Margaret K. Murray, who worked in real estate sales and was a defense worker during World War II, died of lung cancer Monday at her Hampstead home. She was 85.
She was born Margaret Ann Kauffman near Walker's Switch in northern Baltimore County, and was raised in Parkton and Hampstead.
A 1938 graduate of Hampstead High School, she worked during the late 1930s at the Remington-Putnam bookstore at North Charles and Mulberry streets in downtown Baltimore.
"One of her regular customers was H.L. Mencken. She said the experience was kind of interesting but remembered him being a grumpy character," said son-in-law Michael Holmes of Gaithersburg.
During World War II, Mrs. Murray worked at the Bendix Frieze instrument manufacturing plant in Towson, making human hair-based hygrometers, which are used for measuring humidity.
In 1971, she earned her real estate license and worked for about a decade selling property for Donald Grempler and Associates in Towson.
Mrs. Murray, who had lived in Baynesville and Towson, moved to Hampstead in 1978.
As a volunteer with the Carroll County Literacy Council, she tutored adults and children. She also tutored children at Pleasant Plains Elementary School in Baltimore County and was a volunteer with Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.
Mrs. Murray was a member of the Woman's Club of Hampstead and the Hampstead Lions Club, as well as the Piney Branch Golf Club Ridge, where she enjoyed playing golf until she was 84.
A book lover, she was a member of the Westminster and North Carroll book clubs; she also started an investment club and enjoyed playing bridge,
She was married for seven years to E. Carroll "Buck" Murray, a retired John Deere salesman, who died in 1985. An earlier marriage to Chester W. Snyder ended in divorce.
Mrs. Murray was an active member of St. John's United Methodist Church, 1205 N. Main St., Hampstead, where a memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Dec. 3.
Also surviving are a daughter, Marguerite G. Holmes of Gaithersburg; two sisters, Charlotte K. Railey and Jesse E. Wallace, both of Parkville; and several nieces and nephews.