Mary Eva King, 76, active in Arbutus community affairs

March 27, 2003|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Mary Eva King, an Arbutus homemaker who was active in community affairs and raised money for charities by selling homemade Easter candies, died of heart failure Monday at St. Agnes HealthCare. She was 76.

She was born Mary Eva Chew in Baltimore and raised on Leeds Avenue in Arbutus. A 1944 graduate of Seton High School, she worked for several years as a dispatcher at the B&O Railroad's Camden Station.

In 1947, she married Vernon J. King, her childhood sweetheart and next-door neighbor. A chemist who worked for the city of Baltimore, he died in 1996.

For years, Mrs. King was a member of the committee that planned the Arbutus community's annual Fourth of July Parade. She also was a co-founder in 1990 of its Citizens on Patrol and took an active role in the community security organization.

"She was called `The Ninja,' because she always dressed in black and carried a walkie-talkie when on patrol," said a son, Vernon J. King Jr. of Macon, Ga.

Mrs. King was also well known in Arbutus for her homemade Easter eggs, which she called "Mary Chew Easter Eggs." She donated the proceeds from the sale of the confection to various charities, family members said.

Mrs. King was a longtime active communicant of Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church in Arbutus.

She had been president of the Legion of Mary and was also a Eucharistic minister who brought Communion to the elderly and the homebound.

Since 1996, she had been living at the Little Sisters of the Poor's St. Martin's Home in Catonsville.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. today at St. Martin's Chapel, 601 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville.

Survivors include another son, John W. King of Holly Springs, N.C.; six daughters, Mary Rebecca Higgins of Memphis, Tenn., Eleanor R. VanDevender of Arbutus, Christine A. King of Columbia, Alyce L. Dassing of Elkridge, Sister Francis Gabriel Mary of Queens, N.Y., and Stephanie T. King of Baltimore; a brother, William B. Chew of Catonsville; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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