Fled Russian revolution
Services for Jacob Umansky, a retired tailor who was born in Russia and emigrated to North America after the 1917 Russian revolution, will be held today at 2 p.m. at the Sol Levinson & Bros. Home, 6010 Reisterstown Road.
Mr. Umansky, who had lived with his son, Paul, in Baltimore for the past 25 years, died Friday of heart failure at Baltimore County General Hospital.
He was 93.
Born in the Russian town of Berezovka, Mr. Umansky learned his trade at his father's knee. When the revolution broke out, he packed up his sewing machine and carried it across Europe and caught a boat to South America with his brother.
He later sold the sewing machine and migrated to Montreal, where he met Mary Kalatzowa, a woman who happened to be from his small Russian hometown. They were married in 1930.
In 1947, the couple and their two children moved to New York, where Mr. Umansky continued his trade. He retired in 1954 and moved with his wife to Los Angeles, where they resided for 13 years before coming to Baltimore.
In addition to Mr. Umansky's wife and son, survivors include his daughter, Pearl Umansky of Pittsburgh; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren, including twins born 40 minutes before he died.
The family suggested memorial contributions be made to the American Heart Foundation or the Save A Heart Foundation.
Benjamin A. Ring
Benjamin Arthur Ring, a Catonsville native and retired University of North Dakota philosophy professor, died Jan. 30 of acute leukemia at his home in DeSoto, Wis. He was 66.
Mr. Ring attended Catonsville High School, the University of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University.
He taught at the University of North Dakota from 1961 until his retirement in 1990. He was the philosophy department chairman for many years.
Mr. Ring was active in the Democratic Party and ran unsuccessfully for the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1982. His daughter, Jennifer Ring of Grand Forks, N.D., is serving her second term in the North Dakota House.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife, Beatrice Thornton Ring of DeSoto; another daughter, Abigail Ring of LaCrescent, Minn.; a brother, Edwin P. Ring of Annapolis; a sister, Hazel R. Johnson of Baltimore; a niece, Sylvia J. Eggleston-Wehr of Baltimore; and a granddaughter.
Mr. Ring asked that a wake be held in his memory next year.
The family suggested contributions to a tree fund created in his memory in care of Patricia Sanborn, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D. 58202.
Wanda E. Brooke
Wanda E. Brooke, a bookkeeper at G. Fava Fruit Co. more than 30 years, died of a stroke at her East Baltimore home on May 28. She was 81.
In the mid-1930s, Mrs. Brooke started working for the Fava company, a fruit wholesaler that at the time was located at the present site of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. She retired from the company, which has since moved to Jessup, in 1969.
Her work career began in the late 1920s with a now-defunct department store on Broadway in East Baltimore and for United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co.
The former Wanda Urbanski was born in Baltimore, the youngest of eight children of Elizabeth and Wladyslaw Urbanski, a founder of the Polish Home on South Broadway.
She graduated from Eastern High School and from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She played the piano for the pleasure of her family, as well as at the Polish Home Hall.
Her husband, Casimir Brooke, a longshoreman also from Baltimore, died in 1980. Their son, Robert C. Brooke, died in 1989.
She is survived by a granddaughter, four great-grandchildren, two nieces and a nephew.
A Mass of Christian burial was offered June 1 at St. Brigid's Roman Catholic Church in Canton.
Alice E. Cleveland
Wife of president's son
Alice Erdman Cleveland, the wife of a son of President Grover Cleveland, died June 12 of a severe kidney infection at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, N.H. She was 88.
Mrs. Cleveland's late brother-in-law, Richard F. Cleveland of Roland Park, was a civic leader and an attorney with the Baltimore firm of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes. He died in 1974.
Her daughter, Marion C. Cohen, lives in Baltimore.
In 1931, Mrs. Cleveland and her husband, Francis G. Cleveland, started the Barnstormers Theatre in Tamworth, N.H. Mrs. Cleveland sold tickets and served as treasurer for many years.
She also taught Sunday school at the Tamworth Congregational Church and was a member of the Tamworth Community Nurses Association and the Tamworth Garden Club.
Mrs. Cleveland was born in Germantown, Pa.
In addition to her daughter, her survivors include her husband of 67 years, who lives in Tamworth, and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held this summer at the Barnstormers Theatre. The family suggested memorial contributions to the Barnstormers Theatre, Tamworth, N.H. 03886, or the New Hampshire Humane Society, Meredith Center Road, Laconia, N.H. 03246.
Car wash entrepreneur
Reuben "Barney" Rice, a decorated combat veteran of World War II who built one of the first automatic self-serve car washes in Baltimore and expanded to a chain of nine under the name Whiz Car Wash Corp., died of a heart attack June 4 while driving his car in the city. He was 80.
Born in Baltimore, he graduated in 1929 from City College and in 1933 from the University of Baltimore, where he majored in accounting.
He began his working career as an office manager for E. Kahn & Co., a liquor distributor located at Pennsylvania and North avenues that went out of business about 45 years ago.
From 1941 to 1946, he was a warrant officer in the U.S. Army. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his participation in the Battle of the Bulge.
Between 1948 and 1955, he owned and operated Barney's Liquor Store on Pulaski Highway. Then he built the Dolfield Car Wash on Dolfield Avenue, the first in his eventual chain of nine in the Baltimore area.
He and his wife had been active members of the Beth Jacob and the Beth Tfiloh congregations. Mr. Rice also was a member of the Gamma Eta Sigma fraternity and the Safety First Club.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Sara Sigel; a daughter, Rosalind Rice Levinson; a son, Benson M. Rice; and four grandchildren. All are of Baltimore.
He also is survived by two brothers, Bernard Rice of Baltimore and Howard Rice of Rockville.
Services were held June 5 at the Sol Levinson & Bros. Home. Services for John Leroy Valentine, a barber shop manager and steelworker for Bethlehem Steel, will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Holy Covenant Church, 5657 The Alameda.
Mr. Valentine, who lived in Lochearn and was known as Leroy, died Wednesday of a heart attack at Sinai Hospital. He was 66.
After his arrival in Baltimore from his hometown of Bracey, Va., Mr. Valentine worked for 39 years at the steelmaker's Sparrows Point plant.
For 30 years he also cut hair and managed a barber shop on Poplar Grove Avenue in West Baltimore before closing the establishment and opening a new shop last year on Gwynn Oak Avenue in Woodlawn.
Mr. Valentine graduated from high school in South Hill, Va.
He was a member of the Masons and the United Steelworkers of America.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, the former Willa Alexander; seven daughters, Carolyn Altson of Silver Spring, Iris Harris of Bracey, Betty Alexander of St. Louis and Shirley Alexander, Catherine Cloyd and Carolyn Moody, all of Baltimore; three sons, Robert Alexander, Spencer Alexander and Charles Alexander, all of Baltimore; three sisters, Christine Hatcher, Florence Valentine and Doris Valentine, all of Baltimore; four brothers, Oliver Valentine and Saunders Valentine, both of Baltimore, Junius Valentine of Richmond, Va., and Lawrence Valentine of Bracey; and 15 grandchildren.
Herbert O. Howard
Retired city policeman
Funeral services for Herbert O. Howard, a retired Baltimore policeman, will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road, Towson.
Mr. Howard, a lifetime resident of Govans, died of congestive heart failure Thursday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 93.
He served on the city police force for 32 years, mostly in the Northwestern District. He retired in 1960. In 1935, he was given the distinction of driving one of the first radio-equipped police cars in the city.
Mr. Howard later worked at what now is Provident Bank of Maryland for five years and for more than two decades devoted much of his time to helping others.
"He was busy all the time," said his son, Robert R. Howard of Lutherville.
Mr. Howard volunteered at his church and especially liked to drive places, visiting shut-ins, taking people grocery shopping or taking stranded motorists to repair shops. "I think he'll be missed by a lot of people because of that," his son said.
He was born in Calvert County, but moved with his family to the Govans area before he was 1 year old. .
He served as an Army artilleryman in France in World War I.
He was an avid researcher of early 1900s Govans history, and in his later years was himself a source of information on the neighborhood.
He was a lifetime member of Govans Presbyterian Church and a Mason for 70 years.
For 61 years, he was married to the former Marrietta Ramsay of Harford County. She died in 1985.
Besides his son, Robert, Mr. Howard is survived by another son, Edward E. Howard of Bel Air; a daughter, Grace A. Nolan of Lutherville; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
John M. C. Willin Jr.
Services for John M. C. Willin Jr., a retired dentist, will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Holloway Funeral Home, 501 Snow Hill Road, Salisbury.
A resident of Salisbury for 51 years, Dr. Willin died Thursday of pneumonia at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. He was 88.
Born in Seaford, Del., Dr. Willin attended schools in Delaware.
After graduating from the University of Maryland dental school in 1925, Dr. Willin moved to Salisbury to begin a half-century practice there. He retired in 1976.
He was a member of the Maryland and Eastern Shore dental societies.
His first wife, the former Althea Davis, died in 1977.
He is survived by his second wife of nine years, Mildred F. Willin of Salisbury; a son, John M. C. Willin III of Towson; a brother, Randall Willin of Seaford, Del.; and two grandchildren.
The family suggests contributions to the Asbury United Methodist Church, 1401 Camden Ave., Salisbury 21801.
Cora L. Porter
A Mass of Christian burial for Cora L. Porter, a housewife and cafeteria manager, will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 1704 Eastern Ave.
She died Thursday of Alzheimer's disease at her home in Rocky Point, where she lived most of her life. She was 90.
Mrs. Porter retired in 1970 after working for several years as a manager in the Baltimore County school lunch program. She managed cafeterias in the Dundalk and Fullerton elementary schools.
Her husband, John J. Porter, died in the late 1940s.
Mrs. Porter enjoyed sewing and crocheting.
She is survived by a son, Louis J. Porter, of Middle River; a daughter, Frances P. Totaro, of Rocky Point; two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
James Starr Kirby
A Mass of Christian burial for Joseph Starr Kirby, retired human resources manager for the Westinghouse Corp., will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Mark Chapel, 27 Melvin Ave. in Catonsville.
Mr. Kirby, a resident of Catonsville, died of cancer Friday at his home. He was 60.
A graduate of Loyola High School, Mr. Kirby made the all-state squads for baseball and basketball. In 1949 he was presented the Hargaden Trophy for athletic excellence.
He graduated from Loyola College in 1953 with a degree in English.
After graduation, he worked as comptroller for Montgomery Ward in Baltimore for the company's Eastern United States division.
For more than 20 years he worked for Westinghouse in Pittsburgh and lived in Sewickley, Pa. When he retired from the company, he was manager of human resources for the corporation.
In his leisure time, Mr. Kirby played golf and was a member of the Rolling Road Country Club in Catonsville and the Edgeworth Golf Club in Sewickley.
Mr. Kirby is survived by his wife, the former Sheila McKenna; two daughters, Katherine A. Devlin and Sheila Margaret Kirby, both of Baltimore; a son, Robert Joseph Kirby of Baltimore; three brothers, Frank L. Kirby, John C. Kirby and Mark M. Kirby, all of Baltimore; two sisters, Mary Kirby Grochmal of Baltimore and Lily Kirby Cummings of Richmond, Va.
The family suggested memorial contributions to St. Agnes Hospice.