Orville H. Parks Jr., 77, insurance broker Orville H...

Deaths Elsewhere

February 20, 2002

Orville H. Parks Jr., 77, insurance broker

Orville H. Parks Jr., a retired insurance broker, died of cancer Feb. 13 at a hospice in Palm Beach, Fla. He was 77 and lived in Annapolis.

Before his retirement 17 years ago, he was a Travelers Life Insurance Co. manager and salesman in its offices in downtown Baltimore and in Washington.

Born and raised in Cambridge, Mr. Parks sailed with his father, Orville H. Parks Sr., an oyster dredger and crabber.

Their workboat, the Rosie Parks, is in the collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. Family members said the boat has been exhibited at Baltimore's Inner Harbor and at Sandy Point State Park.

Mr. Parks was a 1943 graduate of Cambridge High School and received a degree in business from the University of Maryland, College Park. He served in the Marine Corps in the 1940s.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. March 1 at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery chapel, Branch Avenue and Crain Highway, Brandywine.

Mr. Parks is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Ruth Willey; three daughters, Sharon Weber of Hunt Valley, Janis Beach of Annapolis and Bonnie Ruest of Owings; a sister, Wilma Chatham of Cambridge; and six grandchildren.

Cherie Whitman, 76, ex-Owings Mills resident

Cherie Whitman, a homemaker and former Owings Mills resident, died Saturday of a cerebral hemorrhage at a hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, where she had lived since 1986. She was 76.

Born Cherie Davenport in Auckland, she was married for 52 years to Baltimore-born Edward B. Whitman Jr., who was an Air Force colonel and State Department military attache. He died in 1999.

The couple lived in Prague in the Czech Republic, Nigeria, Senegal and Casablanca in Morocco, but frequently returned to Baltimore, where Mr. Whitman was raised. They lived on Garrison Forest Road in Owings Mills from 1978 to 1985.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

Mrs. Whitman is survived by a son, Edward B. Whitman III of Towson; a daughter, Celia W. Osborne of Clint, Texas; a sister, Audrey Selby of Auckland; and six grandchildren.

J. Prestley Fisher Jr., 80, NASA budget analyst

J. Prestley Fisher Jr., a retired accountant and World War II pilot, died of cancer Saturday at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 80 and lived in Towson.

A certified public accountant, he retired about 15 years ago from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, where he had worked as a budget analyst since 1962. He had earlier been an accountant for the U.S. Coast Guard and Crown Cork and Seal.

Born in Baltimore and raised on West Lanvale Street, he was a graduate of St. Edward Parochial School and attended St. Charles College, a Roman Catholic seminary in Catonsville, before graduating from Mount St. Joseph High School in 1940. He earned a degree in accounting from the Baltimore College of Commerce.

He joined the Army Air Forces during World War II, and his assignments included flying 15 missions over Japan.

Mr. Fisher lived for many years in Linthicum Heights, where he was a founding member of St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic parish. He enjoyed dancing, playing bridge and solving crossword puzzles.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. today at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 N. Charles St., where he was a member.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 30 years, the former Anita Heckrotte. His first wife, Mary DeBlase, died in 1965.

He is also survived by a daughter, Kathleen Notari of Linthicum, and three grandchildren.

Robert A. Castagnetti, 80, Balto. County employee

Robert A. Castagnetti, a retired Baltimore County employee, died of pneumonia Thursday at Franklin Square Hospital Center. He was 80 and lived in White Marsh.

He retired in 1982 as contracts chief for the county Department of Public Works.

Born in Baltimore and raised on South Hanover Street, he was a 1939 graduate of Southern High School and studied engineering at the Johns Hopkins University.

He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II, attaining the rank of sergeant.

As a young man, Mr. Castagnetti was a blacksmith at Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point plant and later worked for general contractors. He built his home in the Long Green section of Baltimore County.

He enjoyed taking group tours to Hawaii, Canada and the Caribbean arranged by his wife of 58 years, the former Kitty Schmuck, who survives him.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 12:30 p.m. today at Our Lady Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church, 10003 Bird River Road, Middle River, where he was a member.

He also is survived by a son, Robert J. Castagnetti of Rosedale; two daughters, Peggy Gabrish of Baltimore and Michele Gibson of Deale; and five grandchildren.

Ben Kowitz, 86, owned Baltimore grocery stores

Ben Kowitz, a Holocaust survivor who formerly owned 13 Baltimore grocery stores, died of respiratory failure Monday at Northwest Hospital Center. He was 86 and lived in Pikesville.

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