Barbara Strozykowski, 53, rescue squad volunteer...

Deaths Elsewhere

January 14, 2002

Barbara Strozykowski, 53, rescue squad volunteer

Barbara Strozykowski, a Baltimore native and longtime resident of Western Maryland, died Thursday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian hospital from complications of heart and lung disease. She was 53.

A graduate of Eastern High School, Barbara Cassell attended the University of Maryland, College Park and Strayer Business School.

After marrying dentist Joseph G. Strozykowski, she went with him to live on a Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona where he worked for the U.S. Public Health Service. She volunteered at the front desk and in the medical records office at Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, where she also had her first two children.

In 1977, the family moved to LaVale in Allegany County, where she was employed for two years at Gehauf's Restaurant, cooking turkeys, hams and other bulk foods that were then sent up front to the short-order cooks. She was active in the Cumberland Jaycee Women and enjoyed volunteering for the LaVale Rescue Squad, working as a receptionist one day a week.

"When she had to be moved to the Pittsburgh hospital, the squad volunteered to drive her up for free," said her husband. "Of course, she knew everyone in the ambulance and they joked and had fun all the way up."

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Scarpelli Funeral Home in Cumberland.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by two sons, Staff Sgt. Brett Strozykowski of Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and Benjamin Strozykowski of LaVale; a daughter, Wendy Jones of LaVale; her father and stepmother, James R. and Lois Cassell of Savannah, Ga; a brother, Dick Cassell of Monkton; and three grandchildren.

John Wesley Ament Jr., 91, IRS division chief

John Wesley Ament Jr., a retired Internal Revenue Service division chief, died Jan. 7 of heart failure at the Sunrise Assisted Living facility in Columbia. He was 91 and had lived for 20 years in Epping Forest near Annapolis.

A graduate of Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Ament served with the Navy during World War II in the South Pacific as a shipboard radio operator. He worked for the IRS for more than 35 years, retiring at age 65 as chief of regulations and procedures.

He was a longtime member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and of the Amateur Radio Operators Association. He had been active in community affairs in Epping Forest, and was a founder of the civic association in Forestville, where he had lived previously.

An amateur artist, Mr. Ament also enjoyed fishing, tennis and chess.

Services were Thursday in Laurel.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Mildred A. Burger; a son, John T. Ament of Parma Heights, Ohio; two daughters, Janice A. Flores of Laurel and Mary E. Kelly of Crofton; a sister, Margaret Weeks of Plains, Mont.; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

E. Virginia Mathis, 83, homemaker, nurse

E. Virginia Mathis, a homemaker and registered nurse, died Wednesday of cancer at her home in Severna Park. She was 83.

Born in Honeybrook, Pa., Virginia Sagner was raised in Street and graduated from Harford High School in 1935. She graduated as a registered nurse from Maryland General Hospital School of Nursing in 1940.

Mrs. Mathis enjoyed ceramics and sewing and was a member of Pasadena United Methodist Church.

In 1953, she married I.E. Mathis, who survives her.

Funeral services were Saturday.

She also is survived by a daughter, Michele Mathis of Pasadena; a son, Gerald Mathis of Willow Street, Pa.; a sister, Margaret Jones of Sarasota, Fla.; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial contributions to Hospice of the Chesapeake, 8424 Veterans Highway, Millersville 21108.


Bill McCutcheon, 77, a Tony Award-winning comedy character actor who played the grandfatherly Uncle Wally for eight years on Sesame Street, died of natural causes Wednesday at a hospital in Ridgewood, N.J.

In his nearly 40-year acting career, Mr. McCutcheon appeared in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway shows, regional theater productions, television shows, commercials and movies, including Steel Magnolias, in which he played Shirley MacLaine's husband.

Mr. McCutcheon, who lived in Mahwah, N.J., played Leo the Leprechaun on the Howdy Doody television show, and won three daytime Emmys for contributing to Sesame Street on PBS as the bow tie- and cardigan-wearing Uncle Wally from 1984 to 1992, the year he retired.

He won the Tony for his role as a comic gangster on the lam in a 1988 revival of Anything Goes at Lincoln Center.

Gregorio Fuentes, 104, who was Ernest Hemingway's boat captain when the writer lived in Cuba, died yesterday in Havana. For nearly 30 years, Mr. Fuentes was captain, cook and friend to the American writer, and many say he was the inspiration for the protagonist in Mr. Hemingway's classic The Old Man and the Sea.

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