Marie P. Haskins

[ Age 75 ] IRS auditor, secretary to Spiro Agnew

September 04, 2007|By Kelly Brewington | Kelly Brewington,Sun reporter

Marie Patricia Haskins, who was an IRS auditor and a secretary to Spiro T. Agnew, died of complications from dementia Thursday. She was 75.

Mrs. Haskins, who was born Marie Walter in Baltimore, was raised in the city's Hamilton neighborhood and graduated from St. Dominic School there.

After graduation, she lived in Germany, Rochester N.Y., Wichita, Kan., and Denver, holding numerous jobs.

She married Owen Thomas Carroll at St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church, and the couple moved to Germany, where he was stationed. There she learned to speak German.

After the marriage ended in divorce, she married Roland V. Haskins, who worked in avionics marketing. The couple moved to various cities to follow his work.

Along the way, Mrs. Haskins carved out her own career, working in Mr. Agnew's Towson office, said her son, Thomas Haskins of Fairfax, Va. Mr. Agnew rose from Baltimore County executive to become governor and then vice president under President Richard M. Nixon.

She told her son later that Mr. Agnew was kind, honest and an easygoing boss, he said.

Mrs. Haskins became an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service in Denver, a job that allowed her to couple her organizational skills with a love for math, her son said.

"She was always very good with numbers and finances," Thomas Haskins said. "In her job, she was fair but also compassionate with people being audited."

The couple returned to Baltimore in the 1970s, and Mrs. Haskins was a program analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Although she never sought an advanced degree, she enrolled in accounting courses at Baltimore-area community colleges, Thomas Haskins said.

After retiring, Mrs. Haskins volunteered as a counselor at the Baltimore chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives, helping entrepreneurs start businesses.

She loved to garden, and her orchids won several prizes at the Baltimore Flower Show, her son said.

She also loved dancing and until about three years ago, when she began experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, she frequented dance clubs to enjoy music, including country and pop.

"At 70 years old, she'd close the place up," Thomas Haskins said. "She was pretty amazing."

His mother constantly encouraged him to push himself, he said.

"She would say, `It's OK to go out and try something and fail,'" he said. "Sometimes that's the only way you learn. She was always willing to do that herself."

A service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Mrs. Haskins is also survived by two stepsons, Mike Thames and Mark Thames, whose places of residence were unavailable yesterday; a brother, Joseph Walter of Baltimore; and a sister, Margaret Walter of Baltimore.

kelly.brewington@baltsun.com

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