Dr. Elizabeth A. Karns, obstetrician-gynecologist, dies

Dr. Elizabeth A. Karns, a retired Baltimore obstetrician and gynecologist, died Friday of a stroke at her home in Salem, N.J. She was 93.

Elizabeth Acton, the daughter of an insurance executive and a homemaker, was born and raised in Salem, N.J.

After graduating in 1935 from Centenary Collegiate Institute in Hackettstown, N.J., she earned her bachelor's from American University in Washington in 1939.

Dr. Karns earned her medical degree in 1943 from the University of Maryland Medical School, where she completed an internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology.

She married Dr. James R. Karns, also a University of Maryland Medical School graduate and an internist, in 1945.

The couple practiced medicine together in the old Medical Arts Building at Cathedral and Read streets. She retired in the late 1960s, and her husband continued practicing until retiring in 1982.

The longtime residents of LaBelle Avenue in Ruxton returned to Salem in 1982, where they purchased and restored her family's historic 18th-century Market Street home.

"It is an historically documented house and had been a stop on the Underground Railroad," said Helen Acton, a niece who lives in Salem. "There is a large historical marker that was placed by the state in front of the house."

Dr. Karns' husband died in 1992.

Dr. Karns was an avid gardener and an active member of the Shawosa Garden Club in Salem.

She also was a world traveler.

Dr. Karns was a communicant of St. John's Episcopal Church, 76 Market St., Salem, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 6.

Also surviving is a son, James Acton Karns of West Burke, Vt. She was predeceased by her daughter, Ellen Karns.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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