Elsinor Towson Roman, 94, Evening Sun secretary

October 02, 2003

Elsinor Towson Roman, a former Evening Sun secretary who worked for H.L. Mencken, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care.

Mrs. Roman, who was a descendant of Gen. Nathan Towson, a Mexican War hero for whom Towson was named, was 94.

She was born and reared Elsinor Towson in Baltimore and graduated in 1927 from Western High School. She worked during the early 1930s as a legal secretary for the Baltimore law firm of Smith, Smith, Cross and Simpson.

In 1938, she came to work at The Evening Sun as secretary for three months and worked for Mr. Mencken, who was temporarily serving as the newspaper's editorial page editor. She later worked for eight years for Philip M. Wagner, his successor.

"Your quickness and accuracy at dictation, your ready grasp of editorial routine, and your capacity for getting on pleasantly with the staff certainly made my own job much easier than it might have been otherwise," wrote Mr. Mencken in a farewell note to Mrs. Roman.

From 1967 until 1975, she was a secretary for the Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Department. During the 1980s, Mrs. Roman returned to the Sunpapers' editorial department, where she served as a summer replacement for vacationing secretaries.

She was a longtime volunteer in the gift shop at Greater Baltimore Medical Center and was a familiar presence for many years in Towson's annual July Fourth Parade. She would dress in a Colonial-era dress and ride atop a horse-drawn surrey or a vintage automobile.

Mrs. Roman lived in Northwood for 61 years before moving to the home of a niece in Glen Arm this year.

She was an accomplished artist, using oil paint and charcoal, and enjoyed playing bridge. She was a member of Grace United Methodist Church, Hillside Garden Club, Woman's Club of Roland Park and The Geezers, a weekly luncheon club of retired Sunpapers alumni.

She was married for 28 years to Donald P. Roman, a judge of the old Baltimore City Traffic Court, who died in 1967.

Services are private.

Mrs. Roman is survived by a niece, Linda T. Bosley of Glen Arm; two great-nephews; and a great-niece.

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