Sarah "Virginia" Littleton, a retired nurse and part owner of a Baltimore County pharmacy and nursing home, died Thursday at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson of renal failure complicated by a stroke.

She was 83.

Mrs. Littleton, born Sarah Meyer in Baltimore, was raised in Highlandtown by a grandmother, Sarah Pugh Meyer. Mrs. Littleton's father, a shipbuilder for Bethlehem Steel, also lived with them.

As a young woman, Mrs. Littleton worked for General Motors as an operator of a comptometer, a mechanical calculator, but she quit her job to care for her terminally ill grandmother.

The experience spurred her to enroll in nursing school. In 1952, she graduated from the Franklin Square School of Nursing and afterward worked as a nurse in Fullerton and Sparrows Point.

While working part-time as a nurse at Franklin Square Hospital, she met Dr. John B. Littleton, a family practitioner.

They were married in 1954. Five years later they moved to Timonium, where Mrs. Littleton lived until her death. The Littletons had five children.

Mrs. Littleton nursed a half-dozen terminally ill relatives, including a sister and a daughter, in their homes.

Mrs. Littleton, whose husband died about 15 years ago, lived in the Mercy Ridge Retirement Community in Timonium for the past few years.

Mrs. Littleton enjoyed playing bridge and golfing, mainly at the Hillendale Country Club, where she was a longtime member. She also liked to garden and served as historian for the Dulaney Valley Gardening Club.

A volunteer for Franklin Square Hospital, Mrs. Littleton was the hospital auxiliary's president from 1981 to 1983 and was a buyer for the hospital's gift shop.

"She was very dedicated to that hospital," said daughter Susan C.L. Theuns, of Fallston.

Mrs. Littleton also had been part owner of Eastpoint Medical Center Pharmacy, a Southeast Baltimore County drugstore that was sold in the 1980s. She was also a part owner of Eastpoint Nursing Home, which was sold in the 1990s. Mrs. Littleton's husband was part of a medical practice tied to both businesses.

A memorial service for Mrs. Littleton will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Timonium United Methodist Church, 2300 Pot Spring Road, Timonium.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Littleton is survived by two sons, John B. Littleton Jr. of Baldwin and Scott M. Littleton of Bel Air; 13 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two daughters. She is also survived by a half-sister, Mae Skarzinski, of Naples, Fla. and two half-brothers, George Meyer of Towson and Brian Meyer of Chicago, Ill.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

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