Edward B. Hall, 72, ran Arundel library system Edward...

September 02, 2001

Edward B. Hall, 72, ran Arundel library system

Edward B. Hall, the former administrator of the Anne Arundel County library system who oversaw the construction of nearly a dozen repositories across the state, died Tuesday of cancer at the Fairfield Nursing Home in Millersville.

The longtime Annapolis resident was 72.

Born in Mount Sterling, Ky., and raised in Lexington, Mr. Hall graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1951 after serving as the student manager of the school's championship football and basketball teams.

A member of the university's four-year Air Force ROTC program, he was commissioned a second lieutenant, served in Europe during the Korean War and continued as a reservist until reaching the rank of captain.

Inspired by his years as a library page in junior high school, he returned to the University of Kentucky and received a master's degree in library science in 1954 before taking a job as a branch librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

In 1956, he married Elizabeth Caroline Kinard, a branch librarian in her native Baltimore with the Enoch Pratt Free Library, after the couple met at a convention.

They lived briefly in Philadelphia before returning to Maryland in 1959, when Mr. Hall received an offer to head the Southern Maryland Regional Library system, serving Charles, St. Mary's and Calvert counties.

Three years later, he moved to Hagerstown to take over the Washington County Free Library system, where he oversaw the construction of the central and branch libraries.

Finally, in 1971, he assumed leadership of the Anne Arundel County Library. During the next 22 years, he built the county's award-winning system virtually from the ground up, including seven branches, a new headquarters and a centralized computer catalogue.

"We moved around the state pretty much constantly up till then," recalled his son, Edward B. Hall of Lanham. "Every night when we'd come home from school, he'd be sitting in the kitchen with a new set of plans, talking about library building projects. It was his life for a lot of years."

"We went through a long period of almost constant construction," said James O. Lighthizer, who was county executive from 1982 to 1990, "and Ed Hall never dropped the ball once."

"He was truly a first-rate manager. We're talking about millions of dollars in contracts -- with schedules and plans in various stages of development swirling all over the place -- and he brought in every project on time and on budget. He gave us the system we have today."

Mr. Hall was a loyal fan of the Kentucky Wildcats and the Baltimore Orioles. He also was a movie and history buff who enjoyed touring Civil War battlefields after his retirement.

A memorial service will be held Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, Locust and West Streets, Annapolis.

His wife died in 1992. In addition to his son, Mr. Hall is survived by another son, Charles Byron Hall of the Bronx, N.Y.

Family members suggest that contributions may be made in his name to the Civil War Preservation Trust, 11 Public Square, Suite 200, Hagerstown 21740.

Mary Catherine Hurd, 78, Hochschild Kohn worker

Mary Catherine Hurd, the voice of Hochschild Kohn department store's telephone ordering line in the 1950s, died Thursday of pneumonia at Maryland General Hospital. The Catonsville resident was 78.

Born and raised in the rowhouse wards of southern Baltimore, Mary Zacks graduated from Western High School in 1941 and met Otis S. Hurd a short time later at a dance at Fort Meade.

The couple married in 1942 and soon moved to Catonsville.

By 1950, Mrs. Hurd had taken a job in the catalogue ordering division of Hochschild Kohn in Baltimore, where she placed orders by phone for the next 12 years. She also worked briefly as a nursing assistant at Summit Nursing Home in Catonsville in the 1970s.

A longtime communicant of St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church in Catonsville, she volunteered regularly as a teen camp organizer.

Her husband of 33 years died in 1975. Her daughter Mary Asplund died in 1996.

Services will be held at 4 p.m. today at Barranco & Sons Severna Park Funeral Home, 495 Ritchie Highway.

Mrs. Hurd is survived by another daughter, Bonnie Thomas of Livermore, Calif.; three sons, John L. Hurd of Ellicott City, Otis W. Hurd of Kill Devil Hills, N.C., and Robert L. Hurd of Crownsville; 10 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that contributions in her name may be made to Hospice of the Chesapeake, 8424 Veterans Highway, Millersville 21108.

Deaths Elsewhere

Richard Gebhardt, 67, a retired suburban St. Louis businessman who gained fame last year by running against the U.S. House minority leader with almost the same name, died of cancer Aug. 23.

Mr. Gebhardt attracted national attention in March 2000 when he filed in the Democratic primary against Richard A. Gephardt, the longtime St. Louis congressman. At the time, Democratic leaders accused Gebhardt of really being a Republican and accused GOP leaders of instigating his candidacy.

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