Della K. McKnew

Age 91: Lawyer was a Corps of Engineers administrative judge.

June 25, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Della K. McKnew, a retired Army Corps of Engineers administrative judge and Severna Park resident, died of pneumonia Sunday at Tate Hospice in Linthicum. She was 91.

Della Karpeles was born and raised in Washington. She was a 1934 graduate of Central High School and earned her bachelor's degree from Goucher College in 1938.

During World War II, she worked in Washington as a secretary for the Chinese Purchasing Commission.

While attending Catholic University of America's law school, from which she earned a law degree in 1954, Mrs. McKnew was a secretary for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Mrs. McKnew, who was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1954, became a lawyer for the Corps of Engineers.

Several years later, she became district counsel for the Baltimore district of the Corps.

Later in her career, she was named an administrative judge with the Corps of Engineers' Board of Contract Appeals in Washington.

At her retirement in 1985, she was awarded the Army's Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

The former Northeast Baltimore, Laurel and Riviera Beach resident who had lived in Severna Park since 2000, had been married for 50 years to Benjamin P. McKnew Jr., a Westinghouse Electric Corp. master machinist, who died in 1989.

Mrs. McKnew enjoyed flower gardening, reading and playing mah-jongg.

She was an active member of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, 611 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., where services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Surviving are a son, Benjamin Preston McKnew III of Pasadena; a daughter, Rosemary M. Mayes of Pasadena; a brother, Leo Karpeles of Crownsville; and four grandchildren. She was predeceased by a son, John Cliff McKnew; and a daughter, Jane Cowan McKnew.

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