Sister Mary Dominic, 84, head of dietetics at Mercy

February 13, 2002|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Sister Mary Dominic, who oversaw the preparation of 1,200 meals daily at Mercy Medical Center, died Sunday of complications after surgery and a heart attack at the hospital. She was 84 and lived in Towson.

A member of the Sisters of Mercy order for 62 years, she was a nurse at the downtown Baltimore hospital before becoming director of its dietetics department from 1948 to 1982. She achieved a goal unusual in hospitals -- credited with serving tasty meals enjoyed by patients and staff.

"She was extremely hardworking, an excellent dietitian," said Dr. Vincent deP. Fitzpatrick, a Baltimore physician. "She was demanding -- everything had be just so, correct."

"She believed that every hospital food tray should be perfect," said Sister Elizabeth Anne Corcoran, a hospital administrator. "We still remember the hot fudge sundaes, milk shakes and banana nut bread she featured at the Forest Room, the hospital coffee shop."

Colleagues said she wanted the hospital's baked goods to set a high standard. After the Hutzler's department store closed its bakery, she hired its baker to produce Lady Baltimore and Wellesley fudge cakes for the hospital.

She also was heard on area radio stations for 50 years as organist on the Radio Mass of Baltimore, broadcast from the hospital's chapel beginning in 1946.

She was an accomplished knitter -- her work was featured at the Woman's Industrial Exchange on Charles Street -- and conducted Monday night knitting and crocheting classes at Marian House in Waverly for about 20 homeless women after she retired from the hospital.

"We've lost a Baltimore treasure," said Sister Augusta Reilly, a fellow sister who directs Marian House. "She was such an independent woman -- a tyrant in some ways because she was a perfectionist, but she had the tenderest heart of any woman I've ever known. She was so loving to people who were poor and addicted."

"She had the perseverance and the energy of a teen-ager. She seemed to never tire," said Bert Moore, a former Marian House resident and current board member.

Born Hedwig Karwacki in Baltimore and raised in a home atop her father's Fells Point pharmacy, she attended the Institute of Notre Dame in East Baltimore for 12 years and received her high school diploma there in 1935.

She graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in 1938. She had a bachelor's degree in nutrition from Misericordia College in Dallas, Pa., and master's degrees from the University of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University.

She was a lifelong Orioles fan and had season seats for Sunday home games.

Sister Dominic was a former governor of the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae, and in 1998 was named Catholic alumna of the year by its Maryland chapter.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Villa sisters' retirement center, 6806 Bellona Ave.

She is survived by three brothers, Edward Karwacki of Middleton, Ohio, Thomas Karwacki of Wanaque, N.J., and Alvin Karwacki of Garden Grove, Calif.; a sister, Joan Dovre of Charleston, S.C.; and 15 nieces and nephews.

Joseph V. Kelly Sr., 81, Teletype specialist, actor

Joseph V. Kelly Sr., a retired American Telephone & Telegraph Co. Teletype specialist and actor, died of cancer Thursday at his Perry Hall home. He was 81.

Mr. Kelly began his career as a lineman for Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. of Maryland in 1945, and retired in 1984 from his Teletype job at AT&T in Hunt Valley.

Born and raised in East Baltimore, Mr. Kelly attended public schools and later earned his high school equivalency diploma.

In the early years of World War II, Mr. Kelly worked as an electrician at Bethlehem Steel's Key Highway shipyard, where he helped construct the USS John W. Brown Liberty ship, which was launched in 1942.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served through the end of the war as a ground specialist with an air squadron in Lavenham, England. He attained the rank of corporal.

Last fall, Mr. Kelly revisited the John W. Brown -- one of the two operable Liberty ships left -- on a cruise with family and friends. "He showed us lights that he had wired during World War II," said a daughter, Colleen M. Kelly of Parkville.

Mr. Kelly's acting included work as an extra in the made-in-Baltimore movies Avalon and Tin Men, and in the television series Homicide: Life on the Streets. He also portrayed Lord Baltimore in a Maryland Division of Tourism promotional film.

He was a member of St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in Bradshaw, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday.

Mr. Kelly is also survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Audrey Hogan; three sons, Joseph V. Kelly Jr. of Baltimore, Michael A. Kelly of Arnold and Brian J. Kelly of Chester; two other daughters, Laura M. Warfield of Baldwin and Maureen K. Eckhard of Chester; and seven grandchildren.

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