Roger V. LaynorFormer state officialRoger V. Laynor,...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Roger V. Laynor

Former state official

Roger V. Laynor, a former member of the House of Delegates who had headed the Alcoholic Beverage Division of the state comptroller's office and the Howard County Metropolitan Commission, died Wednesday of pneumonia at the Charlestown Care Center in Catonsville. He was 93.

Mr. Laynor lived in Elkridge for many years before moving to Ellicott City in 1962. He moved to the Charlestown Retirement Community in 1990.

He retired from the comptroller's office in 1970, having headed his division since 1936.

In 1945, he became a member of the new Metropolitan Commission established to oversee the Howard County water and sewer systems. He was its chairman from 1960 to 1967.

The Elkridge native was a 1917 graduate of Baltimore City College. He operated a hardware and general store in Elkridge in the 1920s.

He was a Democratic member of the House of Delegates from Howard County before joining the comptroller's office.

He had been corresponding secretary of the Elkridge Country Club, a founder and board president of the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department and a member of the Howard County Democratic State Central Committee.

The former master of the Howard Lodge of the Masons had been grand inspector for the Grand Lodge of Maryland.

He had been on the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church in Elkridge and later was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia.

A memorial service was to be held at 9:30 a.m. today at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in the Charlestown Retirement Community, 711 Maiden Choice Lane.

Mr. Laynor's first wife, the former Catherine Rigg, died in 1966.

He is survived by his wife, the former Helen Schreiner; a daughter, Roberta Reid of Williamsburg, Va.; two stepsons, John Colhoun of Harwood and William Bramer of Columbia; two sisters, Helen Robinson of Greensboro, N.C., and Grace Laynor of Seaford, Del.; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Barbara Ann Craft

Parkville resident

Barbara Ann Craft, who had lived in the Baltimore area since 1970, died Thursday of congestive heart failure at her home on Superior Avenue in Parkville. She was 52.

The former Barbara Ann Studer was a native of Jersey City, N.J. She moved to Baltimore with her husband, Gary J. Craft Sr., a supervisor in the composing room of The Baltimore Sun.

Mrs. Craft was a member of the Women of the Moose.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 8:30 a.m. today at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, 8420 Belair Road in Fullerton.

In addition to her husband, her survivors include two daughters, Lisa Ann White of Baltimore and Cathleen Frances Craft of Parkville; three sons, Scott Allan Craft of Parkville and Keith Gabriel Craft and Gary J. Craft Jr., both of Ocala, Fla.; and four grandchildren.

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J. Ashley Straw

Expert on woodcock

J. Ashley Straw, an expert on the woodcock in the Office of Migratory Bird Management of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in Laurel, died Wednesday of cancer at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He was 34.

He had worked for about three years on a management plan for the woodcock, a migratory game bird. Mr. Straw lived in Bel Air.

Earlier, he worked for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as a district wildlife biologist in Salisbury and as a regional wildlife biologist in Bel Air, where he was active in the Upland Habitat Restoration Project.

Born in Gainesville, Fla., he grew up in Maryland. He was a graduate of the Wheaton High School and attended George Washington University before earning a degree in wildlife biology at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

He earned a master's degree at Pennsylvania State University, where he did research on the habitat of the woodcock.

He had been an a active member and an adult leader of religious youth groups. He started a youth ministry at the detention center Blacksburg, Va., while a college student there. He was a leader of Campus Life in Easton and was active in Young Life and in a youth group at St. Luke's Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Secretary.

He and his wife were active in the youth ministry of the New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Abingdon, where services for Mr. Straw were to be held at 9:30 a.m. today.

He is survived by his wife, the former Joan Campbell; two daughters, Rebecca Avey Straw and Virginia Grace Straw, both of Bel Air; a son, Ashley Christian Straw of Bel Air; his parents, Grace and Dr. James A. Straw, both of Wheaton; and a sister, Sharon Straw Thomas of Fairfax, Va.

Monroe B. Walker

Building contractor

Monroe B. Walker, who had been a building contractor, semiprofessional boxer and streetcar motorman, died Wednesday of heart failure at the age of 78 at his home in Columbia.

Mr. Walker moved from Edgewater to Columbia in 1985 after retiring from the remodeling and contracting business he had operated in Anne Arundel County since 1969.

In the 1950s and 1960s, he lived in McLean, Va., where he owned a homebuilding business.

The native of Dayton in Howard County pitched for the Dayton Athletic Club as a redheaded youth known variously as Reds and Bud. He also was a semiprofessional boxer.

In the 1930s, he was a streetcar motorman in Baltimore. Before starting his own business, he was a carpenter at Fort Meade and a construction superintendent in the Baltimore area.

He enjoyed country music, playing the guitar, dancing and fishing.

Services were to be held at 10 a.m. today at Fleck Funeral Home in Laurel.

He is survived by a daughter, Patricia Kemp of Columbia; and many nieces and nephews.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.

John R. Hoback

Violinist, executive

John R. Hoback, a violinist, retired business executive and father of a Maryland Air National Guard officer, died Sept. 18 of heart disease at a hospital in San Antonio. He was 74.

A resident of Del Rio, Texas, at the time of his death, Mr. Hoback retired in 1982 as manager of purchasing and distribution for the Shipley Humble Oil Co. in York, Pa., where he had been a charter member of the York Symphony Orchestra and a vestryman of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church.

After his retirement, he was an associate professor of business management at York College.

The native of Hannibal, Mo., was a graduate of Gettysburg College. He served in the Army during World War II and was an interpreter in Japan after its surrender.

Memorial services were to be held at 2 p.m. today at St. James Episcopal Church in Del Rio.

He is survived by his wife, the former Virginia Thomas; three sons, Maj. Robert R. Hoback of Bel Air, John T. Hoback of Naperville, Ill., and James F. Hoback of Del Rio; and five grandchildren.

J. Norman Melvin

Post office director

J. Norman Melvin, retired director of operations at the main post office in Baltimore, died Thursday of complications of Parkinson's disease at his home on Waterway Court in Towson.

Mr. Melvin, who was 79, retired in 1972. Born in South Baltimore, he was a 1932 graduate of City College. He began his postal career as a substitute clerk in 1936.

He was active with the Postal Hospital Fund, the National Federation of Postal Clerks and the National Association of Postal Supervisors, and had been a member of the Woodbourne Heights Community Association, the Maryvale Fathers Club, the Federal Civic Golf Association and the Hamilton Little League.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 10 a.m. today at the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues in Towson.

He is survived by his wife, the former Carolyn A. Weisinger; a son, John N. Melvin Jr. of Bel Air; three daughters, Carole A. Ziegler of Baltimore, Susan M. Ayres of Timonium and Mary Joseph Mullin of Perry Hall; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Miriam Lewis, 82, musician and teacher

Miriam Grace Rhoads Lewis, pianist, organist, choir director and music teacher, died Wednesday at the Frederick Memorial Hospital of complications after surgery. She was 82.

Mrs. Lewis taught piano in the Preparatory Department of Hood College from 1932 to 1936. Then, until 1948, she taught music in Montgomery County schools, first at the Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville and later at Takoma Park Junior High School.

In the 1950s, she taught music appreciation at the Frederick Memorial Hospital nursing school.

Mrs. Lewis was organist and choir director at the Frederick Presbyterian Church from 1930 until her retirement in 1972, when the church named her minister of music emerita.

In the 1940s and 1950s, she played with a dinner-time trio at the Francis Scott Key Hotel in Frederick, and for many years she performed in recitals with Hood College Music Department faculty members.

Born in Frederick, the former Miriam Grace Rhoads was a 1928 graduate of the Frederick High School. She earned a bachelor's of music at Hood in 1932 and did graduate work at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

In the 1950s, she organized and directed a men's chorus, the Melodiares.

For many years, she was a member of the board of the Frederick Community Concert Association. She was also a member of the Prime Timers and the Inner Wheel of the Frederick Rotary Club.

A memorial service for Mrs. Lewis was to be held at 1 p.m. today at the Frederick Presbyterian Church, where she was a member.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Frank Hedges Lewis; a sister, Genevieve Rhoads Kennedy of Wilmington, Del.; two nephews; three nieces; and many grandnephews, grand nieces great-grandnephews and great-grandnieces.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Frederick Presbyterian Church or to the Hood College Beneficial Hodson Library.

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