Leon Hoffman, 83, lawyer who ran firm Leon Hoffman, who...

January 01, 2002

Leon Hoffman, 83, lawyer who ran firm

Leon Hoffman, who ran a private law firm in the city for 53 years, died of cancer Sunday at his Baltimore home. He was 83.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Mr. Hoffman graduated from City College in 1937. He then attended the University of Baltimore Law School, graduating in 1941.

While attending the University of Baltimore, he worked at Glenn L. Martin Co. in Baltimore, where he helped build B-26 bombers from 1940 to 1943. In 1943, he joined the Army. He was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant in 1946.

Mr. Hoffman worked for Maryland Guaranty & Title Co. and the Legal Aid Bureau from 1946 to 1948, then began his private practice in 1948. He specialized in workers' compensation law.

A member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation for more than 40 years, he served on several boards, including the Hebrew Free Loan Society and the B'nai Brith Menorah Lodge, of which he was president.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road.

Mr. Hoffman is survived by his wife of 48 years, the former Natalie Seltzer; two sons, Marc Hoffman and Dr. Richard Hoffman, both of Baltimore; a daughter, Carin Thyssen of St. Louis; and seven grandchildren.

J. Thomas Vandenburg, 94, chief of lending institutions

J. Thomas Vandenburg, former president of the Federal Land Bank of Baltimore and Production Credit Corp. of Baltimore, died of cancer Sunday at Pickersgill Retirement Community in Towson. He was 94.

Born in Bridgeville, Del., Mr. Vandenburg graduated from Bridgeville High School in 1924. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1928 and a master's degree in agriculture in 1930 from Pennsylvania State University.

Mr. Vandenburg moved to Baltimore shortly after receiving his master's degree. He began working for Federal Land Bank and Production Credit in the early 1930s and became president of the two lending institutions, which concentrated on helping farmers. He was responsible for managing the Federal Land Bank and supervising its 36 field agencies in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.

In 1960, Mr. Vandenburg retired from the Federal Land Bank, spending most of his latter years with his wife, the former Mae Collison, in Kent Island and Easton.

Known as a strong, independent person, he moved into a retirement community when his health declined at age 93. Family and friends said he loved to hunt, fish and garden.

A cremation service will be held with burial in Bridgeville at a later date.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Vandenburg is survived by two daughters, Joan V. Peacock of Baltimore and Catherine V. Cubbison of Wilmington, Del.; 10 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Baltimore Inc., 6601 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21204.

Frances Mitchell, 92, GBMC nursing supervisor

Frances Mitchell, a retired nurse at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, died Friday at Howard County General Hospital of complications from a stroke. She was 92.

Fanny Ellen Myers was born in Edinburg, Va., where she grew up on a Shenandoah Valley farm.

After graduating from high school at age 16, she moved to Baltimore to study nursing at Maryland General Hospital, where she worked after earning a nursing certificate.

In 1928, she married Robert C. Mitchell. She left her nursing job a year later after her first child was born.

During World War II, she briefly returned to work at Presbyterian Eye, Ear and Throat Charity Hospital of East Baltimore.

After her husband died in 1956, Mrs. Mitchell enrolled at University of Maryland. She earned her nursing degree in 1957.

She worked at Hospital for the Women of Maryland in Bolton Hill and joined the staff of GBMC when it opened in the mid-1960s. She started as a charge nurse, then became a nursing supervisor in the gynecology department until she retired in 1975.

After retiring, Mrs. Mitchell was active in community service programs at Christ Lutheran Church in Catonsville, where she was a longtime member. She particularly enjoyed volunteering with the Meals on Wheels program at the church.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Harry H. Witzke Family Funeral Home, 4112 Old Columbia Pike in Ellicott City.

Mrs. Mitchell is survived by two daughters, Elaine Francik of Cockeysville and Ginny Weigel of Ellicott City; a son, Jack Mitchell of Orlando, Fla.; a sister, Hazel Wisman of Kensington; nine grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.


Cassia Eller, 39, one of the most irreverent singers of Brazilian rock music, died late Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

Ms. Eller was hospitalized Saturday in an "agitated and disoriented" state and died probably after an "external intoxication," hospital spokesman Gedalias Heringer Filho said.

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