Frances M. Spath

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Frances M. "Peg" Spath, a homemaker who enjoyed vacationing in Ocean City, died July 22 of a stroke at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. She was 98.

The daughter of Dr. John Milton King, a dentist, and Francesca Heinekamp King, a homemaker, Frances Margaret King was born in Norwich, Conn., and when she was 9, moved with her family to Baltimore.

After graduating in 1933 from the old Seton High School, where she played varsity basketball, she went to work as a comptometer operator — using an early adding machine — at the old Esso Oil Co. refinery in Canton.

While working at Esso, she met her future husband, Walter F. Spath, whom she married in 1937. Because of her husband's career at Esso, which later became Exxon, they lived in Salisbury, Bethesda, Wilmington, Del., Richmond, Va., and Geneva.

They later settled in Pelham Manor, N.Y. Her husband, who rose to become an Exxon executive, died in 1998.

Family members said Mrs. Spath, who had recently moved to New Rochelle, N.Y., spent 90 summers vacationing in Ocean City.

"She spent them with her family, whom she gathered from far and wide each summer," said a daughter, Carol F. Romano of Ocean Pines.

Mrs. Spath was a master bridge player and also liked poker. She enjoyed playing tennis and golf, and knitting and doing crossword puzzles.

She was also known for a keen sense of humor and "quick comebacks," her daughter said.

Mrs. Spath was an honorary member of the Manor Club in Pelham Manor, where she was active in its drama section.

She was a longtime communicant of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in Pelham Manor, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Aug. 14.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Spath is survived by two sons, Walter F. Spath Jr. of Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif., and Robert W. Spath of Midlothian, Va.; two other daughters, Patricia A. Eaton of New Rochelle and Margaret M. Golger of Fairfield, Conn.; 17 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com