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Lorraine B. Irwin


Lorraine B. Irwin, a retired customer service employee for Sears, Roebuck & Co. who as a child was part of a touring vaudeville act with her mother, died yesterday of heart failure at the Meridian Nursing Center-Cromwell in Towson.

Graveside services for Mrs. Irwin, who was 85, will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Baltimore National Cemetery, 5500 Frederick Ave.

Born in Washington, the former Lorraine B. Berry was teamed with her mother, Lillian Blanche Berry, as a vaudeville duo that toured the country with numerous circuses, including the Hunt Bros. Circus.

Billed as "Baby Lorraine, the cutest kid in vaudeville," she and her mother toured the country for several years as a song and dance act.

Her father, John W. Berry, was the advance man for the circus.

After settling in Baltimore, she married William E. Irwin, a Bethlehem Steel Co. policeman, who died Thanksgiving Day 1941.

During World War II, Mrs. Irwin worked at the Bendix Radio Corp. in Towson, assembling radios for the Army Air Forces.

Later, she worked for Sears, at Mondawmin Mall for several years before she retired.

During her retirement years, Mrs. Irwin spent time reading to preschool children at the former Lida Lee Tall School at Towson State University.

She is survived by a daughter, Shirley Fox of Eldersburg; two sons, William E. Irwin Jr. of Clayton, N.C., and John Richard Irwin of Carney, a reporter for The Evening Sun; a sister, Doris McMinn of Denver; three nieces; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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