Dr. Rafael Alfonso, 77, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rafael...

March 28, 2001

Dr. Rafael Alfonso, 77, orthopedic surgeon

Dr. Rafael Alfonso, an orthopedic surgeon, died Monday of complications of pneumonia at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 77 and lived in Lutherville.

Dr. Alfonso was on the staffs of St. Agnes HealthCare, Kernan Hospital, Franklin Square Hospital Center and St. Joseph Medical Center, and had an office for many years at St. Agnes.

Born in Havana, Cuba, where he attended schools, he immigrated to the United States in 1948 and trained in orthopedics at Jewish Memorial Hospital in New York, Fordham University Hospital in the Bronx and a hospital in Worcester, Mass.

He served in the Navy in the 1950s and was discharged with the rank of lieutenant commander.

He belonged to numerous medical societies, including the Maryland Orthopaedic Society, the American Medical Association, the Medical and Chirurgical Society of Maryland, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Southern Medical Society, the American Arthroscopic Society and the Eastern Orthopaedic Association.

He played golf at Baltimore Country Club and Bears Paw Country Club of Naples, Fla.

In 1966, he married Laura Elizabeth Clifton, who survives him.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today at St. James Episcopal Church, 3100 Monkton Road, where he was a communicant.

He also is survived by a son, Bernard Alfonso of Miami; three daughters, Margaret Alfonso of Boulder, Colo., Jennifer L. Realo of Phoenix and Patricia Mutascio of Monkton; a stepson, Stephen Hanson of Phoenix; two stepdaughters, Susan Goddard of Fairfax, Va., and Elizabeth Sheehan of Ruxton; and 13 grandchildren.

Earl D. Saunders, 75, Baltimore police officer

Earl D. Saunders, a former police officer, died Monday of cancer at home in the Wilhelm Park section of Southwest Baltimore. He was 75.

He joined the Baltimore Police Department in the 1940s and was assigned to the parks division, where he patrolled parks on a motorcycle. He later was a Southern District patrolman.

He then became a service director for O'Donnell Pontiac in Ellicott City and retired 13 years ago as a stationary engineer at Shedd's mayonnaise and margarine plant in Southwest Baltimore.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Saunders was raised on Primson Avenue in Southwest Baltimore and graduated from City College.

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

He enjoyed boating, crabbing and fishing.

He was a past officer of the Morrell Park American Legion post.

In 1947, he married Gwendolyn M. Christ, who survives him.

Services will be held at noon tomorrow at Loudon Park Funeral Home, 3620 Wilkens Ave.

He also is survived by two daughters, Peggy Upton of Ellicott City and Joan Henry of Baltimore; a brother, Albert T. Saunders Jr. of Baltimore; six grandsons; and six great-grandchildren.

Vernal E. Gordon, 81, nurse and homemaker

Vernal E. Gordon, a former nurse and homemaker, died Sunday of cancer at the Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. She was 81 and lived in Long Green.

In the early 1940s, Mrs. Gordon, who was known as Peggy, was a nurse at the Keswick Home for Incurables, now Keswick Multi-Care Center, and later at Children's Hospital.

During World War II, she left nursing to become a defense worker at the Balmar Corp. foundry in Woodberry, assembling steel wheels used on rail cars. At war's end, she became a homemaker.

When she was 37 and pregnant, Mrs. Gordon was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

"She never regained her total health after surgery, but she was determined to live for her baby, who was born all right," said a daughter, Ruth E. Lawrence of Sparks.

Mrs. Gordon enjoyed reading, tending her vegetable garden and canning. She also was a volunteer at Stella Maris Hospice for many years.

She was a member of Wilson United Methodist Church in Long Green.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

She is survived by her husband, Wesley F. Gordon, whom she married in 1941; a son, John W. Gordon of Long Green; another daughter, Donna Lee Harrell of Jarratt, Va.; two sisters, Grace Dinsmore of Selbyville, Del., and Elizabeth Poole of Baltimore; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Ivan Keith Summerville, 43, electrical contractor

Ivan Keith Summerville, an electrical contractor, died Friday of Graves' disease, a thyroid condition, at Sinai Hospital. He was 43 and lived in Northwest Baltimore.

The owner of Summerville Electric Co. since last year, he did commercial and residential electrical work throughout the state.

A member of the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers No. 24, he had worked for the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development as an electrician from 1985 to 2000. He had earlier worked for Blumenthal & Kahn Electrical, Enterprise Electrical, Hillen Electric and General Electric companies.

Born in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., he was raised in the Ashburton section of Northwest Baltimore and graduated from Northwestern High School.

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