Brian W. Albright, 36, started oyster program Brian W...

October 07, 2001

Brian W. Albright, 36, started oyster program

Brian W. Albright, a biologist who started an oyster restoration program to educate children, died from complications of Marfan syndrome Wednesday. The St. Leonard resident was 36.

The 6-foot 6-inch Mr. Albright went to St. Mary's College in 1982 with hopes of becoming a professional basketball player. At the school, he discovered a love for biology and gave up his basketball dreams, said his wife, Patricia Kimmel Albright.

Mr. Albright went on to major in biology. After he graduated in 1986, he joined the staff at the Academy of Natural Sciences' Estuarine Research Center in St. Leonard.

In 1992, he began an oyster relocation program in which middle school students helped scientists transplant artificially bred oysters in Southern Maryland waters.

A funeral service will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow in the Christ Church at 3100 Broomes Island Road, Port Republic.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Albright is survived by three stepdaughters, Brandi K. Valentine of Honolulu, Hawaii, Amanda Wood of St. Leonard, and Candice Wood of Lusby. Contributions may be made to The Academy of Natural Sciences' Estuarine Research Center, 10545 Mackall Road, St. Leonard 20685.

George J. Craten, 89, plumber, World War II POW

George J. Craten, a retired plumber and decorated World War II prisoner of war, died Wednesday of respiratory failure at the Dulaney Towson Health Care Center. He was 89 and lived in the Mays Chapel section of Baltimore County.

Mr. Craten had worked as a plumber at Fort Meade and later at the old Veterans Administration Hospital on Loch Raven Boulevard in Northeast Baltimore, from which he retired in 1980. Earlier, he had been employed by L. H. Cranston & Sons Inc. in the late 1940s.

Before moving to Mays Chapel in 1991, he had lived for 40 years in Ramblewood.

Mr. Craten was born John Cratonides in Constantinople, later Istanbul, Turkey, in 1912. He traveled in 1916 to Hampton, Va., to join his father, John A. Craten. His name had been shortened by immigration officials when he landed at Ellis Island in New York, in 1912.

Mr. Craten graduated from Hampton and Alexandria High School in 1932, and Strayer's Business College in 1935. He became a journeyman plumber in 1937.

Drafted into the Army in 1941, he served with the 34th Infantry Division, 133 Regiment, L Company, in Europe.

Promoted to technical sergeant in 1943, he commanded a 38-man infantry rifle platoon during the Tunisia, Naples-Foggia and Rome-Arno campaigns.

Ambushed by German soldiers in 1944, he was listed as missing until his family learned that he was a POW at a camp at Lager-Bezeichnung, Germany. He was liberated by Russian soldiers in 1945.

His decorations included the Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the American Defense Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Ribbon.

He was married in 1945 to the former Mary Aleck Alokriades, who survives him.

He was a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, where a memorial service was held Friday. .

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, John G. Craten of Towson and Theodore T. Craten of Ruxton; a sister, Anne Tyler of Alexandria, Va.; and two grandchildren.

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