Harry W. ShoferFurniture store founderHarry W. Shofer,...

Harry W. Shofer

Furniture store founder


Harry W. Shofer, who founded Shofer's Furniture Co. in South Baltimore, died Sunday of heart failure at his home in the Strathmore Tower Condominium. He was 96.

The native of Lithuania came to this country in 1904 and left school after the sixth grade to work in South Baltimore.


He often said, "I walked off the boat in Locust Point and went right over to South Baltimore."

In 1914 when he was 17, he went into business at the South Charles Street location that houses the furniture store. He began by renting, selling and repairing bicycles. He later added radios and appliances, and then furniture.

Long a member of the Beth Jacob Congregation, he had also been active in the Retail Furniture Merchants Association.

His first wife, the former Florence Heyman, died in 1953. His second wife, the former Gertrude Harris, died in 1993.

Services for Mr. Shofer were to be conducted at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros. Home, 6010 Reisterstown Road in Baltimore.

He is survived by two sons, Herbert M. Shofer of Baltimore and Dr. Robert Shofer of Huntington Beach, Calif.; a daughter, Myra Coleman of Chevy Chase; a brother, Thomas Shofer of Baltimore; two sisters, Hilda Lewis of Baltimore and Freida Steinberg of Miami; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Michael G. Maerz, manager of the computer system in the pharmacy at St. Joseph Hospital, died Friday at the Towson hospital after a stroke. He was 31 and lived in Bel Air.

He had worked at the hospital for 13 years, first as a pharmacy technician assisting the pharmacists. About three years ago, he helped develop a computer system for the pharmacy, including features he designed for training employees and for efficient management.

Born in Baltimore, he was a graduate of John Carroll School in Bel Air and of the University of Maryland Baltimore County where he earned a degree in sociology.


He was raised in Fallston, where he became an Eagle Scout, participated in youth athletic programs and officiated at youth baseball games.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 13305 Long Green Pike in Long Green.

Mr. Maerz is survived by his wife, the former Cheryl Lynn Price; his parents, Mary Jo and John J. Maerz Sr., both of Fallston; a sister, Barbara Anne Maerz of Berkeley, Calif.; two brothers, Robert F. and John J. Maerz Jr., both of Belcamp; three nieces; and two nephews.

Robert D. Askins

Retired court clerk

Robert D. Askins, who was a former post office supervisor and an Anne Arundel County District Court clerk, died Saturday of heart failure at North Arundel Hospital.


Mr. Askins, a native of Halethorpe, was 61 and had lived in Glen Burnie for many years.

He retired about 10 years ago as a court clerk. Earlier, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service.

Mr. Askins served in the Army during the Korean War and was a former commander of the Glen Burnie Post of the American Legion. He also belonged to the Col. Harry L. Cooper Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Severna Park Lodge of the Elks.

Services for Mr. Askins were to be conducted at 10:30 a.m. today at the Glen Burnie Baptist Church, 7524 Old Stage Road.

His first wife, the former Norma J. Davis, died in 1987.

He is survived by his wife, the former Margaret Kunkel; a son, Craig E. Askins of Chester on Kent Island; two stepdaughters, Kathleen A. Travers of Perry Hall and Patricia A. Stewart of Glen Burnie; his mother, Violet M. Askins of Catonsville; two sisters, Patricia Ruggles of Marriottsville and Sandra Baker of pTC Catonsville; two grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren. Valerie L. Gladden, a retired clerical worker for the Social Security Administration who was active in church and community groups, died Friday of respiratory and kidney failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital.


Mrs. Gladden, 78, lived in the St. Stephen's Court Apartments in West Baltimore. She retired in 1981 after nearly 30 years at SSA.

Earlier, she had worked for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, the Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River and as a beautician.

She was born Valerie L. Clarke in Baltimore and graduated from Douglass High School, the Apex Beauty School, the Cortez Peters Business School and the Community College of Baltimore.

She was a member of St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church for more than 60 years and was a member of the choir, the Choir Club, the Dorca Society, the Episcopal Churchwomen, the Blessed Mother's Guild, the Altar Guild and the World Day of Prayer.

Mrs. Gladden belonged to the Security Club of International Training in Communications. She was a building representative in the St. Stephen's Court Neighborhood Association and editor of the St. Stephen's Court Council newsletter.

She was a member of the Waxter Center and of its Sacred Singers and was a Meals on Wheels volunteer.


A requiem Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church, Walbrook Avenue and Ellamont Street.

Mrs. Gladden, who was divorced, is survived by a daughter, Shirley Gladden Jones of Baltimore; a grandson; and three great-grandchildren.