Edna M. Plater, 102

Machinist's helper

December 19, 2007

Edna M. Plater, a retired machinist's helper who enjoyed entertaining family and friends and cooking, died of heart failure Thursday at her Northwest Baltimore home. She was 102.

Edna Margaurite Boardly was born in Baltimore, the daughter of a bootblack and a domestic worker. She was raised on Stockton Street and later Carey Street.

She attended city public schools until the seventh grade, when she left to help support her family.

In 1923 she married William Plater, a roofer. Mr. Plater died in 1992.

She went to work in 1922 for the Carr-Lowery Glass Co. in Westport, where she was a machinist's helper for the next 37 years. She retired in 1959.

The longtime Crismer Avenue resident enjoyed crocheting and word games and was an accomplished cook whose Sunday dinners were legend among family and friends.

"She cooked cabbage, ham and white potatoes and served a sweet potato pie that would melt in your mouth," said a daughter, the Rev. Alice E. James of Baltimore, associate minister at Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church.

"Every Sunday, she'd bake bread and nice big rolls, and when dinner was over, she'd entertain in what she called her `parlor' or living room," Mrs. James added.

Mrs. Plater had been a member of Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church since 1913.

Mrs. James said her mother neither smoked nor drank and reached age 102 because of her "faith in God and taking a little exercise."

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at her church, 4016 Park Heights Ave.

Also surviving are two sons, William Plater Jr. and Johnny Plater, both of Baltimore; two other daughters, Lorraine Garner and Patricia Russell, both of Baltimore; 15 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren.

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