Thirza Niner WilsonTaught Sunday schoolThirza Niner Wilson,...

Thirza Niner Wilson

Taught Sunday school


Thirza Niner Wilson, 91, who for 65 years taught Sunday school at the Grace United Methodist Church, died Saturday after a stroke at her Original Northwood home.

In the 1970s and 1980s, she became known for planting pansies in the gardens or entries of her friends' homes, even planting the flowers at the home of a radio talk show host whose program she enjoyed.


The former Thirza Niner, a native of Baltimore, was a graduate of Western High and of what is now Towson State University.

She taught in the public schools for many years, serving as a substitute at Montebello Elementary until the late 1930s. As a young woman, she also had a story-telling program on a local radio station.

Her husband, Dr. Harry D . Wilson, a dentist, died in 1974.

Services are set for 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St., Baltimore, where Mrs. Wilson had taught Sunday school until about a decade ago. The family will receive friends there at 12:30 p.m.

She is survived by a daughter, Jane Wilson Farrow of Chilmark, Mass.; two sons, Harry D. Wilson Jr. of Williamstown, Mass., and Thomas A. Wilson of Shelbourne Falls, Mass.; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial contributions could be made to Grace United Methodist Church or to the League for the Handicapped.

Cleos R. Fenn

Rector's widow, 100


Cleos R. Fenn, a homemaker who was 100, died Saturday of a pulmonary embolism at her home in Roland Park.

She was the widow of Dr. Don Frank Fenn, who retired as rector of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on Saint Paul Street in 1959.

The Evanston, Ill., native received her early education there and was a 1909 graduate of the Baldwin School on Philadelphia's Main Line. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1913 from Bryn Mawr College, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

"She was a very strong and no-nonsense woman with a deep faith," said the Rev. Harry Shelley, retired rector of St. Michael and All Angels and currently chaplain at Union Memorial Hospital. "However, it's tough being a clergyman's wife because you're always in the background, but she assisted her husband dTC in his various causes and interests."

Friend Mary Shelley said she was "a very strong-willed person and really was an early feminist."

She met Dr. Fenn while working for the YWCA in Illinois and they were married in 1932. He became rector of St. Michael and All Angels in 1931. The activist clergyman and civic leader died in 1970.


Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Allston Lounge of St. David's Episcopal Church, 4700 Roland Ave. in Roland Park. Services are at 11 a.m., with interment in Green Mount Cemetery.

Mrs. Fenn is survived by two grandsons, Stanley E. Fenn and Mark W. Fenn, both of Colorado; four nephews and a niece.

Robert W. Phillips

Towson accountant

Robert W. Phillips, an accountant and consultant in Towson, died Saturday of heart failure at St. Joseph Hospital.

The 68-year-old Lutherville resident had run his own firm since 1961. Earlier, he taught business courses at Parkville and Aberdeen high schools and for private firms -- the accounting firm of Ernst & Ernst and McCormick & Co. The Baltimore native was a graduate of City College and of the University of Maryland at College Park, where he earned a degree in accounting.


In World War II, he was a lieutenant junior grade and served aboard the USS Buettner, a troop transport that sailed around the world three times and was one of the first American ships to dock in Japan. He met Mohandas K. Gandhi when his ship docked in India, where he chaperoned a student who sailed on the ship to the United States to go to school. She was a niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, later to become the first prime minister of India.

He was a member of the National Society of Accountants. A former commodore of the Baltimore Yacht Club, he was a member of the Mount Moriah Lodge of the Masons, the Scottish Rite and Boumi Temple, where he belonged to the Scimeter Club and the Towson Shrine Club. He also was a member of the Lutherville-Timonium Recreation Council and of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.

Services were set for 10 a.m. today at Towson Presbyterian Church, Chesapeake and Highland avenues.

He is survived by his wife, the former Mary E. Dansberger; a son, Scott Webster Phillips of Eldersburg; a daughter, Lisa Phillips Weitzel of Timonium; and two grandchildren.

Jack R. Kellam

Partner in carryout


Jack R. Kellam, a retired partner in a carryout seafood restaurant in Glen Burnie, died Thursday at the Francis Scott Key Medical Center after a heart attack.

Mr. Kellam, 61, was a partner in Tidewater Seafood and associated businesses for 25 years before they were sold in 1985.

Though he lived in Glen Burnie for 31 years, he was a native of Smith Island. He served in the Army in the Korean War. He was a member of the Glen Burnie Lodge of the Masons, the Scottish Rite and Immanuel United Methodist Church in Crisfield.

Services were set for noon today at the Singleton Funeral Home, 1 Second Ave. S.W., Glen Burnie.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, the former Barbara A. Walsh; a son, Jack L. Kellam of Linthicum; a daughter, Susan M. Richards of Severna Park; and two grandchildren.