Robert Blaine MorrisState police captainRobert Blaine Morris,...


Robert Blaine Morris

State police captain

Robert Blaine Morris, 77, a retired state police captain, died Oct. 1 of heart failure at Southwest Florida Regional Hospital in Fort Myers.

Mr. Morris retired in 1974 as the head of the investigative and identification bureau at state police headquarters in Pikesville. He began his law enforcement career in 1939 as a motorcycle trooper assigned to the Randallstown area.

He grew up in Pylesville in Harford County and received his education in public schools there.

Beginning in 1941, he lived in Sykesville. He operated the Old Country Store in Freedom, which specialized in antique glassware and advertising artwork, such as old tin lithograph signs and cans.

"He collected Civil War artifacts, old ads, tobacco tins, Coca-Cola signs, postcards and fountain pens," said his wife, the former Dorothy Seery, a nurse whom he married in 1971. "He'd collect anything, and what he didn't collect, I did."

Col. Thomas S. Smith, a retired state police superintendent who knew Mr. Morris since 1941, said, "He was an expert on Civil War lore . . . that came about when we were stationed in the old Confederate Home in Pikesville. In those days, some of those veterans were still living, and Bob got to know them."

After retiring, he and his wife moved to Port Charlotte where they continued to do antique shows.

No services are planned. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Robert B. Morris Jr. of Wilmington, Del.; a brother, Kenneth Morris of Pylesville; and two grandchildren.

The family said contributions may be made to any humane society.


F. G. Fryberger

Plant engineer

Frederick G. Fryberger, retired plant engineer at the FMC Corp. chemical plant in Fairfield, died Wednesday at Howard County General Hospital of heart failure.

The 86-year-old Ellicott City resident retired in 1971. He came to Baltimore in 1934 to take a job at the plant of a predecessor firm, the United States Industrial Chemical Co.

He was a former national president of the American Institute of Plant Engineers.

A native of Marietta, Pa., he was educated at the Williamson Trade School in Media, Pa., where he learned brick masonry; the Dickinson Seminary in Williamsport, and the Pennsylvania State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering in 1932.

He was a member of the Ben Franklin Lodge of the Masons, the Scottish Rite and Boumi Temple.

Services were set for 11 a.m. today at the Leroy M. and Russell C. Witzke Funeral Home, 1630 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville.

He is survived by his wife, the former Margaret Allen; a daughter, Peggy Stevens of Severna Park; and two grandsons.

George J. Straka

Grocery store owner

George J. Straka, a retired grocery store owner and welder, died Tuesday of cancer at the Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

The 73-year-old West Ocean City resident retired in 1982 as a welder in the tin mill at the Bethlehem Steel Corp. plant at Sparrows Point.

From the late 1940s until the early 1960s, he also owned George's Grocery Store in Graceland Park. A native of Ambridge, Pa., who was reared in Dundalk, he was a graduate of the Sparrows Point High.

An infantryman in the Army in World War II in Italy with decorations including the Bronze Star, he was a member of the Wells-McComas Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The former president of the Holy Name Society at Sacred Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church was also a member of the Dundalk Council and the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 9 a.m. today at Sacred Heart of Mary Church, 6736 Youngstown Ave., near Dundalk Avenue, Baltimore.

His wife, the former Edna Binkowski, died in 1988.

He is survived by two sons, George Matthew Straka of Ocean City , and Andrew Lawrence Straka of Edgemere; three daughters, Patricia Wilson and Kathleen Barnes of Dundalk, and Jean McMahon of Carney; two sisters, Ida Sober of Baltimore and Isabelle Shifflet of Dundalk; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Annie R. Armstrong

Cared for children

Annie R. Armstrong, who cared for emotionally disturbed children at a state institution, died Wednesday of cancer at her home on Wesley Avenue in Catonsville.

Mrs. Armstrong, 67, had worked at the regional Institute for Children and Adolescents in Catonsville for 27 years. She retired in 1988.

The former Annie R. Coleman was a native of Baltimore who was educated in the public schools.

Services were set for noon today at the March Funeral Home, 4300 Wabash Ave., Baltimore.

She is survived by a daughter, Vernetta Coleman of Woodlawn; a son, Joseph Armstrong of Woodlawn; a sister, Wilhelmina Smith of Baltimore; a brother, William Coleman Sr. of Randallstown; two grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

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