Richard SmelkinsonFood service executiveRichard Roy Smelkinson of...


Richard Smelkinson

Food service executive

Richard Roy Smelkinson of Lutherville, a food service executive with the Chaimson Brokerage Co. in Columbia, died Thursday at Mercy Medical Center from complications of his cancer treatment. He was 62.

A lifelong salesman who loved his work, Mr. Smelkinson also had worked in three family businesses: Chesapeake Creamery and Smelkinson Bros., both started by his grandfather and his uncle, and Food Sales Inc., founded by Mr. Smelkinson and his late brother, Alvin.

"His life was his work," said his daughter, Gail S. Willoughby. "He spent the majority of his life and energy in family businesses."

Mrs. Willoughby also described her father as a man who loved his family and his faith. He was an active member of Beth El Congregation in Pikesville, of which his father was a founder in 1946.

"Every single night at seven, he would call his daughters, one after the other, to ask how their day was, how the kids were doing," Mrs. Willoughby said. "It was a regular thing you could depend on, him calling every night to check in on you.

"His work, his family and friends were the three most important things in his life."

A 1948 graduate of Baltimore City College, Mr. Smelkinson was a member of Nu Sigma fraternity during his high school years. He attended the University of Maryland, where he was a member of Zeta Beta Tau, and graduated in 1953 with a degree in dairy sales.

He also was active in Associated Jewish Charities, the Food Services Executives Association Inc., the Chesapeake/Potomac Frozen Food Association and on many advisory boards.

In addition to Mrs. Willoughby of Westminster, Mr. Smelkinson is survived by his wife of 40 years, Barbara Kaplan Smelkinson; three other daughters, Shelley S. Seidel of Severna Park, and Leslie S. Denrich and Shelley S. Alexander, both of Owings Mills; and eight grandchildren.

Services will be 10 a.m. today at the Sol Levinson and Bros. funeral home on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore. The family will receive visitors through Friday at Mrs. Smelkinson's home.

Howard Fitzhugh 2nd

Electrical engineer

A memorial service for Howard Steptoe Fitzhugh 2nd, 63, a retired Westinghouse electrical engineer who worked with space communications, will be held at 3 p.m. today at University Baptist Church on North Charles Street in Baltimore. He died of cancer at his home Oct. 19.

A Baltimore native, Mr. Fitzhugh spent most of his life in his hometown, graduating from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in and from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in electrical engineering in 1953.

After working for seven years with Glenn L. Martin Co. in Baltimore, Mr. Fitzhugh joined Westinghouse, where he worked for 30 years, often traveling to Australia to work on the placement of satellites in their final orbits. His wife, the former Nancy Gayle Franklin, said he had recently come out of retirement to help GTE with a special satellite project when he died.

An avid flutist and organist, Mr. Fitzhugh studied at the Peabody Institute and eventually became a charter member of the Gettysburg (Pa.) Symphony Orchestra, where he played first flute. In memory of his love of music, the memorial service will consist of flute solos, Mrs. Fitzhugh said.

Mr. Fitzhugh was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., the Sons of the American Revolution, the Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins Club. He also enjoyed playing chess with a club at Johns Hopkins.

In addition to his wife of 38 years, Mr. Fitzhugh is survived by a daughter, Laura F. Hutson of Towson; two sons, Howard S. Fitzhugh 3rd of Natchitoches, La., and Charles F. Fitzhugh, of Hunt Valley; and seven grandchildren.

Jerome Hopp Sr.

Longtime barber

Jerome George Hopp Sr., a barber for more than 40 years in Baltimore and Laurel, died Thursday of cancer at Franklin Square Hospital Center. He was 68.

"He was a terrific man to work with," said Pat Whitehead, owner of the Town Center Barber Shop in Laurel, where Mr. Hopp had worked since 1981.

Semiretired for the last six years, Mr. Hopp had been working part time for Mr. Whitehead while cutting the hair of patients at area hospitals and at Keswick, a nursing home in Roland Park.

In the early 1970s, Mr. Hopp closed Jerry's Barber Shop, which he opened in 1950 at Belair Road and Sinclair Lane, and went to Bart's Barber Shop in Laurel, taking many of his former customers.

An avid gardener, he maintained a flower garden at his home in Dundalk.

Mr. Hopp was born in Baltimore and attended St. Elizabeth's School. In 1954, he and Ethel Elizabeth Leard were married. Mrs. Hopp died in 1983.

During World War II, he was a guard patrolman in the Army Airborne Division, serving in Burma.

He was a member of the Rosedale Veterans of Foreign Wars, Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church and several prayer groups.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at Our Lady of Hope.

He is survived by a daughter, Deborah A. Krimm of Chase; two sons, Jerome G. Hopp Jr. and Kevin J. Hopp, both of Dundalk; four brothers, William, Bernard, Joseph and Louis Hopp, all of Baltimore; a sister, Dorothy Dinisio of Baltimore; a grandson; and three step-grandchildren.

G. Edwin Kahler, a retired claims adjuster for State Farm Insurance who ran three farms in Baltimore County, died Thursday of cancer at his home in Woodlawn. He was 71.

In 1986, Mr. Kahler retired from the State Farm Insurance Co., where he had worked for nearly 20 years. Before that, he was a full-time farmer who sold produce to wholesale markets in Baltimore City. He also supplied about 50 families with produce, eggs and butter until the mid-1960s.

Mr. Kahler owned three tracts of land between Granite and Hebbville in Baltimore County, where he grew vegetables and raised beef cattle for many years, but gradually scaled down as the demands of his job grew.

In 1944, Mr. Kahler and the former Roberta Sauter were married. Mrs. Kahler died in 1986. He married the former Bernice Moxley in 1988.

Mr. Kahler was educated in Baltimore County public schools and graduated from Catonsville High School in 1938.

A longtime member of Gary Memorial United Methodist Church, he also was a member of the Maryland Farm Bureau.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Loring Byers funeral home, 8728 Liberty Road.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Bonnie Kahler and Jacqueline Burnham, both of Woodlawn; a son, Miles Kahler, of San Diego, Calif.; and two grandchildren.

The family suggests memorial donations to the American Cancer Society or to Gary Memorial United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 421, Ellicott City 21041.

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad