Barbara Kann Halle

Age 81: Voice of WBAL's 'Call for Action'

May 31, 2008|By Jacques Kelly

Barbara Kann Halle, a volunteer founder of WBAL radio's Call for Action program, died of respiratory failure May 24 at her Stevenson home. She was 81.

Born Barbara Kann in Baltimore and known as Kater, she was raised on Slade Avenue in Pikesville. She was the daughter of Eleanor May and Sol Kann, who managed the family-owned Kann's department store in downtown Washington.

Mrs. Halle was a 1945 Friends School graduate, and she earned a bachelor's degree at Vassar College.

In 1950, she married Robert Blum Jr. of New York, who died of leukemia the following year. In 1953, she married a Baltimorean, David H. Halle.

Mrs. Halle's voice was heard on Call for Action, a volunteer service she directed out of the Hooper Avenue radio studios. In 1985, she had 22 volunteers working alongside her on the phone lines.

"It was a call-for-help concept that handled thousands of calls from 11 to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday to help people get the help and the services they needed," said her daughter Margo Halle of Peekskill, N.Y. "Many of the calls led to television news reports, and some ended up in the courts."

In 1980, Mrs. Halle was honored by the city with a Baltimore's Best Award for her work. In 1988, she was recognized by WBAL for her eighteen years of service with the program.

A memorial gathering was held Wednesday.

In addition to her daughter, survivors include a son, Terry Halle of Stevenson; another daughter, Lisa Halle Hunt of Fairfax, Calif.; a sister, Diana Feldman of New York City; a stepson, David Halle Jr. of Green Spring Valley; two stepdaughters, Kay Halle and Pat Halle, both of Baltimore; and two grandchildren. Her husband died in 1996.

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