Bernard R. Saunders, 81, Balto. County police officer...

Deaths Elsewhere

April 30, 2001

Bernard R. Saunders, 81, Balto. County police officer

Bernard R. Saunders, a retired Baltimore County police officer, died Wednesday at Franklin Square Hospital Center, where he was being treated for complications of emphysema and esophageal cancer. He was 81.

As a police officer for 20 years, he would relive his workday in animated stories for his family -- humorous and tragic. He often worked the overnight shift, recalled his daughter, Gloria Taylor of Dundalk, sat down to breakfast with his family, then left the house to earn extra money, painting houses or black-topping driveways.

"He was a plain, ordinary, blue-collar man, making the most for his family," Mrs. Taylor said. "We weren't rich, but we never wanted for anything."

A Baltimore native, Mr. Saunders grew up in Edgemere and attended Sparrows Point High School before he started working at the Bethlehem Steel shipyards in Sparrows Point. He served in the Army during World War II, then returned to the shipyards as a welder.

In 1952, he joined the Baltimore County Police Department, working from the Essex district. Later, he was assigned to Edgemere, but returned to Essex before he retired in 1972.

He chose police work, his daughter said, because it was a steady paycheck. "But once he got into the Police Department, he found it was something he really loved, and he took it very seriously," she said.

He saw how his work experiences could help him teach his two daughters valuable life lessons. "We'd be in tears [listening to him], but we'd have a lot of laughs, too," Mrs. Taylor said. "He wanted us to know what life was about, and he didn't try to shelter us. He wanted us to know about the seriousness of life and appreciate things for what they are."

In 1958, he received a commendation for his work in a rape case involving a 13-year-old girl. Essex Lions Club named him police officer of the year in 1972.

Meticulous about his appearance, he insisted on dressing neatly even when he was doing yard work at his Edgemere home. "His pants had such a sharp crease you could cut your finger on them, no lie," said Mrs. Taylor.

He was married to Frances L. Smith Saunders, who died in 1988, and later to Anna Catherine Simmerman-Saunders, who died in 1998.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Holly Hill Memorial Park, 10201 Bird River Road.

Other survivors include another daughter, Jean F. Kesterson of Edgemere; two sisters, Dorothy Gittings of Middle River and Catherine Hartz of Carlisle, Pa.; and four grandchildren.

Marie L. Kelly, 64, Black & Decker employee

Marie L. Kelly, an executive assistant at Black & Decker Corp., died of lung cancer Friday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 64.

Mrs. Kelly had come late to working life, starting at Black & Decker in 1989, after her daughters were grown and her husband, George D. Kelly, had died. But it was as if she had found a second family at the Towson-based company, said her daughter, Karen Kelly Turner of Towson.

"That was her whole life," Mrs. Turner said. "Black & Decker was everything to her. She just loved everybody, and she was hard-working and passionate."

Mrs. Kelly was so devoted to Black & Decker that, after her cancer was diagnosed in October, she scheduled her chemotherapy treatments for Fridays, so she would miss as little work as possible. Her illness forced her to leave work by year's end.

Mrs. Kelly, who lived in Hunt Valley, was an avid tennis player and loved to travel.

Born in Atlantic City, N.J., she married in 1960. Her husband died in 1980.

A memorial service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 103 Church Lane, Texas.

Other survivors include a daughter, Colette D. Kelly of Rodgers Forge, and three grandchildren.


Richard M. Scammon, 85, an elections analyst and political scientist who also headed the Census Bureau and advised Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, died of pneumonia Friday in Washington. He was the editor of a series of biennial election analyses called "America Votes," the latest of which will be published in June, and the two-volume "America at the Polls," a summary of election results from 1920 to 1996. He founded the nonprofit Elections Research Center in 1955 and served as its director until becoming director of the Census Bureau in 1961. In 1965, he returned to the Elections Research Center, where he remained until it closed in 1995.

James H. Jesse, 82, a former publisher of the Pensacola News Journal and one of the founders of Florida Today in Melbourne died Friday in Merritt Island, Fla., after a long bout with cancer. Mr. Jesse joined the then-year-old Today in 1967 as head of its South Brevard County operations. In 1972, he was named to the newly created position of publisher. He moved to Pensacola to become publisher at the News Journal in 1973 and became publisher and president of the Nashville Banner in 1978.

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