Bessie W. Harrelson, 84, music education advocate...

Deaths Elsewhere

November 02, 2001

Bessie W. Harrelson, 84, music education advocate

Bessie Macon Wrenn Harrelson, founder of a school transportation company and advocate for music education, died Sunday of an aneurysm at Sinai Hospital. She was 84.

A longtime resident of Gwynn Oak, Mrs. Harrelson was a coloratura soprano who over her lifetime expressed her talents in voice and leadership. She sang in the Civic Opera Chorus in her early years and served as board chairwoman of the Baltimore Music Club from 1977 to 1981.

Through the music club, she supported the development of Performing Arts for Children's Educa- tion, a music education program that sends members into public schools. Mrs. Harrelson went on to serve as president of the Maryland Federation of Music Clubs.

She founded Harrelson Transportation Inc. in 1948. The company provided door-to-door service for students of Baltimore private schools until ceasing operations in 1984.

She was co-chair of the 1978 Holly Tour of Mount Vernon area homes and churches, raising money for charitable causes. She also was a member of Daughters of the American Revolution.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Bessie Wrenn Carter met her husband, Marion Beckman Harrelson, a tenor, in 1936 while they were attending Peabody Institute. They had been married for 63 years when he died last year of Alzheimer's disease.

Services for Mrs. Harrelson will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Mount Calvary Episcopal Church, 816 N. Eutaw St., where she was an active member.

She is survived by two daughters, Patricia Ann Harrelson Cassedy and Christine Ellen Harrelson Lescalleet, both of Baltimore; a son, Geoffrey Lynn Harrelson of Baltimore; five grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Julia A. Smoot, 90, carryout restaurant owner

Julia A. Smoot, a former carryout restaurant owner who raised five foster children in addition to an adopted son and 10 children of her own, died Sunday from complications of a stroke at Manor Care Health Services and Skilled Nursing Facility in Baltimore. She was 90.

The former Glen Burnie resident, who had lived in Northwest Baltimore since the early 1970s, owned and operated Smoot's Place, a carryout restaurant on Whitelock Street. She retired after the business was sold in the 1990s.

Mrs. Smoot was a longtime member of Living Word Christian Center in Baltimore, where she had served on the church's financial committee and was active in community outreach.

"She loved helping people in need, and her home was always open to them," said a son, Wilbert Smoot of Overlea.

She was born Julia A. Lyles in LaPlata and was a graduate of LaPlata High School. In 1929, she married Robert George Smoot Sr., who died in 1993.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Living Word Christian Center, 4221 Primrose Ave., Baltimore.

Mrs. Smoot is also survived by five other sons, Thomas Smoot and Anthony Smoot, both of Glen Burnie, James Smoot of Arlington, Va., and Michael Smoot and Nathaniel Smoot, both of Baltimore; a daughter, Shirley Smoot Johnson of Baltimore; her adopted son, Victor Salvadore of Baltimore; a sister, Mary June Dyson of Baltimore; 36 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.

Three sons, Robert George Smoot Jr., Leroy Smoot and Rodney Smoot, are deceased.

Elsewhere

Juan Bosch, 92, an elder statesmen of the Latin American left whose 1965 counter-coup to regain the presidency of the Dominican Republic was thwarted by U.S. invasion, died yesterday in Santo Domingo.

Mr. Bosch spent just seven months as president, but his leftist political career spanned decades of opposition to strong-arm rule in the Dominican Republic. He was a leading political figure for much of the 20th century, but also a respected literary figure who wrote more than 50 novels, essays and other works.

Mr. Bosch's brief presidency followed the 31-year, iron-fisted dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. The year after Mr. Trujillo was assassinated, Mr. Bosch won the first free elections in years in December 1962. He launched a series of liberal changes, including land reform and shoring up civilian control of the military. But seven months after taking office, he was ousted in a military coup.

Efforts by his supporters to mount a counter-coup were halted when President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in 20,000 U.S. troops to help the Dominican military block the effort in 1965. Reflecting Cold War preoccupations, Washington worried that another Cuba might be emerging.

William E. Sauro, 78, a top general assignment photographer noted for his pictures of the Kennedy administration, died in Mission Viejo, Calif., on Saturday of Alzheimer's disease. Mr. Sauro worked for United Press Photos, the New York Herald Tribune and the World Journal Tribune before joining the staff of the New York Times in 1967. He worked there until his retirement in 1996.

Mr. Sauro took a photograph of Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf, that won the George Polk Memorial Award for photo reporting in 1955. In the picture, which was taken for United Press, Ms. Keller is using her fingertips to "listen" to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Bill Charuchas, 75, one of the hawkers at Chicago's Billy Goat Tavern who belted out "cheezborger, cheezborger" with the owner for nearly four decades, died Oct. 23 of a gall bladder infection in his native Greece. He spent 37 years at the Michigan Avenue icon.

Mr. Charuchas and late owner William "Billy Goat" Sianis amused lunchtime crowds that often included movie stars and politicians, former President George Bush among them. They belted out, "Cheezborger, cheezborger! No fries, cheeps!" The banter was popularized in the 1970s by a skit on NBC's Saturday Night Live starring one-time Chicagoan John Belushi.

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