Phyllis M. Chait, 87, homemaker and genealogist

March 21, 2006

Phyllis M. Chait, a homemaker who was an official of genealogical societies, died of congestive heart failure Saturday at the Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Guilford resident was 87.

Born Phyllis Markle in Quarryville, Pa., she attended Lancaster County public schools and was a reporter for the Lancaster Intelligencer. After moving to Baltimore in 1945, she headed The Sun's promotions department until 1949.

For 40 years, she belonged to the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century and served as its national president from 1977 to 1979. She was also a founding member of its Terra Mariae Chapter.

A descendant of Capt. Edward Edgerly, an American Revolutionary Army officer who was killed during the Battle of Eutaw Springs in South Carolina, Mrs. Chait pursued an interest in genealogy throughout her life.

She also traced her lineage to Jacob Eichholtz, a Pennsylvania-based portrait painter. In the late 1990s, Mrs. Chait donated a pair of his portraits to the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum at Constitution Hall in Washington.

Through her association with Eichholtz, she also belonged to the Flagon and Trencher Society, an organization whose members are the descendants of Colonial tavern-keepers.

In 1980, she was inducted into the Maryland Genealogical Society's Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Chait enjoyed paintings and collected Baltimore Federal Period antiques. She belonged to the Tree Arts Club of Homeland and the Baltimore Museum of Art's Friends of the American Wing.

Her husband of more than 45 years, Harold B. Chait, an executive vice president of Boston Metals, died in 1999.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the Henry W. Jenkins funeral home, 16924 York Road, Monkton.

Among her survivors are four nephews, Joseph W. Parker of Memphis, Tenn., Timothy E. Parker and John C. Parker, both of Baltimore, and Mark E. Parker of Millers; and a niece, Pamela Hall of Lancaster, Pa.

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