Karen Stallard, 58, bookkeeper, collected antique toys

June 20, 2006

Karen Lee Stallard, a bookkeeper who collected vintage cosmetic compacts and antique lead toy figures, died of brain cancer Friday at her home in Anneslie, in Baltimore County near Rodgers Forge. She was 58.

Karen Lee Finkbinder was born in Baltimore and raised in Towson.

She was a 1965 graduate of Towson High School and earned an associate's degree with honors in 1967 from Villa Julie College.

For the past 31 years, Mrs. Stallard had been employed as a bookkeeper for Henry Adams Inc., a consulting engineering firm in Towson.

About a decade ago, Mrs. Stallard began collecting cosmetic compacts from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and toy figures that dated to the 1920s and 1930s.

"We started going to antique shows and we'd buy a couple of figures or compacts, and it just kind of grew," said her husband of 37 years, John W. Stallard, a Baltimore County Health Department social worker. "It was just something that we enjoyed doing together."

Norman Joplin, a renowned English collector of lead toy soldiers and figures who wrote widely on the subject, featured Mrs. Stallard's collection in his book, Hollow Cast Civilian Toy Figures, published last year.

"Her collection of figures numbered several thousand and she had them displayed on shelves in our club basement," her husband said.

Mrs. Stallard was also a gourmet cook who enjoyed entertaining.

"She also collected cookbooks and was known for her Christmas Eve parties," Mr. Stallard said.

Mrs. Stallard was a communicant of Epiphany Episcopal Church, 2216 Pot Spring Road, Timonium, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday.

Also surviving are a daughter, Laura A. Petza of Idlewylde; a brother, T.R. Finkbinder of Bethesda; two grandchildren; and three nieces.

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