Dr. Charles B. Marek Sr., 90, gynecologist Dr. Charles...

February 12, 2002

Dr. Charles B. Marek Sr., 90, gynecologist

Dr. Charles B. Marek Sr., a retired Perry Hall gynecologist, died of pneumonia Feb. 5 at Southwest Florida Regional Hospital in Fort Myers. He was 90 and lived in Bowleys Quarters.

Born and raised in East Baltimore, he was a 1928 graduate of City College and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 1931. He earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1935.

Dr. Marek entered private practice in 1938. After Harford Memorial Hospital opened in Havre de Grace in 1940, he headed its gynecology department until the 1960s. He also had offices in Baltimore's Medical Arts Building and later in Perry Hall.

In 1945, Dr. Marek was one of the first physicians in the area to advocate a modified radical mastectomy for breast cancer, which later became the standard procedure for many years, said his son, Dr. Charles B. Marek Jr., who joined his father's practice in 1975.

Dr. Marek wrote widely on gynecological issues and was a founding member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

He enjoyed entertaining family and friends at his waterfront home in Bowleys Quarters, and spent winters at a second home in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.

He was married for 57 years to the former Marie B. Kliment, who died in 1993.

Services were held yesterday.

In addition to his son, Dr. Marek is survived by his wife of seven years, the former Rita M. Schimunek; two daughters, Wendy M. Wells of Lutherville and Marie M. Jones of Phoenix, Baltimore County; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Deloris H. Thomas, 77, assistant principal

Deloris H. Thomas, a retired Baltimore County public schools educator, died of heart failure Feb. 5 at Oak Crest Village in Parkville, where she had lived for more than four years. She was 77 and formerly resided in Timonium.

Mrs. Thomas had been assistant principal of Dulaney High School from 1978 until her retirement in 1986. Earlier, she was a librarian and assistant principal at Cockeysville Middle School and, from 1948 to 1957, an English teacher and librarian at Sparrows Point High School.

"She enjoyed the challenge of working with troubled and difficult students," said her son, Bradley S. Thomas of Timonium. "She gave them the confidence to apply to colleges."

Born Deloris Hartke in Elkridge, she was a 1941 graduate of Elkridge High School and earned a degree in education in 1945 from Western Maryland College, where she served on the board of trustees in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1974, she received a master's degree in education from what is now Towson University.

In 1946, she married Floyd O'Neil Thomas, an engineer who died in 1993.

Services were held Friday.

She is also survived by another son, Jeffrey T. Thomas of San Francisco, and two granddaughters.

Mary Patricia Higgins, 71, St. Anthony parishioner

Mary Patricia Higgins, long active in her Catholic parish in Baltimore, died Friday of a brain hemorrhage at Chesapeake General Hospital in Chesapeake, Va. She was 71.

Born in Baltimore, she spent most of her life here before moving to Chesapeake two years ago. She was the youngest of four sisters, none of whom survives her. She attended St. Ann's Elementary School and graduated from Seton High School.

She was an internal auditor for about 13 years for Mercantile Bankshares Corp. and was also a member of St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Baltimore. She was a Eucharistic minister, volunteered with the church's May Festival, served on its committee for adult education, and was involved in its charitable activities.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. Anthony of Padua, 4420 Frankford Ave.

She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Martin Kevin Higgins; two sons, Chris Higgins of Concord, N.C., and Dan Higgins of Chesapeake; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Elsewhere

Jack Henry Abbott, 58, who turned his letters from prison to author Norman Mailer into the best-selling book In the Belly of the Beast, was found dead Sunday morning in a suicide in his cell at a prison in Alden, N.Y., the state Department of Corrections said.

Mr. Abbott gained fame from writing the best-seller, composed of letters he wrote to Mr. Mailer from prison between 1978 and 1981. During those years, Mr. Abbott was behind bars first for bank robbery and then for fatally stabbing another inmate. Mr. Mailer supported Mr. Abbott's parole, but six weeks after Mr. Abbott was released in 1981, he fatally stabbed a 22-year-old aspiring actor outside a New York City restaurant and was sent back to prison.

He was denied parole in August.

Dave Van Ronk, 65, a New York-born guitarist and singer who was at the forefront of the Greenwich Village folk boom, died Sunday of heart failure after treatment for colon cancer.

A prolific musician who was nominated for a Grammy, Mr. Van Ronk offered his home as a hangout for fellow musicians in the 1960s. Among them was a young Bob Dylan. Inspired by a haunting version of "House of the Rising Sun" released by Mr. Van Ronk, Mr. Dylan performed it on his debut album.

Mr. Van Ronk received a Grammy nomination in 1996 for his record "From ... Another Time and Place."

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