Reintzel was born in Washington in 1899 and raised in Mount Rainier, Prince George's County.

She was the great-great-granddaughter of Valentine Reintzel, a grand master of the Masons who assisted George Washington in laying the cornerstone of the Capitol.

She attended public schools until 1909, when she left to help work on the family farm.

She worked in Kresge's variety store in Washington and later at the federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing as a printer's helper and a currency inspector.

In 1920, she married Ernest Wrenn, who was supervisor of the post office in Washington. He died in 1992.

The key to a long marriage: "Don't argue. Try to straighten it out, and don't go to bed mad," Mrs. Wrenn said.

She was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church in Mount Rainier.

Services were Monday.

She is survived by a son, Ernest Wrenn of Annapolis; a granddaughter, Susan Dotson of Salisbury; two great-grandchildren; and 163 nieces and nephews.

James Lloyd Benson, 80, dental technician

James Lloyd Benson, a retired dental technician and outdoorsman, died March 1 of respiratory failure at his Joppatowne home. He was 80.

Until retiring in 1998, Mr. Benson had worked for 10 years at Friendship Dental Laboratory in Baltimore, where he was known for his exacting work in creating crowns, bridges and dental implants.

He also served as a consultant to Baltimore-area dentists and lectured at the University of Maryland dental school.

After operating a dental laboratory in Winchester, Va., for 18 years, he moved to Baltimore in 1964 and joined Cooperative Dental Laboratory.

Born in Elkton, Va., where he graduated from high school, Mr. Benson served as a radar man in the Navy in World War II and Korea. After his discharge, he attended Boston University and graduated from the Boston School of Mechanical Dentistry in 1954.

He enjoyed hunting, boating and carving waterfowl decoys.

Services were held Monday.

Mr. Benson is survived by his wife of 36 years, the former Beatrice Miller; two sons, Rodney L. Benson of Towson and Jeffrey L. Benson of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; a daughter, Joy Campbell of Richmond, Va.; and five grandchildren.

Clara H. Sener, 99, homemaker, collector

Clara H. Sener, an antiques collector and homemaker, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 99.

Mrs. Sener, who had lived in the Warrington Condominiums in Guilford since 1988, was five months short of celebrating her 100th birthday.

She had formerly resided on Bishops Road in Guilford for 40 years.

A collector of 18th-century American and English furniture, she was a longtime member of the Friends of the American Wing at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

She also created perfectly scaled, hand-crafted models of historical rooms in miniature -- including furniture and other essential details -- such as one from the Bruton Parish Church parish house in Williamsburg, Va.

The former Clara Hodshon was born in Wheeling, W.Va., and moved to Catonsville in 1906. Later, the family moved to Nutley, N.J.

She earned a bachelor's degree from the Savage School of Physical Education -- now part of New York University -- in 1923.

She began teaching at the Town and Country School, a private school in Manhattan, before coming to Baltimore in 1924 as an elementary teacher and girl's physical education instructor at the Park School.

In 1925, she married Joseph W. Sener, senior managing partner of John C. Legg & Co. in Baltimore. At the time of his death in 1981, he was chairman of the executive committee of Legg Mason.

Mrs. Sener was a member of the Baltimore Country Club and the Mount Vernon Club.

For 70 years, she was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, where she had been a member of the Altar Guild and taught Sunday school.

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