Wilhelmine Hechter, apparel shop owner


Wilhelmine White Hechter, who owned the Dropstitch Studio, an apparel shop in Baltimore, died Sunday at Northwest Medical Center of heart failure. She was 86.

She opened the well-known Roland Park apparel shop for women and children on Keswick Road in the 1930s and moved to Cold Spring Lane in the 1940s. She operated the business until 1973 when she retired.

She was born on North Calvert Street, the daughter of R. Sancheze Boone and the former Ada O'Donnell. Her father was president of the Boone Elder Co., a wine importer then located on West Chase Street, and her mother ran Miss Ada's School.

She was educated in convent schools in France and returned to Baltimore in 1924 and taught at Miss Ada's School where Wallis Warfield Simpson, later the Duchess of Windsor, had once been a student.

She made her debut at the Bachelors Cotillon in 1925 and in 1928 married Henry S. Taylor White Jr., an architect. The couple moved to France, where Mr. White worked on the American Cathedral in Paris. They returned to Baltimore in 1930.

Mr. White was the designer of the Baltimore Life Building at Charles and Saratoga streets and later designed the Friends School on Charles Street. He died in 1944.

In 1946, she married James W. Hechter who died in 1983.

She was a former resident of Elkridge Estates until she moved to Fairhaven, a retirement community, in 1992.

She maintained a summer home for many years on Stockton Avenue in Cape May, N.J., where she was active in the Beach Club, the Cottagers' Association and the Cape May Yacht Club. She also spent winters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she collected shells.

"She loved collecting shells and making things with them," recalled her daughter, Louise White Christmas of Monkton.

An active club woman, she was a member of the Junior League of Baltimore, which she joined in 1927, and of the Colonial Dames of Maryland.

Services were set for 11 a.m. today at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane, Owings Mills.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Henry S. Taylor White III of Monkton; 13 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Jemicy School, 11 Celadon Road, Owings Mills, Md. 21117.

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