Harry Oglesby, 84, activist, voting machine technician

April 14, 2005

Harry Oglesby, a retired election machine technician and Cherry Hill activist, died of complications from diabetes Friday at Harbor Hospital. He was 84.

Born in Gaffney, S.C., he moved to Baltimore in 1942 and served two tours in the Army -- in World War II and the Korean War.

He was a truck mechanic's helper at the old Rice's Bakery on Gay Street until 1966, when he became a city Liquor Board inspector. He later became a city voting machine technician and supervised machine storage until retiring about 20 years ago.

A Republican, he was a State Central Committee delegate to the 1968 Republican National Convention at Miami -- supporting the presidential candidacy of Nelson A. Rockefeller. He was also a past president of the Cherry Hill Republican Club and ran a 1960 voter registration drive there.

He was president of the Roundview Improvement Association and belonged to the Coordinating Council of Cherry Hill.

"My father believed, if you lived in a neighborhood, you should work to improve it. He had a strong work ethic, and he always believed you should say, `Thank you,'" said his daughter, Sondra Brooker of Philadelphia. "He was soft-spoken, but he was always able to get things done."

In 1967 he was named Father of the Year by Cherry Hill United Presbyterian Men.

His wife of 56 years, the former Elma Prescott, died in 2001.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church, 819 Cherry Hill Road, where he was an elder, trustee and usher. A 10 a.m. wake precedes the services.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include two sons, Herman Oglesby and James Oglesby, both of Baltimore; another daughter, Lorraine Grattan of Cleveland; 19 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren. A son, Harry Oglesby Jr., died in 2001.

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