Nan Yarnall, 76, taught art, owned bookstore, aided recovering alcoholics

October 16, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Nan Yarnall, a former art instructor, bookstore owner and recovering alcoholic who spent years helping those similarly afflicted, died Wednesday of Alzheimer's disease at the Copper Ridge assisted-living facility in Sykesville. She was 76.

Miss Yarnall was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she was a graduate of the Germantown Friends School. She attended Wheaton College and the University of Pennsylvania.

During the 1950s, she was an art instructor at Sandy Spring Friends School, and during the 1960s and 1970s owned and operated the Cricket Book Shop in Olney.

In the early 1980s, she moved to a carriage house on Dixon Hill in Mount Washington, where she lived until moving to Copper Ridge in 1999.

Miss Yarnall - who had 17 years of sobriety - always celebrated her Alcoholics Anonymous anniversary on St. Patrick's Day, friends said. She was also a generous donor to drug and alcohol treatment programs.

"Nan is survived by hundreds of recovering alcoholics she helped, sponsored, supported and befriended," said Joseph V. Stewart, a Baltimore attorney and longtime friend. "She also contributed time, energy and her personal fortune to environmental and peace groups, animal benefit groups, the arts and culture."

Miss Yarnall enjoyed dressing in costume at Halloween, and her sense of humor was evidenced by the bumper stickers she created and handed out to friends.

"During one terrible winter, she used her copy machine and computer to create `Ice Happens' bumper stickers that were seen all over Baltimore," Mr. Stewart said. "She always had a sparkle in her eye and was fiercely independent until dementia robbed her of her ability to live alone and drive."

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 30 at Stony Run Friends Meeting, 5116 N. Charles St.

Miss Yarnall is survived by a brother, Jim Yarnall of Media, Pa., and several nieces and nephews.

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