Ed Dodd, creator of 'Mark Trail,' dies...


Ed Dodd, creator of 'Mark Trail,' dies ATLANTA -- Cartoonist Ed Dodd, creator of "Mark Trail," the outdoorsman of the comics, died of congestive heart failure Monday at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga. He was 88.

Mr. Dodd, who underwent bypass surgery in 1984 and suffered a stroke in 1985, had been confined to a wheelchair at a Gainesville nursing home. He entered the hospital Monday afternoon.

He created "Mark Trail" in 1946, and it became a favorite of millions of newspaper readers. At Mr. Dodd's death, the strip was appearing in more than 200 newspapers, including The Evening Sun and Sunday Sun.

Mr. Dodd and two associates, Tom Hill and Jack Elrod, produced the comic strip for years, until Mr. Hill's death of a heart attack at 58 in 1978. Mr. Dodd both wrote and drew for the strip until 1960 and continued to write for it until retiring in 1980. Mr. Elrod, who lives in suburban Atlanta, writes and draws the strip today.

The strip has won numerous awards for its wholesomeness and its support of causes such as conservation and the preservation of endangered species.

A pipe was a "Mark Trail" trademark throughout Mr. Dodd's supervision of the strip. However, the pipe was dropped about 1983 after a young reader wrote Mr. Elrod describing the ill effects of smoking.

Mr. Dodd created "Mark Trail" at 43, while living in Gainesville and drawing "Back Home Again," a comic strip that by his own account was "mediocre."

Seeking a new subject, he turned to drawing a comic strip about the outdoors, "Mark Trail."

Who was the model for the comic strip?

"He's the kind of man I'd like to be," Mr. Dodd told an interviewer. "I'm short [5 feet 8 inches], he's tall. He's a handsome, black-haired man. You couldn't call me good-looking. He's a guy who excels at everything and I'm not a great fisherman or hunter, just a guy who likes to go. Mark lives my fantasies and daydreams and I enjoy it very much."

Mr. Dodd also wrote "Mark Trail's Book of North American Mammals," "Mark Trail's Outdoor Tips," "Flapfoot," "Chipper," "Today's World of Conservation," "Mark Trail's Fishing Tips," "Mark Trail's Hunting Tips," and "Mark Trail's Camping Tips."

Services for Zachary S. Lewis, a 6-year-old Monkton boy who drowned in a farm pond near his home Monday, will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Timonium Presbyterian Church, 303 W. Timonium Road.

Zach, as he was known, was a pre-first grade student at the St. James Academy in Monkton, where he also played on a lacrosse team.

The Baltimore native attended Sunday school classes at the Hunt Valley Presbyterian Church.

He is survived by his parents, Terry R. and Trevor C. Lewis Jr. of Monkton; a brother, Trevor C. Lewis III of Monkton; his maternal grandmother, Lesba G. Ruhl of Monkton; and his paternal grandmother, Helen T. Lewis of Willow Street, Pa.

A. Joel Levinson

Insurance underwriter

Services for A. Joel Levinson, who operated his own pension planning and insurance business, will be held at 11 a.m. today at the Sol Levinson & Bros. funeral home, 6010 Reisterstown Road.

Mr. Levinson, 48, died Monday of cancer at his home on Springbriar Lane in Pikesville.

He operated his business, Executive Consulting Services, for 25 years and was a Chartered Life Underwriter, a member of the American Society of Pension Actuaries and a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Born in Baltimore and a 1960 graduate of City College, he majored in insurance before his graduation in 1964 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He served on the board of the Beth El Congregation, as a commissioner of the Wellwood Little League and as a member of the golf and greens committees of the Woodholme Country Club.

Mr. Levinson was also fond of gardening, growing both flowers and vegetables from seeds started indoors.

He is survived by his wife, the former Deborah Simon; two sons, P. Andrew and Jonathan Brian Levinson, and a sister, Celeste W. Levinson. All are of Pikesville.

The family suggested memorial donations to the American Cancer Society, the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center or the McDonogh School.

Services for Jonathan L. Witherspoon, director of personnel at the Bank of Baltimore, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Charity Community Church, 3208 Frederick Ave.

Mr. Witherspoon, who was 36 and lived on Jody Knoll Road in the Hebbville area, died Sunday at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center at University Hospital after a blood vessel burst.

The Baltimore native started working for the bank 15 years ago when it was known as the Savings Bank of Baltimore.

He was a graduate of City College and Dickinson College.

A member of the board of the Baltimore County Division of the American Heart Association, he was a member of business and educational groups in the county. He served as treasurer of the South Baltimore Lions Club.

PD He is survived by his wife, the former Robin Sweets; a son, Jona

than D. Witherspoon, and a stepson, Dana Sweets, both of Hebbville; his mother, Mary Witherspoon of Baltimore; five sisters, Denise, Michele and Patricia Witherspoon, all of Cockeysville, Eula Witherspoon of Lochearn and Wanda Witherspoon of Baltimore; and seven brothers, Thomas and Jesse Witherspoon, both of Washington, Willard Witherspoon of Worcester, Mass., Gary Witherspoon of Boston, Michael Witherspoon of Hershey, Pa., Eugene Witherspoon of Philadelphia and Marvin Witherspoon of Baltimore.

George H. Eckert

Amateur radio operator

Services for George H. Eckert, a retired central office equipment repairman for the Chesapeake &Potomac; Telephone Co.in Baltimore, will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 6515 Loch Raven Blvd.

Mr. Eckert, who was 84 and lived in Bel Air, died Sunday at St. Joseph Hospital after an illness of several months.

He retired more than 20 years ago after 42 years with the telephone company and was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.

An amateur radio operator whose call letters were WA3PIN, he was also active in the Bel Air Senior Center and was a life member of the Sharon Lodge of the Masons and a former vestryman at St. Andrew's Church.

The Baltimore native was a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute.

His wife, the former Grace F. Wright, died in 1978.

He is survived by two daughters, Beverly Ray of Fallston and Jeanette Ayers of Baldwin; a sister, Miriam Schmidt of Randallstown; and three grandchildren.

C. D. Steinwedel

Research manager

C. Donald Steinwedel, a native of Baltimore and a retired administrative manager of research and development for a specialty steel company in Reading, Pa., died May 4 of cancer at a hospital there.

Mr. Steinwedel, who was 69, retired in 1985 after working 33 years for Carpenter Technology.

Mr. Steinwedel was a 1939 graduate of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and a 1943 graduate of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

He served in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War and during World War II in the China-Burma-India theater.

His wife, the former Virginia McDonald, died in 1985.

His survivors include a son, R. Craig Steinwedel of

Hummelstown, Pa.; a daughter, Judith A. Steinwedel of Washington; and a sister, Elizabeth A. Kinney of Bakersfield, Calif.

Services for Mr. Steinwedel were held May 7 at the First Presbyterian Church in Reading where he was an elder.

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